Long-term Impact of Marijuana on PTSD

 

A study entitled "The Long-Term, Prospective, Therapeutic Impact of Cannabis on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder" that was published in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research explored the efficacy of the cannabis and cannabis products available from licensed dispensaries in the United States for Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).


The study reported that the combination of the increasing availability of cannabis among those suffering from PTSD and the fact that many states have made PTSD a qualifying condition for enrollment in their respective medical cannabis programs equates to a strong need to study "the efficacy of dispensary-obtained cannabis.


The scientists explained that their study "assessed PTSD symptoms and functioning every three months over the course of a year in two samples of participants diagnosed with PTSD: (1) Those with PTSD using dispensary-obtained cannabis (cannabis users) and (2) those with PTSD who do not use cannabis (controls)."


A total of 150 participants (mean [standard deviation] age, 50.67 years; 73 percent male) were enrolled in the study. Over the course of one year, the cannabis users reported a greater decrease in PTSD symptom severity over time compared to controls.


Participants who used cannabis were 2.6 times more likely to no longer meet DSM-5 criteria for PTSD at the end of the study observation period compared to participants who did not use cannabis.


This study provides evidence that the types of cannabis available in recreational and medical cannabis dispensaries might hold promise as an alternative treatment for PTSD. Randomized placebo-controlled trials are needed to assess the safety and determine how different preparations of cannabis impact PTSD and functioning.


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