People with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) who use marijuana experience fewer symptoms and recover more quickly compared to people who don’t use cannabis, a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs researcher said in a new podcast posted by the agency. Hal Wortzel, a VA forensic neuropsychiatrist, talked about the findings of an observational study he conducted during the recent interview. He also discussed how the ongoing federal prohibition on marijuana has impeded essential research. To learn how cannabis impacts PTSD, Wortzel’s team tracked two groups over the course of several years: 75 people with the condition who said they use marijuana and 75 people with PTSD who don’t consume cannabis. While there are limits to observational—rather than experimental—studies, he said the results provide further evidence that marijuana seems to have therapeutic benefits for certain populations. Specifically, people who said they use marijuana reported fewer “hyperarousal” symptoms—things like anxiously checking over one’s shoulder or overreacting to loud sounds. “Among persons using marijuana for PTSD, relative to the group that was not using marijuana, we saw those folks using marijuana products get a little bit better more quickly, and they were about two and a half times more likely over the course of the study year to no longer meet criteria for PTSD than those folks who were not using marijuana products,” Wortzel said.
Kyle Jaeger, Marijuana Moment, 12/07/2021 11:39:00