PTSD patients may have something to look forward to that could ease their symptoms of depression and suicidal thoughts.

The answer could be marijuana.

This is according to a study that involved 24,089 people aged 15 and above, who filled out the 2012 Canadian Community Health Survey on Mental Health.
420 of the participants had been previously diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or better called PTSD. Those who have PTSD may suffer from reliving traumatic events in flashbacks, sleepless nights, as well as nausea and pain.

The research had found that those with PTSD were more likely to have experienced depression and thought about taking their lives, known as suicide ideation, if they didn’t use cannabis.

Those with PTSD who didn’t use cannabis were around seven times more likely to have had depression, and 4.7 times more likely to think about suicide, compared to people who didn’t have PTSD or use the drug.

The study was published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology with the authors noting that their work provides preliminary evidence “that cannabis use may contribute to reducing the association between post-traumatic stress disorder and severe depressive and suicidal states.”

Stephanie Lake, a research assistant at the British Columbia Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU), who lead the study, remarked: “We know that with limited treatment options for PTSD, many patients have taken to medicating with cannabis to alleviate their symptoms.”

“However, this is the first time that results from a nationally representative survey have shown the potential benefits of treating the disorder with cannabis,” added Lake, who is also a PhD candidate at the University of British Columbia (UBC).

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