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420 with CNW — DOD, VA Oppose Medical Cannabis but Stay Neutral on Psychedelics

Cannabis News Wire, Media Partners

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The U.S. Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs both hold firm opposition to the use of cannabis in treating PTSD. However, when it comes to psychedelics such as LSD and psilocybin, their stance is more neutral, asserting the need for further research.

In a recent update to joint clinical practice guidelines, the departments offered recommendations on various therapies to address acute stress disorder and PTSD commonly affecting military veterans. Despite many veterans turning to cannabis for symptom relief, the DOD/VA Management of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Acute Stress Disorder Work Group is wholly against this alternative treatment. While the work group strongly opposed medical cannabis, they admitted their confidence in existing evidence was “very low.” This was due to the lack of reliable clinical trials, small sample sizes and selection bias in the available data.

However, the departments actively sought new data on psychedelics, which had not been mentioned in their prior review six years ago. Their investigation into the therapeutic potential of ayahuasca, psilocybin, LSD, DMT and ibogaine yielded no studies that met the search criteria for PTSD effects, as reported by Psychedelic Alpha. Notably, the DOD and VA addressed MDMA separately. The FDA granted “breakthrough therapy” designation to MDMA based on preclinical evidence suggesting its potential for treating PTSD.

However, the departments are cautious, stating there is “insufficient evidence to recommend for or against” the effectiveness of MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD. The varying control conditions in the relevant studies could have biased outcomes.

While the DOD and VA remain hesitant to endorse psychedelics and strongly reject cannabis for treating mental-health conditions, bipartisan lawmakers urge federal agencies to explore the therapeutic efficacy of these substances. They also aim to protect veterans in legal states from facing penalties for medical marijuana use.

Recent amendments filed for a VA spending bill in the House propose safeguards for veterans using medical marijuana and for VA doctors recommending such programs. However, the House Rules Committee’s approval is needed for these measures to advance to the floor for consideration. The committee previously blocked numerous cannabis and psychedelics amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Nonetheless, the House Armed Services Committee had previously inserted two marijuana and psychedelics-related proposals into the NDAA’s core text. One proposal mandates that the defense secretary carry out clinical investigations on the therapeutic advantages of psychedelics for active-duty military members suffering from PTSD, traumatic brain injury or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, using psilocybin, MDMA, ibogaine or DMT. The Rules Committee did, however, reject some of the NDAA’s suggested changes.

While the DOD and VA are firm in their rejection of the medicinal potential of cannabis, many companies such as IGC Pharma Inc. (NYSE: IGC) are so strong in their belief in the potential of these substances that they are investing millions of dollars in commercializing FDA-approved THC formulations against chronic pain and other conditions.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to IGC Pharma Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/IGC

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