A new study in British Columbia suggests a possible future for the treatment of depression in people with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Does cannabis use alter the effect of post-traumatic stress disorder on severe depression and suicidal ideation? Results of a cross-sectional population study of Canadians. For the study, published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology researchers looked at Statistics Canada data from 24000 Canadians.
Could cannabis be the key to treating depression in people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?
A new study from the University of British Columbia and the Center on Substance Abuse of British Columbia (BCCSU) suggests that cannabis may hold promise.
They found that PTSD was strongly related to the suffering of a major depressive episode or suicidal thoughts in people who did not use cannabis but not in those who used it.
The research suggests a potential therapeutic use of cannabis in people with PTSD, BCCSU said.
“We know that with limited effective treatment options for PTSD, many patients take drugs with cannabis to relieve their symptoms,” said lead author Stephanie Lake, PhD candidate at the University of the British Columbia and Research Associate at BCCSU.
“However, to date, there is no population-level data to suggest that cannabis could play a potential therapeutic role in the treatment of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). These findings hold promise for patients seeking treatment options. "
Researchers say there are well-documented links between trauma-related trauma, conflict, violence and disaster, depression and suicide, and note that about 9,2% of the population, Canada has the one of the highest rates of PTSD.
Of the 24000 eligible subjects, the researchers found 420 with a current diagnosis of PTSD. About 28% of this group said they had used cannabis in the past year, compared to around 11%.
The researchers said they found that people who don't use cannabis and who have PTSD were about seven times more likely to have had a recent major depressive episode and about 4,7% more likely to have suicidal thoughts in non-drug users who don't have PTSD
The study found that among cannabis users, PTSD was not linked to a recent depressive episode or thoughts of suicide.
Researchers also found that more than a quarter of Canadians with PTSD reported using cannabis, a much higher percentage than the general population, which is estimated at around 11,4%.
This study provides preliminary epidemiological evidence that cannabis use may help reduce the link between post-traumatic stress disorder and severe depressive and suicidal states. High-quality experimental research into the efficacy of cannabis / cannabinoids in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder is emerging.