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Marijuana Shows Positive Results After Trauma

Marijuana has gotten some bad press from the government for its link to illicit drug use, but as a medical tool, it has some very beneficial results for patients who are recovering from traumatic events. Marijuana has shown advantages in other medical situations as well, and is used as a pain relief tool for stomach conditions and certain forms of cancer. Now, research through the Department of Psychology at the University of Haifa as conducted by Nachshon Korem and Irit Akirav show the importance it can play in anxiety disorders following trauma. The results have been published in the Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, and researches have been quoted by Science Daily in saying: “The importance of this study is that it contributes to the understanding of the brain basis of the positive effect cannabis has on PTSD and thus supports the necessity to perform human trials to examine potential ways to prevent the development of PTSD and anxiety disorders in response to a traumatic event.”

The results have shown that 9% of the population suffers from these types of anxiety disorders brought on by post-traumatic experiences, and among soldiers, prisoners of war, and other high stress survivors it is even higher.

How The Study Came Together

In the past Dr. Akraiv found that the use of marijuana on people who have suffered from trauma could reduce PTSD if administered within a certain window of time. This was tested on lab rats with doctoral student, Korem. University Herald states: “Researchers from the University of Haifa in Israel found that administering cannabinoids soon after a traumatic event can prevent post-traumatic stress disorder-like (PTSD) symptoms in rates, caused by the trauma and by trauma reminders.”

Rats were used in the first study because psychologically they have shown a similar attitude to human beings when responding to a stressful event. In this experiment, rats received electric shock and were exposed to reminders of the trauma, after this they were injected with a cannabinoid and went through procedures similar to exposure therapy for human beings. This showed the scientists that rats who were injected had no post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms, when compared to rats who were not injected. Rats who were exposed to trauma reminders had an increase in expression within the areas of the brain that are related to emotional processing. This receptor is known to bind to cannabinoids, which may explain why the experiments showed as successful. This information suggests that the fear circuit of the brain can be changed following trauma when cannabinoids are applied.

Other Benefits of Marijuana For Medical Purposes

As mentioned above, although marijuana has been seen as a negative by society, there are multiple advantages that it has shown to provide medically. An example of this can be seen in the many studies that have shown possible relief in the progression of neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. It also holds the ability to alleviate multiple types of pain, like that which comes from inflammation of joints and muscles such as arthritis. While it’s common knowledge that marijuana has been a cancer aid for quite some time, it’s less widely known that it has shown through studies at the Virginia Commonwealth University to aid in the prevention of seizures for epilepsy; this study has only been performed using animal studies, but human interaction could have similar effects. Care2.com advises: “Research published in Med Page Today found that marijuana use eased tremors and improved fine motor skills in patients with Parkinson’s disease.”

Glaucoma, lung problems, multiple sclerosis, and nausea are all problems that have been linked to marijuana as a form of relief. There are 60 known cannabinoid chemicals, with THC being among the best documented; this is the chemical that has mind altering effects, and it has been used during chemotherapy to reduce nausea in cancer patients.

Of course, marijuana like any other drug used in medicine today has side effects, and possible negative attributes that could cause problems for long time users. Using no filter, or smoking it as a marijuana cigarette can result in scarred tissue on the throat and lungs, and while it hasn’t shown proof to be an addictive drug, many users find themselves incapable of stopping after long term use on a mental basis alone. Cannabis can be mind-altering, make you drowsy, and impair your ability to tell how full your stomach is or whether or not you are in pain. Similar to alcohol, marijuana impairs driving and other motor functions, and can lead to poor decision making, and poor judgment for important decisions.

If you are considering using marijuana for medical use with any illnesses or disorders, it is important that you consult a physician and go through the appropriate channels before use. Marijuana and illegal in many countries and can lead to hefty fines, and jail time depending on the circumstances involved.

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