How Cannabis Benefits Veterans and Others Who Struggle with PTSD

We want to use Memorial Day not only to show our gratitude for those who have served, but to also take a moment to remember the sacrifices they made to protect our country. 

 

In this time, we would like to raise awareness on a very serious topic – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder better known as PTSD.  There are a large amount of people suffering with PTSD, including Veterans.  Even if you are not experiencing it yourself, this article will help to explain what PTSD is; the effects this condition has on the people we know and love; as well as the known benefits of cannabis used to help with the overwhelming PTSD symptoms.

Up until a few years ago, ANY cannabis use was considered as drug abuse. Therefore, there was no common link between PTSD and Cannabis. We haven’t had too much time to formally do the necessary research needed in order to reconfirm the benefits of medical marijuana in reducing PTSD symptoms. However, as times change and legalization occurs, people are beginning to test cannabis relief out for themselves. As it turns out, many PTSD patients show positive results when they undergo rehabilitation using cannabis, and it is becoming the preferred method of treatment.  Before listing the benefits of such treatment, we would like to explain what living with PTSD feels like.

 

PTSD Characteristics

A common misconception is that PTSD is caused only by extreme episodes of violence.  While military combat or sexual assault are often primary causes, everyone comprehends stress differently, therefore different people develop the condition under many other circumstances. PTSD not only causes insomnia due to repeatedly experiencing the traumatic episode again and again through nightmares, and flashbacks, but also with specific triggers that could be as simple as a scent in the air.  Other characteristics are avoidance, poor memory, feeling detached, irritability, outbursts of anger, intrusive thoughts, heavy depression, and increased anxiety. The trauma could persist through a person’s entire life due to the heightened levels of stress hormones and adrenaline in the brain.

 

Benefits of Cannabis Usage when Dealing with this Condition

1.      Preventing Nausea and Anxiety

Case studies have shown that cannabis can help heal both mental and physical symptoms when it comes to PTSD. Nausea and Anxiety are high up on the list of symptoms.  As explained by Anna to the Metro Times "An upset stomach, or nausea, has more to do with your brain than it does with your stomach. This is why doctors ask if you feel nauseous after you bump your head in order to diagnose a concussion. Marijuana is a mind-altering substance, and as such, it can act as a mitigator for nausea. Much like with pain, the cannabinoids and THC sooth any sort of nauseous feeling almost immediately."

2.      Relief from Nightmares

A Canadian health case study conducted an experiment between 47 individuals suffering from PTSD concluded that after each person received a cannabinoid treatment, 72% percent (the majority) of the subjects had fewer and in most cases no nightmares at all, and slept soundly through an entire night. While some of the other subjects that didn’t excel with the insomniac test, did experience relief in other PTSD symptoms such as flashbacks, depression, irritability, out-bursts of anger, and hyper-vigilance. In another case-study, they found that people struggling with PTSD possess a much higher number of cannabinoid receptors than individuals who do not have PTSD.

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3.      Eases Physical Pain

In quite a few scenarios, the psychological impact PTSD has could lead to actual physical pain. Cannabis is proven to ease the contractions in muscles, which prevents any pain the sufferer might be feeling.

4.      Helps with Your Diet

Studies have shown a link between marijuana usage and how our bodies react to sugar. As we explained previously in our article Uses You've Never Considered, cannabis use leads to a healthier metabolism.  As we all are well informed, a healthy body leads to a healthy mind.

5.      Gain a new creative perspective

PTSD often causes an unbearable amount of depression. Cannabis is known to spark the right side of the brain which allows for our creativity to bloom and lets us see things from a different perspective. That enables the brain to stabilize our mood and fight the negative symptoms with positive thoughts.

Early estimations indicate that a cannabis-based treatment could be available on the market as soon as 2023. Which is in no case soon enough, if you are somebody enduring this.

If you or a loved one are struggling with or have overcome PTSD, we would like to hear your story.

 

References:

https://www.marijuanadoctors.com/content/ailments/view/117/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd

https://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/co-occurring/marijuana_use_ptsd_veterans.asp

https://www.leafly.com/news/health/cannabis-and-post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd

http://www.maps.org/research/mmj/marijuana-us

http://time.com/4457392/marijuana-ptsd-veterans-military/

http://blog.norml.org/2015/05/25/memorial-day-2015-and-medical-marijuana/

https://merryjane.com/health/cannabis-and-nausea-why-cannabis-settles-your-stomach