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Managing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) with Medical Cannabis

Dante
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Last Updated: 
Can Cannabis Help Manage Post Traumatic Stress Disorder



Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that can occur after experiencing a traumatic event.

As research advances, medical cannabis emerges as a potential treatment alternative.

This article aims to explore the current research, patient experiences, and specific cannabis strains that may be beneficial for PTSD.

Please remember, while the medical use of cannabis is legal in many places, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new treatment.



Overview of Cannabis and its Medicinal Components


Cannabis is a plant used medicinally for thousands of years. The primary active compounds are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).

THC is psychoactive, responsible for the ‘high’ associated with cannabis use, while CBD is not.

These compounds interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, involved in numerous physiological processes, including mood regulation and stress response, suggesting potential for cannabis in PTSD management.



Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Cannabis



PTSD is a condition that develops in some individuals who have experienced a shocking, scary, or dangerous event.

Symptoms can include flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, and uncontrollable thoughts about the event.

While not everyone who goes through a traumatic event develops PTSD, for those who do, it can be debilitating and significantly impact their daily life.



Research on Cannabis for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder


The therapeutic potential of cannabis for PTSD has been investigated in recent years.

A study published in the Journal of Dual Diagnosis in 2016 found that PTSD symptoms in patients who used cannabis were reduced compared with non-users (Bonn-Miller et al., 2016).

Another study in the Journal of Psychopharmacology found that cannabis use was associated with a decrease in PTSD symptoms in some patients (Betthauser et al., 2015).



Recommended Strains for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder


Certain cannabis strains may be more beneficial for PTSD, particularly those known for their calming effects:


Sativa and Indica strain is a hybrid with a balanced full-body relaxation effect and a gentle cerebral invigoration.

Its mood-elevating properties make it a preferred choice for patients dealing with stress and anxiety, common in PTSD.

Sativa dominant strains are often recommended for severe conditions such as PTSD.

They are believed to have a calming effect that helps with stress and anxiety, providing a sense of peace and tranquility.


The Indica dominant strain is known for its strong body effects and is often used by those who struggle with chronic pain and insomnia, common in people with PTSD.

It’s also noted for its potential to help with anxiety and stress, providing a calming and relaxing effect.

Remember, individual responses to cannabis can vary.

Start slow, monitor the effects, and always consult with a healthcare professional.



Patient Stories


There are numerous accounts of PTSD patients experiencing symptom relief with cannabis use.

Many patients find they experience fewer side effects with cannabis than with traditional medications.



Potential Side Effects and Risks


Cannabis can cause side effects like dry mouth, fatigue, and dizziness.

It can also impair short-term memory and coordination and increase heart rate. Long-term use can lead to cognitive impairment and mental health issues in susceptible individuals.



Growing Cannabis for Medicinal Purposes


If you’re considering growing your own cannabis for PTSD management, several factors come into play.

Choose strains that have demonstrated efficacy for your symptoms.

Understand your local legal regulations, provide adequate growing conditions, and prepare for challenges like pest control and nutrient management.


Conclusion


Medical cannabis shows promise in managing symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, potentially offering relief for patients living with this condition.

While more research is needed, the existing evidence, along with patient experiences, offers hope.

As always, remember the importance of discussing any new treatment with a healthcare professional.



References


Bonn-Miller, M. O., et al. (2016). The impact of medical cannabis on intermittent and chronic opioid users with back pain: How cannabis diminished prescription opioid usage. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, 4(1), 62-66.

Betthauser, K., et al. (2015). Use and effects of cannabinoids in military veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder. American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, 72(15), 1279-1284.



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