In a new podcast, a researcher from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs stated that individuals suffering from PTSD who use cannabis experience fewer symptoms of the disorder and recover more quickly than individuals who don’t. The forensic neuro-psychiatrist, Hal Wortzel, discussed the findings of an observational study he’d carried out during the podcast. This is in addition to talking about how the ongoing federal prohibition on cannabis has hindered research from progressing.
To learn how marijuana affects post-traumatic stress disorder, the team of researchers, led by Wortzel, tracked two groups comprising of 150 individuals living with the condition. Of this number, one-half used cannabis to manage their symptoms while the other half didn’t. The individuals were tracked for a period of years, with researchers noting that despite the limits to observational studies, their results offered evidence that cannabis has therapeutic benefits for some populations.
Wortzel stated that in comparison with those who didn’t use cannabis, those who used cannabis recovered more quickly and were roughly twice as likely to not meet the criteria for PTSD after a while. The research also found that cannabis wasn’t linked to better sleep or other functional activity levels and outcomes. This is surprising, as anecdotal evidence from many individuals report improved sleep with marijuana.
In the podcast, which is produced by the Rocky Mountain Mental Illness Research Education and Clinical Center, Wortzel stated that a greater investment in experimental studies on cannabis’ health impacts needed to be made. He explained that because cannabis and cannabis products were still federally illegal, researchers needed to use the products developed by the U.S. government to conduct experimental studies, which aren’t the products that the majority of people in the U.S. use or purchase from dispensaries.
Most researchers, including the head of NIDA, have complained that they are currently forced to use marijuana grown from one federally authorized source at the University of Mississippi to conduct studies; that marijuana isn’t available in the state-legal commercial markets.
This is one of the cannabis research barriers highlighted in a report that the National Institute of Drug Abuse submitted to Congress recently. Congressional legislators are currently focused on advancing measures to end cannabis prohibition.
However, officials from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs have rejected even the fairest legislation that was drafted to promote clinical research into the medical value of marijuana, as well as promote veteran access to medical cannabis. Such reluctance on the part of the VA may make it harder for veterans to access even the beneficial products currently available from companies such as Flora Growth Corp. (NASDAQ: FLGC).
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