How much of a difference in symptoms does cannabis and PTSD make when responsibly paired together?
Amanda (pictured right) is a writer, editor, and professional nerd based in Pittsburgh. She will literally write and make bad jokes for food. Follow her on LinkedIn. Amanda writes today about health benefits cannabis has regarding treating PTSD. Theory Wellness is a cannabis cultivating dispensary headquartered in Massachusetts. Particularly, focusing on unique genetics and a diverse range of strains. Each crop is managed with care in order to produce only the most effective medicinal properties – improving lives through wholesome well-being.
PTSD Basics Everyone Should Know
For many people, living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a daily nightmare, one that is impossible to wake up from. While nothing can undo the damage that people afflicted with this disorder have suffered, cannabis may be a viable option to relieve some of the stress when nothing else works.
In this article you’ll learn…
- What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- What Current Treatments are Available for Those Suffering from PTSD
- How Cannabis Can be Effective in Combating PTSD
- What Medical Professionals Say About PTSD and Cannabis
What the Future Holds
So, Cannabis And PTSD?
PTSD is a condition that commonly occurs in people who have experienced a scarring and disturbing event. In fact, when confronted with a traumatic situation, our body triggers a flight or fight response to help overcome the danger. For most people these reactions normally go away after the traumatic event. However, many continue to experience the same emotions following their trauma.
Typically, symptoms occur within three months of the incident. But can also happen even years following the initial trauma. Some PTSD symptoms include:
- Trouble sleeping
- Frightening thoughts
- Racing heart
PTSD can occur in people who have experienced emotional, physical, sexual abuse, combat, a natural disaster, the sudden death of the loved one…and the list goes on and on. That being said, it’s important to remember that PTSD is not a sign of weakness. In other words, it can happen to anyone. Often times, people who have strong social support systems will have less of a difficult time coping. Notably so, periods of prolonged stress can make PTSD symptoms worse.
With this in mind, people afflicted with PTSD are often triggered by certain reminders of their traumatic experience. Something as simple as a smell could trigger horrible symptoms. For many people, this is a daily battle. An effective treatment is cannabis and PTSD symptoms are less invasive. Are there any others?
Cannabis And PTSD Treatment Options
What successful treatments are available for people suffering from PTSD? Typically, PTSD is treated with trauma-focused psychotherapies. These kinds of therapy include:
- Written Narrative Exposure: The patient writes about their trauma independently and then discusses the results with an analyst
- Prolonged Exposure: The patient participates in some of the activities they have avoided since the trauma, with the help of a provider.
- Cognitive Processing Therapy: The patient learns how to reframe frightening thoughts.
Additionally, many of the symptoms of PTSD are treated with antidepressants. But for many people, PTSD causes a wide range of anxieties that are difficult to treat with simply one method. That’s where cannabis makes a significant difference.
Is Cannabis And PTSD A Good Combo?
A common issue with PTSD patients is an endocannabinoid deficiency (which is also linked to other conditions such as migraines and fibromyalgia). The endocannabinoid system and its receptors are found all throughout the body, with the system performing different functions depending on its location (brain, organs, connective tissue, etc.). When you have this deficiency, your body doesn’t produce enough neurotransmitters to fill receptor sites in the brain.
Essentially, the cannabinoids found in cannabis work to replenish the receptor system. Thus, enabling patients an easier time dealing with anxiety and painful memories.
Important to point out, are the dangers of self-medicating with PTSD. Particularly, patients are not aware of potency levels, or different compounds found in the strain. In this case, mixing cannabis and PTSD could exacerbate symptoms. Above all, consulting your medical professionals is the best place to start when considering a new regime.
Especially, speak to your doctor about all of your options. Likewise, depending on the type of anxiety you have, THC may aggravate your symptoms. However, strains that are high in Cannabidiol (CBD) could work to counteract negative effects of THC. Such as paranoia. Essentially, CBD targets a serotonin receptor, which is why it is notable for having many therapeutic qualities. Relieving qualities by using cannabis and PTSD coping skills.
Medical Professional’s Take on Cannabis And PTSD
Because of the legalities with cannabis and PTSD, researchers have been unable to fully explore the relationship between the two. However, in 2017, the FDA finally approved a study on the effects of cannabis and PTSD in treating veterans.
First, New Mexico became the first state to include PTSD as a condition that could qualify for medical cannabis treatment. The majority of people treated had more than 75% reduction of symptoms.
Certainly, find out if your state lists cannabis and PTSD as an approved medical treatment duo.
The Future Of Cannabis And PTSD
Depending on the results of the 2017 FDA-approved study, medical cannabis specifically created for PTSD treatment could be on the market as early as 2023. Until then, stay educated on your state’s medical cannabis laws and the treatments available to you.
If you are suffering from PTSD, know that you are not alone. It is estimated that around 7.8% of Americans will suffer from PTSD at some point in their lives. Advancements are being made in researching the use of medical marijuana as cannabis becomes more accepted as a valid treatment. Through a combination of different therapies and medications, you can start to feel like you again.
If you have PTSD and experiencing symptoms, get in touch with a professional immediately and learn how cannabis and PTSD could be a match made in heaven. All in all, contact Theory Wellness with any questions. While you’re online, click on over to their Facebook Page. You can also follow them on Twitter and Instagram. But, before you go, check out these really valuable articles that dive deeper into PTSD.
- Solutions get real for PTSD substance abuse
- Tips to achieve PTSD symptom remission and find peace again
- PTSD nightmares are one of the worst symptoms to experience
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♡ ♡ ♡ Product Affiliate Disclaimer ♡♡♡
Because I am a firm believer in transparency, I want to let you know that my reviews are for products and services that I’ve personally used. Each product listed is something I’ve benefited from, trust, and approve of 100%. If you find these products valuable and purchase any of them to help you or your loved one along your journey to recovery and remission with (C)PTSD, please note that I am compensated for each product purchased. Every commission earned helps to fund my website operating expenses, go towards my mission to form PTSD Wifey as a non-profit, and reach others like you and I who are on the same journey.