Pubdate: Fri, 09 Sep 2016
Source: Daily Courier, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2016 The Okanagan Valley Group of Newspapers
Author: Andrea Peacock
Page: A1


Clinical trial to assess whether medical marijuana serves as effective
treatment for PTSD

UBC Okanagan is teaming up with a Vancouver Island-based producer of
medical marijuana to host Canada's first clinical trial studying the
effects of treating PTSD with the drug.

"Research suggests that PTSD affects over nine per cent of men and
women in Canada, and many more worldwide," said Trev Bungay,
vice-president of Trauma Healing Centers. "Treatment is necessary in
order to help those who have served their country or experienced an
unfortunate traumatic event find coping methods or continue to live a
full and normal life."

The clinical trial, in partnership with Nanaimo-based Tilray, has been
approved by Health Canada and will begin this month.

"We know there continues to be significant unmet need in the treatment
of PTSD in Canada and around the world," said Zach Walsh, assistant
professor of psychology at UBCO and the study's lead

"This trial will allow us to build on the anecdotal evidence
supporting the potential use of medical cannabis to treat PTSD, and
hopefully help those who struggle with this debilitating condition."

The clinical trial will gather evidence on the safety and efficacy of
three potencies of medical marijuana, including a placebo, to manage
chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD symptoms resulting from a traumatic

Participants will include 42 Canadian men and women who meet clinical
criteria for PTSD, including veterans, former first responders and
law-enforcement officials, and victims of sexual assault or other
violence. "This trial will help us hone in on whether medical cannabis
with different cannabinoid profiles can help alleviate the symptoms of
PTSD," said Philippe Lucas, vice-president of patient research and
services at Tilray. "Tilray currently supplies product to a number of
patients suffering from PTSD. We anticipate that this data will
enhance our ability to help these patients and will add to the global
scientific discussion around medical cannabis as a treatment for the

Participants will not smoke the marijuana; it will be administered
through a vaporizer.

The trial will begin recruitment this month and is scheduled to
conclude in the spring of 2018.
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