Medicinal Cannabis for PTSD

Medical Marijuana For PTSD

The traditional method for treating PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder are exposure-based therapies. These also incorporate eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, as well as talk therapy.

The present research or study is centering on aiming neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are the chemicals inside the body that are released by the nerves and have an impact on one’s hormones, thoughts, etc.

Medical experts have found a significant amount of info related to the endocannabinoid system with many researches. This system comprises CB1 and CB2 receptors. They get responses from fat-based neurotransmitters that can be created inside the body or introduced via medicines or marijuana.

The hippocampus which is a structure within the brain responsible for memory, feelings, and learning, is full of CB1 receptors.

While anybody experiences a disturbing or stressful state, the endocannabinoids being transferred to the CBD receptors change, leading to a physical and psychological stress reaction. Researchers think that cannabinoids like THC and CBD assist in changing the endocannabinoids being discharged, influencing one’s mood and the level of cortisol (stress hormone). Also, it can be a vital device at the time of exposure-based therapy owing to how these substances impact the hippocampus.

What to Keep In Consideration with PTSD Medical Marijuana?

In the case of low dosages, THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) has an anxiety-lowering or anxiolytic effect that is alike to SNRIs (serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors) and buspirone.

Moreover, CBD too lessens anxiety, and there is no specific dosage to take. Taking it alone doesn’t result in any intoxication like what happens with cannabis.

Usually, it is advised to take lower dosages of tetrahydrocannabinol as it can lead to more pain and anxiety if it is consumed in heavy dosages. Those who are prescribed must decide on between high CBD, or just CBD, or 1:1 CBD to THC products for easing PTSD signs. This has to be in association with their mental health expert’s treatment and recommendations.

The quantity of medicinal cannabis to take usually starts between 2 to 20 mg before going to sleep. It can also be taken throughout the day as soon as an effective dosage has been decided. Those undergoing PTSD and who do not want to feel weakened must begin with CBD only.

It might aid in keeping a record of your dosage and its medicinal properties if you’re trying marijuana products for the first time. Also, do share that info with your doctors.

CBD might just be a part of your therapy between you and your practitioner and can’t be substituted with customized mental healthcare.

Report any worsening signs immediately to a certified medical professional or look for emergency medical help.

Solutions and vape concentrates are generally advised for the treatment of PTSD and anxiety. This is because they are easy to dose and they normally comprise both CBD and THC. Vaping might not be suitable for everyone, though, and might bring other health hazards.

On the other hand, shatter and wax aren’t prescribed for the treatment of PTSD as they comprises higher dosages of tetrahydrocannabinol that might lead to more pain, fear, and anxiety. Edibles are too not suggested as they are hard to dose. Moreover, edibles are absorbed inside the liver that has effects which are different in every person.  

As tolerance takes place with longer marijuana consumption, having minor effects on the CB1 receptors, any aids from using it for mental wellbeing can worsen signs while a user isn’t consuming it.

PTSD Signs Categories

  1.     Avoidance signs
  •       Avoiding feelings or thought associated with the distressing incident.
  •       Avoiding events, places, or things that reminds the person of the incident.
  1.     Cognition and mood signs
  •       Not able to get pleased or satisfied
  •       Negative self-thoughts and distorted thoughts related to the incident that lead to feelings of guilt.
  •       Trouble recalling the major aspects of the incident.
  •       Loss of interest in activities that you used to enjoy earlier.
  1.     Re-experiencing signs
  •       Distressing feelings
  •       Bodily signs of stress
  •       Repetitive recalls or nightmares related to the incident
  •       Flashbacks or relieving the traumatic incident and going through bodily symptoms like sweating and increased heartbeat.
  1.     Arousal and reactivity
  •       Trouble concentrating
  •       Trouble staying or falling asleep
  •       Being easily stunned
  •       Tense feeling
  •       Getting involved in risky or vicious behaviour.
  •       Feeling short-tempered

To be diagnosed with PTSD, you need to have at least:

  1.     One avoidance sign
  2.     One re-experiencing sign
  3.     A couple of arousal and reactivity signs
  4.     A couple of cognition and mood signs.

Are There Any Negative Effects Of Using Medical Cannabis For PTSD?

A lot of folks out there suffering from PTSD take medicinal cannabis for lessening sleep-related issues. But, as per a report, it was proved that cannabis or weed can lead to lasting sleep issues in those suffering from PTSD. Also, sleep disorders can lead to or aggravate drug consumption.

Cannabis doesn’t fully cure PTSD, but it might temporarily ease its symptoms. There are cases when signs turn out to be more penetrating as soon as the effects of the drug lessen.

Issues Related To Self-Medication

Being a sedative, weed can release stress and anxiety in many people. Therefore, self-medication of marijuana is common in PTSD patients. Some suffering from anxiety disorders say that marijuana aids them in managing issues related to traumatic experiences, such as lasting stress and anger.

But, self-medication with weed can cause drug craving or addiction. A substance abuse disorder causes folks to instinctively look for the drug regardless of knowing the social, legal, and health consequences of these deeds.

In another study, it was revealed that self-medication of cannabis for anxiety-related issues can raise one’s risk of having a drug abuse disorder. As per the same, an addiction to weed because of self-medicating can cause the development of social paranoias, as well.

Co-Occurring Cannabis Use

Those having co-occurring mental health problems such as drug addiction or PTSD face trouble in completing day-to-day chores. They may too struggle in keeping responsibilities at home, school, or workplace.

People with drug abuse disorder and PTSD usually depend upon the substance to go through the day. It gives them temporary pleasure and respite. But, weed can impair one’s capability to talk to family members or friends and can lead to mood swings. A lot of folks with PTSD who constantly take weed see lasting mental health issues.

What Do Researchers Think Of Medical Marijuana Treatment For PTSD?

Those getting PTSD treatment usually undergo behavioural therapy that exposes them to the traumatic incident or memory. Once they are exposed time and again, as they recount the incident, their anxiety and the emotions linked with the memory turn out to be more controllable. After this, another process called extinction takes place. In this, the minimized fear level is employed for making a new and existing relating to the traumatic stimulus.

Prescribed medicines are too widely taken together with, or as an alternative, therapy only under the management of a professional.

At Wayne State University in Detroit, a team of researchers led by Christine Rabinak are presently in the procedure of directing a multi-phase study that centres on how THC and other chemicals in weed influence people with PTSD who are going through prolonged exposure therapy. The initial stage of this study started almost eight years ago with rodents.

Christine found that while THC is offered to patients prior to extinction learning, they feel less intense feelings compared to what was earlier linked to the traumatic memory. Also, patients were more expected to carry on feeling lessened emotions connected to the memory. The consequences, in this case, are presently being checked in a double-blind and placebo control group study. However, this is favorable for weed takers who are also suffering from PTSD. In essence, continuous study suggests that we cannot just take weed for curing trauma-associated anxiety but also use it as a device at the time of therapy, too. 

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