How Cannabis Helps with PTSD

Updated on June 23, 2020
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Post traumatic stress disorder, which is commonly abbreviated to PTSD, is a form of mental health condition which typically affects those individuals who have been involved in a traumatic experience in their life. Often, PTSD is linked to those individuals returning from war zones or who have otherwise experienced a severe form of trauma, such as rape or torture; however, there are many different forms of PTSD and the condition impacts people in different ways, and can be caused by many different encounters which are deemed “traumatic” by an individual.

Symptoms of PTSD

PTSD can cause a huge number of different symptoms, and these symptoms, in short, can be devastating for the individual affected by them. This can lead to a severely reduced quality of life for the person who is suffering from the condition. Some of the symptoms that are commonly seen due to PTSD include insomnia and a difficulty to sleep, often due to the fear of or recurrent nightmares; fear and anxiety caused by memories of the event and implications of the event that continue down the line; anger and irritability due to a difficulty in controlling one’s emotions; a lack of appetite, which in itself can often be a side effect of other conditions such as anxiety, and this in turn can lead to severe weight loss and, in some cases, eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa; and depression or general lack of interest in life. 

Symptoms of PTSD vary considerably from individual to individual, and are largely based on the severity of the experience and the impacts that the experience had on a person’s life. In addition to this, the support network that the individual who is suffering from PTSD has available to help them; the support that a person receives in the aftermath of a traumatic experience can be directly correlated to the number and severity of symptoms that they will suffer from, if they should go on to develop post traumatic stress disorder.

There are a range of different symptoms associated with PTSD and many people will experience some of these, though few experience every single symptom unless the trauma that they have experienced has had a lasting and incredibly severe impact on their life. There are a number of different treatments available to help treat post traumatic stress disorder, many of which are available from a doctor or over the counter; however, some holistic remedies for PTSD also exist which can be used alongside medicines and therapy sessions.

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Is Cannabis Good for Treating PTSD?

Cannabis has been used for millenia for its therapeutic and curative properties, with records dating back thousands and thousands of years to early human civilisations indicating the use of cannabis for pain relief and the like. Indeed, despite the stigma that surrounds cannabis use in our modern world, it is still a well known fact that cannabis can have a range of beneficial properties, and it is for this reason that the cultivation of medicinal cannabis strains has grown in popularity. But how can cannabis help with the symptoms of PTSD?

Research has been conducted in recent years regarding the usefulness and efficacy of cannabis supplementation for the control and relief from symptoms of PTSD. Indeed, it is a well known fact that cannabis can help with pain and anxiety—the latter of which is a symptom of PTSD—however, few studies have actually been conducted specifically into whether cannabis is suitable for the control of post traumatic stress disorder symptoms.

The results of the studies concluded that cannabis is, indeed, effective for helping with the control of symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder. As already mentioned, the symptom of anxiety and depression can certainly be helped by supplementation with specific strains; however, it is harder to tell about the effectiveness of cannabis for other symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder.

The research did determine, though, that cannabis may be effective in terms of lessening the incidence of memories of post traumatic stress disorder, which can help to combat the flashbacks that many PTSD patients suffer from. These flashbacks can be a major cause of distress for many PTSD patients and can continually serve as a reminder of the trauma that the individual experienced; therefore, by lessening the frequency of flashbacks occuring, it may be possible to also reduce the level of stress ,fear and anxiety experienced by the patient. However, any positive effects of cannabis supplementation may not be a “cure all” themselves, and so cannabis supplementation is likely to be most suitable for PTSD patients alongside other therapy and treatments.

Final Thoughts

Cannabis has been used as a medicinal product for millenia, and despite wide restrictions on its use, the modern generation is also beginning to consider these health benefits of marijuana and cannabis supplementation. It is likely that cannabis supplements could be used alongside other forms of treatment, medication or therapy to help lessen the symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder in sufferers; however, this is likely to be a temporary solution and so other forms of treatment should also be sought to ensure long term recovery and health.

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The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.