San Diego

VA Supports Study Testing Efficacy of CBD's Use in PTSD Treatment

Marine veteran Kayla Carnivale says she's been looking for peace since she left the military with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

And she's found a natural way to get it.

She began using marijuana and Cannabidiol two years ago to help treat her PTSD and a traumatic brain injury instead of pills prescribed by the VA.

“I went from about eight medications a day and now I'm down to two,” Carnivale said.

She says it helps her with multiple symptoms, like “nightmares and loss of sleep,” as well as pain and stress.

It's always recommended that any use of a substance be discussed with healthcare professionals and Carnivale said she’s been open with her doctor at the San Diego VA.

While marijuana is legal in California the drug is considered illegal by the federal government. But there is a bill making its way through Congress would allow the VA to study its use.

NBC 7 has learned the VA San Diego Healthcare System is in the process of putting together a study using one of the chemicals found in the drug.

“VA is supporting a study to test the efficacy of Cannabidiol (CBD) as a potential adjunctive therapy for PTSD. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is non-intoxicating and has no known abuse liability. The CBD to be used in this study will be produced commercially," the VA San Diego Healthcare System told NBC7 in a statement.

"Federal law requires approvals from a number of federal agencies in order to conduct such a study. VA is working to obtain those approvals, but the process is not yet complete," the statement read.

Carnivale says she understands the hurdles and that some people might object to the drug's use, “But until you're in our shoes and you have our pain, and you have the type of nightmares and lack of sleep and all that that comes with being a disabled war veteran, then you really can't say anything to us.”

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