I came across this interesting page on the VA.gov site. This is the official response to Veterans with PTSD who treat with cannabis. It really shows how the Veteran Affairs truly is unwilling to investigate the truths about cannabis. To the Veteran Affairs, we are only drug addicts, but to me… I see more than 40,000 dedicated veterans, who are not ashamed to admit they have found better results with cannabis then the pharma products the Veteran Affairs hospitals are prescribing. I cannot confirm, but I heard 22 Veterans suffering with PTSD commit suicide daily. I fought for my country and I feel that all veterans should have the option to treat PTSD symptoms with cannabis. It is a plant, it is a flower, and it is a medicine. Please open your eyes and ears, listen to those that have fought for our freedoms!
Marijuana Use and PTSD among Veterans
Marcel O. Bonn-Miller, Ph.D. and Glenna S. Rousseau, Ph.D.
Marijuana use for medical conditions is an issue of growing concern. Some Veterans use marijuana to relieve symptoms of PTSD and several states specifically approve the use of medical marijuana for PTSD. However, controlled studies have not been conducted to evaluate the safety or effectiveness of medical marijuana for PTSD. Thus, there is no evidence at this time that marijuana is an effective treatment for PTSD. In fact, research suggests that marijuana can be harmful to individuals with PTSD.
Marijuana use has increased over the past decade. In 2013, a study found that 19.8 million people reported using marijuana in the past month, with 8.1 million using almost every day (1). Daily use has increased 60% in the prior decade (1). A number of factors are associated with increased risk of marijuana use, including diagnosis of PTSD (2), social anxiety disorder (3), other substance use, particularly during youth (4), and peer substance use (5).
Cannabis Use Disorder among Veterans Using VA Health Care
There has been no study of marijuana use in the overall Veteran population. What we do know comes from looking at data of Veterans using VA health care, who may not be representative of Veterans overall. When considering the subset of Veterans seen in VA health care with co-occurring PTSD and substance use disorders (SUD), cannabis use disorder has been the most diagnosed SUD since 2009. The percentage of Veterans in VA with PTSD and SUD who were diagnosed with cannabis use disorder increased from 13.0% in fiscal year (FY) 2002 to 22.7% in FY 2014. As of FY 2014, there are more than 40,000 Veterans with PTSD and SUD seen in VA diagnosed with cannabis use disorder (6).
Problems Associated with Marijuana Use
Marijuana use is associated with medical and psychiatric problems. These problems may be caused by using, but they also may reflect the characteristics of the people who use marijuana. Medical problems include chronic bronchitis, abnormal brain development among early adolescent initiators, and impairment in short-term memory, motor coordination and the ability to perform complex psychomotor tasks such as driving. Psychiatric problems include psychosis and impairment in cognitive ability. Quality of life can also be affected through poor life satisfaction, decreased educational attainment, and increased sexual risk-taking behavior (7). Chronic marijuana use also can lead to addiction, with an established and clinically significant withdrawal syndrome (8).