Effects of cannabis treatment in adult patients with PTSD

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Cannabis may alleviate neuropathic pain, but is not associated with benefit for adults with PTSD.
Cannabis may alleviate neuropathic pain, but is not associated with benefit for adults with PTSD.

(HealthDay News) — Cannabis may alleviate neuropathic pain, but is not associated with benefit for adults with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to 2 reviews published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Shannon M. Nugent, PhD, from the VA Portland Health Care System and Oregon Health & Science University, and colleagues conducted a systematic review to examine the benefits of plant-based cannabis preparations for treating chronic pain in adults. The researchers found low-strength evidence that cannabis alleviates neuropathic pain based on 27 chronic pain trials; insufficient evidence was found in other pain populations. Harms in general population studies include increased risk for motor vehicle accidents, psychotic symptoms, and short-term cognitive impairment based on 11 systematic reviews and 32 primary studies.

Maya E. O'Neil, PhD, also from the VA Portland Health Care System and Oregon Health & Science University, and colleagues reviewed data from 2 systematic reviews and from 3 observational studies to examine the benefits and harms of plant-based cannabis preparations in treating PTSD in adults. The researchers found that there was insufficient evidence from the systematic reviews to draw conclusions about the benefits and harms. Cannabis did not reduce PTSD symptoms compared with nonuse in the observational studies.

"Evidence is insufficient to draw conclusions about the benefits and harms of plant-based cannabis preparations in patients with PTSD, but several ongoing studies may soon provide important results," O' Neil and colleagues write.

References

  1. O'Neil ME, Nugent SM, Morasco BJ, et al. Benefits and harms of plant-based cannabis for posttraumatic stress disorder: A systematic review. Ann Intern Med. 2017 Aug 15. doi:10.7326/M17-0477
  2. Nugent SM, Morasco BJ, O'Neil ME. The effecys of cannabis among asults with chronic pain and an overview of general harms: A systematic review. Ann Intern Med. 2017 Aug 15. doi:10.7326/M17-0155
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