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PTSD & Marijuana

MEDICAL MARIJUANA AND PTSD

While there has always been a stigma associated with the use of marijuana, the current research and regulations suggest that the benefits of using medical marijuana, in many cases, outweigh the cons. Several, primarily observational, studies have supported this claim, especially in regards to PTSD.

Since Post-traumatic Stress Disorder varies according to individual cases, and the treatments range from pharmaceutical prescriptions to wilderness therapy, the most conclusive evidence points to the fact that the effectiveness of treatments also varies according to the individual. For this reason, it is of primary importance that anyone experiencing symptoms of PTSD consults with his or her physician to determine the best course of action for the individual. If your physician recommends the use of medical marijuana for your case, there are many potential benefits.

MEDICAL MARIJUANA AS TREATMENT FOR PTSD

At this point, as Dr. Raphael Mechoulam states, the case studies and experimental data suggest that the benefits of medical marijuana for PTSD symptoms is tied to the brain’s endocannabinoid system, an area of the brain that is most directly connected to memory. As PTSD stems from the association of stimuli to prior trauma, the impact that medical marijuana can have in relation to the traumatic memories can be positive. In fact, Dr. Machoulam states, ”Anecdotal evidence says by and large the use of therapeutic cannabis provides a significant improvement in quality of life both for those suffering from this malady and for their family and friends.“

The benefits that assist in improving the overall quality of life are primarily symptomological, and the relief is focalized in addressing the negative effects that those with PTSD experience. In Dr. Mechoulam’s studies for medical marijuana and its effect on PTSD, he has discovered that the memory influencing elements of cannabis can aid in veterans’ abilities to disconnect from their prior traumatic memories. He states that, “Memory extinction is the normal, healthy process of removing associations from stimuli,” and that this exact process is tied to the root cause of PTSD.

In other research, the studies suggest that the symptomological relief expands to other areas of PTSD symptoms, as well. “Research has consistently demonstrated that the human endocannabinoid system plays a significant role in PTSD. People with PTSD have greater availability of cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptors as compared to trauma-exposed or healthy controls. As a result, marijuana use by individuals with PTSD may result in short-term reduction of PTSD symptoms” (Marcel O. Bonn-Miller, Ph.D. and Glenna S. Rousseau, Ph.D.). These PTSD symptoms include emotional triggering, anxiety, and hyperarousal symptoms. While Doctors Bonn-Miller and Rousseau clearly state that there are risks in medical marijuana usage for individuals with PTSD, including “greater craving and withdrawal than those without PTSD and greater likelihood of marijuana use during the six months following a quit attempt,” they also declare that, “Treatment providers should not ignore marijuana use in their PTSD patients.”

LOST CREEK RANCH PTSD SUPPORT

At Lost Creek Ranch, we recognize that there are many strategies to approach PTSD treatments, and we want to provide you with the resources you need for you and your physician to determine the best course of action for your individual case.

We offer connections to counseling groups, general veterans’ resources, and church support communities. Our mission centers on our belief that there is power in nature. We connect you to the wilderness for a natural approach to finding peace. Our PTSD retreat in Colorado is a destination of complete support as you work to recover from the struggles of PTSD.

We support you in your search for the right approach to PTSD relief. If you and your physician decide to move forward with a medical marijuana regimen, dictated entirely by your individual medical qualifications as determined by your doctor, we at Lost Creek Ranch offer resources for your medical marijuana research, as well. With many sponsors who offer their support to the cause, we can connect you to Altitude Dispensary, who can assist you in finding the correct strain of medical marijuana for your individual case. The team is dedicated to our mission at Lost Creek Ranch and has been valuable in the growth of our PTSD resources.

Our military veterans deserve all levels of support for conquering Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. If you are a veteran looking for this commitment to recovery, contact us at Lost Creek Ranch. If you are not a veteran, but want to offer your support through sponsorship and networking, call James Garrison at 719-963-7528 to find out how you can play a role in giving back to those who have already given so much.

REFERENCES

http://veteransformedicalmarijuana.org/content/general-use-cannabis-ptsd-symptoms

https://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/co-occurring/marijuana_use_ptsd_veterans.asp