What is Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can occur after a severely traumatic event. These events include combat, assault, serious accidents (such as a car wreck), natural disasters, and mental abuse. The majority of people who go through these traumatic events have symptoms following the event, however not everyone is afflicted with PTSD which occurs even long after the event.
Symptoms of PTSD include re-experiencing symptoms (re-living the event), avoiding situations which remind you of the event, a downward spiral into negative feelings and beliefs, and hyper-arousal (being jittery, or constantly on edge). Other problems with PTSD include feeling shameful, hopeless, and a feeling of disparity, depression, anxiety, drinking or substance abuse problems, chronic pain, employment issues, and relationship problems.
Current estimations indicate that as many as 20 percent of our Veterans returning from the Middle East suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). At this time, the only approved treatments from the office of Veteran Affairs are questionably effective (as well as potentially dangerous) prescription drugs such as Paxil, Oxycodone, and Zoloft and behavioral therapy (as well as exposure therapy). We believe that our Veterans deserve the option of utilizing medical marijuana as an alternative source of medicine.
How does medical marijuana help those afflicted with PTSD?
Those who suffer from PTSD are often riddled with anxiety and feel uneasy. Medical marijuana can help curb those anxious feelings by inducing a calming effect, which are often found in indica strains which relax the mind whereas sativa strains would energize the mind. There is also the option of utilizing CBD heavy strains, which are mostly non-psychoactive and provide anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effects.
Recent studies even suggest a link between depression and the body’s endocannabinoid system, which would help explain why so many favor cannabis over big pharma alternatives. There are a number of cannabis variations which help improve mood, most notably would be sativa strains and CBD dominant strains. Sativa strains are known to improve mood, and provide patients with a general uplifting feeling. Again, CBD is another great option as it is primarily non-psychoactive and provides anti-depressant effects.
Many who are afflicted with PTSD also deal with chronic pain, usually associated with the traumatic event which initially triggered the PTSD. Various forms of medical marijuana are known to be anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective. and pain relieving. For general pain, ACDC (a heavy CBD strain) and Blackberry Kush are great options. For pain related to inflammation, Harlequin (another heavy CBD strain), and Blue Widow have strong anti-inflammatory properties. For pain associated with migraines, we recommend heavy indica strains which will induce a strong body high. We would also lean towards heavy indica strains for spinal injuries and severe pain.
Sleep Aids and Appetite Stimulants.
Because of the amount of stress and anxiety associated with PTSD, many of those who are afflicted suffer from a loss of appetite and insomnia. Medical marijuana has been shown to both increase appetite, and act as a sleep aid. There are a number of strains that are great for appetite stimulation, they range from sativa strains to heavy indica strains. Our friends at Leafly have compiled a great list. For sleep aids, we recommend sticking to indica and indica dominant strains. Here's another great list from Leafly.
If you are interested in getting your Nevada medical marijuana card, you can find out how to obtain it here.
The combination of the various benefits have allowed many afflicted with PTSD to regain normalcy in their lives. PTSD is an ongoing battle, and we firmly believe that people should have the option of utilizing medical marijuana to fight the grueling symptoms they deal with daily. We recommend checking out "My Life My Medicine," which is a short documentary about a Veteran who has regained his life back with the use of medical marijuana.
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