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Patients With PTSD And Depression Report Improvements Following Cannabis Use

anxiety depression

International researchers estimate that nearly 4% of the world’s population suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Researchers also estimate that 5% of the world’s adult population suffers from depression. They are two of the most common mental health conditions around the globe.

Common treatments for PTSD include different types of trauma-focused psychotherapy as well as pharmaceutical medications. Common treatments for depression include therapy and/or prescribed medications.

A team of researchers in the United Kingdom recently conducted a study looking at the use of cannabis therapies and PTSD and depression. Below is more information about their findings via a news release from NORML:

London, United Kingdom: Patients diagnosed with post-traumatic stress and comorbid depression respond favorably to the use of medical cannabis preparations, according to data published in the journal BMJ Psych Open.

British researchers assessed the use of cannabis-based medicinal products (CBMPs) in a cohort of patients suffering simultaneously from post-traumatic stress and depression. (Since 2018, British specialists have been permitted to prescribe cannabis-based medicinal products to patients unresponsive to conventional medications.) Self-reported symptoms were assessed three months after subjects initiated their cannabis use.

Investigators reported, “Treatment with prescribed cannabis was associated with substantial reductions in the severity of PTSD symptomatology, with these improvements being more marked in individuals with depression.”

They concluded: “Treatment with CBMPs is associated with significant improvements in well-being and quality of life in PTSD after three months. … These results parallel previous findings for quality of life across a broad range of conditions and for PTSD specifically and highlight the potential benefits of CBMPs for symptom reduction and improvements in well-being across a wide range of chronic conditions.”

Prior assessments of patients enrolled in the UK Medical Cannabis Registry who are diagnosed with post-traumatic stress and depression have similarly concluded that cannabis therapy can improve subjects’ health-related quality of life. By contrast, a 2021 clinical trial concluded that the inhalation of marijuana flower provided limited benefits compared to placebo in treating symptoms of PTSD.

Full text of the study, “Medicinal cannabis for treating post-traumatic stress disorder and comorbid depression: Real-world evidence,” appears in BMJ Psych Open. Additional information on cannabis and post-traumatic stress is available from NORML’s publication, Clinical Applications for Cannabis & Cannabinoids.

United Kingdom