Should we start issuing marijuana to soldiers? It might not be the worst idea, based on a new study from Haifa University in Israel, which found that pot could prevent post-traumatic stress disorder in rats—provided it was administered within 24 hours of the trauma occurring. “There is a critical window of time after trauma, during which synthetic marijuana can help prevent symptoms,” the study’s lead author tells the AFP.
To arrive at their conclusion, the researchers first exposed rats to extreme stress; they found that the creatures exhibited symptoms similar to those of humans with PTSD. Then they split the rats into groups, giving some no marijuana, and injecting others with it at various times. A week later, they found that those who hadn’t been treated, or hadn’t been treated quickly enough, exhibited PTSD symptoms and anxiety. Those who had toked up within 24 hours still exhibited signs of anxiety, but the symptoms were gone. (Read more marijuana stories.)