How Does Medical Marijuana Help PTSD Patients Feel Better?
Using medical marijuana for PTSD is a common reason many Virginians get their medical marijuana cards. How exactly does medical marijuana affect this complex condition, and how can you use medical marijuana to treat PTSD?
What is PTSD?
PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that can present in those who have gone through or seen a traumatic event. A triggering event can be anything from a natural disaster or accident to combat or sexual assault.
Intrusive thoughts that interfere with daily life
Avoidance of others and/or social situations
Changes in thinking or mood
Changes in one's reactions to situations and stimuli
Trauma affects everyone differently, and two individuals can go through the same event and not have the same reaction. Diagnosing PTSD requires the intervention of a medical professional.
Who Gets PTSD?
Anyone who has been through or witnessed a traumatic event can develop PTSD. Though often associated with veterans due to the nature of combat, PTSD is also common in civilians.
PTSD and the ECS
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a network of neurotransmitters and receptors that help the body and mind maintain homeostasis. The ECS produces endogenous cannabinoids to facilitate balance, and this system is connected to virtually every other system in the body.
Some experts believe that when trauma happens, the ECS is permanently affected. A triggering event or trauma throws the ECS so far off that it becomes difficult for the body to return to its healthy, balanced functioning. This is where medical marijuana can help, addressing changes in the ECS, and restoring balance through the introduction of additional endocannabinoids into the body.
The Role of Medical Marijuana in Treating PTSD
How does medical marijuana help? It is thought that the THC and CBD in medical marijuana positively impacts the ECS, restoring balance and homeostasis in the body.
CBD, in particular, may activate receptors, making the uptake of endocannabinoids in the ECS more effective. THC attaches to CB1 and CB2 receptors, allowing the ECS to regain its ability to perform certain functions.
The Results: Medical Marijuana's Positive Impact on PTSD
In a study conducted in 2014, administration of medical marijuana resulted in enhanced sleep quality in patients and reduced the frequency of their nightmares. Medical marijuana was also shown to reduce the hyperarousal that can occur in PTSD and reduce the overall symptom severity as indicated by the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale.
In another study on PTSD and medical marijuana conducted at Wayne State University, patients who were given THC experienced significantly lower threat-related reactivity in the brain's amygdala; in other words, they were less reactive to threat, one of the central symptoms of PTSD.
Using Medical Marijuana to Treat PTSD
Certified doctors in Virginia can recommend medical marijuana for any condition where it is believed the patient will benefit by taking medical marijuana. Many Virginians experience symptoms related to PTSD, including veterans, who make up a large percentage of the population in the state.
Working with a certified doctor is the essential first step in using medical marijuana to treat PTSD. A doctor with insights into how medical marijuana functions can help patients find the right, high-quality products to treat their PTSD. Since THC and CBD interact differently with the ECS, each patient can benefit from different products, according to the THC and CBD levels in those products.
The Best Medical Marijuana Products for PTSD
Which products are most effective? Research has shown that a wide range of medical marijuana products can have a positive impact on PTSD and anxiety-related symptoms; which products are the best solution can vary from one individual to the next.
One study indicated that topicals can positively affect symptoms of anxiety and insomnia in children with PTSD. CBD ingested orally has been shown to lessen symptoms in adults when taken in tandem with traditional therapy, while medical marijuana that combines THC and CBD has also proven effective.
Choosing the Right Approach
Given the wide range of high-quality medical marijuana products available in the Commonwealth, patients have a number of options to consider when finding the right treatment. Selecting the right product can be done in consultation with a Virginia medical marijuana doctor, and you can also check out cannabis product reviews on dispensary sites in Virginia to see what others have to say.
As you prepare to get started treating your PTSD with cannabis, it’s important to keep a few things in mind:
Using medication (including marijuana) to treat PTSD is best when combined with another form of therapy, like talk therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy.
Start using medical marijuana at a very low dose, and work your way up to the dose that works for you.
Keep an open mind, and know that you may need to try a few different strains in order to find the right product for your symptoms.
Keep a cannabis journal so you know which products and doses have which effects.
Get Your VA Marijuana Card Now!
From patient anecdotes and ongoing research, it is clear that using medical marijuana for PTSD can have a positive impact on the reduction of symptoms, providing relief through a natural alternative to traditional psychopharmaceuticals.
If you are experiencing symptoms related to PTSD, consider consulting with a certified medical marijuana doctor on how cannabis can help get you on the road to relief and recovery.
Schedule an appointment with an online medical marijuana doctor today, to start gaining access to safe, legal cannabis products, including tinctures, flower, concentrates and more.
Doctors Who Care.
Relief You Can Trust.
At Virginia Marijuana Card, our mission is helping everyone achieve wellness
safely and conveniently through increased access to MMJ. Our focus on
education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce the stigma for our patients by
providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
Call us at (888) 633-5808, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!
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