Millions of people across the world battle post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). According to the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Society, more than 70% of American adults have experienced at least one traumatic event in their life. Of these, 20% eventually develop PTSD. Medical marijuana has proposed a suitable solution for it.
For decades, behavioral therapy and pharmaceutical medications have been the primary interventions for PTSD. However, studies have helped reveal that the cannabis plant contains compounds that can suppress the symptoms of the psychological disorder.
Medical Marijuana and PTSD
Although PTSD and its symptoms can get alleviated with pharmaceutical medications and therapy, these methods are not always successful. In the case of medicines, they may lead to unwanted side effects. Some medicines can also lead to dependence. On its part, behavioral therapy can considerably lessen PTSD symptoms. Nonetheless, it takes take before the desired effects can be realized. Medical marijuana has been touted as an effective treatment for PTSD and doesn’t lead to undesirable side effects.
Which PTSD Symptoms Can Medical Marijuana Treat?
The main symptoms of PTSD have increased arousal and social avoidance, and flashbacks of traumatic events. Flashbacks of past traumatic events that happened to you in the past lead to the avoidance of those events. On the other hand, increased arousal often manifests as paranoia.
Studies have established that medical marijuana can treat common PTSD symptoms, even in the most treatment-resistant cases. The human brain and body contain cannabinoid receptors. Since PTSD symptoms are both psychological and physical, marijuana will improve those symptoms when it reacts with the cannabinoids.
The medicinal use of marijuana can considerably improve patients’ quality of life. However, it would help if you kept in mind that medical cannabis is not a cure for PTSD. Nevertheless, marijuana activates your body’s cannabinoid receptors, thus providing relief for some of the most debilitating symptoms of the disorder, including:
This is among the most prevalent PTSD symptoms. Often, patients experience intense and recurrent nightmares. Marijuana has been proven to have the ability to lessen REM sleep (rapid eye movement). When sleeping, it’s at this stage that the most vivid of dreams occur. By reducing the REM cycle, marijuana treats most PTSD-related symptoms.
Many PTSD patients also experience chronic anxiety. Marijuana strains that have a high CBD percentage can reduce stress and suppress anxious feelings. Besides, cannabis is known to have mood-enhancing abilities.
The nightmares, anxiety, and traumatic flashbacks that PTSD patients experience make it hard for them to enjoy a good night’s sleep. Sometimes, the flashbacks prevent them from sleeping altogether. THC reduces the amount of time that patients take to fall asleep, thus improving their sleep pattern and quality.
THC and CBD are the primary cannabinoids found in the marijuana plant. CBD is known for its medicinal benefits, while THC possesses psychoactive benefits. Both compounds improve your endocannabinoid’s system’s arbitration of crucial functions such as memory retrieval and consolidation. By activating the CB1 and CB2 receptors in your body, marijuana prompts the body to produce neurotransmitters, which promote pleasure, memory, and happiness.
Marijuana and Memory Retrieval
THC and CBD play an essential role in alleviating PTSD symptoms. They prevent the retrieval of the trauma associated with events that happened in the past. Ultimately, this prevents traumatic nightmares and flashbacks while helping you to attain emotional wellbeing. Medical marijuana is extensively used to treat PTSD among combat veterans. Most of them experience traumatic flashbacks linked to events that happened in the warzone.
The Department of Veteran Affairs doesn’t endorse marijuana or provide it to veterans because it’s still considered a Schedule 1 drug. However, veterans who have undergone marijuana treatment to alleviate PTSD symptoms attest to its effectiveness. Veteran groups are also lobbying for marijuana’s designation to be changed because it has helped members to regain control of their lives after years of battling traumas of the warzone.
Why More Research is Needed
Marijuana PTSD treatment has been around for a while. Nonetheless, it’s a new and relatively controversial topic, considering the legal roadblocks and myths and misconceptions that were associated with marijuana in the past. The medical community has been channeling more effort towards discovering the efficacy of marijuana in PTSD treatment. Such studies will go a long way in creating public awareness about the benefits of marijuana treatment.
Getting a Medical Marijuana Card
If you get diagnosed with PTSD, you can’t walk into a dispensary to purchase medical cannabis. You first need to get evaluated by a marijuana doctor who will help you acquire a cannabis card. With this card, you can legally purchase weed at dispensaries in states where it’s legalized.
If you’re battling PTSD and want to experience the benefits of cannabis, you should embark on marijuana treatment ASAP. Indeed, acquiring a marijuana recommendation is often a stumbling block for many people. With MMJDoctor, it’s easier to acquire the marijuana card. Talk to our MDs today to start your journey to mental wellness.