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People struggling with post-traumatic distress disorder report that cannabis decreases the severity of their signs by half, at least in the short term, according to a recent research study led by Carrie Cuttler, a Washington State University assistant professor of psychology.

People struggling with post-traumatic distress disorder report that marijuana lowers the seriousness of their symptoms by over half, a minimum of in the short-term, according to a recent study.

Cuttler and her associates examined data of more than 400 individuals who tracked modifications in their PTSD signs before and after cannabis usage with Strainprint, an app established to help users discover what kinds of medical marijuana work best for their signs. The group collectively utilized the app more than 11,000 times over a 31-month period.

The study, just recently released in Journal of Affective Disorders, shows cannabis minimized the intensity of intrusions, returning thoughts of a traumatic event, by about 62%; flashbacks by 51%, irritation by 67%, and stress and anxiety by 57%. The sign decreases were not long-term, nevertheless.

“The study suggests that cannabis does reduce symptoms of PTSD acutely, but it might not have longer term beneficial effects on the underlying condition,” said Cuttler. “Working with this model, it seems that cannabis will temporarily mask symptoms, acting as a bit of a band aid, but once the period of intoxication wears off, the symptoms can return.”

PTSD is a disorder affecting individuals recovering from terrible events and effects women at about two times the rate as men with a 9.7% to 3.6% lifetime frequency, respectively. While therapy is recommended as the main treatment, Cuttler said there is growing evidence that many individuals with PTSD are self-medicating with cannabis.

“A lot of people with PTSD do seem to turn to cannabis, but the literature on its efficacy for managing symptoms is a little sparse,” Cuttler said.

This study supplies some insight into the efficiency of marijuana on PTSD signs, but as the authors note, it is limited by reliance on a self-selected sample of individuals who self-identify as having PTSD. Also, it is not possible to compare the sign reductions experienced by marijuana users to a control group utilizing a placebo.

While some placebo-controlled clinical trials have been finished with nabilone, a synthetic kind of THC, couple of have actually analyzed the effects of the entire cannabis plant on PTSD.

In this research study, Cuttler and her coworkers took a look at a variety of variables but found no distinction in the result of marijuana with varying levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), two of the most studied constituents of marijuana. The outcomes indicate that it is some mix of THC, CBD and perhaps some of the many other parts of the cannabis plant that develop the therapeutic result. Cannabis has many particles that can create a biological impact, including up to 120 cannabinoids, 250 terpenes and around 50 flavonoids.

“We need more studies that look at whole plant cannabis because this is what people are using much more than the synthetic cannabinoids,” said Cuttler. “It is difficult to do good placebo-controlled trials with whole plant cannabis, but they’re still really needed.”

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