Patients in Minnesota who use medical marijuana to deal with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are experiencing less anxiety and improvements in mood and sleep, states a recent state health survey.
For the purpose, the state health department surveyed 751 PTSD patients enrolled in the state’s medical marijuana program. Although PTSD is often associated with military officers, a mere 19% of the respondents came from that background.
The results of the survey were as follows:
- 23% of patients reported experiencing less anxiety
- 16% said that they slept better
- 13% reported improvement in mood
- 12% said that they were in less pain than before
- 4% patients reported little to no benefit from medical marijuana
“This study is a proof that many patients with PTSD enrolled in the program are experiencing visible benefits,” said Dr. Tom Arneson, a research manager in Minnesota Health Department’s Office of Medical Cannabis
Notably, roughly 20% of the participants reported certain side-effects including anxiety (irony!).
“To avoid marijuana-induced anxiety, it is important that new patients start with a low dose and increase it in increments,” said Arneson.
Interestingly, 18% of the more than 17,000 patients enrolled in Minnesota’s medical marijuana program are taking the drug for PTSD. The disorder was added to the list of qualifying conditions for state’s MM program in August 2017.
Arneson added that since the results came from a survey instead of a clinical trial, researchers cannot just assume if the cannabis is what improved the patient’s condition. “We can’t make strong statements about it, just like we can’t about anything in the program as we’re not carrying out clinical trials,” Arneson said.
The survey report also featured a few testimonials of sorts. “I have more moments of happiness, and it’s opened up many doors to me that I have had shut for a long time,” read one featured comment. The other one said: “Having to deal with less chronic pain and feeling less anxious has improved the overall quality of my life a great deal.”