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Medical cannabis trials for vets welcomed by local

Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019

Former soldier and local resident Nick Brown. PICTURE: Emily McInerney Former soldier and local resident Nick Brown. PICTURE: Emily McInerney

By Emily McInerney

Clinical trials investigating the impact medical cannabis has on army veterans suffering PTSD could pave the way for positive change.

Former soldier and local resident Nick Brown thought the trials were a good thing.

“It is a good thing that a trial will be done,” he said.

“I think it can pave the way.

“There are still misconceptions that THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is in medicinal cannabis; but it’s not.”

Nick was a private in the Royal Army Ordinance Corps.

Nick did two tours of East Timor in 2001 and 2004 under the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor. 

He also did a tour in 2009.

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has reported about 8.3 per cent of its members will have experienced PTSD in the past 12 months. 

The rates among males in the ADF is almost double the general community.

“I would like to see veterans get a hold of the medicinal cannabis,” Nick said.

“Current medication that veterans take can give them odd reactions.

“It might not gel and then they have to chop and change medications. It can take a toll on your body.

“They can gain weight, or lose weight, it can take a physical effect.

“Medicinal cannabis has the CBD (Cannabidiol) element in it.

“Research suggests that is good for various things.”

Researchers at Cannabis Access Clinics announced there were 300 participants to take part in the national trial.

Participants will be prescribed a baseline dose of CBD oil, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, known for its anti-psychotic effects.

Dr Sharron Davis, lead researcher, said that the primary reason for launching the trial was due to the failure of traditional treatments for PTSD.

“Some veterans may be prescribed pain medication and can get hooked on the heavier doses,” Nick said.

“The CBD oil can help you function normally.

“Personally I think it’s a good thing to happy.

“I keep in contact with a few friends, we check in and ask how we are going.

“You don’t get addicted to the CBD oil, you can still go to work, drive and function normally. It’s natural.

“It’s taken a long time to get to this point.

“When I heard about, I thought the Department of Defence might trial it.

“I knew straight away it would help.”

Nick said there was still stigma around the usage of the oil.

“The attitude is that people believe there are still psycho-active properties in it - but the oil doesn’t contain that.”

The project is being carried out in conjunction with BOD Australia, a global health and wellness business.

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