Medical marijuana and cannabis-derived products have been shown to provide medical benefits for a variety of conditions, but as we learn more about what it can do, we’re also finding that it can effectively be used to treat a variety of emotional and psychiatric conditions as well.
One of the more recent developments in the use of medical marijuana is as a way to combat the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Medical marijuana has had success in the treatment of PTSD, partially because of the fluid nature of the condition. The symptoms for PTSD vary from person to person, and many of these symptoms involve difficulty processing complex or traumatic emotions.
A recent study published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry offered results demonstrating that “plant-derived cannabinoids [psychoactive chemicals] such as marijuana may possess some benefits in individuals with PTSD by helping relieve haunting nightmares and other symptoms.”
Another study published in Science Daily found that as a result of using medical marijuana, participants found a decrease in hyper-arousal and the re-experiencing of their initial trauma. It’s important to note that narcotics and opioids have been found to offer limited relief from these symptoms while still running a high risk of dependency that isn’t a factor with cannabis-derived solutions.
While not the result of a formal study, anecdotal evidence is also pointing to the effectiveness of medical marijuana, especially when used in conjunction with other therapies like support groups, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), or one-on-one counseling.
According to the laws of Missouri, PTSD is a qualifying condition for a medical marijuana prescription, and in Oklahoma, it’s not specifically mentioned but it is a condition that could merit a physician’s signature for a medical marijuana card.
So which strains are best for dealing with the effects of PTSD? Post-traumatic stress disorder can trigger a state of heightened awareness and tension, which is often called “reliving the event”. This produces a number of negative side-effects which result in dramatic mood swings during the day and an inability to get quality sleep at night. Depending on what your goals are, your cannabis needs will differ.
For a more mood-stabilizing effect during the day, you’re likely to find more success with strains that are high in CBD and low in THC. These include Cannatonic, Harlequin, or Canna Tsu. They let you maintain a decent level of activity while reducing the occurrence of anxiety or panic attacks.
If you need help relaxing at the end of the day or getting a good night’s sleep, then you’d want to go the opposite direction and find a strain with relatively higher levels of THC. To this end, you should try strains like Blue Dream, OG Kush, or Pineapple Express.
If you’re suffering from PTSD, there are a number of effective therapies that can let you get the upper hand on this difficult condition. Check with your doctor and get their opinion on medical marijuana’s viability as part of a treatment plan.
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