PTSD and Cannabis
by John Elliott
3 months ago
The Mayo Clinic defines Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a mental health condition that's triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.
Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a relatively new diagnosis of illness. The first systematic studies of PTSD began during and after World War I, as it had then been called shell-shock or battle fatigue, as characteristic symptoms began to show similarities in soldiers who had seen intense combat.
Now it is known that any traumatic event can cause PTSD, which means it can happen to anyone, though the highest incidence is from sexual violence. If left untreated, PTSD can last for the duration of the patient's life.
Studies have shown that people with PTSD are 5.3 times more likely to commit suicide than persons without PTSD, after adjustment for gender, age, marital status, income and pre-existing depression diagnoses.
The use of psychotropic substances in conjunction with therapy for PTSD have ranged from cannabis, psilocybin and MDMA--all of which yielded promising results.
Research into the endocannabinoid systems ability to play a part in treatment of PTSD has been conducted for about the last fifteen years. As other treatments have been deemed opportunistic (benzodiazepines, in particular, have nasty withdrawal symptoms and can make sleep cycles worse than before when coming off them), cannabis has been advocated for by patients, researchers and physicians since it has shown positive results in almost every study conducted on its effectiveness.
Positively conclusive research for cannabis as a treatment for PTSD is so ubiquitous that in September 2020, even Forbes published an endorsing feature story.
An overview article published in Current Opinion in Psychology in 2017 found that a joint approach of CBD and THC treatment produced what it deemed to be the highest therapeutic level in the reduction of fear in the amygdala and could reduce insomnia in a rat and human model and found mutually conclusive results as relates to PTSD therapy.
As stated earlier, the first cases of PTSD were seen in combat veterans, so the most cases of it are found in our veterans. A study published in American Journal Health-Pharmacy in 2015 found that cannabis most importantly ameliorated insomnia and nightmares, two large and persistent components of PTSD.
As it was first seen in combat veterans, PTSD widely affects veterans, which is why it is so important for two things to happen: for CBD to be classified as medicine and available from the VA, and for each and every state to have a referendum on medical marijuana.