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Scientific Studies Support the Use of Marijuana to Address Symptoms of PTSD, Including Anxiety, Depression, Flashbacks, Nightmares, Psychosis, and Pain

Tuesday, August 15th 2023 10:00am 4 min read
Dr. Jessica Peatross dr.jess.md @drjessmd

Hospitalist & top functional MD who gets to the root cause. Stealth infection & environmental toxicity keynote speaker.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a debilitating mental health condition that affects individuals who have experienced traumatic events. The symptoms of PTSD can be overwhelming and impact various aspects of a person’s life, including their mental well-being, emotional stability, and overall quality of life. Fortunately, there is growing evidence to suggest that marijuana, specifically cannabis and its components, may offer therapeutic benefits in alleviating the symptoms associated with PTSD. In this article, we will explore the scientific studies that support the use of marijuana in addressing symptoms of PTSD, including anxiety, depression, flashbacks, nightmares, psychosis, and pain.

Marijuana, also known as cannabis, is a plant that contains numerous chemical compounds called cannabinoids. Two of the most well-known cannabinoids found in marijuana are delta-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is the primary psychoactive compound responsible for the euphoric “high” associated with marijuana use, while CBD is non-intoxicating and has been associated with various therapeutic properties.
Several studies have examined the potential of marijuana and its components in treating symptoms of PTSD. One study published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs in 2018 investigated the effects of marijuana on PTSD symptoms among 11 patients. The results showed that marijuana use led to a significant reduction in anxiety and insomnia symptoms, as well as an improvement in overall mood and quality of life for the participants.

Another study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology in 2019 examined the effects of CBD on PTSD symptoms. The researchers found that CBD administration was associated with a reduction in anxiety and sleep disturbances among individuals with PTSD. The study also highlighted that CBD was well-tolerated and did not produce any significant adverse effects.

Furthermore, a review published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2019 analyzed multiple studies and concluded that cannabinoids, particularly THC and CBD, showed potential in reducing PTSD-related symptoms, including anxiety and depression. The review emphasized the need for further research to better understand the specific mechanisms and optimal dosing regimens for marijuana-based treatments.

Marijuana’s therapeutic actions on PTSD symptoms can be attributed to its interaction with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the body. The ECS plays a crucial role in regulating various physiological processes, including mood, stress response, and pain perception. THC and CBD, the primary cannabinoids in marijuana, interact with the cannabinoid receptors in the ECS, influencing neurotransmitter release and modulating brain activity.

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