Study: Cannabis May Treat PTSD-Induced Nightmares

Over 5 million people have PTSD in any given year, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Over 5 million people have PTSD in any given year, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

A new study published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology has found that cannabis may provide a treatment option for those suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)-induced nightmares.

For the study; “Canadian male military personnel with PTSD, who despite standard treatment continued to experience trauma-related nightmares, received double-blind treatment with 0.5mg¬†nabilone [a synthetic cannabinoid meant to mimic the effects of cannabis] or placebo (PBO), and then titrated to the effective dose (nightmare suppression) or reaching a maximum of 3.0mg.”

Subjects were “followed for 7 weeks and then, following a 2-week washout period, were titrated with the other study treatment and followed for an additional 7 weeks. The modified intent-to-treat (mITT) population, which included all treated subjects that met inclusion/exclusion criteria, was analyzed.”

Researchers found that; “In this small sample NAB provided significant relief for military personnel with PTSD, indicating that it shows promise as a clinically-relevant treatment for patients with nightmares and a history of non-response to traditional therapies.

The study concludes; “These findings need to be replicated in a larger cohort. There is a need for further exploration of the effect of nabilone on other symptoms of PTSD such as re-experiencing, hyper vigilance and insomnia.”

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