As editor-in-chief, I receive numerous letters and emails from veterans describing how cannabis has helped them cope with the many ailments associated with the combat zone. Many have grown disillusioned with the pharmaceutical path that the Veteran’s Administration has chosen for them and have successfully treated both their physical and mental injuries with marijuana. Several from both the US and Canadian Armed Forces have traveled to this year’s Cannabis Cup in Denver to tell their stories. I encourage Cup attendees to drop in on the “Marijuana For Trauma” forum I will be hosting at 3:30pm today, April 20.

Marijuana For Trauma is a program affiliated with the Canadian government that provides counseling and safe access to marijuana for recovering veterans. Founded in 2013 by Fabian Henry, who served 12 years as a combat engineer for the Canadian Armed Forces, Marijuana For Trauma is a model program for the treatment of veterans that is not available to American soldiers. After his deployment to war zones in Africa, Haiti, Pakistan and Afghanistan, Fabian found that cannabis was the only medicine that has worked for his varied disorders. His organization has given jobs to over 100 Canadian vets, many of whom believe that marijuana saved their lives.

While awareness of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has grown in recent years, standard methods of treatment are sorely inefficient. A recent study at the New York University Langone Medical Center has found a connection between pot and PTSD, most notably that people suffering from this affliction have higher levels of cannabinoid receptors, called CB1 receptors, in the parts of their brain associated with fear and anxiety. Marijuana use can restore the balance of endocannabinoids in the brains of sufferers. This breakthrough study promises to be the beginning of a fuller understanding of PTSD which is notoriously resistant to traditional medical treatments.

Marijuana For Trauma is working with Dr. Darryl Hudson, a molecular and genetic biologist who is helping them create a strain bible, cross-referenced to pinpoint which cannabis strains work best for multiple ailments. Ultimately his goal is to find varieties that will work for PTSD and spinal injuries, or PTSD and head trauma.

Marijuana For Trauma is on the cutting edge of both cannabis science and the treatment of combat-related injuries. They are currently developing a Natural Therapeutic Centre at Magagadavic Lake which will offer Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, massage therapy, aromatherapy, horticulture therapy, sweat lodges, drum circles, fishing, canoeing, hunting, music therapy, art therapy and trauma reprocessing to veterans in addition to a medical marijuana program.

So today at 3:30, on the “high” holiday of April 20, 2014, please drop in on this panel. These guys are making history, and we are delighted that they have traveled to Denver to enlighten us on their efforts.