Treating PTSD symptoms with medical marijuana
Whenever a traumatic event happens, it is not necessarily an easy thing to move past the experience. Individuals with a mental condition called post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), experience anxiety, or perhaps flashbacks, because of the shock of the experience. Though a mix of medications and therapy provide some sufferers relief, many find it is hard to recover. Evidence suggests that medical marijuana might be a breakthrough treatment for most of the symptoms related to PTSD.
PTSD and Cannabis
Individuals diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) often suffer from severe anxiety, insomnia, depression, and intrusive flashbacks related to a prior traumatic event. It is best treated under the guidance of a psychiatrist and many prescription medications are available and often used in combination with psychotherapy. Evidence suggests that medical marijuana might be an effective treatment for many of the symptoms associated with PTSD and have a more favorable safety profile compared to prescription medications.
Due to the action of cannabinoids on the receptors of the body and the brain, use of medical cannabis in patients with PTSD can promote happiness and pleasure as well as suppress traumatic memories and nightmares. Pharmaceutical drugs can be administered to relieve anxiety, sleep disturbances and depression which accompany PTSD, but these are often very addictive. The prescriptions most often recommended to assist individuals with PTSD don’t effectively treat the whole problem. In addition, there’s a chance for uncomfortable side effects with the majority of these medications.
Is Medical Marijuana an effective treatment for PTSD?
When cannabinoid receptors are activated, they work by helping suppressing and/or impair memory, as well as helping to lower anxiety. Simply put, those receptors are there to allow you to forget the memories of your traumatic experience. If left untreated, your traumatic memories can linger, and you wind up with increased levels of anxiety.
By itself, THC is able to add to enhanced feelings of nervousness of individuals, whether they have PTSD or not. Strains of cannabis that have both THC and CBD appear to be especially good at quelling memories and decreasing anxiety.
PTSD Symptoms Treated by Medical Marijuana
Most evidence suggests that the therapeutic use of cannabis could substantially enhance the quality of life for both those with PTSD and their families. Let me be clear, Medical marijuana is not a cure. Nevertheless, once the plant activates your body’s cannabinoid receptors, it can offer amazing relief for some of the most debilitating symptoms associated with the disorder, including:
Anxiety: One of the more common afflictions connected with PTSD is persistent anxiety. Cannabis with considerable amounts of CBD has been proven to greatly reduce emotional stress and fight anxious feelings. Additionally, it has mood enhancing abilities.
Nightmares: Nightmares are very common among those that suffer from post traumatic stress disorder. Marijuana has the capability to reducing REM sleep (rapid eye movement). This is when the most vivid dreams occur.
Insomnia: Due to flashbacks, nightmares and anxiety, patients with PTSD sometimes find it hard to fall asleep. THC has been proven to both decrease the period of time it takes to fall asleep and enhance the general quality of sleep, both powerful incentives to those coping with insomnia.
Medical Cannabis for PTSD depression and anxiety
Studies show both positive and negative outcomes for the usage of marijuana for anxiety and depression. A lot of cannabis patients with PTSD will feel a major lessening of the symptoms. Others might feel a growth in them, or increased paranoia. Nevertheless, the pills that doctors prescribe for the therapy of PTSD have similar opposing effects. For instance, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are able to increase symptoms of anxiety and depression. Several of these drugs are also known to produce suicidal thoughts and behaviors. No conclusive causal relationship has been discovered linking medical marijuana and suicide.
Marijuana, PTSD, and Reduced Risk
Studies show, and the Department of Veterans Affairs agrees, that self medication – substance abuse to cure illness – can be brought on by post traumatic anxiety disorder. When prescribed medicines don’t help, sufferers ingest drugs like alcohol and marijuana to find relief.
Because marijuana isn’t recognized as a remedy for PTSD by some healthcare organizations, self medication is happening without the expertise of the patients’ physicians and therapists. When individuals self medicate with cannabis, they usually do not understand what they’re smoking, just how potent the strain of marijuana is, or what compounds are in the strain. This means they could be using a strain of cannabis which isn’t going to be as effective for PTSD compared to a strain that would be available with a recommendation from a marijuana doctor and then bought from a dispensary.
Additionally, the VA has pointed out that individuals with PTSD tend to struggle being able to quit using marijuana compared to individuals that smoke and who do not have PTSD. For that reason, it is important that access to healthcare guidance be available to individuals living with PTSD that want to use cannabis to manage their symptoms. If PTSD sufferers were allowed access to -cannabis, the threat for unwanted side effects, overuse, legitimate complications and stigma may go down or perhaps eliminated.
Best strains for PTSD
When dispensaries in Missouri open up, you will find plenty of strains can help relieve a patient’s PTSD symptoms. Before choosing one, you should learn the main difference between strains loaded with THC and those that are CBD dominant.
When working with cannabis to deal with PTSD, high CBD strains provide mood stabilizing effects, and that is particularly beneficial in cases where a patient feels emotionally or mentally unstable. Those strains with a lot of THC are usually best in the evening or even at night to help you get a restful night’s sleep.
It is likewise essential to be aware that CBD doesn’t create the “high” related to marijuana. In reality, CBD dominant strains with less than 1% THC content do not have some psychoactive complications.
Knowing that, below are 5 strains which provide amazing advantages for individuals with PTSD:
OG Kush (Hybrid): With its pleasant, euphoric effects, OG Kush is thought to be an effective strain for PTSD patients. It has a higher THC concentration, typically between 20-24%, and a low CBD concentration, typically around 0.2 %. The result is calming and relaxing, therefore making it ideal for relaxing in the evening at home.
Pineapple Express (Hybrid): A popular strain (and movie). It has a well-balanced and smooth effect that leaves users feeling clear headed
This allows patients to medicate throughout their day and still be able to function. It eases anxiety while still leaving you highly useful though the THC content is normally pretty high, approximately 20%, while the CBD content is on the low end, normally 0.1 %.
Cannatonic (Hybrid): With a high CBD concentration, ranging from 6 to 17%, Cannatonic provides relief of symptoms while preserving your energy. It creates a gentle high, with a THC concentration of around 6%. People who make use of this bud are left feeling at ease and calm. In case you struggle with mood swings, particularly flares of anger, this particular strain allows you to feel much more balanced. Not to mention, it helps reduce anxiety.
Blue Dream (Hybrid): A very popular strain, Blue Dream offers psychological invigoration and full body relaxation. This Sativa dominant strain eases social anxiety and lifts your mood, improving a user’s all round outlook.
Master Kush (Indica): PTSD patients that struggle with insomnia find Master Kush offers a euphoric feeling of bliss before they drift off to sleep. The THC concentration is generally around 20%, and the CBD concentration is around 1%.
***you may notice that the THC:CBD ratios may be very similar in strains reported to have very different effects. It is now thought that the Terpenes and other non-cannabinoid substances in cannabis may have a more pronounced effect on energy and sleepiness than the amount and ratio of THC or CBD
I HAVE A QUALIFYING CONDITION, NOW WHAT?
GATHER YOUR MEDICAL RECORDS
You will need your medical records for a qualifying condition for your appointment. If you need helping obtaining your medical records, just let us know. We can help get them from your primary care physician.
BOOK AN APPOINTMENT
You can book your appointment online for a time and day that works best for you. Its that easy.
VISIT WITH OUR DOCTOR
At your appointment one of our physicians will review your medical history and determine if you qualify for Missouri’s medical marijuana program. If approved, you will receive a physician certification form that you will upload to the state’s Patient Registry website.