Monday, April 15, 2024

Study Reinforces Marijuana’s Power To Treat PTSD

Soldiers are required to go above and beyond, and sometimes it leaves a long term mark.  Medical marijuana is a clear benefit for PTSD

There seems to be bi-partisian support for medical marijuana to be an aide in treating PTSD. The VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act was introduced during summer for Department of Veterans Affairs. In addition to pain and post-traumatic stress disorder, the legislation would require the VA to examine how the plant affects sleep, agitation, mortality and hospital readmissions.  It was is critical as it healthcare professionals, veterans and counselors give the nod it is a benefit for those in need.

Science is finally backing up these opinions. A study published in the Journal of Pharmacology looked at the patient history of 24,000 Canadians using 2012 Statistics Canada data. Researchers were interested in exploring how cannabis could affects those living with PTSD, specifically with regards to suicide and depression. Living with PTSD sharply increases the risk of depression and suicide in patients unless, researchers discovered, they consume marijuana.

RELATED: Science Says Medical Marijuana Improves Quality Of Life

“We know with limited effective treatment options for PTSD, many patients take to medicating with cannabis to alleviate their symptoms,” lead author Stephanie Lake told Global News. “However, until now, there has been no population-level data to suggest cannabis might have a possible therapeutic role in the course of PTSD. These findings offer those patients seeking treatment options some promise.”

cannabinoids
Photo by lalesh aldarwish via Pexels

In the more than 24,000 participants, researchers found 420 Canadians who’d been clinically diagnosed with PTSD. About 28% (106 individuals) of those living with PTSD reported using cannabis in the past year. Only 11% of respondents undiagnosed with PTSD reported cannabis usage. Non-users were seven times more likely to have experienced a recent major depressive episode and had a 4.7% higher chance of contemplating suicide, compared to non-cannabis users who didn’t suffer from PTSD. Among cannabis users, the study did not find a connection between PTSD and depression or suicide.

RELATED: Exploring The Connection Between Marijuana And PTSD

Official VA statistics reports about 10-20% of veterans live with PTSD, depending on the service era in which they participated. But the organization’s National Suicide Report paints a starker picture — suicide rates are increasing for both veterans and non-veterans. About 20 veterans commit suicide each day, according to the report.

While more research is necessary, as Lake and her team said, this study points to how cannabis might assist those living with PTSD.

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