Marijuana researcher

UBC Okanagan psychology professor Zach Walsh has been named one of the top seven dopest people by Dope Magazine.

A UBC Okanagan professor has been named one of the top seven dopest people by Dope Magazine.

Zach Walsh, a psychology professor, has been studying medical and non-medical uses of cannabis for several years and is currently leading the first clinical trial testing the use of cannabis in treating post-traumatic stress disorder.

“I think that’s what led to me being labelled dope,” said Walsh. “Being one of the seven dopest people in Dope Magazine is a different type of recognition than I’m used to. I’m glad to be able to bring recognition to the work we’re doing.”

Walsh is hoping the PTSD clinical trial running at UBCO will provide answers on using cannabis as an alternative treatment.

“There are so many people who are not finding relief with the existing treatments,” he said.

“If we find it is helpful, that’s great, but if we find it’s not effective, that’s also important.

“It’s an open question, and one we really need to answer.”

UBC Okanagan is also conducting studies looking at the measurement of cannabis use, access to cannabis and cannabis as a substitute for other medicines, said Walsh.

“I think it’s essential we do these high-quality clinical trials, so we can move the science forward and determine the role of cannabis in the treatment of mental health problems.”

More people are using cannabis as a form of medicine and there is a lack of research around it, said Walsh.

“There is so much stigma and prejudice against cannabis as a medicine,” he said. “It’s an area that is really gaining profile, but at the same time there are lots of holes, and it’s a real opportunity for people like myself to get involved and start answering some questions.”

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