Medical Research

An Exploding Notion: Cannabis Helps Those with PTSD

Nicholas Demski
Written by Nicholas Demski

Is cannabis an effective method for helping people who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder?

A car gets wrapped around a tree moving at 63 miles per hour.

A parent bashes their child with words that leave lifelong bruises.

War. I don’t want to write concretely about that.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a potentially debilitating disease that results from natural disasters, personal trauma, or witnessing/experiencing otherwise horrific, scary, or unusual events.

There’s no one reason why people suffer from PTSD, but there may a good way to help those dealing with it: medical cannabis.

According to a review of the literature published in 2015, “many of the published studies suggest a decrease in PTSD symptoms with [cannabis] use.” [1]

In many states where medical cannabis use has been legalized, PTSD is labeled as a qualifying condition that allows people to use cannabis to treat their symptoms. In fact, research from 2012 published by the Journal of Palliative Medicine demonstrated that over 38% of persons in New Mexico registered for medical cannabis indicated PTSD as a primary reason for consumption. [2]

These numbers indicate a high level of personal selection for cannabis as a treatment for PTSD in some instances, but what does the recent research say?

Recently, researchers have been getting ambitious about discovering just how and why medical cannabis seems to help reduce the symptomology of those suffering from PTSD. In 2019, researchers looked more closely at how cannabidiol (CBD) impacts PTSD symptoms. [3]

Elms et al. (2019) followed 11 patients over 8 weeks and provided concurrent treatment with routine psychiatric care and psychotherapy. After the study finished, the researchers found that 91% of the patients experienced a reduction in their PTSD symptoms. The results indicated that the mean total PCL-5 score (a diagnostic PTSD checklist) for patients decreased by 28%.

Just as importantly, the research indicated that CBD was well-tolerated and that none of the patients dropped out due to adverse effects.

Of course, not every person who suffers from PTSD has been in a traumatic car accident, had hyperbolically abusive parents, or has seen horrific events in the fog of war. It’s a highly individualistic disease that can be brought upon by a wide range of factors in a person’s life.

If you’re looking for a better way to deal with your PTSD, consult your medical cannabis doctor.

References

  1. Yarnell, Stephanie. “The Use of Medicinal Marijuana for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Review of the Current Literature.” The Primary Care Companion for CNS disorders, vol. 17, no. 3, 2015.[Times cited = 10; Journal Impact Factor = 0.132]
  2. Bowles, Daniel. “Persons Registered for Medical Marijuana in the United States.” Journal of Palliative Medicine, vol. 15, no. 1, 2012. [Times cited = 9; Journal Impact Factor = 2.477]
  3. Elms, Lucas et al. “Cannabidiol in the Treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: A Case Series.” Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, vol.25, no.4, 2019. [Times cited = 4; Journal Impact Factor = 1.868]

About the author

Nicholas Demski

Nicholas Demski

Nicholas Demski's latest venture is TheCannabiologist.com. He's a poet, author, cannabis writer, and budding entrepreneur. You can follow his travels with his daughter on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram @TheSingleDadNoma

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