Australia Launches Medical Cannabis Trial Program for Veterans Suffering from PTSD

With cannabis continuing to prove its medical benefits to non-believers, Australia has officially launched a new trial making use of cannabis to treat servicemen and servicewomen suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

PTSD is a condition relating to a set of responses to stimuli related to past trauma. It has been noted to affect about 25 percent of people exposed to traumatic events, and more specifically, 8.3 percent of the Australian Defense Force. Making matters more frightening, though, is the idea that these veterans are continuously being prescribed traditional medicines that are simply not doing what a joint can. “Some of the meds I’d take I would take at night time, and I wouldn’t wake up until after lunchtime the next day,” Mr. Handley, a former soldier, told ABC News. “I was becoming, in a sense, addicted to these opiates and abusing them,” he continued.

Cannabis, though, has emerged recently as a safer alternative to traditional medicine for those with symptoms.

Lead researcher Dr. Sharron Davis explained in regards to PTSD, “It can present itself in lots of different ways, so it’s very difficult to find a treatment that is going to treat all of the symptoms,” pushing at the need for experimentation. “We have to be able to show the Therapeutic Goods Administration (the part of the Australian Government Department of Health responsible for regulating therapeutic goods) that these people have tried everything conventional medicine has to offer,” she continued.

Bod Australia, a cannabis-focused healthcare company, has announced plans to supply their pharmaceutical-grade cannabis extract, MediCabilis, for the trial period.

Over the next 12 months, on behalf of Bod Australia, approved prescribers from Cannabis Access Clinics will be prescribing cannabis in oil form to 300 patients in order to test the results on their PTSD. Participants will start with a dose of 5 milliliters and may be on the product for up to five weeks in order to assess the benefits.

With CAC noting their previous experience and success with cannabis on PTSD patients, lead researcher Dr. Davis hopes this trial period will lead to the product eventually becoming a freely available supplement. And while research is still in its infancy around the world, the cannabis medical movement is strongly pushing forward and proving its benefits for common PTSD symptoms such as anxiety and depression. If things go well with this Australian trial, veterans across the globe could look forward to a future of green treatment.

Emerald contributor since June 2019

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