Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a very serious issue all over the globe. Could cannabis help those suffering with PTSD sleep better?
The prevalence of PTSD is estimated to be 3.9% in the general population, and a much higher rate for those that have lived in countries where war and conflict has occurred.
According to the Mayo Clinic, “Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it.”
As with most health conditions, there are varying degrees of severity when it comes to PTSD, ranging from mild anxiety all the way to full blown panic attacks occurring regularly to the point that the patient can’t function. Flashbacks and regular nightmares are also symptoms of PTSD.
Fortunately, the cannabis plant has been found by a growing list of studies to help people that suffer from PTSD. A recent study in Israel found that cannabis use is associated with improved sleep among adults with PTSD. Below is more information about it via a news release from NORML:
Haifa, Israel: The use of cannabis prior to bedtime is associated with perceived improvements in sleep in subjects diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to data published in the Journal of Anxiety Disorders.
Israeli researchers assessed the impact of cannabis on sleep in a cohort of 77 PTSD patients. Study participants kept a daily journal where they recorded numerous sleep measures each morning.
Investigators acknowledged that the use of cannabis was associated with self-reported improvements in sleep onset and a reduction in the frequency of nightmares. Subjects who consumed products higher in CBD were less likely to report early awakenings.
“Our data suggest that MC [medical cannabis] may help reduce nightmares and [that] CBD in particular may be important for preventing early awakenings,” they wrote. “This provides a strong basis for further hypotheses testing, potentially through clinical trials, of the sleep-inducing effects of MC and for testing CBD in particular.”
Authors concluded, “Given the high comorbidity of PTSD symptoms and sleep disturbances and the potential for MC to have effects on both, a greater understanding of how patients experience the effects of MC on overall PTSD symptoms and sleep disturbances is warranted.”
Prior studies have similarly reported that cannabis products may be associated with improved sleep duration and with improvements in insomnia. The enactment of adult-use marijuana legalization has also been correlated with a decrease in the sale of over-the-counter sleep aid medications.
Full text of the study, “Post-traumatic stress disorder, sleep, and medical cannabis treatment: A daily diary study,” appears in the Journal of Anxiety Disorders. Additional information on cannabis and post-traumatic stress is available from NORML. This article first appeared on Internationalcbc.com and is syndicated here with special permission.