B.C. Medical Marijuana Producer Hopes to Sponsor PTSD Study

A B.C. medical marijuana producer is seeking approval from Health Canada to sponsor the first study in Canada on the safety and effectiveness of cannabis for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among sexual assault victims, military veterans and first responder personnel.

The Nanaimo medical marijuana facility called Tilray — one of about 20 Health Canada-licensed producers in the country — is sponsoring the $350,000 study. It would be conducted by University of B.C. researchers at the Kelowna campus and would require UBC ethics board approval. If the study overcomes regulatory hurdles, recruitment of participants with PTSD would begin early next year.

Zach Walsh, a UBC psychology professor who would be the study’s principal investigator, said marijuana is used by an unknown proportion of PTSD patients for symptoms including flashbacks, anxiety, depression, anger, irritability and changes in sleep and appetite. Yet there is a paucity of scientific evidence about therapeutic benefits or risks of use.

“Physicians and patients are hungry for research on marijuana. Medical research is playing catch-up with cannabis use so we really need to do these kinds of controlled studies,” said Walsh, who is a co-director for UBC’s Centre for the Advancement of Psychological Science and Law. “My professional interest is in developing effective therapies for psychological disorders.”

– Read the entire article at The Vancouver Sun.