Long-Term Cannabis Use Leads To Reduced PTSD Symptoms, Study Shows

by : Julia Banim on : 20 Dec 2020 15:55
Long-Term Cannabis Use Leads To Reduced PTSD Symptoms, Study ShowsPA Images/Pexels

A new study has found long-term cannabis use can reduce the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

This is according to longitudinal data recently been published in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, which tracked 150 participants over the course of one year.


It was found that PTSD patients who consumed state-authorized cannabis products during this period displayed lesser symptoms over time when compared with those who didn’t consume cannabis products.

The study, from investigators affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, John Hopkins University and the University of Colorado School of Medicine, also found evidence to suggest the sort of cannabis available at dispensaries could work as a treatment for PTSD.


Researchers revealed, as per High Times:


Participants who used primarily THC-dominant cannabis reported a greater reduction in PTSD symptom severity over time compared to controls.

Cannabis users also showed a greater than two-fold rate of remission from their PTSD diagnosis (defined by no longer meeting criteria for a PTSD diagnosis on the CAPS-5) compared to controls by the 1-year follow-up assessment.

They continued: ‘This study provides evidence that the types of cannabis available in recreational and medical cannabis dispensaries might hold promise as an alternative treatment for PTSD. This study’s primary outcome supports the theory that cannabis should be [tested in clinical trials] as a potential therapeutic for PTSD.’

Speaking about the findings, Paul Armentano, the deputy director of cannabis advocacy organisation NORML, said:

Veterans are far more likely to self-report using cannabis than are those in the general population, and many veterans attest that cannabis is effective for the self-management of their PTS symptoms. These findings substantiate their claims.


In March this year, a YouGov poll found 53% of polled US adults agreed that medical marijuana dispensaries should be considered essential services.


Earlier this month, the 53 member states of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), the UN’s central drug policy-making body, voted to reclassify cannabis, opening the door to having it recognized for its medicinal and therapeutic potential.

It’s been reported that the decision could drive additional scientific research into the medicinal properties of cannabis, with the plant having had a significant and lucrative role in wellness therapies in recent years.


The US voted to have marijuana removed from Schedule IV of the Single Convention while retaining it in Schedule I, stating it is, ‘consistent with the science demonstrating that while a safe and effective cannabis-derived therapeutic has been developed, cannabis itself continues to pose significant risks to public health and should continue to be controlled under the international drug control conventions’.

If you’ve been affected by any of the issues in this story, you can speak in confidence about where to get help from Mind free on 0300 123 3393, 9am–6pm Monday to Friday.

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: Health, Cannabis, Drugs, PTSD


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