Marijuana is used by a large number of individuals with PTSD to alleviate symptoms including paranoia and extreme anxiety. Will the medicine alleviate or increase the disorder’s symptoms?
In the United States, marijuana consumption accounts for the majority of all drug abuse. In order to cope with the distressing side effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), such as paranoia and extreme anxiety, many patients resort to marijuana.
According to a research by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, approximately 20% of PTSD sufferers regularly partake in cannabis usage. However, is it safe to combine cannabis with PTSD treatment? Does the medicine help or make the condition worse?
Will Marijuana Ease My PTSD Symptoms?
Marijuana is used for a wide variety of purposes, including the treatment of anxiety disorders like PTSD. Those who have experienced anxiety or irritability as a result of their service in the armed forces may find relief from the medicine. Meanwhile, some survivors of assault find that using cannabis helps them forget the ordeal.
Can PTSD sufferers use marijuana? The medication has short-term anxiolytic effects. Nonetheless, marijuana is still an addictive drug that may have negative effects on a person’s physical and mental wellbeing.
In order to alleviate the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, medical marijuana has been developed
THC and CBD are both components of marijuana (CBD). THC is the psychoactive compound in cannabis that causes highs. CBD, on the other hand, is not psychoactive and may counteract THC’s effects.
In jurisdictions where it is legal to do so, medical marijuana often has high concentrations of CBD and very little THC. Many patients who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) turn to medicinal marijuana as a means of alleviating their symptoms.
Medical marijuana’s usefulness in alleviating PTSD symptoms was investigated in a 2014 research published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs. According to the findings, 75% of PTSD patients reported improvement in symptoms after taking medicinal cannabis. Researchers came to the conclusion, however, that additional data is needed before medicinal marijuana can be considered an effective treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.
Position of the Department of Veterans Affairs on Marijuana Use and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Veterans in need of medical attention may use clinics and hospitals run by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) of the United States government.
Veterans Affairs must adhere to all federal laws surrounding cannabis. Marijuana is considered a Schedule I substance by the FDA, making it illegal at the national level. That’s why the VA doesn’t endorse cannabis for treating vets.
It is not true that veterans who consume marijuana would have their VA benefits cut off. Veterans Affairs hospitals, including those in areas where marijuana usage is legal, have a zero-tolerance policy against smoking pot on the premises.
House Resolution 5520 was presented to Congress in 2018 by Representatives Phil Roe (R-TN) and Tim Walz (D-MN). If passed, the measure would mandate the VA to fund and perform studies on the effects of medical marijuana on VA patients.
Is there any evidence that using marijuana negatively impacts post-traumatic stress disorder?
Individuals suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder often use marijuana to aid with sleep. However, a study published in 2015 in The Primary Care Companion for CNS Disorders found that marijuana usage was associated with persistent sleep disturbances in PTSD patients. Drug usage is related to, or exacerbated by, sleep difficulties.
PTSD cannot be cured by using marijuana. The medicine may reduce discomfort for a little while, but it seldom addresses the underlying cause. After the high from marijuana wears off, some people actually experience a worsening of their symptoms.
Self-Medication and Its Consequences
Marijuana’s sedative properties make it useful for calming the nerves of anxious people. Consequently, many persons with PTSD turn to cannabis as a kind of self-medication. Some patients who suffer from anxiety disorders report that using the medication has helped them cope with emotions related to traumatic events, such as rage and chronic stress.
Self-medicating with marijuana, however, may lead to addiction. Marijuana addiction is characterized by obsessive drug seeking despite negative personal, societal, and legal outcomes. Addiction to cannabis is a medical condition that may call for professional help.
Self-medicating with marijuana for anxiety, according to a research published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, may raise the chance of developing a drug use disorder. The findings suggests that self-medicating with marijuana may lead to dependency, addiction, and social anxieties.
Combination Use of Alcohol and Marijuana
Co-occurring mental health illnesses, such as post-traumatic stress disorder and marijuana addiction, make it difficult for those affected to function normally. It’s possible that they’d have trouble juggling their obligations at work, at home, or at school.
Marijuana is often a lifeline for those with PTSD who also misuse the substance. It’s a quick fix that helps them out for now. Nonetheless, using marijuana might alter one’s mood and make it difficult to spend quality time with loved ones. People with PTSD who regularly use marijuana often have trouble with their mental health for years to come.
Marijuana Use and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Treatments
Individuals suffering from both post-traumatic stress disorder and marijuana use should get help. Without treating both disorders, patients are more likely to relapse into drug abuse or have a worsening of mental health symptoms after receiving treatment for the first.
PTSD is not often treated with medical marijuana alone. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are common treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Psychotherapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), exposure therapy (ET), and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), are all effective methods for dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Stress and anxiety may also be treated with anti-anxiety medication. Xanax and other anti-anxiety medications, however, have a high risk of addiction.