Medical Marijuana for Treatment of PTSD Gets Green Light in Colorado

medical marijuana
Science & Medicine

Medical marijuana is now a legal treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in Colorado. Governor John Hickenlooper signed SB17-017 on June 5, 2017, officially giving doctors the green light to prescribe cannabis to patients suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Colorado joins at least 20 other states in allowing cannabis-based treatments for the disorder. [1]

Before doctors can prescribe cannabis for PTSD, patients must sit for a consultation and receive a medical background check. Patients approved for medical marijuana will be able to possess 2 ounces of cannabis and no more than 6 plants at a time, and only 3 of those plants can be mature and flowering. However, patients will be able to petition their doctor for more.

For patients under the age of 18, medical marijuana must be approved by 2 physicians, one of whom must be a board-certified pediatrician, a board-certified family doctor, or a board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrist. Additionally, the patient’s parents or guardians living in Colorado will have to consent in writing to the state health agency. [2]

Military PTSD: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

The State Board of Health rejected medical marijuana treatment for PTSD in 2015, saying at the time there was not enough scientific research on how marijuana could affect people with the disorder. It was at least the 4th time the board had rejected the measure. [1]

The state department of health has been studying cannabis treatments for PTSD since 2015, setting aside $3.3 million for the research.

Roger Martin, the founder of Grow For Vets, said:

“What it really does, is it doesn’t get rid of the bad memories that you have, but it kind of just allows you to relax to the point that they’re not right up in front of your head.

Thousands of veterans have told me to my face that cannabis is the only thing that’s ever helped them with PTSD and not one drug that the VA has given has ever helped at all.” [3]

Read: VA Head Comes out in Favor of Marijuana for Vets with PTSD

Dr. Larry Wolk, Executive Director of the Colorado Board of Health (which does not support the legislation) said that some doctors have already started recommending medical marijuana for treatment of PTSD.

“At least if a physician is recommending it, and a physician is involved through the medical marijuana program, then that would be presumably better care.”

This is another positive step we’re taking in allowing the population to further utilize a helpful, underrated medicine.


[1] The Denver Channel

[2] Fox 31 Denver

[3] KRDO ABC 13