NEW YORK — In a symposium on the issues and controversies in the world to evaluate smoked medical cannabis as treatment for PTSD. She is hopeful that if the data are compelling, the FDA will approve a phase-3 trial. This study seeks to understand the current literature regarding the use of medicinal Data were extracted from a total of 46 articles. Many of the published studies suggest a decrease in PTSD symptoms with marijuana use. The First Federally Approved Study on Cannabis and PTSD in Veterans is Finally Underway Report no current hazardous marijuana use and completely abstain in medication or psychotherapy treatment regimen during the study, to site staff. for the next two weeks while researchers compile the data.
Data Cannabis: PTSD Treating and New with Research
After some difficulty, a study in Arizona sponsored by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies MAPS examining smoked marijuana as a treatment is near full enrollment and is expected to finish on time, the organization announced.
The study can accept seven more volunteer test subjects, said lead researcher Dr. Sue Sisley, a physician and psychiatrist who has been working on the study for a decade.
Research will be conducted in Phoenix, Arizona, where veterans will make 17 outpatient study visits over the course of 12 weeks.
The study is progressing despite significant challenges, including a lack of financial assistance from the VA, which has also blocked Sisley from entering its hospitals in search of test subjects.
After losing the imprimatur of the University of Arizona in , another research university that initially planned to sponsor with Sisley, Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, also abruptly cut ties with Sisley and the study. Hopkins announced its departure after Sisley publicly criticized the quality and potency of the research-grade marijuana provided by the federal government.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse still has a monopoly on the marijuana available to researchers in the United States, which is grown on a farm operated by the University of Mississippi. The cannabis is low-quality and low-potency, critics say, and bears little resemblance to the marijuana found at dispensaries and on the black market. In the waning months of the Obama administration, the Drug Enforcement Administration announced plans to license additional growers of cannabis for research, but the Trump administration has not acted on the more than two dozen applications it has received to date, something that has angered members of Congress from both parties.
The use of cannabis, or marijuana, for medicinal purposes - such as in the management of chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD - is becoming more accepted, both in the U.
Of these, eight states and the District of Columbia have also legalized it for recreational as well as medicinal use. The review authors note that , in the U. Also, among patients receiving long-term prescription opioid therapy for pain, as many as 39 percent are likely to be using cannabis as well.
In their systematic review, they examined data from 27 chronic pain trials and found only "low-strength" evidence that cannabis relieves neuropathic pain and "insufficient evidence" that it alleviates other types of pain.
The authors also found some limited evidence on the harms of cannabis use in the general population, suggesting that cannabis use may raise the risk of psychotic symptoms, short-term cognitive impairment, and motor vehicle accidents. There also appears to be insufficient evidence about the long-term physical harms in both heavy and long-term cannabis users, or in older populations. In an accompanying editorial , Sachin Patel, an associate professor at Vanderbilt Kennedy Center in Nashville, TN - where he researches the effect of cannabis compounds on the brain in psychiatric disorders - comments on the finding.
He draws attention to the discrepancy between this result and the fact that pain is one of the most common reasons that people seek use of medicinal cannabis, and why many states have approved it for such use.
One reason could be that most of the studies used lower doses or strengths of cannabis compounds than those available in dispensaries, and the effect on pain depends on dose. Another reason could be that the people who use medical cannabis for pain relief may not always be represented in clinical studies.
He also suggests that there could a "more controversial" explanation. Pain is a complex mix of "behavioral, emotional, and cognitive domains," the effects of which are not readily captured in traditional rating scales. Patel leaves the issue undecided. On the one hand, there appears to be a need for a "more comprehensive analysis of patient well-being and functioning than is measured by common pain scales" to detect the effects of cannabis. He notes that on the other hand, it may be possible that the effects of cannabis on perceived pain are "simply not robust," and that using a catch-all diagnosis of "pain" to justify legalizing medicinal cannabis "may be overused.
Over a third of patients who request medicinal use of cannabis in states where it is legal give PTSD as the main reason. However, as in the case of pain management, the authors state that the effectiveness of cannabis "in treating PTSD symptoms remains uncertain. The team examined data from reviews, trials, and other studies that included a control group and reported benefits and harms of giving adults plant-based as opposed to synthetic versions cannabis to treat PTSD.
They found insufficient evidence to support the idea that cannabis relieves symptoms of PTSD. One of the studies they reviewed - which was one of the largest to follow veterans with PTSD - did, however, show evidence that symptoms got worse in those veterans who continued or started to use cannabis compared with those who had never used it or who stopped using it during the study.
In his editorial, Prof. Patel says that the two reviews "largely echo" findings of organizations such as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, and that they suggest a "growing consensus in the field.
He suggests that even if further research reveals that there is no clear, substantial evidence that cannabis is an effective and safe treatment for pain or PTSD, it is unlikely that legislation will "remove these conditions from the lists of indications for medical cannabis.
A quick note on terminology: The World Health Organization WHO define cannabis as a generic term for the several psychoactive substances that are present in the plant Cannabis sativa. In reference to marijuana, the WHO say that in many countries, the term refers to cannabis leaves or other parts of the plant.
However, agencies such as the U.
Cannabis for pain and PTSD 'lacks high-quality evidence'
Summary: Marijuana Moment offers educational news about the MAPS- sponsored The first controlled study examining marijuana as a treatment for Disorder (PTSD), according to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) data. No drug is designed specifically to treat PTSD and doctors usually He said the new research supports the belief that cannabis can help. Current medication treatment is limited primarily to antidepressants. PTSD. Studies for the review were included based on a literature search from Ovid Discussion: Conflicting data exist for the use of marijuana for PTSD; however, current.