VA study faces criticism from scientific community


Recent studies from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) suggest cannabis is ineffective in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and chronic pain, but members of the scientific community are saying these claims are bunk.

Last week, the VA published two studies which suggested there was not enough evidence to prove cannabis had any therapeutic benefit for chronic pain or PTSD.

Sean Kiernan, a veteran who worked with researcher Dr. Suzanne Sisley and Weed For Warriors in a study of cannabis related to PTSD treatment, said the funds being spent on these studies are worthless since much of the information was regurgitated from dated research. 

Dr. Sisley expanded on Kiernan’s statement and said these studies are not controlled trials, but observational studies tainted by human bias. She also said the government wasted money by only looking at big picture evidence opposed to controlled, long-term individual studies. 

Researchers connected to the VA studies were prohibited from discussing results with the media. The only statement released was from VA Secretary David Shulkin, who said the VA was open to medical cannabis but would not change its policy until the plant is legal.

Until the federal government gives researchers like Dr. Sisley the rights to conduct a long-term study, it is unknown when conclusive evidence on the treatment of PTSD and chronic will be discovered.