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Paper Finds Cannabis Can Reduce Severity of PTSD Symptoms

Medical cannabis is frequently recommended to treat symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is a qualifying condition in 27 states (AR, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, HI, IL, LA, MD, MI, MO, MT, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, ND, OH, OR, PA, RI, UT, and VT) and four U.S. territories: Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Cannabis has been shown to reduce the severity of some of the more debilitating symptoms associated with PTSD, such as intrusions, flashbacks, and anxiety. Additionally, endogenous CB1 ligands (most notably anandamide) have been associated with the process of fear extinction, the impairment of which may increase one's susceptibility to PTSD. Research on this latter subject remains in its infancy.

A new paper to be published in the Journal of Affective Disorders focuses solely on symptom mitigation for individuals who self-identify as having PTSD. Data collected from the 404 medical cannabis users participating in the study revealed that while cannabis did ease symptoms associated with PTSD, the relief was short-lived.

Dr. Carrie Cutler of Washington State University, one of the authors of the paper, told WSU Insider, “The study suggests that cannabis does reduce symptoms of PTSD acutely, but it might not have longer term beneficial effects on the underlying conditions.”

To read the WSU Insider article, click here.

To read the paper from the Journal of Affective Disorders, click here.

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