Thursday, November 17, 2016

Marijuana for Veterans

A prescription bottle with marijuana inside of it sits on top of an RX note.
Photo credit: Shutterstock
New research suggests that marijuana can help alleviate the symptoms of PTSD. The recent study was led by Zach Walshan associate professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia. Walsh believes that the clinical side of marijuana should be taken more seriously.

“This is a substance that has potential use for mental health,” Walsh stated. “We should be looking at it in the same way [as other pharmaceuticals] and be holding it up to the same standard.”

But the idea that marijuana can be used to reduce the effects of PTSD is hardly new. For years now, users have been touting about how it can ease anxiety, irritability, and depression (all of which are symptoms associated with PTSD). But despite it being so widely talked about in a general sense, the scientific community hasn’t really studied these claims in much detail… until now.

"In reviewing the limited evidence on medical cannabis, it appears that patients and others who have advocated for cannabis as a tool for harm reduction and mental health have some valid points," Walsh asserted.

The study, which was published in the Clinical Psychology Review, is making headlines for its controversial findings. Walsh is hoping that the study can erase some of the stigma associated with cannabis use. The study was published yesterday, November 16, 2016, and several big-name media outlets have already written about it, including Time Magazine.

According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, several states permit medical marijuana use for PTSD. However, don’t get too excited because the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs also warns that regular cannabis use can lead to chronic bronchitis, psychosis, and even addiction.

Veterans who want to try cannabis as a treatment option are advised to seek medical guidance beforehand. A complete list of states that allow medical marijuana use can be viewed here.