How Does Cannabis Help PTSD?

Photo Credit: High Times

Photo Credit: High Times

New research coming out of Ontario, Canada, has provided new insights surrounding how medical cannabis is used to treat PTSD. Psychiatrists and neuroscientists have found CBD interacts with serotonin in the brain, allowing it to disrupt the formation of negative associative memories. The animal trial measured how well rats associated pain with a specific odor. CBD was administered directly to rats during painful sensation which in turn prevented them from associating pain with smell. The rats who did not receive CBD became afraid of an electric shock whenever they smelled the odor. 

Other studies have found THC, or a combination of THC and CBD, could also be powerful agents in disrupting contextual fear memory reconsolidation, all with minimal psychological side effects. Additionally, some studies have found those with PTSD have an imbalance in their endocannabinoid system, which may account for why cannabis is so effective in this treatment. 

This information has been adapted from High Times Magazine and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.