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MDH Survey: PTSD patients experience ‘high’ level of benefits from cannabis

(St. Paul, MN) – Nearly three-quarters of patients using medical cannabis to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) reported a high level of benefit, according to a recent survey.

The Minnesota Department of Health surveyed 751 patients who listed PTSD as a medical condition when they enrolled in the state’s medical cannabis program.

Ninety-six percent of patients who participated in the survey met the threshold for a PTSD diagnosis, as determined by an initial checklist.  When that same checklist was repeated three months after their first cannabis purchase, 71% saw their scores improve by at least ten points.

Dr. Tom Arneson,  a research manager with the MDH Office of Medical Cannabis, says this is a meaningful improvement.  “It is particularly encouraging to read comments from patients that their participation in the program has made their engagement with other therapies for PTSD more feasible or more effective.”

Of the patients surveyed, 23% said the most important benefit was anxiety reduction, while 16% indicated they’d experienced improved sleep.  Improved mood and pain reduction were also touted as positive benefits.

MDH added PTSD to the list of qualifying conditions for the medical cannabis program in 2016.   There were 2,873 people with PTSD enrolled in the program nearly two years after patients with the condition were eligible to start receiving cannabis.

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