On December 17th, 2014, Dr. Sue Sisley was awarded over $2 million from the Medical Marijuana Research Grant Program out of Colorado. Dr. Sisley proposes a placebo-controlled, triple-blind study of 76 veterans with PTSD.


On April 21st, 2016, sixteen months after Dr. Sisley’s proposal was given the green light to pursue federal approval, the DEA and FDA have approved of the MAPS-sponsored research. This is an incredibly exciting advancement for American research of cannabis, and opens up many future opportunities for improved clinical data.

Details on the Federally-Approved PTSD Research

According to the press release from MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies), the FDA and DEA have approved a clinical study intending to research botanical cannabis for veterans with PTSD.

The study received $2.156 million in grant money from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The trial will examine the “safety and efficacy data on four potencies of smoked marijuana with varying ratios of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).”

Research will be conducted on subjects at two locations: Dr. Sisley’s Phoenix, AZ site and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. “MAPS will work with the FDA to manage and monitor data, oversee drug accountability, and ensure that the study follows Good Clinical Practice guidelines.”

The Future of Cannabis Research in the United States

For the past several decades, it has been nearly impossible for clinical researchers to find funding and federal approval for studies examining the medical efficacy of cannabis.

Just last year, the federal government eliminated one of the four review processes for cannabis research due to the fact that it was majorly redundant and prohibited reasonable scientific progress.

Dr. Sisley’s perseverance in winning this approval is inspiring, and hopefully more researchers will find the confidence to pursue medical cannabis research.

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