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Psychiatrist calls for research into cannabis oil as a treatment for PTSD
CNN reports on a psychiatrist’s experience with patients using cannabis oil to treat PTSD.
According to her observation, Dr. Sue Sisley noticed an “unexpected” trend amongst her patients. The psychiatrist works with veterans who struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder, also known as PTSD.According to Sisley, many of her patients suffer from severe side effects caused by the medications they use for their anxiety, insomnia, depression, etc.
“There are only a few medications on the market that work according to what the research shows, and even these can be inadequate.”, “They end up getting stuck on anywhere between 8 to 12 different kinds of medications, and after taking so many, suddenly they’re like zombies.” says Sisley.
Sisley noticed that some of her patients were starting to recover and seemed to be more aware of their surroundings and circumstances. She was curious to know what had changed. Some of her patients revealed that they had been trying an alternative, other than using the medications prescribed.
She was surprised when they revealed they were self-medicating with cannabis oil. “I was really stunned and more patients were coming out and disclosing to me that they were having some useful experiences with marijuana.”
She then added, “I appreciated the progress they said they were making, but like any good scientist I didn’t want to rely on anecdotal evidence”. She insisted she wanted documented evidence, clinical trials of large patient populations published in peer reviewed journals proving that marijuana was the right approach to treating PTSD, or any other ailment for that matter.
It is known that people use cannabis oil to treat a variety of medical issues, such as multiple sclerosis, arthritis, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV, chronic pain, Alzheimer’s, cancer and more.
With medical marijuana legal in almost half of the states, more doctors are saying that they are wondering what effect it really has on people. They asked for dosage information. It has been reported that they seek more information on the long-term impact of Cannabis on patients.
Sisley said she looked for answers in medical research, but couldn’t find substantial evidence. She said, “When I decided to do the studies myself and applied for federal approval, I was met with miles of red tape and resistance – like many other researchers before me”
This comes as no surprise. After all, marijuana is one of the most tightly controlled substances under federal law. The US government considers it a Schedule I drug, meaning the Drug Enforcement Administration considers it to have no medical value. It is in the same category as heroin and LSD. Scientists need approval from several federal departments to conduct studies on cannabis oil as a medicine.
Studies on the medicinal qualities of THC and CBD cannabis oil are in early stages of research. “Mainstream physicians avoid it, even if rumours say it works, because without research and approval on legitimate practice guidelines, they will worry about their license and or professionalism,” said Sisley. “That’s why it is key to have randomized control trials for this to work.”
A bipartisan bill – from Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, Cory Booker, D-New Jersey, and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York – called the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States Act of 2015 was introduced in the Senate in March and if approved, would reduce some of the restrictions, making cannabis research easier. Legislation is in committee.