Studies on PTSD and Cannabis Treatment
Did you know that about 8 million Americans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) every year? That is around 3.5% of the entire population that has to deal with this illness. People suffer from different degrees of this disorder, ranging from mild to serious.
According to an estimate, a majority of the people (36.6%) who experience PTSD undergo serious symptoms, followed by those (33.1%) who suffer from moderate symptoms, and the remaining (30.2%) facing mild impairments due to PTSD.
The National Center for PTSD estimates that 6 out of every 100 people in the United States are expected to experience the symptoms of PTSD at least once at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, there is no definitive cure for it despite the illness being so common.
However, certain treatments enable people to alleviate their symptoms. One of these treatments is through cannabis.
In this blog, we will discuss the treatment of PTSD through cannabis, how it benefits patients, why it is gaining traction today, and what different research studies have deduced about treating PTSD with cannabis.
Cannabis for PTSD
Problems like overwhelming emotions, panic attacks, and hypervigilance are common symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorders. Several studies have concluded that people suffering from such conditions have shown improvement from the consumption of cannabis.
Although a definitive verdict still requires a lot more research, medical marijuana doctors in West Palm Beach, Florida, among several other experts, have reported that a lot of patients have found cannabis to help alleviate PTSD symptoms.
Experts are also inclined to believe that most of the therapeutic effects from cannabis come from cannabidiol (CBD) – one of the many cannabinoids found in cannabis. CBD has already been widely associated with therapeutic effects like chronic pain relief, stress and anxiety reduction, and more.
Wayne State University Study
A recent research conducted at the Wayne State University, Detroit, found out that consuming cannabis may reduce amygdala activity. This is part of the brain that deals with the fear response.
In this particular study, the researchers aimed at finding out cannabis’ association with trauma. Three groups of people were selected for this study – people exposed to trauma, people exposed to trauma without PTSD, and people exposed to trauma with PTSD.
Participants were then given a mild dose of THC – one of the common cannabinoids in cannabis – before being exposed to a threatening situation that would trigger their amygdala region.
Participants who took THC showed lowered activity in this part of their brains. Experiencing lesser fear may help in coping with PTSD, which is why it was deduced that cannabis might be a workable solution while treating PTSD patients.
Brazil’s Federal University of Parana Study
Studies suggest that 20% of the people who undergo a traumatic event at any point in life are likely to develop PTSD from that event. This is where this research by Brazil’s Federal University of Parana may be helpful. According to this recent study on cannabis, cannabinoids may help in eradicating traumatic memories from the brain, which may consequently lessen the symptoms of PTSD.
A similar idea was initially floated by R. Andrew Sewell, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Yale. His concept was that removing traumatic memories from the brain through a process called ‘extinction learning’ will help individuals recover better from that event, and from PTSD symptoms associated with the event.
According to Sewell, people who have PTSD find it nearly impossible to go through the process of extinction learning, and the illness continues to grow for a time that particular memory lingers on. The prolific part is that animal studies have found that cannabis stimulates CB1 receptors in our bodies, which may improve the process of extinction learning.
Other Notable Mentions
A research conducted on 150 participants found out that those who took cannabis for their PTSD symptoms found it to reduce their symptoms over a period of one year. According to the results, those who consumed cannabis were 2.57 times likelier to fall out of the DSM-5 criteria for PTSD.
Another study by the Washington State University conducted on over 400 people found out that the consumption of cannabis helped PTSD patients reduce the thought related to the triggering event by 62%, while the flashbacks related to the same triggering event reduced to almost a half (51%).
Get Your Medical Marijuana Card in Florida Today!
Looking forward to getting cannabis for PTSD? Make sure you have a valid medical marijuana card in Florida. MMJ Health’s medical marijuana doctors in West Palm Beach, Florida, can help you in acquiring one without hassle. Get in touch with us today, or click here to see if you qualify.
Always consult a medical doctor before using cannabis to ensure safe consumption and optimal results.