PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, is an anxiety condition caused by disturbing episodes, such as military combat or sexual assault. Nearly 30 percent of veterans who served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars suffer from PTSD, according to a 2012 VA report.
MEDICAL CANNABIS CAN HELP TREAT SYMPTOMS OF PTSD, INCLUDING:
- Feelings of isolation
- Chronic pain
Three classes of symptoms characterize PTSD: re-experiencing, avoidance, and hyper arousal (e.g., flashbacks, social isolation, insomnia). Currently there are no specialized, effective medications available for PTSD patients, but new discoveries in our body’s endocannabinoid system are showing promise to understand and treat PTSD. The endocannabinoid system is an important physiological system involved in establishing and maintaining health.
Research has found that people with PTSD had lower levels of anandamide, an endocannabinoid compound, compared to those who did not show signs of PTSD. If the body stops producing enough endocannabinoids to fill receptor sites, medical cannabis may replenish these missing endocannabinoids and provide relief for PTSD patients.
For PTSD patients who also experience chronic pain, medical cannabis can provide relief from the pain itself (either alone or in combination with other analgesics), and it can control the nausea associated with taking opioid drugs.