Using Cannabis to Treat the Effects of Trauma
Back in 2016 a Canada based medical marijuana firm opened an office in Edmonton, Alberta for treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) among war veterans. The company called Marijuana is owned and managed by Fabian Henry who has been using cannabis for alleviating the symptoms of PTSD since his combat duty in Afghanistan. According to him marijuana is way more effective than traditional medicines and can go a long way in helping patients battling with PTSD.
What is PTSD?
PTSD usually develops after a traumatic event in your life such as being in the war zone or experiencing a life threatening situation such as an assault or a natural calamity. PTSD can have a lasting effect on the human mind and people often are known to experience difficulty while sleeping and a host of issues which can interfere with normal functioning of life. Usually, people who experience the symptoms for a long stretch of time are more prone to develop PTSD. Although traditional medicines and psychotherapy have been so far used for the treatment of PTSD, the legalization of cannabis has opened the path for many new researches on the use of marijuana for trauma victims. Cannabis is slowly coming up as a rather effective alternative to prescription drugs which generally come with many negative side effects.
Marijuana for trauma victims
CBD and THC the two most important cannabinoids can be of great help in reducing the symptoms of PTSD as they enhance our endocannabinoid system’s intervention in important body functions such as the consolidation of memory and retrieval. Marijuana can activate the CB1 and CB2 receptors thereby prompting the endocannabinoid system of the body to create neurotransmitters which aid the promotion of pleasure and happiness.
The cannabinoids have a critical role to play in thwarting the retrieval of the underlying trauma and is also known to keep away the memories of the trauma and the associated nightmares. The sense of euphoria produced by marijuana also helps the trauma victims to attain a state of emotional wellbeing. This is precisely why cannabis has come up as a popular medication for treating PTSD patients the majority of whom are combat veterans. “There’s a consensus among clinicians that existing pharmaceutical treatments such as antidepressants simply do not work.
In fact, we know very well that people with PTSD who use marijuana — a potent cannabinoid — often experience more relief from their symptoms than they do from antidepressants and other psychiatric medications. Clearly, there’s a very urgent need to develop novel evidence-based treatments for PTSD.” says Dr. Alexander Neumeister who has done substantial work in this field.
Cannabis for controlling the after-effects of PTSD
Some of the most common symptoms of PTSD are stress and disturbing nightmares. Particular strains of cannabis can help in reducing the REM sleep which is the time when we have vivid dreams. This is why cannabis can help you get rid of those recurring nightmares which are often associated with PTSD. Moreover, PTSD can also lead to intense stress which often places the individual in a constant state of tension.
A study was conducted among 47 trauma victims all of whom were under prescription drugs and also undergoing psychotherapy. Following the cannabis treatment, a whopping 72% of the patients reported a marked reduction in nightmares and anxiety. Many patients also noted a remarkable improvement in the quality of sleep along with a reduction of daytime flashbacks and night sweats. Researches have shown that the cannabinoids present in marijuana can greatly surpass the role of antidepressants in the treatment of PTSD.
CBD for PTSD
Although both THC and CBD can be of help for reducing the symptoms in trauma victims, many patients are apprehensive about the intake of THC since it can produce strong psychoactive effects. CBD, on the other hand, being completely non-psychoactive can promote a deep sense of relaxation and provide lasting relief from the symptoms of PTSD. Ideally, patients of PTSD need to go for CBD high strains for daytime use and stick to THC heavy strains for a night of uninterrupted sleep.
Cannabis strains for patients of PTSD
Blue Dream- This sativa dominant strain with a soothing fruity aroma is known to promote a sense of full body relaxation. However, this strain comes with a rather high THC content (17% -24%) and a negligible level of CBD (0.1%- 0.2%). Blue Dream can be an ideal companion for a good night’s sleep in patients of PTSD.
OG Kush- OG Kush, one of the most powerful kush strains is an indica dominant strain that produces intense euphoric effects and is known to work as a sedative. Ideal for night time smoking, this strain calms your body and mind and ensures a relaxing ‘high’ time.
Pineapple Express– This super popular weed strain is known for its smooth and well-balanced effects. Patients of PTSD can greatly benefit from this strain since it promotes a sense of clearheadedness accompanied by a sense of wellbeing. Trauma victims who also suffer from social anxiety should definitely opt for this strain since it can potentially allay the fears and considerably reduce anxiety making you highly functional under any circumstances. The THC content of Pineapple Express is around 20% while the CBD content is 0.1%.
Master Kush – Yet another kush strain, this one should be avoided by the novice users because of its extreme potency. PTSD patients who suffer from insomnia can always rely on the Master Kush buds for a peaceful night of sleep. It also promotes a euphoric sensation before putting you off to sleep.
Cannatonic – This cannabis strain which comes with a high level of CBD will hardly produce any psychoactive effects but promote a deep sense of relaxation and a very mild high.
The legalization of medical marijuana has prompted doctors, and scientists to continue with additional researches for discovering the benefits of marijuana for victims of trauma. However, it is always suggested that you talk to your physician before trying out any of the above mentioned strains. Once you have made up your mind just walk into your nearest cannabis dispensary and place an order.