Nonprofit Gets Grant to Study Marijuana’s Use for Treating PTSD

The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) has been awarded close to $13 million in a grant from the state of Michigan. This funding will go to studying marijuana’s use as a treatment for PTSD among veterans. As a result, this clinical trial will be the second in which the safety and effectiveness of cannabis is tested against a controlled substance.

“Michiganders are granting non-profit researchers the opportunity to establish whether marijuana is helpful for Veterans with PTSD,” said Rick Doblin, Ph. D, Founder and Executive Director of MAPS. “If so, we will seek to return that generosity by developing a public-benefit cannabis pharmaceutical product that would be eligible for insurance coverage, just like any other pharmaceutical drug.”

The grant comes from Michigan’s Veteran Marijuana Research Grant Program, which is funded by adult-use marijuana retail taxes. The clinical trial MAPS will be conducting will also focus on preventing veteran suicide. This is crucial since post-traumatic stress can cause depression, substance abuse disorders, and suicidal thoughts.

“Suicide among veterans is an urgent public health crisis, but it’s solvable if we invest in researching new treatments for pain, depression, and PTSD,” said Sue Sisley, M.D., the president of Scottsdale Research Institute and a renowned cannabis specialist. “Veterans are demanding objective cannabis drug development research, and the state of Michigan is fulfilling our collective obligation to our beloved Veteran community.”

Previous Research into the Use of Marijuana for PTSD

There have been other studies that examined the long-term benefits of cannabis in patients who have PTSD. For example, in December of 2020, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment funded a similar study. Researchers at a several academic institutions, including The University of Pennsylvania, The University of California San Diego, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and The University of Colorado conducted the study.

Researchers assessed PTSD symptoms and functioning every three months over the course of a year. The study focused on two samples of participants — one that used legal medical cannabis and one that did not. Overall, this study showed that this type of cannabis does help treat post-traumatic stress disorder.

A total of 150 participants were present in this study, 75 for each group. After a year, the cannabis users reported a greater decrease in PTSD symptoms over time compared to controls. In conclusion, participants who used cannabis were 2.57 times more likely to no longer meet the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) criteria for PTSD than participants who did not use cannabis.

GrantNews Notes

GrantWatch has entire category dedicated to veterans grants. These grants can provide funding for a litany of critical initiatives related to improving the lives of veterans. This can include things like housing, medical treatment, mental health, and more. Here are three grants that are currently available in this category.

  • Grants starting at $25,000 to Illinois nonprofit organizations and government agencies to provide services that address the needs of veterans. Grants are to help address PTSD research or treatment, homelessness, health insurance costs, long-term care, disability benefits, and job placement.
  • There are grants for U.S. nonprofit organizations to improve the lives of injured military veterans and their families. Funding is for therapeutic activities, career training, rehabilitation programs, shelters for the homeless, and the supply of mobility items.
  • Additionally, funding of $1,000 is available for U.S. qualifying military veterans and military spouses to cover unexpected expenses. Funding is for veterans and their spouses to complete postsecondary education programs and succeed in a competitive job market. 

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