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The University of Pennsylvania has a staff member involved in coordinating two proposed studies involving cannabis. Dr. Marcel Bonn-Miller, whose education and work history involve long-standing efforts with the Veterans Affairs Health Care System, will be helping to determine if cannabis is useful in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder.
Dr. Bonn-Miller is researcher and faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. His previous work with the VA and his education in clinical psychology make him uniquely positioned to evaluate the usefulness of cannabis for PTSD symptoms. Dr. Bonn-Miller has already published an academic essay on the use of cannabis as a sleep aid by those with PTSD. He will be involved in two studies; one is taking place split between Phoenix and Johns Hopkins University with 76 military participants, while the second, which includes 150 patients with varying sources of their PTSD, will be conducted out of Denver. The second study will involve pairing those who have been self-medicating with cannabis for their PTSD with someone with a similar source of their PTSD who is not using cannabis to treat their symptoms. Currently, most information about cannabis use for PTSD is anecdotal in the United States. With these studies completed, there will be clinical information available for specialists to analyze.
Dr. Bonn-Miller and his staff will be preparing, administering and analyzing questionnaires for the participants in both studies. The 76 veterans in the first study will be followed for six months; the participants in the second study will be followed for a full year. Though it will be some time before these studies are completed, they certainly represent the most modern and immediate source of possible relief for veterans and others struggling with PTSD across the country.
Photo Credit: Brian Y.W. Shin under (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Wikimedia Commons