PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) is a mental illness that can lead to flashbacks, nightmares, sleep problems, anxiety, etc. It’s caused by a stressful, frightening event, such as a road accident, war & conflict, or domestic abuse. Medical experts believe that the COVID-19 pandemic can also result in PTSD.
Marijuana has amazing therapeutic properties. It can help in managing PTSD symptoms. Since it doesn’t cause any unpleasant side-effects, more patients are opting for it over prescription medications.
So, how does the herb help in fighting PTSD? What are the best strains for PTSD patients? What’s the safest way to see medical marijuana doctors Rochester amid COVID-19 pandemic? Read on to learn more.
How Marijuana Works?
To understand how cannabis works for PTSD patients, it’s important to learn about the endocannabinoid system. It’s a complex system involved in managing different bodily functions, of which some are related to traumatic experiences. The body produces molecules called endocannabinoids, which fit into particular receptors that exist in the brain & body.
Also Read- Marijuana Effects on Body [Things You Should Know Before Using]
An endocannabinoid deficiency can lead to the development of PTSD. However, research says that PTSD patients tend to experience a decrease in the production of anandamide in the brain. This can cause excessive fear and anxiety.
Chemical compounds present in marijuana possess medicinal properties. They have the potential for managing pain, inflammation, anxiety, stress, nausea, etc. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) has a similar chemical structure as that of the endogenous cannabinoid anandamide.
When you consume THC and CBD, they can influence various biological processes by stimulating the endocannabinoid system.
According to a recent study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, PTSD increased the risks of major depressive episodes among individuals who didn’t use marijuana by 7 times. Moreover, suicidal ideation risks were increased by 5 times. Those who used marijuana didn’t notice such risks.
Marijuana For Fighting Anxiety
Marijuana is effective in fighting managing symptoms of anxiety such as excessive worrying, fear, etc. CBD (cannabidiol), a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, does the same as SSRIs. It stops the reabsorption of serotonin in the brain. Medical researchers have found that cannabidiol increases 5-HT1A transmission and affects serotonin faster than SSRIs.
Also Read- For Anxiety Patients- How Can Marijuana Help Promote Wellness?
A study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders reported that inhaling marijuana can help in reducing anxiety, stress, and depression. However, these results are for short-term cannabis use. For long-term use, marijuana may worsen the symptoms.
According to a national survey conducted in 2017, 81 percent of the respondents believed that cannabis had one or multiple health benefits. And, half of them listed anxiety, depression, and stress as one of the potential benefits.
Marijuana For Boosting Sleep
PTSD can lead to intrusive thoughts and flashbacks of past traumatic events. In other words, patients re-experience the events, which may cause nightmares and sleep disturbances.
About 5 percent of the people experience nightmares. However, research says that in combat veterans, 88 percent reported nightmares. According to medical studies, nightmares, PTSD, and suicidal thoughts are interlinked.
CBD provides calming effects, thus can help in boosting sleep. THC reduces the total time it takes to fall asleep. But, long-term use may impair sleep quality.
A 2008 study shows that cannabis strains high in THC are effective in reducing the amount of REM sleep. REM sleep is associated with rapid eye movements of the eyes.
Moreover, nabilone and dronabinol, the two synthetic cannabinoids, may help in managing sleep apnea for the short-term.
Accessing Marijuana Legally For PTSD
People who are using marijuana for the first time may experience an increase in anxiety symptoms. CBD can help in counteracting some of the THC effects. Since everyone’s condition is different, it’s important to choose strains with optimal levels of THC and CBD. So, before starting cannabis treatment for PTSD, it’s important to consult a licensed doctor.
What about the legality? Currently, 33 states allow medical use of cannabis. Each state has its own rules and regulations for marijuana use. To access state-licensed dispensaries, you require a medical marijuana card signed by licensed medical marijuana doctors Rochester.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, visiting an MMJ clinic isn’t safe. So, you should use telemedicine instead. The telemedicine technology allows you to talk to a doctor online and receive your MMJ letter via email. Here’s the complete process-
- Sign up an account
- See a doctor online through HIPAA-compliant platform
- Receive your MMJ rec letter in PDF format via email instantly
Top Marijuana Strains For PTSD Patients
When using marijuana for managing PTSD symptoms, it’s important to get the right strains from the medical dispensaries. Here’s the list of the best strains that can help patients manage PTSD-
- Frosted Freak
- Snow Leopard
- Haleigh’s Hope
- Northern Berry
- Dakiny Kush
Tips For Safe Cannabis Use For PTSD
When using cannabis for managing PTSD symptoms, make sure you consider a few things to avoid the risks and maximize the benefits.
Start With CBD
If you haven’t used cannabis before, it’s good to start with CBD products. This is because CBD doesn’t cause high effects while providing therapeutic benefits. In some cases, higher levels of THC may lead to worsening anxiety symptoms.
Start with a low dose. This will help you analyze how your body responds to cannabinoids. Over time, you can increase the dose to receive the desired health benefits.
Learn About Interactions With Drugs
Medical experts believe that cannabis may interact with OTC and prescription medications. Studies are still ongoing to evaluate the interaction between cannabinoids and drugs. However, patients should avoid using CBD with medications that have a grapefruit warning on the label. The FDA says that grapefruit consumption while on these medications may lead to adverse effects.
Seek Professional Advice
Talk to a licensed doctor about your condition. Have open discussion related to your condition, and get help for cannabis consumption, dosage, etc.
Marijuana has medicinal properties, which can help in managing PTSD. Medical studies say that cannabinoids bind to receptors in the ECS, thus regulating sleep, memory, and mood.
CBD and THC are the two important cannabinoids, which provide amazing therapeutic benefits. To alleviate your symptoms completely, make sure you get the strains with optimal levels of different cannabinoids. Seek professional help for cannabis dosage, strain, and consumption methods for PTSD.
Talk to medical marijuana doctors Rochester to get MMJ rec letter online.
The COVID-19 Alert!
During the COVID-19 outbreak, we suggest you to prefer buying cannabis online instead of visiting a dispensary physically. However, medical dispensaries have updated their policies to ensure the complete safety of their consumers. Many are now offering curbside pickup and home delivery services. These services allow patients to buy cannabis products while practicing social distancing.
Moreover, stock up cannabis products for at least a month, use safe consumption methods such as edibles, oils, and tinctures, and don’t share bongs and joints with others. Stay safe. Stay healthy.