Study: Synthetic Cannabinoid “Safe And Effective” Treatment For Post-Traumatic Stress

Study: Synthetic Cannabinoid "Safe And Effective" Treatment For Post-Traumatic Stress

Ontario, Canada: The administration of nabilone, a synthetic cannabinoid, safely mitigates symptoms of post-traumatic stress (PTS) syndrome, according to clinical data published online ahead of print in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

Investigators at the University of Ottawa, Department of Psychiatry assessed the safety and efficacy of nabilone, an FDA-approved selective CB1 agonist, as an adjunct treatment in 104 subjects with mental health issues residing in a correctional facility.

Researchers reported that naboline administration was associated with significant improvement in post-traumatic stress symptoms, including nightmares and insomnia, as well as subjective improvement in chronic pain. Nabilone treatment was also associated with a reduction in subjects’ use of other prescribed medication, particularly the use of anti-psychotic and sedative agents.

Investigators concluded, "This study supports the promise of nabilone as a safe, effective treatment for concurrent disorders in seriously mentally ill correctional populations."

Clinical trial data published last month in the journal Clinical Drug Investigation similarly concluded that the administration of an absorbable preparation of THC "caused a statistically significant improvement in global symptom severity, sleep quality, frequency of nightmares" in patients suffering from chronic post-traumatic stress.

In 2013, researchers at the New York University School of Medicine published findings indicating that PTS subjects experience a decrease in their natural production of anandamide, an endogenous cannabinoid neurotransmitter. They hypothesized that an increase in the body’s production of cannabinoids would likely restore subjects’ natural brain chemistry and psychological balance. "[Our] findings substantiate, at least in part, emerging evidence that … plant-derived cannabinoids such as marijuana may possess some benefits in individuals with PTSD by helping relieve haunting nightmares and other symptoms of PTSD," they concluded.

For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org. Full text of the study, "Use of a synthetic cannabinoid in a correctional population for post-traumatic stress disorder-related insomnia and nightmares, chronic pain, harm reduction, and other indications," appears in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.