Cannabis has been proven to help sufferers of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which presently amounts to more than 5 million people in the United States alone. In fact, many states that allow medical marijuana have laws specifically allowing use for individuals with PTSD. We all know cannabis has some magical healing powers, but we were surprised with some of the facts we found about cannabis and PTSD.
- A National Comorbidity Study stated that those who live with PTSD were three times more likely to be dependant on cannabis than regular cannabis users.
- Only 7 of 24 states with laws that allow for medical marijuana explicitly allow the use of cannabis as treatment for those with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These states include: Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware*, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, and Oregon.*Medical marijuana legislation in Delaware was recently amended to allow PTSD only when it manifested as severe pain, nausea, or could be proven to impede the patient’s ability to carry out activities necessary to daily living.
- A study showed that rats who were exposed to a cannabinoid compound were able to cope better than rats who were given SSRI antidepressant sertraline (Zoloft) which is a common PTSD treatment.
- PTSD could possibly alter a person’s endocannabinoid system; one study found that many people with PTSD have marijuana receptor genes that differ from those found in people without the disorder.
- It is reported that 20% of Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans have experienced PTSD.
As you can see, there are positives and negatives to treating PTSD with cannabis, as is expected with any medication. Further, the nation’s position on cannabis use by PTSD patients is currently in flux, and this evolution is expected to continue. With the increasing rate of marijuana legalization in the U.S., easing the pain of those who are suffering from symptoms of PTSD appears to be a hopeful future.
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