It's not new news that medical marijuana and CBD can help with many ailments from chronic pain to epilepsy to depression. However, studies are still being released on if medical marijuana can help Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
PTSD is an anxiety disorder that can occur in people who have experienced a traumatic event like combat or personal assault. Those suffering from PTSD have disturbing thoughts associated with the traumatic event, long after the event has occurred. They may experience flashbacks and nightmares. Approximately 3.5% of U.S. adults have been diagnosed with PTSD.
The Minnesota Department of Health has reported positive results in medical marijuana patients suffering from PTSD. There are currently 2,873 medical marijuana patients with PTSD in MN. Seventy six percent of PTSD patients in MN reported they benefited from marijuana usage. Seventy one percent of patients had improvement to their severity checklist for PTSD.
The biggest reported improvements were reduction in anxiety, improved sleep and pain reduction. However 1.5% of patients reported greater anxiety with marijuana usage.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs reported that 2 out of 10 people suffering from PTSD use marijuana. Currently the VA cannot prescribe or suggest medical marijuana, as it is still federally illegal.
Medical Marijuana cannot cure PTSD; there is no cure. However, medical marijuana can help with the symptoms associated with the anxiety disorder. Marijuana usage can help ease the anxious or irritable feelings, reduce traumatic memories and assist with sleep disorders.
PTSD sufferers should still seek help with attacking the root of their disorder. Symptom relief is important but other therapies can help heal the individual resulting in less symptoms.
A 2014 study by the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs found that patients with PTSD experienced a 75% decrease in symptoms.
One success story is that of Vincent, a 2 tour combat veteran, who was able to lower his prescriptions intake from 10 medications to 2 after trying CBD oil. He was on multiple narcotics, including Oxycontin and these drugs led to stage 3 kidney disease and liver damage.
Medical Marijuana is like any other prescribed medication in the terms of 'there is no cure-all'. Marijuana can have negative side effects like increased anxiety, paranoia and memory loss. But it does remain as a safe alternative to pharmaceuticals. All people are different and some may experience an increase in symptoms, rather than a reduction.
Even with all this information and studies surfacing showing marijuana alleviating symptoms of PTSD, there are still states that don't have PTSD as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana or CBD use. Texas allows CBD usage however PTSD isn't on the list.
As more states continue to legalize medical marijuana use, more individuals suffering from mental health or physical health conditions can find relief in the cannabis plant.