Cannabis Use Prolongs PTSD Symptoms

By McCarton Ackerman 01/17/12

The latest study indicates that marijuana does anything but help with PTSD.

Researchers may have to look for
another answer.
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Cannabis Use Disorder (CUD) has sharply increased among military veterans, and a new study has shown that cannabis use actually prolongs the PTSD symptoms they might be hoping to avoid. Research conducted at the National Center for PTSD and Center for Health Care Evaluation at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System in California indicates that veterans with a CUD demonstrated less change in their symptom severity than those without a CUD. “Individuals with a CUD diagnosis who discontinued use, compared with those without a CUD diagnosis, had lower levels of change in total PTSD symptoms, PTSD avoidance-numbing symptoms and PTSD hyperarousal symptoms,” says Marcel O. Bonn-Miller, who led the study. Those with a current CUD showed treatment gains equivalent to those with no treatment at all. According to Miller’s findings, rates of CUD diagnoses within the Veteran Affairs hospital system increased by more than 50% between 2002 and 2009. Rates of PTSD diagnoses among veterans increased by 60% between 2002 and 2007.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.