Rat study: Marijuana may ease PTSD

HAIFA, Israel, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- Israeli researchers say synthetic marijuana helped rats under stress recover sooner from emotional trauma.

The study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, suggests marijuana may help patients overcome life stresses that worsen reawakened trauma and other symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder.


University of Haifa in Israel research student Eti Ganon-Elazar under the supervision of Dr. Irit Akirav examined how long it took rats to overcome a traumatic experience without intervention. Next, these rats were introduced to additional stress. The stress slowed trauma recovery time.

Additionally, another group of rats exposed to the trauma as well as stress received an injection of synthetic marijuana into the brain -- an area connected to emotive memory. Although these rats were exposed to stress they agreed to re-enter an area -- signaling easing of effects of their trauma -- after the same amount of time as the rats not suffering additional stress had -- indicating, the researchers said, the synthetic marijuana helped cancel the effect of additional stress.

The rats given synthetic marijuana also released more of a hormone related to stress, the researchers said.

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