Study: Marijuana Effective for PTSD
A recent study conducted by the University of Haifa has shown that administering synthetic marijuana to rats after a traumatic event can prevent symptoms akin to those related to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Dr. Irit Akirav, the lead researcher on the study, has performed previous research on rats that showed a reduction in PTSD symptoms after an administration of cannabinoids during a specific time window. However, this new study—which was conducted with the help of Nachshon Korem, a doctoral student—examined the use of cannabinoids to reduce the effects of trauma and triggers (University of Haifa, 2014).
The study concluded that the rats injected with synthetic marijuana showed none of the following PTSD symptoms compared to the rats that were not injected: “impaired extinction learning, increased startle response, changes in sensitivity to pain, and impaired plasticity in the brain’s reward center” (University of Haifa, 2014).
In addition to these new findings, it was noticed that “cannabinoids did markedly better than the pharmaceutical drug sertraline in the same study” (Poindexter, 2014); sertraline is an antidepressant in the same family as Prozac.
Poindexter, O. (2014). How smoking pot may alleviate PTSD symptoms. Retrieved from http://www.thefix.com/content/how-smoking-pot-may-alleviate-ptsd-symptoms
University of Haifa. (2014). Cannabis prevents the negative behavioral, physiological effects of traumatic events, rat study shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140904084252.htm