First Participant Enrolled In First-Ever Trial Of Marijuana For Chronic PTSD In Veterans


On February 6, 2017, the first participant in the first-ever clinical trial of smoked marijuana (cannabis) for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in U.S. veterans received cannabis at the Scottsdale Research Institute (SRI) in Phoenix, Ariz. This is the first time this investigational drug has been dispensed to a participant in the non-profit Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS)-sponsored clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of four different potencies of marijuana to manage symptoms of PTSD in 76 U.S. veterans.

By exploring the effectiveness of a variety of marijuana potencies, the study seeks to generate research data comparable to what veterans in medical marijuana states currently use. Results will provide vital information on marijuana dosing, composition, side effects, and areas of benefit to clinicians and legislators considering marijuana as a potential treatment for PTSD.

Marcel Bonn-Miller, Ph.D., of the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, oversees the two separate study sites as Coordinating Principal Investigator (PI). Bonn-Miller states, “As this is the first placebo-controlled trial of cannabis for PTSD, we are breaking important ground needed to identify improved treatment options for veterans with PTSD.”

Half of the subjects will be enrolled at SRI in Phoenix, Ariz., led by Co-Investigator/Site PI Sue Sisley, M.D., and the other half at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryl., led by Co-Investigator/Site PI Ryan Vandrey, Ph.D. Participant screening commenced on January 2, 2017, at SRI, and the first participant was officially enrolled on February 3. Johns Hopkins University commenced screening on January 19.

Both study locations in Phoenix and Baltimore are currently recruiting adult military veterans who experienced trauma during military service. Study volunteers will complete 17 outpatient study visits to the respective clinics over 12 weeks and a six-month follow-up visit. Study visits occur at Scottsdale Research Institute and Johns Hopkins University. For more information on the clinical trial, email [email protected] (SRI-Phoenix) or call 410-550-0050 (JHU-Baltimore).

This study is funded by a $2.156 million grant from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to the California-based non-profit Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), which is sponsoring the research. Since its founding in 1986, MAPS has raised over $36 million for psychedelic therapy and medical marijuana research and education. MAPS is working to evaluate the safety and efficacy of botanical marijuana as a prescription medicine for specific medical uses approved by the FDA.

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