How Can Medical Marijuana Help PTSD and its Symptoms?
PTSD is a mental health condition on the list of approved conditions for a West Virginia medical marijuana certification.
PTSD, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder causes heightened stress and can lead to severe complications such as depression, addiction, and even death.
As a growing epidemic, PTSD is a complex condition to diagnose and treat, and because of the variety in how PTSD can present itself, it is a difficult disorder to manage.
And while there are medications that can help the symptoms of PTSD, they don’t work for everyone. In most cases, the side effects of prescription medications can be extremely negative. In some cases they can complicate the condition even further.
Many PTSD patients have found relief using medical marijuana, and in this article we’ll cover how PTSD patients use medical cannabis and why it works for them!
What is PTSD?
PTSD is Often a Lifelong Battle
PTSD is a neurological condition that can occur after exposure to a single or multiple traumatic events. After exposure to life-threatening or seriously traumatic events or experiences, patients may develop symptoms immediately or later in life, and it can occur seemingly at random.
The symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can be difficult to deal with because often people who suffer from this condition experience a variety of problems and issues. PTSD patients frequently report difficulty with sleeping and concentrating, and irritability that is often directed towards the self as well as others.
Complications of PTSD
Complications of PTSD are a serious concern, because the symptoms of the condition can lead patients into homicidal ideation or suicidal thoughts in cases where the condition gets out hand (such as blackouts).
Living with post-traumatic stress disorder can be a constant battle. The potential for the condition to become chronic or lifelong is one of the many complications that can arise because of prolonged exposure to perceived stress.
This can result in negative long-term effects such as cardiovascular disease, eating disorders, loss of occupation due to lack of motivation and confidence, while also increasing the risk of addiction and furthering the inability to maintain healthy relationships.
How is PTSD Treated?
Therapy & Medications for PTSD
There are a range of treatments available for patients diagnosed with PTSD, ranging from traditional therapies such as psychotherapy, pharmaceutical medications like SSRIs, to alternative therapies like yoga and alternative medicines such as cannabis.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach with PTSD, and this is especially true because of the variability in how someone will experience the range of symptoms from PTSD.
Psychotherapy or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is often one of the first line prescriptions for PTSD patients, offering a way for patients to express themselves and experience their condition outside of the boundaries of personal objectivity.
Complications & Side Effects of PTSD Medications
SSRI medications are also part of the front-line defense, in many cases prescribed before psychotherapies, with medications such as Zoloft and Paxil. These medications work by introducing serotonin to your brain in cases where the brain is not producing enough on its own.
Unfortunately, these medications can have an extremely long list of complications and negative side effects, as well as long-term consequences for dependence and serotonin suppression.
Side effects from SSRIs can even make PTSD symptoms worse in some cases, causing heightened anxiety and depression, as well as sexual disfunction and mood instability.
Using Medical Marijuana for PTSD
Treating PTSD is a Difficult Pursuit
There have been several studies on the relationship between medical marijuana and improvements in PTSD symptoms.
PTSD is an interesting condition because its diagnosis is based on its symptoms, and the symptoms of PTSD can be a highly subjective experience, making treatment of those symptoms very difficult.
There are many receptors in the brain that are responsible for stress management, memory, motivation, as well as your fight or flight response, and PTSD patients have found that cannabis may heavily affect these receptors in a positive way.
Cannabis Offers Important Relief for Many PTSD Patients
PTSD patients often experience heightened irritability, sleep deprivation, and maintain a high level of stress. Cannabis is known to provide stress relief, relaxation, improved sleep, and offer new perspectives on stress and memory.
Cannabis may also offer improved or unique perceptions on relationships, love, and compassion, which can be an incredible resource for PTSD patients who may have a skewed perception of reality that is painted by their trauma.
For many PTSD patients, cannabis is an important alternative medicine, and studies confirm that reality.
Studies Show Cannabis May Help Tremendously with PTSD
One study on PTSD in 2020 showed that patients who were diagnosed with PTSD and tried cannabis over the course of a year experienced a substantial decrease in PTSD symptoms and the severity of those symptoms.
The findings also showed that participants suffering from PTSD were 2.5x more likely to no longer even meet the DSM-5 criteria for PTSD after using cannabis for their condition.
Medical marijuana may offer a world of benefits for patients suffering from PTSD, and as an alternative to harmful SSRIs, opioids, and narcotics, cannabis is a safer alternative than many traditional medications.
Get Your Medical Marijuana Certification in West Virginia
West Virginia compassionately offers medical marijuana as an alternative medication for patients with a PTSD diagnosis. Using cannabis for PTSD may offer a life changing level of relief when used in combination with traditional therapies.
Take the steps to schedule your medical marijuana evaluation appointment online today, and get access to legal marijuana products available at dispensaries!
Being a West Virginia medical marijuana patient allows you the freedom to take your medication the right way for you. We’re dedicated to helping patients every step of the way! Feel free to give us a call at 877-303-8424 and we can answer your questions about getting a medical marijuana card in West Virginia.
Doctors Who Care.
Relief You Can Trust.
West Virginia Marijuana Card’s mission is to help everyone achieve
wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana.
Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce the stigma for
our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
If you have any questions, call us at 877-303-8424, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!
Check out West Virginia Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information and follow us on Facebook,Twitter, and Instagram to join the medical marijuana conversation in West Virginia.