Australia trialing medicinal cannabis for veterans with PTSD

Australia is trialing the use of medicinal cannabis on people with post traumatic stress disorder, focusing on veterans.

The trial, which launched on Wednesday, will be used on those who have not had success with conventional treatments and will run for a year.

It's being organised by Cannabis Access Clinics (CAC), an organisation which helps doctors prescribe medicinal cannabis products and Applied Cannabis Research (ACR), a contract research organisation.

Researchers are seeking 300 people to take part in the trial.

"We're looking for volunteers, not returned service men and women but anyone who has PTSD," Dr Sharron Davis, a prescribing doctor at CAC told ABC News.

People can apply for the program through a screening consult with, where they are assessed before seeing a doctor.

If they are eligible CAC will seek approval for medicinal cannabis, and funding to cover the cost of the products.

From there, patients will be assessed by ACR throughout the process through a self reporting framework.

It will be the first large-scale study investigating whether cannabis can decrease the symptoms of PTSD undertaken in Australia.

Australia's stringent medical compliance framework for cannabis requires precise dosing and monitoring of anyone who is prescribed it.

This makes it an ideal place for research, according to Dr John Barlow, a principal researcher at ACR.

"We hope to add to the increasing body of knowledge about medicinal cannabis and the potential benefits to patients suffering the effects of traumatic experiences," he said in a statement on Wednesday.

"We have seen patient cases where medical cannabis has had a profoundly positive effect on their wellbeing," said Dr Davis in a statement.

"Capturing these outcomes in a structured way, we hope, will improve our understanding of how to use medicinal cannabis as a therapy for PTSD patients."



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