According to Newsweek, a new study, involving 24,089 people ages 15 and older who filled out the 2012 Canadian Community Health Survey on Mental Health, looks at how cannabis can impact those with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and depression. Out of those polled, 420 of the participants had been previously diagnosed with PTSD.
Of the participants who were studied, 106—or 28.2 percent—said they had consumed cannabis in the past year. The research revealed that patients with PTSD were more likely to have experienced depression and had suicidal thoughts if they didn’t consume cannabis. Those who didn’t consume cannabis were around seven times more likely to have developed depression and 4.7 times more likely to consider suicide.
“These findings are promising, and merit further study in order to fully understand the benefits of cannabis for people living with PTSD,” said M-J Milloy, research scientist at BCCSU and professor of cannabis science at UBC, who co-authored the study.
“We know that with limited treatment options for PTSD, many patients have taken to medicating with cannabis to alleviate their symptoms,” said Stephanie Lake, a research assistant at the British Columbia Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU). “However, this is the first time that results from a nationally representative survey have shown the potential benefits of treating the disorder with cannabis.”
PTSD patients have faced a long road to getting cannabis approved as a treatment for their condition. While there has long been anecdotal evidence that cannabis helps with PTSD, there has been a lack of scientific evidence like this study. Luckily, the FDA has been more lax on approving American cannabis studies, and some states have started accepting PTSD as a qualifying condition for medical cannabis. Patients suffering from PTSD are hopeful that they can soon get even more legal relief.