Science: THC Effective In Trichotillomania Symptoms In A Pilot Study

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An open clinical study with patients suffering from trichotillomania, who received oral dronabinol (THC), was conducted at the Department of Psychiatry of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, USA. Trichotillomania is an impulse control disorder and characterized by the compulsive urge to pull out one's own hair leading to noticeable hair loss, distress, and social or functional impairment. It is often chronic and difficult to treat. Fourteen female subjects with a mean age of 33 years with trichotillomania were enrolled in the 12-week study. Doses ranged from 2.5-15 mg THC daily. The primary outcome measure was change from baseline to study endpoint on the so-called MGH-HP Scale, which measures the intensity of symptoms in trichotillomania. In order to evaluate effects on cognition, subjects underwent pre- and post-treatment assessments using objective computerized neurocognitive tests.

Twelve of the 14 subjects completed the whole study. MGH-HPS scores decreased statistically significant from a mean of 16.5 at baseline to 8.7 at study endpoint. Nine (64.3 per cent) subjects responded to the treatment with a reduction of more than 35 per cent on the MGH-HPS and "much or very much improved" on a scale for the global impression. The mean effective dose was 11.6 mg per day. The medication was well-tolerated, with no significant deleterious effects on cognition. Authors concluded that "pharmacological modulation of the cannabinoid system may prove useful in controlling a range of compulsive behaviors."

Source: International Association for Cannabis as Medicine
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