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Study: Oral THC Safely and Effectively Addresses Post-Traumatic Stress Symptoms

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director June 18, 2014

    The administration of oral THC mitigates symptoms of post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD), according to clinical trial data published online ahead of print in the journal Clinical Drug Investigation.

    Investigators at the Hebrew University Medical Center in Jerusalem assessed the safety and efficacy of oral THC as an adjunct treatment in ten subjects with chronic PTSD.

    Researchers reported, “The intervention caused a statistically significant improvement in global symptom severity, sleep quality, frequency of nightmares, and PTSD hyperarousal symptoms.”

    They concluded, “Orally absorbable delta-9-THC was safe and well tolerated by patients with chronic PTSD.”

    Separate clinical trial data has previously reported that the administration of nabilone, a synthetic endocannabinoid agonist, can reduce the severity and frequency of nightmares in patients with PTSD.

    In 2013, researchers at the New York University School of Medicine published findings indicating that PTSD subjects experience a decrease in their natural production of anandamide, an endogenous cannabinoid neurotransmitter. They hypothesized that an increase in the body’s production of cannabinoids would likely restore subjects’ natural brain chemistry and psychological balance. “[Our] findings substantiate, at least in part, emerging evidence that … plant-derived cannabinoids such as marijuana may possess some benefits in individuals with PTSD by helping relieve haunting nightmares and other symptoms of PTSD,” they concluded.

    Full text of the study, “Preliminary, open-label, pilot study of add-on oral delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol in chronic post-traumatic stress disorder,” will appear in Clinical Drug Investigation.

    11 Responses to “Study: Oral THC Safely and Effectively Addresses Post-Traumatic Stress Symptoms”

    1. TheOracle says:

      Smoking or vaporizing cannabis puts THC into your system, and you can regulate it more or less as needed, which you can’t do with a pill. You could try to break it in half or in a third do 1 and 1/3 of a pill or whatever, then wait for it to kick in. The wait time of 2 hours for oral effects as with medibles which you can dose size better than a pill. Still have to wait. Drops, still have to wait as long as taken orally. This is great for people for whom this works best for them, but others have the right to smoke or vaporize cannabis, and it’s only a matter of time before the government formalizes that right, state by state, federal government, other governments, the UN which Congress is allowing to act like a world government when it comes to cannabis prohibition and these international treaties and shit prohibiting cannabis.

    2. Galileo Galilei says:

      As we get older we seldom experience nightmares anymore. I’ve had very few as an adult, but they were terrible. I can’t imagine being haunted by monsters from the id night after night.

      THC can help alleviate nightmares.

      To thwart the advance of medical science is a crime against us all.

    3. mexweed says:

      Thanks @Oracle for emphasizing existence of the VAPORIZATION option. Loudmouth prohibitionists haven’t checked it out yet, and continue warning against “smoking”. The know-how to vaporize with a one-hitter (made easier by addition of a long flexible drawtube) addresses the issue of name brand vaporizers being still expensive enough to deter many, especially children, from considering them– resulting in “experimentation” with joints which are a Trojan Horse luring young victims into trying addictive nicotine $igarettes (800,000 per year get hooked on tobacco in USA).

      (A “one hitter” should be defined as a screened utensil designed to permit 25-mg single tokes. Vaping should be defined as bathing the herb with 385F/197C heat, or thereabouts, rather than starting the herb on fire immediately (“light up”) as occurs in pernicious joints.)

    4. Julian says:

      Veterans suffering from p.t.s.d. dont need vikadin or morphine unless they’re dying or its the only medicine around. Long term use of these pain killers causes antisocial behavior which is precisely the opposite of what cures p.t.s.d.
      As one local ‘Nam Vet told me,

      “Smokin weed and quittn them pills got me out of the house and talkin to people… It got me feelun like a useful, dignified human being. When the V.A. piss tested me and threatened to cut my disability off, that woke me up. I wrote the V.A. a ten page letter tellnm to pull their heads outta their asses!”

      Im glad to report my local Nam vet is out of a wheel chair and walking again. Weed keeps his chronic back pain in check enough to get out and do basic things. No thanks to the V.A. That clearly works for Big Pharma.

    5. Dave Evans says:

      They issue isn’t Federal Policy, it is that we have created a government where logic isn’t allowed. It is a histrionic wonderland of, “Well since you can’t tell us not to lie about marijuana (it is a 1st amendment issue) and we need solid excuses to keep people down as we work tirelessly to help lift them up.” This makes the government act like a person with Borderline Personality Disorder. We have police arresting successful people because the marijuana they have on them is supposedly making them un-successful in life. The police and laws protect and abuse you in perfect BPD fashion. Then the histrionics offer no relief when you get to court, offering instead, “Well you did cross a line we drew in the sand for no reason. And that line is more important than you or me. Without, we’ll all suffer and die in chaos.”

      Histrionic Bullshit takes precedence over facts everyday here in the land of the loonies.

      Saying Obama isn’t a legit President because his dad is African. It is racist, it is stupid and it is Histrionic. It doesn’t matter where his was born, he is an American Citizen. But these loonies “believe” he isn’t a “real American”, just like they “believe marijuana is dangerous”. It is so simple and easy for these idiots, all they have to do is look at Obama and see he is dark skinned and by magic they can tell he isn’t an American. It is like they have x-ray vision that only lets them see things dumb.

      Which is exactly where CBD only laws come from. Stupidity mixed with Histrionic thought patterns.

    6. mexweed says:

      @Dave, thanks for opening this issue of diagnosing the government insanity.

      1. Depression is the base problem. One way to understand depression (“deep-prison”) is as “playing dead” that a small animal does to avoid being seen and eaten. (Or “playing cool” to avoid the heat-sensitive hawk.)

      2. Your entire being is locked into a don’t-move, shut-down rigor. Or you are buried in a burrow (the walls of which prohibit movement).

      3. Because our being requires exercise, there is a bust-out phenomenon– “mania” which can be anger, cursing, threatening, fighting etc.– which can get us in trouble. At that point “manic” turns into “panic”– and depression itself returns as FROZEN PANIC.

      4. Cannabis has gotten a bad reputation because some users react to it by going into MANIC, PANIC or directly into Depression (“stoned agin'”). Not the fault of the herb, users have to avoid maniacal joint-smoking (H-ot B-urning O-verdose M-onoxide) and combine their use with smooth, kind, gentle but firm intellectual and physical exercise/work that warms you up (for the next thing) and helps you figure out what to do (productivity, problem solving etc.).

      Well, is that clear as mud, maybe I’ll try again tomorrow.

    7. Dave Evans says:

      Mexweed, I get you point, I believe.

      Yeah, most of the negative psychological effects of marijuana are related to the abuse marijuana users suffer. We do something good for us, or at least not as damaging as plenty of other liberties Americans enjoy everyday, but we are singled out for persecution. People that served us and the US get treated like drugs addicts because the VA finds marijuana in your system, that is mixed with the heroin they don’t mind or care about being in your system. It is insane behavior. I’m not sure if the people doing are crazy, but in that moment crazy wins.

    8. Dave Evans says:

      Mexweed, also, some people go into panic mode when they imbibe marijuana, not because of the marijuana per-say, but because some strains of marijuana make a person very introspective. Guess what happens to people that never thought about how their behavior affect other people suddenly realize they ain’t half as cool as they thought they were? They shit a brick, that’s what. Then we hear about how they went to the ER with a panic attack after eating enough weed to stone an Apatosaurus.

    9. Jody Collins says:

      Im a vet and see Dr for my ptsd at VA. I smoke
      and its the best medicine. Im taking 2 different Anti Depressants. Those r the pills that screw u up I think. It hasn’t helped that much. I want to get off those pills. Also, its not pain medicine that they give u for ptsd. Those anti depress. pills have to go.

    10. Julian says:

      @Mexweed and Dave Evans,
      Marijuana cured my depression when I was 18 and I wasnt even aware I was trying to cure it. At the root of depression is an isolating feeling of guilt, specifically blaming oneself for causes of actions they may have little to no control over or blame for… Even if a depressed person is intellectually capable of realizing that the events, pain, abandonment, or perceived isolation they are suffering are not directly related to any choices they may have made, the depression can persist into recurrence of antisocial behavior. Or worse yet, the depressed may develop an affliction for wanting to be sad and lonely, and even desire self pity or apathy for sadistic punishment or negative attention.
      What marijuana does is stops the viscious cycle of feeling sorry for ourselves and changes our perspective by releasing the subconscious mind and blending our logical side with our creativity. Suddenly instead of piling up poor, unhealthy habits, we have a boost of creative energy that we have been supressing from ourselves both as a symptom but also as a form of self-punishment for the misguided guilt we may be carrying.
      After smoking weed, I realized quite consciously that feeling sorry for myself wasnt working out so well. Being high on THC inspired me to read a book I had been neglecting, or try a new sport. The CBD not only made me feel better in the short term, but eat a more balanced diet, improving my nutrition and metabolism over the long term. In short, I unwittingly balanced my homeostasis by feeding my endocannabinoid system, and nourishing my mind, body and soul. Whats more, I made friends, got out of my room, emjoyed concerts lived and loved smoking weed.
      Thankfully, I didnt take the popular 90s prescription of prozac when it was offered to me. I read that it could cause abnormal sexual idiosynchrosy… That is, horny when youre not supposed to be and dead in bed when you need to be on your game. I watched prozac ruin a marriage. A high-stress lobbyist called her psychiatrist who prescribed the pills her “paid friend.” It was a terrible thing to watch; someones whole sense of self and family being consumed by guilt and grief. The pills seemed to me to be consuming her; not the other way around.
      Alcohol is no help for depression either. The moment we confess to another human being the pain and guilt we are suffering, we’re turning on a switch in our heart that decides whether we should heal or keep feeling guilty. How can we heal if we’re too drunk to remember what we said?

      Now put all this into context of our government, and the real people who make decisions for our Country. I went to high school in Washington D.C. before I returned to Texas. I saw real people that work for the government. I remember when my Godbrother Mike took me to a strip club to cheer me up when I was 18. Instead I saw the rows of depressed faces at the bar, the air smelled rank with cheap perfume to cover the stench of submission. I dont know what shocked me more; that there was a strip club right smack in the middle if Georgetown, or the number of Congressman and suits that kept marching in and out of the V.I.P. room. There was something vulgar to me about having to pay for love. Why should I when I can have it for free? That experience always left me with a bad impression of Washington politicians. It seemed like the most powerful politicians were closet sociopaths. I once saw Newt Gingrich eating a hamburger by himself at a Burger King. People recognized him and scoffed. No one would even smile at him. I wonder if he had smoked some weed would he have been able to convince himself to lie so much? Would people stop and say hello? Would he have given a smile?
      Then again, Mayor of D.C. Marion Barry was caught smoking crack with a prostitute and he was still reelected, so who am I to question the morality of our politicians?

      Another thing weed did for me is encourage what I already enjoyed doing… Yet so many young men fail to DO… Go up and TALK to a woman. Give her a COMPLIMENT. It sounds so easy to do until you find your heart in your throat, but for those of us who dont develop these crucial play skills, the isolation can lead to sociopathic, often violent behavior. I guess weed more or less relaxes someone into a friendly conversation, which is often all it takes for two people to fall in love.
      And if I were to sum up the mental health crisis were having in the United States, I would say we are suffering from a chronic preconceived miseducation of love leading up to isolating, self-pittying or even sociopathic behavior. We can blame advertising, texting; We could even blame ourselves… Until we choose to DO something about it.
      Marijuana gets us to PLAY. Playing is vital human behavior that develops our social skills, our understanding of love as a free and necessary commodity and education so we can lead more peaceful societies.
      Take that guy from the University in Califonia that shot random people and plowed everyone down in his BMW a month ago because he couldnt figure out why the sorority girls preffered some “frat slobs” getting high and partying every night instead of a well groomed man in a nice new car. Or the latest soldier with p.t.s.d. that opened fire in Fort Hood;
      Would these incidents have occured if the attackers had better access to medicinal marijuana? A soldier could lose his career and benefits from smoking weed. Nam vets were dishonorably discharged for either being diagnosed with p.t.s.d. or getting caught smoking weed to cure it! Students could lose scholarships or financial aid, or even get expelled.
      Would they have developed the social skills, the play behavior and the confidence to deal with their anxieties having consumed marijuana in earlier years during stressful events?
      Do these questions depress the conscience of our representatives in Congress? And if Congress was allowed to get high, would they see the tiger from the trees and realize we have been prohibiting a possible solution for the next massacre?

    11. Julian says:

      Edit;
      “Marijuana; …a solution to prevent the next massacre.”

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