Cannabis treats PTSD

Soldiers on patrol

Soldiers on patrol

Even more evidence now points to cannabis as an effective treatment for PTSD, post traumatic stress disorder. Confirming research showing PTSD may be particularly responsive to cannabinoids, this new Israeli rat study refines the timeline of effective cannabinoid treatment for the debilitating condition. Long before this important research, though, the effectiveness of cannabis and cannabinoids in treating PTSD was becoming well known. Again, much of the research is Israeli. American researchers are denied permission by the DEA to study medical cannabis.

Although events and conditions that can cause PTSD are diverse, including auto accident. Post-traumatic stress disorder is common following significant orthopedic trauma. But war experiences are key triggers for PTSD and now nearly two million Americans have served America’s in its two longest wars, Iraq and Afghanistan. A search of Science Daily finds:

How ironic, and troubling, that those who have served their country, and now suffer from combat exposure-caused PTSD do not have the freedom to use this effective medication back home, at least in most US states. Even states with medical marijuana laws do not all include PTSD as a qualifying condition. Instead, those who theoretically fought for freedom, ours and their own, now have their own freedom of medical choice denied. Some will suffer the antithesis of freedom, incarceration, for choosing a natural and safe (zero deaths) medication for their PTSD symptoms. Federally, all are criminals, felons. Sadly, with its war on cannabis, America violates it basic tenets of personal choice and the core right of American citizens to be left alone by their government.

Instead of enjoying to freedom of medical choice, Iraq and Afghanistan PTSD-wounded are commonly prescribed powerful pharmaceutical anti-depressant and even anti-psychotic drugs. One of the many possible negative results of anti-depressant use is thickening of the arteries. In this latest study showing the effectiveness of cannabinoids in treating PTSD, CB1 receptor antagonists were shown to block this protective effect. This demonstrates the key role of CB1 receptors, also activated by cannabis, in treating PTSD.

Related to PTSD is TBI, or traumatic brain injury. Often coming from IED blasts in Iraq and Afghanistan, TBI afflicts thousands of veterans. Israeli research shows that TBI also is responsive to cannabinoid treatment. But that is topic of another post.

Obesity:cannabis consumers slimmer.

People who use cannabis are less likely to be obese than those that do not. This intriguing finding was just revealed in the American Journal of Epidemiology. Two large epidemiological studies found far lower rates of obesity and BMI in cannabis consumers versus abstainers.

Such finding are particularly important when obesity threatens human well-being across the planet. Especially in the USA, but also now world wide, this plague of pounds drives degenerative diseases and health care costs. Obesity is a chronic low grade inflammation. Fat cells displace organs and produce cellular toxins. Obesity kills at least one out of eight Americans.

Should cannabis use worsen this obesity problem, it might be an important contraindication for medical cannabis use. Cannabis consumption is, after all, commonly associated with “the munchies.” Medically it is useful in helping those with wasting syndrome gain weight. The cardiometabolic aspects of enhancing the endocannabinoid response be activating CB1 and CB2 receptors do not seem very beneficial. If anything, they seem negative from several cardiometabolic parameters, such as adiponectin levels.

Remember, it was the cannabinoid receptor antagonist, Rimonabant, that was just a few years ago thought to have a major future as an anti-obesity drug.  This “anti-marijuana” was supposed to give you the “anti-munchies.” But human trials showed it also caused an “anti-high”, exhibited by anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts. It was never approved by the FDA.

The new study, however, shows higher consumption of cannabis with reduced rates of obesity. The authors conclude, “that the prevalence of obesity is lower in cannabis users than in nonusers.” The study was controlled for cigarette smoking. The authors did not speculate by what mechanism cannabis consumers were more free from obesity than people not consuming cannabis.

Generally, the best method to freedom from obesity is to be physically active, walk at least 10,000 steps per day, and maintain a nutritious, calorie-lean diet.