PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder is a condition in which sufferers get nightmares, flashbacks of a traumatic occurring, insomnia, and hyperactivity. To combat the symptoms, psychologists use a combination of therapy and medications. Some people also use cannabis for recovery however, it doesn’t work for everyone.
There are mixed opinions about whether or not cannabis can help relieve PTSD symptoms. One recent study that The Lancet Psychiatry published found that there’s not much evidence cannabis can help with mental illnesses including PTSD. However, a new research work says that cannabis can reduce some symptoms associated to PTSD. This research has been conducted on a huge population of Canadians.
Previous researches also merit the use of cannabis for PTSD symptoms. One study that the Molecular Psychiatry journal published found that some cannabinoids found in cannabis can help relieve PTSD symptoms. Another recent study that the Journal of Dual Diagnosis credited cannabis use for reducing nightmares and improving sleep among PTSD sufferers.
What Did The New Study Find?
The Journal of Psychopharmacology published this report. Researchers from the University of British Columbia and BC Centre on Substance Abuse have conducted this study. This is the first study to look at the link between cannabis use, PTSD, and mental health outcomes.
The team of researchers looked at data of 24,089 individuals from the Statistics Canada’s 2012 Canadian Community Health Survey. Participants were above 15 years of age and 420 of them have a diagnosis of PTSD. Of these, 28.2% reported using cannabis the last year for PTSD while 11.2 didn’t use cannabis for PTSD.
Findings showed those who didn’t use cannabis for their PTSD had higher odds of suffering major depressive episodes and suicidal thoughts. The risk of depression among PTSD patients who were not cannabis users was 7 times higher. As for their risk of suicidal thoughts, it was 4.7 times higher. Researchers said, “These findings are promising, and merit further study in order to fully understand the benefits of cannabis for people living with PTSD.”
How Can Cannabis Help With PTSD?
Some cannabinoids found in cannabis can interact with the endocannabinoid system of the body to relieve stress. Both cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol have therapeutic properties. However, THC has psychoactive properties as well, which is why CBD is a better option. On the flip side, THC has more helpful sleep-inducing properties than cannabidiol. When picking a cannabis product for PTSD, dosage, delivery mode, and strain of cannabis used play an important role.
When it comes to cannabis use for relief from PTSD symptoms, some say it works while others disagree. However, a new Canadian research says that cannabis can work effectively in reducing the risk of suicidal thoughts and depression. People with PTSD involved in the study who didn’t take cannabis experienced more of these two symptoms.