Marijuana May Be Studied for Combat Disorder
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Marijuana May Be Studied for Combat Disorder
Posted by CN Staff on July 20, 2011 at 15:36:13 PT
By Dan Frosch
Source: New York Times 
Denver -- For years now, some veterans groups and marijuana advocates have argued that the therapeutic benefits of the drug can help soothe the psychological wounds of battle. But with only anecdotal evidence as support, their claims have yet to gain widespread acceptance in medical circles. Now, however, researchers are seeking federal approval for what is believed to be the first study to examine the effects of marijuana on veterans with chronic post-traumatic stress disorder.
The proposal, from the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies in Santa Cruz, Calif., and a researcher at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, would look at the potential benefits of cannabis by examining 50 combat veterans who suffer from the condition and have not responded to other treatment. “With so many veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, there is a widely accepted need for a new treatment of PTSD,” said Rick Doblin, founder and executive director of the psychedelic studies group. “These are people whom we put in harm’s way, and we have a moral obligation to help them.” In April, the Food and Drug Administration said it was satisfied that safety concerns over the study had been addressed by Mr. Doblin and Dr. Sue Sisley, an assistant professor of psychiatry and internal medicine at Arizona, according to a letter from the drug administration provided by Mr. Doblin. But the letter also noted that the project could not go forward until the researchers identified where they would get their marijuana. And that cannot happen, Mr. Doblin said, until the project is approved by a scientific review panel from the Department of Health and Human Services, which includes representatives from an assortment of federal health agencies. If the proposal is approved, Mr. Doblin said, the researchers will use marijuana grown by the University of Mississippi under a contract with the National Institute on Drug Abuse. It is the only marijuana permitted to be used in federally approved studies. A Health and Human Services spokeswoman said the proposal was still under review. “The production and distribution of marijuana for clinical research is carefully restricted under a number of federal laws and international commitments,” the spokeswoman, Tara Broido, said in an e-mail. “Study proposals are reviewed for scientific quality and the likelihood that they will yield data on meaningful benefits.” An institutional review board must also approve the study, as well as the Drug Enforcement Administration, Mr. Doblin said. Getting final approval from the federal government could prove difficult, Mr. Doblin and Dr. Sisley conceded. They said it was far more challenging to get authorization for a study that examines the benefits of an illegal drug than its risks. “We really believe science should supersede politics,” Dr. Sisley said. “This illness needs to be treated in a multidisciplinary way. Drugs like Zoloft and Paxil have proven entirely inadequate. And there’s anecdotal evidence from vets that cannabis can provide systematic relief.” Medical marijuana is legal in 16 states and the District of Columbia. But only New Mexico and Delaware specifically list post-traumatic stress disorder as a qualifying condition for treatment, according to the Marijuana Policy Project, a Washington-based group that supports legal regulation of the drug. Currently, nearly a third of the 4,982 patients approved for medical marijuana in New Mexico suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, more than any other condition, according to the state’s health department. It is unclear how many are veterans. One recent Army veteran from Texas who fought in Iraq for 18 months beginning in 2006, said he used marijuana three times a day in lieu of the painkillers and antidepressants he was prescribed after returning home. He asked that his name not be used because Texas does not allow medical marijuana. The veteran, who said he had been shot in the leg and suffered numerous head injuries from explosions while deployed as a Humvee gunner, said marijuana helped quiet his physical and psychological pain, while not causing the weight loss and sleep deprivation brought on by his prescription medications. “I have seen it with my own eyes,” he said. “It works for a lot of the guys coming home.” If the study is approved, veterans who participate would be observed on an outpatient basis over three months, Mr. Doblin said. During two four-week increments, they would be given up to 1.8 grams of marijuana a day to treat anxiety, depression, nightmares and other symptoms brought on by PTSD. Researchers would also observe the veterans for periods when they are not permitted to use marijuana. In addition to a placebo, researchers plan to use four marijuana strains in the study, each containing different levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a primary component of the drug. One of the strains will also contain cannabidiol (CBD), another ingredient thought to have an anti-anxiety effect. Mr. Doblin said the veterans would be allowed to use the marijuana at their own discretion. Half will be instructed to smoke the drug, while the other half will inhale it through a vaporizer. A version of this article appeared in print on July 19, 2011, on page A15 of the New York edition with the headline: Marijuana May Be Studied for Combat Disorder. Newshawk: HopeSource: New York Times (NY)Author: Dan FroschPublished: July 19, 2011Copyright: 2011 The New York Times CompanyContact: letters nytimes.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #22 posted by FoM on July 25, 2011 at 07:12:35 PT
Keep up the good work and have fun when you go visit your son.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #21 posted by Hope on July 24, 2011 at 17:35:39 PT
Please do come back and comment more often. That's so cool about your Facebook page and have fun in Denver!Whoo Hoo!
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Comment #20 posted by Dankhank on July 24, 2011 at 17:10:24 PT
Thanks Hope and FoM ...
I'm hangin in, day by day.I have been flogging my Facebook acct. for a year, now, trying to wake up my audience to the sheer terrorism of the Repugs. sorry to bring politics into this forum.I have 5000 "friends" and consider them my audience. some go away but it's funny, now that I have 5000 the requests for friending have gone up so much I wish I knew which of my friends I should "unfriend" to make room for the ones that seem to "really" want to read my posts.I get thanks for the breadth of my postings from folks in Europe that want to know what's going on over here.I'm heading up to Denver, again to see my son, and to revel in the freedom that is there.Peace to all who still comment here, I will try to come back more often ......
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Comment #19 posted by FoM on July 21, 2011 at 17:52:34 PT
I also believe Cannabis helps with PTSD. Many Vietnam Veterans use it for that reason. Take Care of Johnny Veteran
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Comment #18 posted by George Servantes on July 21, 2011 at 15:47:50 PT:
unless you suffer from real ptsd you won't really know what it's like. and it's no joke, people kill themselves, can't sleep, have nightmares, anxiety, depression, they just can't function well anymore. ptsd is a silent killer.
doctors do nowadays over diagnose ptsd and depression, but for some people who went through very high traumas cannabis is the only medicine that works. paxil and zoloft don't help much, if they did work we wouldn't have many vets commit suicides. but many doctors don't know that pharma chemicals don't do nothing. i got ptsd that causes me to have nightmares, insomnia, depression, anxiety, pain, weight loss, nausea etc... Cannabis is the only medicine that works for my ptsd symptoms, and believe me i tried all pharma medicine including paxil and zoloft, and it didn't help me at all, it actually always made me feel worse.
i could never understand when many people say paxil, zoloft or something else helped them. for me it was always opposite.
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Comment #17 posted by Hope on July 21, 2011 at 13:44:18 PT
One of the first effects I ever noticed
from cannabis use, back in the olden days, was that my lifetime night terrors and vivid dreams lightened up gloriously. So, in my case, it wasn't a symptom of withdrawal at all. I'd always had them and they ceased most of the time during the times I used cannabis.They weren't caused by PTSD in my case. My grandmother had them, too. She never got a break from hers, though. My son started getting them when he was about three or four and chamomile tea at bedtime stopped them in their tracks in his case. So there might be some correlation between chamomile tea terpenoids or something and the terpenoids or something in cannabis.Maybe. We need scientific examination of these phenomena. How wonderful to have a dose or a cup of something to end the struggles of night terrors and nightmares. It would be such a blessing to so many people. Sometimes I think fear of nightmares has something to do with insomnia in some people.
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Comment #16 posted by Duzt on July 21, 2011 at 12:36:22 PT
I have my own PTSD issues, my dreams have always been horribly vivid, it's part of why I started smoking. 
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Comment #15 posted by Canis420 on July 21, 2011 at 11:41:53 PT:
Duzt comment 9
I believe the vivid dreams are a symptom of withdrawl. Same thing happens to me when I stop for a possible job opportunity. Others speak of this as well.
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Comment #14 posted by afterburner on July 21, 2011 at 11:00:27 PT
First Study? We Remember!
Thanks to Rick Doblin for his many efforts, but "starting in 2004, the Israeli army began to conduct controlled studies with Marijuana Therapy for PTSD."Marijuana Therapy for Veterans with PTSD
"For everyone who suffers from PTSD – for whatever reason – Marijuana Therapy has been shown to be very effective and safe. Not like the talking therapies which have a dismal record of helping trauma victims, and nothing like the dangerous, numbing, and addictive, but legal drugs that cost a fortune and deaden one’s mind. BTW: it just so happens, that starting in 2004, the Israeli army began to conduct controlled studies with Marijuana Therapy for PTSD. They heard tell from their soldiers that it worked. Preliminary findings actually resulted in government-issue THC for their soldiers. That’s right!! Israeli soldiers are given THC as part of their rations!"With all the returning soldiers who have experienced torture and other horrors, perpetrated by terrorists and some of their own brothers and sisters in uniform, maybe this study will be the one that puts the final nail in the coffin of Prohibition. The St. Valentine's Day Massacre of seven of Bugs Moran's hoods by Al Capone's thugs caused the U.S. to say "enough is enough" (too much violence & too much money in the hands of criminal gangs). This led to the repeal in 1933 of the Eighteenth Amendment, Alcohol Prohibition. (America: the History of the U.S., "Boom" episode, one of a 12 part TV series) Surely the U.S. citizens, struggling with joblessness can show their gratitude and support the troops by compassionately helping to deprogram the soldiers who witnessed such atrocities. This would give the returning soldiers a fighting chance to rejoin society and the workforce, instead of being ignored and left to rot like too many Vietnam vets were. 
Saint Valentine's Day massacre 
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Comment #13 posted by runruff on July 21, 2011 at 09:53:42 PT
I suffered PTSD form summer camp!
My Mom forgot to write my name in my underwear so for two weeks the boys called me "Fruit of the Loom"!It was traumatic!
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Comment #12 posted by John Tyler on July 20, 2011 at 20:47:36 PT
trending in our favor
The movement has had its ups and downs but I feel the whole direction is strongly trending in our favor.
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on July 20, 2011 at 20:11:45 PT
There Is No Stopping Us Now
We are going to see more and more changes happening. It's been an interesting rollercoaster ride all these years.
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on July 20, 2011 at 20:08:59 PT
You made my day seeing you on CNews. You have been missed.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #9 posted by duzt on July 20, 2011 at 20:03:54 PT
Anybody who smokes regularly has probably noticed that they don't dream as much when they sleep. Whatever is causing that seems to help those with PTSD, the night terrors tend to go away or be greatly reduced. It really should be researched more, I'd love to understand why my intensely vivid dreams (and nightmares) go away when I eat an edible to sleep compared to when I don't.
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Comment #8 posted by duzt on July 20, 2011 at 20:00:03 PT
I meant it's going to put us in a good light and it's being filmed at both Harborside locations in San Jose and Oakland.
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Comment #7 posted by John Tyler on July 20, 2011 at 19:58:42 PT
peace of mind
I saw an article in my local paper about PTSD. Basically, it said there was no effective “accepted” treatment available. All they had was pills and drinking. They didn’t even mention cannabis at all. It’s the terrible things these people have done and seen and had happen to them that change neural pathways in their brains. The physical pain and the memories that they can’t escape weigh on their minds.  They need the healing that only cannabis can bring, the redirection of neural pathways, the creative forgetting, the peace they seek. 
If this were important to the people in the gov. it would get done right away. 
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Comment #6 posted by duzt on July 20, 2011 at 19:55:47 PT
The show
It's going to be a seven part series. They've been filming now for a while and they have a ton of good footage. It's going to put is in a good light from what I've been told.
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on July 20, 2011 at 18:47:30 PT
Comment 1 FoM
I just noticed that says "Series". I thought it was another special or one time show... but it's a series. That should be interesting.
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Comment #4 posted by Hope on July 20, 2011 at 18:44:53 PT
And right... Comment 2, Dankhank.
I was thinking that same thing when I was reading the article.
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Comment #3 posted by Hope on July 20, 2011 at 18:43:42 PT
It's so good to see you, man.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by Dankhank on July 20, 2011 at 17:43:44 PT
Contact ...
the Israeli Army for data, they have been using Cannabis for years ...
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on July 20, 2011 at 15:57:30 PT
Reality Series To Focus on Oakland MMJ Facility
July 20, 2011The Discovery Channel announced today that it will produce a reality series about Oakland's Harborside Health Center, the nation's largest medical cannabis dispensary."Weed Wars," scheduled to premiere this fall, "fearlessly pulls back the curtain on a once illegal and still controversial world," according to a press release issued by Discovery.URL:
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