How Does Cannabis Affect PTSD?
PTSD, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, is a mental health condition triggered by the experience or witnessing of a terrifying event. Veterans are the most common sufferers of the disorder after experiencing combat and the horrors of war first hand, but anyone who has been through a terrible event is susceptible. This includes police officers, victims of violence, sexual assault victims, and those that have witnessed a tragic accident among others. What these people have in common is a lack of access to a non-addictive, legal treatment that helps them to move on from the things they have seen and suffered through.
The most difficult part of recovery from PTSD related trauma is widely considered to be the recurring flashbacks and memories of recurring nightmares (intrusive memories). The experiences have not been processed properly by the mind under duress, making them an all encompassing living nightmare. This is where Marijuana comes in.
After smoking, many PTSD patients find that the tendency of Marijuana to focus one’s attention to the here and now provides a welcome distraction from over-weighted thoughts of the past, which are temporarily pushed aside. Over time and repetition, it becomes easier for the mind to move to other things and let the patient rest and process the tragedy into something that is hopefully more manageable.
Our soldiers and other survivors of horrific experiences need a change of medicinal routines.
The current narcotic based regimen used by the Veterans Administration of anti-anxiety, depression, and opiate based treatment far too often leads to addiction that then requires rehabilitation. Wash, rinse and repeat.
As mentioned in our earlier article about the pending change in Federal classification of Marijuana, here in the U.S. 22 veterans commit suicide daily for the lack of a viable treatment for PTSD and related issues. The dialog surrounding the use of marijuana and derivatives to treat PTSD is finally opening up to include the necessary agencies required to allow widespread use. Studies are currently in process concerning which strains and which specific properties of the plant should be isolated for this type of treatment.
If the re-classification by the DEA from Schedule 1 to Schedule 2 goes through successfully, finally the VA can legally prescribe medical Marijuana and break the damaging cycle. Here at Cannahacker, we can’t wait for these changes to allow our troops and others suffering from trauma based mental issues to have access to the help they need.
(Images courtesy USA Today and Huffington Post)