- Bailey Porras
Cannabinoid Treatments for Veterans With PTSD
It’s no surprise that PTSD patients could benefit from medical cannabis. When we think of PTSD, many of us may immediately think of veterans, or PTSD caused by events of war.
The Wayne State University School of Medicine received $12.5 million (from the Cannabis Regulatory Agency) to study how cannabis could help veterans who have PTSD.
The school will be conducting two controlled clinical trials in order to gain a better understanding on the subject.
What Is PTSD?
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder is a psychiatric condition that can come about when a person experiences a traumatic event. Any type of traumatic event can cause PTSD to come forth in a person, but some of the most common examples might include war, a rape, robbery, or a natural disaster.
PTSD does not only affect the person involved in the distressing event; it can affect a person who is only witnessing the event as well.
You may have heard people refer to PTSD as “shell shock” or “combat fatigue” when talking about the traumatic events that occurred during World War I and II. Many PTSD patients in the United States are war veterans.
Studies show that about 3.5% of US adults are known to suffer from PTSD, and about 1 in 11 people will be diagnosed with the disorder at some point in their lives. Anyone can develop PTSD, but women are typically more prone to it.
Patients with PTSD are known to show many different symptoms, and the severity varies quite a bit depending on the person and traumatic event. According to psychiatry.org, these are the four main categories of symptoms for PTSD:
Intrusion: Intrusive thoughts such as repeated, involuntary memories; distressing dreams; or flashbacks of the traumatic event. Flashbacks may be so vivid that people feel they are re-living the traumatic experience or seeing it before their eyes.
Avoidance: Avoiding reminders of the traumatic event may include avoiding people, places, activities, objects and situations that may trigger distressing memories. People may try to avoid remembering or thinking about the traumatic event. They may resist talking about what happened or how they feel about it.
Alterations in cognition and mood: Inability to remember important aspects of the traumatic event, negative thoughts and feelings leading to ongoing and distorted beliefs about oneself or others (e.g., “I am bad,” “No one can be trusted”); distorted thoughts about the cause or consequences of the event leading to wrongly blaming self or other; ongoing fear, horror, anger, guilt or shame; much less interest in activities previously enjoyed; feeling detached or estranged from others; or being unable to experience positive emotions (a void of happiness or satisfaction).
Alterations in arousal and reactivity: Arousal and reactive symptoms may include being irritable and having angry outbursts; behaving recklessly or in a self-destructive way; being overly watchful of one's surroundings in a suspecting way; being easily startled; or having problems concentrating or sleeping.
Wayne School Studies
One study done by students at Wayne State is called Cannabinoid Adjunct to Prolonged Exposure and Recovery.
The study hypothesized that modest doses of THC may help PTSD patients with emotion regulation, especially when combined with cognitive reappraisal therapy. Compared to those given a placebo, PTSD patients in the study who were given THC had fewer negative feelings when going through cognitive reappraisal tasks.
Cognitive reappraisal is basically the process in which patients try to rethink the source of our anger in a new light. It is used as a common treatment for PTSD.
The brains of the THC users in the study also showed much more activity in regions that are usually less active in PTSD patients.
Students at the University conducted a study using 51 people. Each of these people were given either a placebo or 7.5mg of THC.
During the peak of their high, or non-high, participants were put through cognitive reappraisal and asked to reflect on certain experiences brought about by being shown triggering images that brought back memories. They were also evaluated on their emotional state.
The study reported that the patients who took doses of THC showed boosted brain activity compared to the study’s placebo group who did not take THC. This is a significant conclusion because reductions in brain activity have been linked to PTSD.
THC could improve the long-term outcomes of PTSD therapies, such as cognitive reappraisal, by assisting patients in reevaluating images that trigger stress.
Get Your Medical Marijuana Card Today!
Louisiana’s medical marijuana program is currently active, and PTSD is a qualifying condition. You can start reaping the benefits of cannabis today if you have PTSD or another one of the state-determined qualifying conditions!
Cannabis is a great alternative medicine option that offers natural, safe, and legal relief for an array of symptoms. If you think marijuana could help some of your symptoms, what are you waiting for?
Schedule an evaluation online today with one of our knowledgeable, compassionate doctors to see if you qualify for your medical card. Not only will you discuss your condition and options, but you can do so through a virtual appointment in the safety of your own home!
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Relief You Can Trust.
At Louisiana Marijuana Card, our mission is helping everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce the stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
Call us at (833) 253-2943, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!