New studies continue to support the use of cannabis in treating PTSD

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The stack of evidence showing the benefits of cannabis for PTSD is getting higher

As the name implies, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is the direct result of experiencing a traumatic event. Symptoms include flashbacks of the traumatic event, avoidance of associated triggers, anxiety, depression, anger and hyper-vigilance. The US National Comorbidity Survey estimates the lifetime prevalence of PTSD in the US to be 6.8%. Research has shown a high incidence of substance abuse among those with PTSD. Fortunately, new studies continue to reveal that this would not have to be the case thanks to the effects of cannabis.

Medical marijuana is an approved treatment for PTSD in a growing number of countries and U.S. states. In addition, there is a growing body of research on how it can help those living with the condition. The new research involved analysis of data from the UK Medical Cannabis Register. The study was tasked with analyzing adverse events in patients and health-related quality-of-life changes in those prescribed cannabis-based medications for PTSD.

More than 160 subjects participated in the study, almost 90% of whom were current or former cannabis users. The median daily doses consumed were 5 mg of cannabidiol (CBD) and 145 mg of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

After examining all follow-up periods, the authors noted notable improvements in PTSD symptoms, sleep, and anxiety. Based on adverse events, the researchers suggest the acceptability and safety of medical cannabis for up to six months.

“This study can inform randomized placebo-controlled trials needed to confirm causality and determine optimal dosing,” they say. Cannabis is known to trigger bodily receptors that regulate memory. Consequently, some researchers are still looking into how medical cannabis might help the brain “overwrite” traumatic memories.

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