A Scottsdale Research Institute study concluded that cannabis could treat PTSD and be a good substitute for opioids. Another 2018 research reviewed five studies on the use of pot for PTSD. Of the studies analyzed, three said cannabis could benefit PTSD symptoms. Furthermore, a Molecular Psychiatry report discussed how certain compounds found in weed could benefit those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Cannabis contains CBD and THC of which the latter has psychoactive properties. However, both can interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system and relieve users of stress. Now a new study by the University College London says that while many use cannabis for PTSD, it is not backed by ample evidence. The Journal of Dual Diagnosis has published this systematic review.
Cannabis For Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental ailment in which the sufferer keeps reliving the traumatic event in the form of memories and nightmares. The condition also includes becoming hyperactive and experiencing insomnia. For the treatment of this illness, doctors recommend talk therapy as well as prescription meds. However, talk therapy doesn’t work for everyone and some may not have a chance to avail it.
As for OTC drugs for PTSD, again those don’t work for everyone and may even have debilitating side effects. Keeping this in view, it is crucial to look for better treatment routes. That said, a lot of Americans are choosing cannabis for the purpose. In fact, in several states that approve the use of cannabis, cannabinoids are permitted for the medical treatment of PTSD.
This new research work concluded that cannabinoids are promising for improving sleep and reducing nightmares. However, there is a requirement of more scientific backing to see if or not cannabis should become a part of clinical practice. The use of cannabis for PTSD is particularly more explored by military veterans.
Several of these are either getting prescriptions for cannabis use or simply self-medicating. Elaborating further on this, the lead author of the study Dr Chandni Hindocha said, “The lack of evidence supporting cannabis as a PTSD treatment is striking given the vast interest in it, and the large unmet need for better PTSD treatments.”
An Evaluation Of Cannabis Use For PTSD
This study reviewed 10 research works. These included people with a diagnosis with PTSD who consumed cannabinoids for the purpose. Participants of the studies used cannabinoids such as THC and CBD in oil or capsule form and some even smoked pot. Scientists concluded that there is still more to know about the effectiveness and risks associated to long-term cannabis use. The existing reports show that cannabis may help improve sleep quality and reduce nightmares.
However, due to lacking evidence cannabinoids cannot be clinically recommended for PTSD. There is a need for more research on the topic. Researchers so far have conducted studies on military veterans. They must also look at the effects of cannabis on PTSD among other groups. There are limited studies on medical cannabis due to legal restrictions.