Cannabis could help treat depression in people with post-traumatic stress disorder

Depressed girl sitting on ground

A new study in British Columbia suggests a possible future for the treatment of depression in people with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Can cannabis use alter the effect of post-traumatic stress disorder on severe depression and suicidal ideation? Results of a cross-sectional population survey of Canadians. For the study, published in Journal of Psychopharmacology researchers looked at Statistics Canada data from 24000 Canadians.

Can cannabis be the key to treating depression in people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?

A new study by the University of British Columbia and the Addictions Center of British Columbia (BCCSU) suggests that cannabis may be promising.

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 effective treatment options for limited PTSD, many patients are taking drugs with cannabis to relieve their symptoms," said lead author Stephanie Lake, PhD candidate at the University of Toronto. British Columbia and BCCSU Research Associate.

"However, to date, there is no evidence at the population level to suggest that cannabis may play a potential therapeutic role in the treatment of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). These results offer promise to patients seeking treatment options. "

Researchers say there are well-documented links between trauma-related trauma, conflict, violence and disasters, depression and suicide, and note that at about 9,2% of the population, Canada has one the highest rates of PTSD.

On 24000 eligible subjects, the researchers found 420 with a current diagnosis of PTSD. About 28% of this group reported using cannabis in the last year, compared to about 11%.

The researchers said they found that people who do not use cannabis and who have PTSD are about seven times more likely to have experienced a recent major depressive episode and about 4,7% more likely to have thoughts. suicidal patients who do not use it and do not have PTSD

The study found that among cannabis users, PTSD was unrelated to a recent depressive episode or suicide ideation.

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 about 11,4%.


This study provides preliminary epidemiological evidence that cannabis use may contribute to reducing the link between post-traumatic stress disorder and severe depressive and suicidal states. High quality experimental research on the efficacy of cannabis / cannabinoids in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder is emerging.

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