A study that would explore the possible benefits of marijuana for those who suffer post-traumatic stress disorder got a huge green light from the federal government.The research project, headed by Dr. Suzanne Sisley of the University of Arizona, already had approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
But, like a lot of studies involving pot, it hit a bottleneck in trying to obtain cannabis from the only legitimate place it could — the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s (NIDA) sole marijuana farm in Mississippi.
Critics say NIDA has long been wary of attempts to prove that marijuana has medicinal benefits. But, in a move hailed as tacit approval for the study by the Obama administration itself, the PTSD research received approval to receive federal weed.
According to a statement from the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS):
On March 14, 2014, in an historic shift in federal policy, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services granted permission for MAPS to purchase research-grade marijuana from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) for our planned study of marijuana for symptoms of PTSD in U.S. veterans.
The group says this is the first time in 22 years of trying that feds have granted access to this sole source of legit, United States-produced cannabis.
However, MAPS says the study still requires approval from the DEA. The research will also need cash from supporters, the group says. The organization previously described the research as a:
...placebo-controlled, triple-blind, randomized crossover pilot study is the first of its kind, and will investigate the safety and efficacy of marijuana for PTSD in veterans using four marijuana strains each with a different level of D9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) along with a fifth strain containing equal amounts of THC (6%) and cannabidiol (CBD) (6%). PTSD symptoms will be compared across conditions during four weeks of self-administration to determine if strain potency or drug delivery method affects PTSD severity.
Editor's note: This article originally published on the 420 Times on March 18, 2014.