PTSD, MEDICAL MARIJUANA, AND YOU
We all go through traumatic events in life. Usually we make it through the other side without lasting damage and end up learning profound “silver lining” life lessons. However all too often we or our loved ones are crippled by traumatic physical and emotional wounds that leave us in a state of “fight or flight” anxiety, pain, and anguish.
These symptoms compose Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or “PTSD.” This article will detail why and how Medical Marijuana for PTSD is proving to be a safe, effective, natural alternative to synthetic drugs.
What is PTSD?
The National Institute of Mental Health defines a PTSD sufferer as someone with the following symptoms for at least one month:
- Reactivity symptoms like being easily startled, tense, angry, or having trouble sleeping
- Cognition and mood symptoms like memory issues, negative thoughts, guilt, and loss of interest in enjoyable activities
- Avoidance systems like staying away from places, events, or objects that are reminders of the traumatic experience
- Re-experiencing symptoms like flashbacks, nightmares, and frightening thoughts
While most people connect PTSD to the epidemic of solider suicides and war trauma, according to the National Center for PTSD, 7-8% of the entire human population will experience PTSD in their lives. That is over 2.5 million Americans!
Common causes can include the unexpected death of a loved one, childhood trauma, sexual abuse, poor social support systems, mental illness, and substance abuse, among many others.
Medical Marijuana for PTSD Combined with Therapeutic Options
Therapeutic options include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), and group therapy. If you’re struggling, show your strength by getting therapy, you don’t have to do it alone. Combined with medical marijuana, people in Florida with PTSD have new hope for the future.
The National Institute of Health offers a comprehensive review of these PTSD therapies here please investigate and choose the one that resonates with you.
Pharmaceutical options include four main categories: Serotonin-Noreponephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs), Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), Prazosin, and anti-anxiety medication.
SNRIs: MayoClinic.com states that they, “ease depression by impacting chemical messengers (neurotransmitters) used to communicate between brain cells. Like most antidepressants, SNRIs work by ultimately effecting changes in brain chemistry and communication in brain nerve cell circuitry known to regulate mood, to help relieve depression.
SNRIs block the re-absorption (reuptake) of the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain. Common examples include Pristiq, Khedezla, Cymbalta, Fetzima, Effexor XR.
SSRIs: according to WebMD, “SSRIs work by enhancing the function of nerve cells in the brain that regulate emotion [and] help make more serotonin available by blocking the reuptake process.” Examples include Prozac, Lexapro, and Zoloft.
Prazosin: WebMD describes the relationship between of Prazosin and PTSD, “If you have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), your body may release too much adrenaline. Adrenaline is a hormone that can make you feel stressed and have nightmares. Prazosin blocks some of the effects of adrenaline released in your body. This may help reduce the nightmares and sleep problems you have with PTSD.”
Anti-Anxiety medicines: PubMed.gov says that, “It is difficult to choose among the many drugs advocated for treating anxiety symptoms. The barbiturates were the most commonly used anti-anxiety agents until recently but are being superseded by the benzodiazepines.”
Medical Marijuana for PTSD vs. Synthetic Drugs
With statistics like these in mind, it’s obvious that people need alternate therapies that produce positive patient outcomes without risking the horrible side-effects mentioned above.
While the side effects from medical marijuana may pale in comparison to prescription drugs, there are occasionally risks for people suffering from PTSD in substance abuse, increased anxiety symptoms, and even surprisingly increased suicide risk. This underscores the need for professional medical guidance and education.
The Benefits of Medical Marijuana for PTSD
Even though the FDA and DEA have made it very difficult to study medical marijuana, it has an incredible track record in treating anxiety, shock, and PTSD.
In an upcoming breakthrough study from the Multi-Disciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies on medical marijuana for veterans with PTSD, the effects will be precisely documented.
Here at My Florida Green this momentum propels us forward and gives us the incredible honor of being part of a revolution that provides access to safe medication that works.
For more information on Medical Marijuana for PTSD please contact us here at My Florida Green to schedule your medical assessment. Our patients speak with a qualified medical professional to create a treatment plan for your symptoms.