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Got PTSD? Pass the duchie to the left... - Kelly N Patterson

Posted 6/11/2011 12:00:00 AM By Kelly Patterson
Kelly Patterson
Got PTSD?   Pass the duchie to the left... By Kelly N Patterson

According to the Journal of Neuroscience, Marijuana may help people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  PTSD, the mental illness du jour, is a severe anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to any event which results in psychological trauma.  This event may involve the threat of death; witnessing a violent death; or experience or witness of extreme physical, sexual, or psychological abuse, which overwhelms the individual's psychological defenses

PTSD Symptoms include everything from experiencing event flashbacks (while awake) and re-occurring nightmares to strong depression/guilt/worry; easily startled; highly irritable; outbursts of anger; complete memory loss of an event; and irrational fear or avoidance of certain places, circumstances, etc.  Thanks to September 11th and returning soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan, PTSD has become a house-hold term.  The good news is that recent studies indicate that “pot” can ease these symptoms.

Israeli researchers (who would know a lot about PTSD!) conducted a series of experiments in which rats were subjected to stressful experiences, such as receiving electric shocks. The study found that the rats' stress levels could be reduced by giving them a synthetic form of marijuana that has properties similar to that of the natural plant.  Further investigation revealed that the synthetic marijuana prevents increased release of a stress hormone the body releases in response to traumatic situations.  Of course, any stoner could have told you this but it sounds much more official when done on rats in a laboratory.

"The results of our research should encourage psychiatric investigation into the use of cannabinoids in post-traumatic stress patients," wrote study author Dr. Irit Akirav of the department of psychology at the University of Haifa.  That is all the information I need to know!  Now if I could just convince my doctor that I have PTSD after watching the latest Fox news broadcast...

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