A new study adds more evidence to the theory that THC has a positive effect on Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Published in the journal Neuropharmacology and conducted by researchers from Wayne State University, the study found that the combination of a specific type of therapy and moderate amounts of THC were particularly beneficial for people with PTSD.
Researchers conducted a double-blind experiment on 51 participants. These subjects were randomly given 7.5 mg of THC or a placebo pill and were kept under supervision and timed. Participants were scanned on an fMRI with researchers conducting regular check-ins on their mental state.
After consuming their pills, at the peak of THC’s effect, researchers provided participants with emotional regulation tasks, like showing participants triggering images and repeating this with the goal of having them reappraise them, and thus successfully regulating their emotions.
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Results showed that only participants who’d consumed THC were able to reduce and manage their negative emotions. The compound also activated areas of their brains that are normally stunted in people with PTSD. “THC may prove to be a beneficial pharmacological adjunct to cognitive reappraisal therapy in the treatment of PTSD,” wrote the study’s authors.
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This study isn’t the first to find a link between THC and PTSD, but it is the first to see THC’s impact during cognitive reappraisal tasks for individuals with PTSD, which is important. When patients are able to successfully reappraise their emotions they’re more likely to repeat this behavior in the future, reducing anxiety and negative responses. This suggests that THC could become an effective way of treating these patients and improving their symptoms.
PTSD patients are some of the most vocal proponents of the benefits of medicinal cannabis, with many claiming that THC helps them with their migraines, panic attacks and overwhelming emotions.