California-based Battle Brothers Foundation has received approval from the Independent Review Board to launch an observational study on the use of medical cannabis to help combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder in veterans in partnership with medical data and research company NiaMedic.
The Battle Brothers Foundation is the nonprofit arm of the Helmand Valley Growers Company, HVGC was founded by disabled U.S. Special Operations veterans and donates 100% of its profits to fund research on medical cannabis use for veterans. NiaMedic generates clinical data of medical cannabis and provides healthcare, clinical research, and consultation services.
Bryan Buckley, founder and president of the board for the Battle Brothers Foundation, said the news of the approval “could not come at a better time.”
“Every day, 22 veterans are dying due to effects of post-traumatic stress from opioid addiction to depression. Through anecdotal experiences, we know that cannabis can alleviate symptoms and provide relief. We appreciate that the IRB recognizes the validity of and the need for this study.” – Buckley in a press release
The study plans to enroll 60 California veterans with moderate or severe PTSD over the next year and participants will dose and titrate individually purchased products at their own discretion. They will be followed for 90 days to evaluate the effects of cannabis on their symptoms.
According to the National Institutes of Health, the PTSD rate among returning service members varies across wars and eras. In one study of 60,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, 13.5% of deployed and non-deployed veterans screened positive for PTSD, while other studies show the rate to be as high as 20% to 30%. As many as 500,000 U.S. troops who served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars over the past 13 years have been diagnosed with PTSD.
Several studies have found cannabis to be efficacious for treating PTSD. A study funded by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment published last month found, over the course of one year, PTSD sufferers who used cannabis reported a greater decrease in symptom severity than a control group and were 2.57 times more likely to no longer meet the DSM-5 criteria for the condition.
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