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Is PTSD really a marijuana abusing disorder? We unravel the truth!

By October 21, 2016PTSD, Stress

Even after being kept under strict regulation, Medicinal Marijuana or “Cannabis” has been often been branded as being a “Survivalist” drug among fellow sufferers of various Anxiety related issues, including PTSD.  Now bear in mind, when we say the word “Survival”, we are basically pointing out towards the tendency of PTSD patients to administer Cannabis in order to soothe themselves from the troubles of PTSD.

While this sounds as a good thing, recent studies are pointing their finger towards something else! According to them, PTSD sufferers who are exposed to Cannabis often starts losing control over themselves and starts to abuse the substance. For this believe, PTSD has often been dubbed with synonyms such as “Marijuana abuse disorder”.

With an abundance of research results and journal, it is undeniable that there is at least some co-relation between PTSD and Marijuana abuse. However, while the emergence of such major reports in large degree are causing the world to spiral down into going against Marijuana. A small percentage of recent medical outlines are actually trying to focus and figure out if cannabis has the potential to become a savior for PTSD patients.

 

What is PTSD?

We have all at some point experience certain scenarios where we start lose control of ourselves and become anxious right? Now imagine a similar scenario, but only ten times more intense!  In general terms, PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder) is a branching condition that results from excessive anxiety. A person who might have a violent past such being a victim of sexual assault or experiencing an accident are prone to agonize from PTSD.

Generally, the symptoms of PTSD has been classified into three distinct categories according to the degree of infliction:

  • Re-experience
  • Avoidance
  • Hyper-Arousal

The intensity of these “Episodes” largely depends on how much the neural chemistry of the brain is affected when the traumatic memory is remembered, bringing about a number of physiological changes. These changes release a varying level of adrenaline and stress hormones, leading to the person experiences PTSD.

 

So, how is Cannabis helping?

To start on a sad note, at the right of writing there were no proven and concrete methods of relieving the body from the adverse effects of PTSD. The good news however, thanks to recent ascertainments leading to deeper understanding of our body’s endocannabinoid system we are now close than ever to finding a potent cure for PTSD.

Despite all the criticism surrounding the topic, one Martin Lee from the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) has initiated to take some bold steps to further figure out the intersecting points between the usage of Cannabis and treatment of PTSD.

It apparently seems now that anandamide, an endogenous cannabinoid compound is playing a great role here in influencing the level so of PTSD as discussed by Lee.  “Innate to all mammals, anandamide (our inner cannabis, so to speak) triggers the same receptors that are activated by THC and other components of the marijuana plant” he said.

Strictly speaking, people who have PTSD tend have lower levels of anandamide. What this indicates is that one of the core reason of being affected by PTSD is having a deficiency of endocannabinoid in our body. When the body stops producing enough endocannabinoid to cover up the receptor sites, problems start to arise!

Medicinal Marijuana or Cannabis plays a major part here to cover up this deficiency, hence boasts its therapeutic role in the treatment of PTSD. Experts believe that this recently discovered link just might be the key helping PTSD patients soothe down from their mental trauma.

Even more so, researchers are now confident that having an active CB-1 receptor helps to mitigate past traumatizing memories to the extent of completely being able to forget them. 

Lee further added to this by saying “But skewed CB-1 signaling, due to endocannabinoid deficits (low serum levels of anandamide), result in impaired fear extinction, aversive memory, consolidation, and chronic anxiety, the hallmarks of PTSD”

 

How difficult is it for PTSD patients to get Marijuana?

In short, not difficult at all! But before starting self-administration of Cannabis, it is of utmost importance that the whole matter is discussed with a medical professional. For those who are absolutely new in this field should be aware that THC might in turn intensify the adverse effects of PTSD.

However, CBD or more reputedly known as Cannabidiol is always there to save the day by tackling the psychoactive effects of THC. Before choosing the strain for cure, it is advised to do further research regarding the relation of THC and CBD and find a strain which has a perfect balance.

Even in our modern age, we are not able to fully eradicate the harsh experiences of PTSD, even with state of the art synthetic medicines and treatments. At a time like this, Cannabis might fall as a ray of light upon those who previously had none.

While it is true that a whole lot of research and effort is still needed to be given in this field to ensure the successful administration of Cannabis. From what is seen so far, it can easily be concluded that the medical possibilities of cannabis are limitless.

Even though the research facilities that are backed up by government funding are still barricading themselves from establishing Marijuana as a potent drug, news of its potentiality in treating previously though incurable diseases such as PTSD and others is spreading fast and is building a strong supporting base to secure a bright future for it.

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