Can Cannabis Help PTSD Treatment? Positive Outcomes in Patients with PTSD
Although it's sometimes still perceived simply as an intoxicant, cannabis actually has many other properties and uses. It can be used as a food component, a relaxing and pain-soothing substance for sportspeople, or as a treatment complement in many diseases.
Mental disorders are a special group of diseases in which marijuana seems to be effective. As we all know, this substance is psychoactive, so it changes the brain's psychical processes. That's why it can be useful in treating some of the mental conditions, such as depression, ADHD, or even PTSD. How does it work?
Marijuana in treating mental disorders
Because marijuana changes the perception and brain reactions, it can be used to change or improve mental states caused by various disorders. For example, cannabis has relaxing properties, that can be of help in reducing the symptoms of ADHD. They include hyperactivity, excessive energy, lack of concentration, or insomnia. By using cannabis, those signs can be decreased. If you look for good-quality medical marijuana, take a look at websites like this washington dc dispensary. In the case of depression, however, cannabis is used as a substance that reduces anxiety, insomnia, and fear. Another problem in which marijuana can be helpful as a complementary treatment, is PTSD.
What is PTSD?
PTSD is an abbreviation of Post-traumatic stress disorder, sometimes also known as 'shell shock'. It's a condition that is developed after suffering from an intense trauma, taking part in or witnessing difficult, dramatic, or violent events. The disease was classified and recognized after the First World War, when many soldiers and civils started suffering from strange mental symptoms, such as insomnia, hyperactivity, aphasia, neurosis or hallucinations. Later on, PTSD was not only associated with war events, but with all traumatic events in life. In other words, every person who have survived any tragic episode may suffer from PTSD. It's good to add that there's no measure of this 'tragedy' – it utterly depends on a person and their mentality. For some, a certain event may not even be a problem, while it may cause PTSD in others.
Normally, PTSD is treated with a combination of medication and psychotherapy. The pharmacotherapy usually involves SRRI medication – a group of medications used for treating depression and anxiety. Sometimes anti-anxiety medication is added, like, for example, Xanax. As for the therapy, the preferred model is CBT – cognitive-behavioural therapy. This therapy is mainly focused on recognizing the patient's reactions for certain events, then recognizing and changing negative thoughts into positive ones, and consequently, changing the behaviour on the basis of the new, constructive thoughts. For example, a patient who has survived a car crash and now suffers from excessive stress connected with car rides would be asked to imagine a situation in a car, recognize his thoughts at this point, and then try to change them into positive ones. This kind of therapy, though, requires a lot of patience and effort, but it brings excellent effects in most patients.
PTSD alternative treatment – marijuana
An alternative way to treat PTSD involves the use of marijuana. As this substance has soothing and relaxing properties, it may be helpful in reducing stress levels in patients who suffer from shell shock. For example, recent studies have shown that the depression and anxiety episodes typical for PTSD were decreased in patients who used marijuana for medical purposes. What's more, the suicidal thoughts that often go along with severe PTSD were significantly reduced by the use of cannabis. Patients who used marijuana were undergoing the whole treatment in a more calm, effective way.
However, there was no specific information about the amount or frequency of marijuana use, so the conclusion is not that clear yet. To read more about the latest research, visit this website.
Medical marijuana and addiction risk
It's no secret that marijuana, as every intoxicant, is addictive. Some people have low risk of addictions in general, while others are more likely to get used to a certain substance. That's why it's important to consult a specialist, such as a psychiatrist or psychotherapist, before using marijuana for PTSD treatment. Patients with mental conditions tend to use substances like alcohol or drugs, as they are immediate mood-boosters and they make people feel better. However, excessive use of any intoxicants may even worsen the disease and increase the anxiety or suicidal thoughts. That's why it's important always to take doctor's advice. The mechanism of medical marijuana addiction is also explained here.
Marijuana has many advantages if it's used correctly and under control. It's vital to remember that patients with mental disorders are a special group and should be especially cared for. Psychotherapy and medical treatment are essential in PTSD, but sometimes it's tempting to try some additional treatment. In this case, it's good to try cannabis, as it's a natural substance, instead of searching for a chemical, dangerous solution in other drugs or unknown medications. All in all, it's advisable to take any decision with reason. Using marijuana in treating mental conditions is a relatively new but promising method to discover.