Post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD is a very worrying condition and is triggered by traumatic events such as being involved in a war, being in a life-threatening situation, a natural disaster, death, or even physical assault. PTSD is basically memories that a person can’t erase from their mind and it eventually leads to insomnia, anxiety, depression, and, in some extreme cases, suicide. PTSD interferes with the sufferer’s ability to function daily and it has the power to completely change the way that victims of this condition view the world and perceive feelings. Even though research is not complete yet, there is sufficient evidence that shows that cannabis can be used to combat PTSD.
The role of cannabinoids in treating PTSD
One of the compounds found in marijuana is cannabinoids. The most famous cannabinoid is THC and it is the psychoactive component in cannabis and CBD which is used in medical marijuana. Once in the body, psychoactive cannabinoids make humans euphoric and they enhance our sensory perception. CBD doesn’t have a psychoactive effect but has been proven to assist with many health conditions including PTSD. Cannabinoids can energize but also can calm and relax the user. There are many ways of ingesting marijuana, and technology has come a long way in inventing tools and devices for marijuana consumption. Depending on the personal preference of the person who suffers from PTSD, they can choose a vaporizer, a dab rig, a bong, or even edibles, all of which are found on this website. Each of them has its pros and cons, so you might want to do a little research before choosing. Anyway, cannabinoids impact the endocannabinoid system in our brains which is known to play a central role in regulating stress, anxiety, and fear which is all relevant to PTSD. Many PTSD sufferers claim that cannabis helps them with their symptoms which includes nightmares, hypervigilance, and panic attacks.
The proof of effectiveness
There was a study conducted by researchers at Wayne State University in Detroit that looks at how marijuana use influences the amygdala response of people dealing with anxiety related to trauma such as PTSD. The responses of 3 groups of participants were studied: participants who had healthy controls and had not previously been exposed to trauma, adults who do not have PTSD but have been exposed to trauma, and adults with PTSD who have been exposed to trauma. The participants were all given low doses of THC or a placebo, then they were exposed to stimuli that were threatening. During this, the responses of their amygdala were recorded and the participants who had THC lower fear related to threatening stimuli, which shows that THC reduced their fear and anxiety.
Another study found that cannabis could help with destroying traumatic memories. Low doses of THC, or a combination of THC and CBD, helped the process of eliminating traumatic memories and reducing anxiety responses.
Marijuana is shown to help with anxiety and insomnia when taken in small doses. It is recommended that you consume CBD to help reduce anxiety and insomnia.
The possible side effects
As with any other medical treatment, there are some side effects that come from using medical marijuana. Some of the worst side effects that you should keep in mind are:
- Memory problems: this can manifest itself as short-term memory loss or long-term memory loss.
- Schizophrenia: cannabis use has the potential to induce mental disorders.
- Increased risk of depression: this is especially evident among young adults and adolescents who use marijuana have a 37% risk of getting depression.
- Addiction: when used regularly and in heavy amounts, addiction is possible. Marijuana addiction can result in an increased risk of a heart attack, low energy, lung cancer risk, mental illnesses, and anxiety and depression.
lookout for symptoms of marijuana addiction, they include:
- Using marijuana despite social or relationship problems.
- Craving marijuana
- Withdrawal symptoms
- Having less interest in activities that you once enjoyed
- Using a bigger amount of marijuana over time
It is very important to take the right dosage of marijuana. For the best medical results, stick to using a low dosage. High doses might do the very opposite of what you would like to accomplish.
There is more and more research popping up that suggests that marijuana is the answer to many medical conditions that we have in society including PTSD. Medical marijuana is effective in treating anxiety, insomnia, and fear that is related to PTSD however you need to consume the right dosage and be aware that there are side effects of marijuana use such as possible addiction. See a medical doctor before using marijuana for PTSD.