October 6, 2016 8:07 pm
Updated: October 6, 2016 11:53 pm

UBCO looking at medical marijuana and PTSD


UBC Okanagan (UBCO) professor Zach Walsh is about to undertake one of the largest medical marijuana clinical trials to take place in Canada in recent memory.

It deals with whether medical marijuana can help people who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“For a lot of individuals with PTSD the existing treatments are not sufficient. They’re on a variety of different treatments — anti depressants, anti-anxiety medications and they still have symptoms,” said Walsh.

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Those symptoms include hyper arousal which is a feeling of being always on edge. Sometimes that can be reflected in sleep.

There a lot of Canadians who suffer from PTSD.

Research shows that nearly one in 10 Canadians suffer from PTSD and veterans are particularly vulnerable.

Eric Marciniak used to train Canadian soldiers — helping them to prepare for combat. He’s now a medical marijuana consultant based in Kelowna.

He says there’s no question medical marijuana helps former soldiers deal with PTSD.

“There’s a definite response in a positive manner that helps them to calm down, organize their thoughts and maybe not think about the things that they saw so much. So it helps you sleep, helps you relax, helps you get back into society,” said Marciniak.

The UBCO study will include 42 Canadian men and women and the results will be released by spring of 2018.

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