New publication on the role of endocannabinoids in clinical symptoms and treatment outcome in veterans with PTSD
PhD student Nadia Leen has published a new paper on the role of endocannabinoids in clinical symptoms and treatment outcome in veterans with PTSD. In addition to the publication, the research was also presented at the Annual ICRS Symposium on the Cannabinoids in Galway, Ireland.
The endocannabinoid system plays an important role in regulating anxiety, stress and mood. Previous research shows that people with PTSD have abnormal endocannabinoid levels. The enhancement of endogenous endocannabinoids by administering, for example, Cannabidiol (CBD) could possibly alleviate these symptoms. The aim of the study was therefore to look at the role of endogenous endocannabinoids in clinical symptoms and treatment outcomes.
Endocannabinoids, clinical symptoms, and treatment outcome
The study demonstrated that the amount of endogenous endocannabinoids did not differ between veterans with PTSD and veterans without PTSD. Also, the amount of endogenous endocannabinoids was not predictive of the success of PTSD treatment. However, there was a correlation between the amount of endogenous endocannabinoids and symptoms of anxiety and depression in the group of veterans with PTSD.
Results of the study
The study was conducted in veterans with PTSD (N=57) and without PTSD (N=29). In both groups, blood was drawn and clinical symptoms were assessed. After 6-8 months, the same measurements were taken and the veterans with PTSD received treatment for their symptoms. The results show that:
- There is no difference in endogenous endocannabinoids between veterans with and without PTSD.
- Endogenous endocannabinoids are not predictive of treatment outcomes.
- Endogenous endocannabinoids show consistency with symptoms of anxiety and depression in the veterans with PTSD.
The study shows that there is no association between endogenous endocannabinoids, PTSD and treatment outcome. However, the study does provide evidence that endogenous endocannabinoids may play a role in anxiety and depression symptoms.
The BOOSTCAMP study will further investigate whether increasing endogenous endocannabinoid with CBD could possibly help alleviate anxiety, stress, and sleep symptoms in military with anxiety and trauma symptoms.