Medical Marijuana for PTSD: Not Just for Veterans
When you hear about medical marijuana for PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Most likely, PTSD from serving in the military. A large number of PTSD cases are associated with the military. However, there are also many cases of PTSD right here at home hurting many people who have never served. Every year on June 27, we recognize this day as PTSD Awareness Day. We’re grateful to have medical marijuana as a treatment option for PTSD in Pennsylvania for both veterans and non-veterans.
What is PTSD?
PTSD is a devastating mental condition that often occurs after a traumatizing event has made a person fear their life was in immediate danger. In the U.S., around eight million people experience PTSD. In fact, 1 in 11 people will be diagnosed with PTSD in their lifetime.
PTSD can be the aftermath of a powerful assault on a person’s mind and emotions. There is an assumption that PTSD only happens to veterans or active duty military members. Dangerous and potentially traumatic situations are common occurrences in the context of military service. However, in order to spread PTSD awareness, it’s important to note that it is not exclusive to this type of trauma.
What types of experiences can lead to PTSD?
While many traumatic experiences can lead to PTSD, there are some that are most common. Trauma that can lead to PTSD includes:
- Serious accidents
- Physical or sexual assault
- War or other traumatic military-related incidents
- Physical, emotional, or mental abuse (ex. domestic or childhood abuse)
- Serious and/or sudden health problems
- Childbirth and pregnancy experiences
- Serious workplace events (ex. the sudden loss of a job or accident at work)
- Other violent acts (ex. robbery or home invasion)
A person can develop PTSD by directly or indirectly experiencing severe trauma. For example, learning about a loved one’s tragic death (indirect) can be just as traumatizing as witnessing that tragic death firsthand (direct). There are many reasons medical marijuana for PTSD can become a treatment option for those who suffer from this condition.
What are the symptoms associated with PTSD?
There are many different symptoms that can occur from PTSD. The main symptoms include:
- Remembering and experiencing trauma again through intrusive distressing recollections of the event, flashbacks, or nightmares
- Emotional detachment and avoidance of places, people, and activities that trigger memories of trauma.
- Difficulty sleeping/insomnia
- Difficulty concentrating
- Irritation and mood swings
- Severe anxiety
Brain areas that are affected by trauma and react in the body’s stress response (the amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex) also play a part in a memory. This is why memory is a trigger and plays a large part in PTSD.
Medical Marijuana for PTSD
Antidepressants and benzodiazepines are often prescribed to treat PTSD symptoms. However, many people prefer using medical marijuana as a natural alternative to these drugs.
Researchers believe that medical marijuana for PTSD works by removing associations to the painful memories. PTSD patients often have flashbacks when they smell, hear or see something associated with the traumatic event that caused the condition. By extinguishing memory associations using medical marijuana for PTSD, patients may gradually see symptoms improve.
Common Strains for PTSD Symptoms
There are many medical marijuana strains that are helpful in treating PTSD symptoms. Common strains include: Sativas, such as Island Sweet Skunk and Jack Herer, which provide feelings of euphoria, energy, upliftment and joy. Hybrids, such as Bruce Banner and GG#4, also target stress, depression, and fatigue. Indica strains like Chem de la Chem and Sunset Sherbert provide the same experiences as the previously mentioned strains but are extra helpful when struggling with lack of sleep or insomnia.
Check Our Menus
Check our PA medical marijuana dispensary menus to see what strains are available, and talk with one of our Patient Care Consultants (PCC) at your next visit to understand what’s best for your treatment plan. If you’re a veteran and suffer from PTSD, you can learn more about medical marijuana for veterans on our site.
We’re grateful to walk alongside those who suffer from this devastating condition and offer medical marijuana for PTSD as a helpful treatment option here in PA. If you have additional questions about Solevo Wellness, you can check out our FAQ page or follow us on Facebook and direct message our team anytime. We’d love to hear from you!