B.C. researchers are launching the country’s first large-scale clinical trial on marijuana as a treatment for a mental health condition, testing whether pot can ease the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
Zach Walsh, a clinical psychologist at the University of B.C.’s Okanagan campus, is leading the study, which will put the anecdotal experiences of combat veterans to the test.
“A lot of veterans are using cannabis to help with their PTSD,” Walsh said. “What we see, unfortunately, with treatment-resistant PTSD is people will be on a combination of drugs — one thing to help with sleep, another thing to help with mood and sometimes a bunch of other stuff…. What (veterans say) cannabis does is it addresses a lot of those issues concurrently. It helps them get to sleep, it relaxes them, it helps them to function on a day-to-day level.”
Medical marijuana users claim that the drug helps them with everything from anxiety to insomnia to nightmares,