Cannabis could help with the symptoms of depression and thoughts of suicide in people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to new research that compliments a lot of other research that’s already been published.
The study had 24,089 people aged 15 and above fill out the 2012 Canadian Community Health Survey on Mental Health. 420 (no pun) of the participants already had a diagnosis with PTSD. Treatment for this usually involved psychological therapies, such as cognitive behavioural therapy or eye movement desensitization processing, and taking antidepressants, but cannabis could replace those.
Out of the 420 PTSD patients who took part in the research, 106—or 28.2 percent—said they had used cannabis in the past year, versus 11.2 percent of participants without the condition. The study found that people with PTSD who didn’t use cannabis were around seven times more likely to have had depression, and 4.7 times more likely to think about suicide, compared to people who didn’t have PTSD or use the drug.
The authors wrote in the paper published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology that their work provides preliminary evidence “that cannabis use may contribute to reducing the association between post-traumatic stress disorder and severe depressive and suicidal states.”
Stephanie Lake, a research assistant at the British Columbia Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU), who lead the study, said in a statement: “We know that with limited treatment options for PTSD, many patients have taken to medicating with cannabis to alleviate their symptoms.” (source)