Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is an anxiety condition caused by exposure to traumatic experiences, such as military combat. There are various symptoms of PTSD that may develop over time because of the trauma. These symptoms can affect cognition, mood, the ability to form new memories, the suppression of memories, and may impact one’s physical health as well. Some of these symptoms include anxiety, insomnia, nightmares, a heightened response to fear stimuli, or distress. In extreme or severe cases, symptoms can present themselves with such severity that a patient is unable to live their lives as “normal”.
The body’s endocannabinoid system consists of cannabinoid receptors all over the body. This system provides the connection between body and mind letting our brain know of our physical sensations. Because of the trauma in PTSD, the body is always on the defensive, and the endocannabinoid system begins to fail, causing physical, mental and neurological conditions and symptoms.
Scientists have found CB-1 receptors signal the deactivation of traumatic memories. Many PTSD patients lack the necessary endocannabinoids to fill the CB-1 receptor sites. Medications for treating PTSD offer temporary relief at best and can come with adverse side effects but has shown that the cannabinoids found in cannabis can make up for missing endocannabinoids in the body.
Marijuana for PTSD
There are numerous studies supporting the fact that specific cannabinoids in the marijuana plant can reduce symptoms of PTSD. Research on the CBD cannabinoid is promising when treating anxiety-related symptoms and disorders. CBD is the central non-psychoactive cannabinoid in marijuana as opposed to the most popular psycho-active component THC. It is a solid replacement to pharmaceuticals and does not produce any psychoactive neurological effects.
Many states that previously did not allow PTSD patients to get medical marijuana are changing their laws because of growing research in favor of marijuana as an alternative treatment to pharmaceuticals. New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, signed a bill recently allowing police officers, firefighters and war veterans suffering from PTSD to become medical marijuana patients. “Many of our veterans have PTSD and the medical community has determined that marijuana can be helpful treatment in some areas,” Cuomo said during the Veterans Day parade. “And part of our commitment to do everything we can do if there are veterans who are suffering and we can make treatment available, we want to.”
Top 5 Recommended Strains for Those with PTSD
- OG Kush– OG Kush is very popular amongst patients with PTSD, depression and mood disorders. It’s known for its soft body effects, with almost euphoric feelings. This strain is great for patients who suffer from multiple PTSD symptoms because it soothes both the physical body as well as mental symptoms. Use it throughout the day and save more relaxing strains for nighttime.
- Blue Dream– In the recent past, Blue Dream has become the most popular strain throughout legal states. This strain is perfect for daytime use as its effect I both happy and euphoric. Patients suffering from the symptoms of PTSD (depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, mood disorders) will find Blue Dream to offer needed mood-boosting relief.
- Blueberry– Blueberry is excellent for a happy yet calming effect. It’s genetics link to Afghani Kush, and like Afghani Kush many patients reported feeling very relaxed. Blueberry helps to alleviate the debilitating symptoms of PTSD and relaxes patients aiding with their anxieties and tensions.
- Bubba Kush– If a patient is has insomnia and cannot sleep; this strain is sure to help. Bubba Kush is both sedative and euphoric allowing both the body and mind to release their daily stresses. PTSD can affect many different parts of one’s life including sleep. Without consistent deep sleep, other PTSD symptoms may worsen. This strain will give patients the rest they need to help them begin to function correctly.
- Pineapple Express– Pineapple Express has been reported to decrease anxiety and helps patients who have PTSD. It’s known to help patients relax and find relief from their fears and concerns. With a strong THC content of around 20% users of Pineapple Express also report feeling more productive and creative while feeling the effects of Pineapple Express.
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