Study: Synthetic Cannabinoid Relieves PTSD-Associated Nightmares

Study: Synthetic Cannabinoid Relieves PTSD-Associated NightmaresOttawa, Canada–(ENEWSPF)–February 5, 2015.  The administration of nabilone, a synthetic cannabinoid, mitigates the frequency and intensity of trauma-related nightmares in military personnel suffering from treatment-resistant post-traumatic stress, according to clinical trial data published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology.

Investigators from the Canadian Forces Health Services Group and the Operational Trauma and Stress Support Centre in Ottawa assessed the efficacy of nabilone, an FDA-approved selective CB1 agonist, versus placebo over a 16-week period in a cohort of Canadian military personnel diagnosed with PTSD.

Nabilone administration was associated with greater likelihood of nightmare suppression and general well being as compared to placebo.

“In this small sample NAB (nabilone capsules) provided significant relief for military personnel with PTSD, indicating that it shows promise as a clinically-relevant treatment for patients with nightmares and a history of non-response to traditional therapies,” authors concluded.

A 2009 Canadian Forces Health Services study similarly reported that adjunctive treatment with nabilone was associated with nightmare cessation and a significant reduction in nightmare intensity in a cohort of 47 PTSD patients with treatment-resistant nightmares.

Full text of the study, “The efficacy of nabilone, a synthetic cannabinoid, in the treatment of PTSD-associated nightmares: A preliminary randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled cross-over design study,” appears in Psychoneuroendocrinology.


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