Soho Psychiatry

Medical Marijuana

Benefits of Medical Marijuana

Because it is a sedative, marijuana can relieve tension and anxiety in some individuals. As a result, self-medicating with cannabis is common among people with PTSD. Some people with anxiety disorders say that the drug helps them deal with problems associated with traumatic experiences, like anger and chronic stress.
A recent study published in Molecular Psychiatry showed that treatment using particular compounds found in marijuana may benefit those with PTSD, and that “plant-derived cannabinoids [psychoactive chemicals] such as marijuana may possess some benefits in individuals with PTSD by helping relieve haunting nightmares and other symptoms of PTSD.”
Research published in Science Daily also looked at symptom reduction in patients with PTSD. As a result of taking medical marijuana, participants reported a decrease in re-experiencing the trauma, less avoidance of situations that reminded them of the trauma, and a decline in hyperarousal.

Medical cannabis is used in conjunction with other therapies. Peer support groups are a highly supported therapy for patients suffering an Operational Stress Injury [another term for PTSD]. Medical cannabis strains with the right CBD and THC [psychoactive chemicals in cannabis] levels are assisting veterans with chronic physical pain, as well as anxiety and insomnia issues. I believe that medical cannabis will continue to work in conjunction with many other therapies.

How Does Medical Marijuanna Work

Chemical compounds in the plant called cannabinoids have shown therapeutic effects by stimulating the body’s endocannabinoid system. The main cannabinoids are CBD and THC, with both known for their medicinal benefits while only THC possesses psychoactive effects. Cannabis’s medicinal efficacy can be maximized by incorporating the various cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids that are naturally found in cannabis plants like indica and sativa.

This improved understanding has helped cannabis become more well-endorsed as a source of treatment and relief for conditions like anxiety, insomnia, and pain. It has also shown effectiveness in helping people suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.
Cannabis also has been proven to prevent nightmares that frequently occur in those suffering from PTSD. Not only that, but PTSD triggers intense stress that places a person in a constant state of awareness and tension, making it very difficult to get any sleep. Reducing REM sleep and the vivid dreams that occur during this stage, can allow cannabis to relieve any recurring nightmares that are associated with PTSD.

Not only that, but many patients also stated that the quality and duration of sleep improved, while daytime flashbacks and sweating at night also decreased. The study showed that cannabinoids could serve a much more effective role than many prescription medicines and antidepressants that were proving to be futile in comparison. While THC and CBD can both help people suffering from PTSD, CBD tends to be more accessible as well as having the benefit of being non-psychoactive. Cannabis regulations have certainly improved, but it still remains out of the reach of many who could use it to provide relief for their PTSD symptoms.

PTSD is a serious disease that many people in the world suffer from, drastically reducing the quality of life as its varying symptoms such as nightmares, difficulty in functioning socially, and emotional imbalance can cripple people like war veterans and others who have experienced major trauma. Cannabinoids like CBD can help empower the body’s endocannabinoid system and promote quality sleep, prevent traumatic memories from arising, as well as establish physical and emotional well-being to mitigate these devastating symptoms of PTSD and allow patients to regain hold of their lives.

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