Marijuana-like medicines that lack the plant’s psychoactive properties can be used to effectively treat some symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), researchers at New York University Langone Medical Center explain in a study published Tuesday in the scientific journal Molecular Psychiatry.
Using brain imaging technology, researchers studied the CB1 receptors in the brains of people suffering from PTSD and found that they had more of these receptors in gray matter associated with fear and anxiety than people who’d experienced trauma but did not have PTSD.
They looked into whether the receptors would be more available after noticing that many PTSD sufferers, a vast majority of them former members of the military, tend to self-medicate with marijuana abuse. Marijuana is known to contain varying concentrations of endocannabinoids, which are already present in the human brain, designed to act like a switch to turn on the body’s endocannabinoid system.
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