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2023 Study: Vaporized Cannabis for PTSD

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A September 2023 study entitled "A Small Clinical Trial of Vaporized Cannabis for PTSD: Suggestive Results and Directions for Future Study" that was published in the journal Trials explored the potential positive efficacy of cannabis-derived cannabinoids for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

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Does cannabis help PTSD?

Vaporized Cannabis for PTSD Study

Vaporized Cannabis for PTSD. "The study was designed as a randomized placebo-controlled cross-over study with three conditions; however, only five individuals completed the trial, and analysis of the placebo effect was not possible," reported the study's authors regarding the scope and limitations of their research.


The scientists described cannabis as a flowering plant "valued for millennia due to its medicinal and psychoactive properties."

The scientists described cannabis as a flowering plant "valued for millennia due to its medicinal and psychoactive properties." They described how, after decades of marginationiztion due to international prohibition that began in North America in the 1920s, scientific interest in the herb (which can also be categorized as a vegetable and also a fruit) is increasing, with mental health conditions "among the most prominent."


The study reported that cannabis-derived cannabinoids have "demonstrated therapeutic potential" for PTSD by improving sleep (particularly nightmares) and reducing hyperarousal. It also noted high levels of medical cannabis use among PTSD patients.

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Cannabis may help PTSD.

Vaporized Cannabis for PTSD Study Results

Vaporized Cannabis for PTSD. The study's authors reported that PTSD scores pre and post treatment "identified a trend toward reduction in PTSD symptoms." The study concluded the following:


"We identified positive changes consistent with medium-sized within-subject effects for cannabis in the treatment of PTSD. These results are consistent with preclinical and cross-sectional research.


"We identified positive changes consistent with medium-sized within-subject effects for cannabis in the treatment of PTSD."

"However, under-recruitment resulted in low power and prohibited placebo comparison, making these results more suggestive than persuasive. Recruitment difficulties may be partly attributable to the ubiquity of cannabis access in Canada, including legal non-medical adult access, as well as government-subsidized access for veterans with an approved medical need. Participant burden in this complex study may have also deterred participants.


"Positive trending results and high patient need mandate future studies of cannabis for the treatment of PTSD. These studies should be pragmatic, avoid overly strict inclusion criteria, consider incentivizing participation, and minimize participant burden, particularly if recruiting in a region with easy access to cannabis outside of clinical trials."


View the original study.

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