How Does Medical Marijuana Help in PTSD?
Is medical marijuana effective in treating the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)? Hundreds of millions of people have said yes.
For many years, the strongest evidence of marijuana’s efficacy in the treatment of PTSD was anecdotal, with sufferers noting advantages including anxiety relief and insomnia relief. New research is now attempting to quantify evidence that backs up these claims and shed light on how the various chemicals found in marijuana provide relief.
Understanding post-traumatic syndrome
PTSD is a mental illness that can develop in people who have been through or observed a traumatic, frightening, or hazardous incident. Such situations frequently activate the body’s inherent defenses, resulting in the “fight or flight” reaction. In most circumstances, this reaction is transient, and the person is able to move on from the triggering experience. Some people, on the other hand, may experience continuing stress or fear long after the event has passed. This is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Not everyone who has been traumatized will develop PTSD, and other life events, such as the death of a loved one, can also trigger PTSD. The disorder’s symptoms normally appear three months after the occurrence, but they can take years to appear.
A person diagnosed with PTSD must have all of the following for at least one month, according to the National Institute of Mental Health:
- At least one symptom recurrence such as frightening thoughts, bad dreams and flashbacks such as physical symptoms.
- Avoidance syndrome such as staying away from people, events, places or anything else that reminds the traumatic incident and avoiding thinking of the feelings similar to traumatic experience.
- At least two symptoms of cognition and mood such as remembering the key essentials of any traumatic incident, negativity about the world and blaming ownself or guilt feeling.
How rare is PTSD?
The Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Alliance compiled the following statistics:
- On average 70% of adults in the United States got at least one traumatic event in their lifetime, with up to 20% of these individuals developing PTSD
- An estimated 5% of Americans have PTSD at any given time
- Approximately 8% of adults will grow PTSD in their lifetime (women are about twice as likely as men to develop PTSD)
Veterans of armed conflicts are the most vulnerable group of adult-aged men to PTSD. According to the findings of a research conducted by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, veterans who served in Vietnam had a lifetime prevalence of PTSD of 31% for males and 27% for women.
Medical marijuana evidence
The initial wave of medical study provided a more tangible validation of the potential advantages of marijuana and cannabis derivatives as an increasing number of PTSD sufferers reported beneficial results from self-administered marijuana. The state of New Mexico was the first to recognize PTSD as a qualifying diagnosis for medicinal marijuana use.
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