Treating PTSD with cannabis? Could be a smart move

by Amanda Push

Marijuana has shown its usefulness for treating and alleviating the symptoms of all kinds of medical ailments: cancer, chronic pain, and autism (just to name a few). Now scientists have come out with a study showing that cannabis is useful when treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as well.

The study, which was published in the “Journal of Affective Disorders,” took place at Washington State University, according to Westword. The study starts off by stating, “many individuals use cannabis to manage symptoms of PTSD, and evidence indicates that the endocannabinoid system represents a viable target for treating these symptoms.”

During the study, more than 400 PTSD patients were studied before and after they ingested marijuana over a period of 31 months. Most patients vaped or smoked. A few took the cannabis orally (aka edibles and the like), but the research was more strongly tied to the effects of smoking and vaping.

According to the study, all PTSD symptoms were reduced by over 50% after the patient used cannabis. Intrusive thoughts were reduced to 62%, flashbacks were down 51%, irritability was down 67%, and anxiety was reduced to 57%.

Aside from the study being able to draw from a large pool of patients, “these medical users were able to use a large variety of cannabis products in their own natural environment, affording our study very high ecological validity,” according to the study.

Unfortunately, the effects were only temporary, but the study does show there are lots of strides to be made when it comes to the use of cannabis on difficult to treat mental health conditions, such as PTSD.

Thankfully, Colorado is ahead of the curve on that front and allowed for PTSD to be labeled as a condition that could fall under medical marijuana usage.

Amanda Push

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