The First Human Study Focusing On Cannabis For PTSD Treatment Has Been Approved

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The Battle Brothers Foundation has received approval to launch an observational study on the use of medical cannabis to help combat PTSD in veterans. In concert with NiaMedic, an Israeli-American medical data and research company, the study will determine if cannabis treatment will be beneficial in reducing symptoms in patients with treatment-resistant PTSD.

The two groups received approval to proceed with the study from the national Independent Review Board (IRB), which is the independent committee that reviews the methods proposed for research to ensure that they are ethical.

The study will enroll 60 California veterans with moderate or severe PTSD over the next year. Participants will dose and titrate individually purchased products by their own discretion. They will then be followed for 90 days to evaluate the safety and efficiency of cannabis on their symptoms. Results of the study will be documented and monitored at that time. Participants will be limited to using legally available cannabis products in California’s market and will also be monitored for any adverse effects due to the use of cannabis.

‘The study hypothesis is that cannabis treatment will be beneficial in reducing the PTSD symptoms in patients with treatment-resistant PTSD,’ says Bryan Buckley, founder and president for the Board of Battle Brothers Foundation.

“This news could not come at a better time. Every day, 22 veterans are dying due to effects of post traumatic stress from opioid addiction to depression. Through anecdotal experiences, we know that cannabis can alleviate symptoms and provide relief. We appreciate that the IRB recognizes the validity of and the need for this study,” says Buckley.

According to the National Institutes of Health, the rate of PTSD among returning service members varies widely across wars and eras. In one major study of 60,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, 13.5% of deployed and non-deployed veterans screened positive for PTSD, while other studies show the rate to be as high as 20% to 30%. As many as 500,000 U.S. troops who served in these wars over the past 13 years have been diagnosed with PTSD.

The Battle Brothers Foundation is the nonprofit arm of Helmand Valley Growers Company, a cannabis company founded by disabled United States Special Operations veterans that donates 100% of its profits to fund research on the medical use of cannabis for veterans.

In 2016, Helmand Valley Growers Company founders spoke to members of Congress about the viability of medical cannabis as an alternative to the opioids military veterans were prescribed. They were advised to research data working alongside American medical doctors to build a strong case to present to the Department of Veteran’s Affairs. After teaming with NiaMedic, they compiled and presented their proprietary research to the IRB in July 2020.

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