Canadian scientists have found that the relationship between post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the occurrence of depression and suicidal thoughts may be controlled by cannabis: those who do not consume it, the risk of developing a mental state is 4-7 times higher.
PTSD develops as a result of a traumatic event – for example, it very often occurs in military personnel who have served in hot spots. In addition to recurrent flashbacks, panic attacks in response to triggers and sleep problems, PTSD can cause other mental illnesses, most often depression and Anxiety Disorder. In addition, PTSD is often associated with increased suicidal tendencies.
In some U.S. states, as well as in Canada, medical marijuana is prescribed to combat symptoms of PTSD: it is believed to help cope with depression and suicidal moods. However, there is not much empirical evidence for this: in other words, it is not clear whether cannabis regulates the relationship between PTSD and the disorders that result from it.
The scientists, led by Stephanie Lake of the University of British Columbia, decided to test this. To do this, they analyzed data on 24,089 Canadians, of whom 420 were diagnosed with PTSD. Scientists tracked the link between cannabis use and the development of depression or suicidal thoughts as a result of the disorder, and demographic indicators, the presence of other mental disorders, and drug or alcohol dependence were taken as side variables.
After analyzing the data, the researchers found that among participants with PTSD who did not consume cannabis, depression was about seven times more common, and suicidal thoughts were about four times. There was no link between PTSD and depression or suicidal thoughts (p > 0.05) among those who consumed marijuana.
The authors of the work were thus able to obtain preliminary data in favour of the fact that cannabis can relieve the condition of people with PTSD: reduce the risk of depression and suicidal thoughts. At the same time, to confirm the real benefit, it is necessary to conduct controlled clinical studies and study in more detail the molecular mechanism of such exposure
Most often, PTSD is faced by war veterans, those who survived the violence, and those who suffered during the attacks. The disorder, however, can also be observed in prison staff, as well as in cancer patients who have been cured.