Cannabis may have even more healing properties in the battle against Post Traumatic Stress Disorder than scientists originally gave credit. Researchers from the University of Haifa in Israel recently uncovered evidence to suggest that cannabinoids are not only capable of treating the symptoms associated with PTSD, but they may actually be able to prevent the development of this debilitating condition.
To draw this conclusion, lead researcher Dr. Irit Akirav and her team from the Department of Psychology set out to study the effects of cannabis on laboratory rats. These creatures are excellent for experimenting with PTSD because they have a similar emotional response as humans in they way they process traumatic events.
What researchers found was those rats dosed with cannabinoids within a relatively short timeframe after going through an emotional trauma were less likely to develop triggers that can lead to the onslaught of this severe anxiety disorder. “In other words, cannabis made the effects of trauma reminders ‘disappear,’” Dr. Akirav explained.
In fact, rats that received medical marijuana continued to live free of PTSD symptoms, while the untreated animals displayed a number of indicators that revealed they were suffering from distress.
Although the US Government continues to thwart cannabis research for PTSD, the latest study finds that medical marijuana may not only be an excellent treatment for this condition that currently affects 9 percent of the population, but also an effective preventative measure.
“The importance of this study is that it contributes to the understanding of the brain basis of the positive effect cannabis has on PTSD. This thus supports the necessity of performing human trials to examine potential ways to prevent the development of PTSD and anxiety disorders in response to a traumatic event,” wrote the researchers.
Dr. Akirav concluded that cannabinoids have a way of rewiring the circuitry of the human brain immediately following a traumatic event – preventing a person from becoming inflicted with life altering emotional conflict. “This study can lead to future trials in humans regarding possible ways to prevent the development of PTSD and anxiety disorders in response to a traumatic event,” she said.