Marijuana and PTSD

By David Dikerman

As of last November, 29 States allow legal use of medical marijuana. While common uses are for pain management and to treat nausea during cancer treatment, another population of individuals that may benefit from medical marijuana are war veterans. Marijuana may affect people differently, but there is no denying that      certain strains are known to induce a state of relaxation that can be beneficial to those adjusting to life as a civilian. Therefore, it is only logical to consider it as a treatment for PTSD. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Soldiers are heroes that put themselves in harm’s way for their country.  Upon their return, many veterans struggle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It not only impacts their mental state, but also how they interact with others in their families and communities. Some things to look out for as warning signs for PTSD are:

Upsetting memories of a trauma and physical reactions to reminders

Upsetting nightmares or dreams,

General anxiety or emotional distress

Flashbacks or reliving of trauma

Marijuana as Treatment

Unfortunately, there have been few controlled studies of the impact that marijuana use has had on PTSD despite the claims of many veterans that it has proven beneficial. Furthermore, most of the evidence is anecdotal. Having said that, support is growing so much so that the senate recently passed a bill allowing doctors to recommend marijuana to their patients if it is legal in their state. This does not just apply to the herb itself, but any related products.  One study proved very promising as it found that administering synthetic cannabis to   traumatized rats prevented many symptoms of PTSD as it change the parts of the brain that holds and forms memories. The medical benefits of marijuana have been all but proven, it is the politics that needs to play catch up.