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Study: Cannabinoids May Be Best Medication For Those With PTSD

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veterans ptsd medical marijuana studyA new study by researchers at the New York University School of Medicine, and funded by theNational Institute of Health, has found a connection between the number of cannabinoid receptors in the brain and the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), paving the way towards an effective medication, according to an New York University press release.

The study, which was published online in Molecular Psychiatry and will be presented at the Society of Biological Psychiatry’s annual meeting, is the first to use brain imaging to show that PTSD sufferers have lower concentrations of anandamide than the average person – anandamide is an endocannabinoid that binds to CB1 receptors.

The researchers examined 60 individuals from three different groups: Those who have been diagnosed with PTSD, those who have had a history of trauma but no PTSD, and those with a history of neither.

Researchers than administered a radioactive, though apparently “safe” tracer, which illuminated the participants’ CB1 receptors when exposed to a PET scan. The scan found that the PTSD sufferers, especially among women, had more CB1 receptors in the parts of their brains linked to fear and anxiety than those without PTSD. Individuals with PTSD were also found to have lower levels of anandamide, leading to an increased number of CB1 receptors.

What this indicates is that using cannabis, or cannabinoid-rich medication, could help alleviate some of the problems associated with PTSD, by bringing about equilibrium in their brain’s CB1 receptors, which could greatly reduce the stress, anxiety and fear that many who suffer from the condition feel on a regular basis.

“There’s not a single pharmacological treatment out there that has been developed specifically for PTSD,” stated researcher Alexander Neumeister, lead author of the study, “That’s a problem. There’s a consensus among clinicians that existing pharmaceutical treatments such as antidepressant simple do not work.” He notes that, anecdotally, PTSD sufferers typically find more relief from consuming marijuana, than using antidepressants.

Not only will these findings help doctors accurately diagnose PTSD in the future, it could finally lead to a non-narcotic and effective medication.

Source: The Joint Blog

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9 Comments

  1. Of course “Big Pharma” can make a profit from it. Have you looked at the enormous profits from pot in legalized states in the US? I think they’re fighting it at this point because they don’t want to admit they devoted their lives to a lie.

  2. I have taken alprazolam and paxil for 10 yrs.for anxiety and depression now no docs. Dont want to give you alprazalam because it is a narcotic. Take my alprazolam. Smoking. Mariana helps and is not a narcotic.

  3. First and foremost PTSD is not combat specific. Rape victims, sexually abused children, survivors of car accidents etc.. any traumatic event that overloads the brain will cause PTSD. Oh yeah, I concur! Marijuana is definitely a candidate for a successful treatment med to ASSISST in the treatment of PTSD, BPD, bipolar, depression, just to name a few. but check out this report: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medical_cannabis. This isn’t new noise, the VA has been playing with it for years. They do some regular reports of findings from their researches and other private researches. here’s the address to get a copy or copies of some of these: Department of Veteran Affairs, Veterans Health Administration, Washington,D.C. 20420…..hey!!! I just noticed the coincidence. Look at the zip for the VA reports yee haaa giddy up. COOOOOL! Any way check out VHA Directive 2010-035 or some of the information on the wiki site cause its crazy how much potential reefer has as a medicine for a lot of ailments, I have a bad case of I’m not high yet so I’m going to go cure that. later. Viet Vet.

  4. i concur and will add that “I have heard”……that veterans also benefit from caring for and tending to the crops…..the stages from seedling or clone to harvest is a relatively short period of time in which a veteran will experience many of the same emotions they did while serving. Watching a plant grow gives them purpose and vision as they watch the plant mature; each plant is different and needs intense periods of vigilance to ensure each one will reach its full potential…… with harvest comes many rewards, the most intense and joyous one being watching the fruits of their labour enjoyed by those that either medicinally or recreationally are given immediate refuge in the cloud of smoke that soon fills the air and the minds of the user…….their pain is relieved, their food can be enjoyed and their lives enriched by something the veteran nurtured with the same hands that once held the rifle that did so much harm and now does so much good…..yeh it helps, so I’ve heard…………..

  5. I have talked to a LOT of doctors maybe 200 here in Ontario about the medical use of cannabis. I really think the majority of them are in fact naive enough to believe that, if it really worked they would teach it in university! The pharmaceutical controlled universities….here’s where the problem starts. It continues on at the pharmaceutical controlled Cancer Societies that funnel the billions they raise for the disease they cause directly back to big Pharma for more studies involving toxic and often fatal solutions. I firmly believe most doctors really want to help their patients but they do not want to prescribe medicine they have not be properly educated on. Younger graduates here are still only taught about cannabis as chemotherapy supportive medicine, for the nausea and vomiting, not to cure the cancer. Do you think I could get a 100% harmless THC injection into my cancer tumour?? Instead I have already numerous harmful procedures, had 2 operations, lost 1 breast and still counting. If I can’t raise enough money for my own medicine, it will be extremely unfortunate since I will not allow my body to be further destroyed by their “medicines”. We need to go after big pharma…they are causing the illness and keeping us sick, they don’t want to cure jack shit!

  6. stopthemadness on

    It will never truly be accepted by the Government nor medical doctors as long as the old white hairs are running the country. They conspired to make it illegal to gain profit.

    And

    Firetheliberals, even though I am a liberal I will answer you. It’s because if the pharm companies can’t make a profit off it they will continue to fight it. So they say hey we fight it anyway and synthesize a way to make people feel the same effects even if it causes undo side effects.

  7. firetheliberals on

    What seems odd is that the researchers are on a quest synthesize what cannabis already does. Why duplicate nature, just legalize at the federal level.