The Motley Fool reports that the US federal government is poised to allow medical marijuanaprescriptions to military veterans. Both the House and the Senate voted to ban the Department of Veterans Affairs from forbidding doctors to prescribe the drug to suffering veterans. If the President approves the bill, it will become law.
How cannabis oil helps to conquer PTSD
Many veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, which includes anxiety and insomnia. Cannabinoids are prescribed to treat these as well as the constant pain from physical injuries. One recent review of the usage of cannabis and its various formulations such as cannabis oil for veterans with PTSD covered 11 articles and four minor studies. The latter showed that cannabis reduced insomnia and nightmares, and it set the foundation for bigger controlled trials in the future.
According to the review’s authors, cannabinoids such as THC and CBD help PTSD sufferers to deal with trauma, and the hyperarousal and the avoidance behaviours that characterize this disorder. Further, those with severe PTSD exhibit a greater desire to use cannabis, especially to cope with stress and emotional imbalance. The authors note that inhalation, transdermal absorption and oral intake are all effective. Finally, they state that significant numbers of veterans use cannabis, and at least some are benefiting from it.
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More states see the advantages of legalized cannabis
According to Motley Fool, Pennsylvania is the latest of 24 states to legalize medical marijuana. This trend is fueled by patients and some physicians as well as states that recognize the jobs and revenue created by a legal cannabis industry. Some of this revenue goes to drug abuse programs and law enforcement. One company in the forefront of this field is GW Pharmaceuticals, which makes cannabis-derived medications. One of its products, designed to treat epilepsy, reduced the frequency of seizures by half in a not-yet-completed study.
Federal laws are slow to change
Although the huge majority of Americans want national approval of medical marijuana, the federal government is not quickly moving to change laws. It has allowed more clinical research, but marijuana-based companies still pay high taxes and have greatly restricted access to financial services that normal businesses can use. All this results from the fact that marijuana itself is an illegal drug on a federal level. The split in federal and state laws means that the bill targeting Veterans Affairs would only affect states that allow cannabis use for therapeutic purposes. Those states that outlaw all such usage would not have to comply with the new law if it were enacted.
Motley Fool sees the new law as an important victory for marijuana legalization, but not one that will substantially affect investors who wish to become involved in cannabis. Most businesses that deal with this drug are very small, and even GW Pharmaceuticals is projected to be a money loser until the next decade. The main stumbling block is the lack of firm evidence on cannabis benefits or side effects. Politicians want to see data that demonstrates the safety of cannabis oil before they pass national laws.