Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life threating or life altering event. Symptoms include: recurrent re-experiencing of the trauma, sleep problems, irritability, anger, poor concentration, blackouts and a phobia of places, people and experiences that remind the sufferer of the trauma.
For as long as humans have been suffering from trauma, we have been dealing with PTSD in some form. As our physiological development evolved we gained a greater understanding of this and eventually gave it a name. During World War I, the term “shell shock” was used to describe what is now better described as PTSD. By World War II, shell shock was replaced with the term “Combat Stress Reaction.” The phrase “Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder” didn’t appear until the 1980s, with the publication of the third volume of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is not a qualifying condition for medical marijuana in all medical marijuana states, but it does qualify in a number of states. After a long persistent effort, the state of Colorado approved PTSD as a qualifying condition for Medical Marijuana. This is the first new qualifying condition added under the Colorado’s medical marijuana law since it was implemented in 2001!
Individuals who suffer from PTSD experience and wide variety of symptoms. Many of these common symptoms such as anxiety, depression and insomnia have been shown to have positive effects when medical marijuana is used. Medical marijuana can help people with PTSD by working with the body’s natural compounds to create a relaxing, reverse effect on the brain. Studies prove that medical marijuana with high levels of CBD provide a therapeutic effect on those with anxiety disorders.
May it be night terrors, paranoia or OCD habits, there are multiple reason why someone who suffers from PTSD may deal with insomnia. The traditional method of combating sleep with pharmaceuticals now has a new competitor. Many sleeping medications such as the benzodiazepines convert deep sleep into lighter sleep; so that while the total amount of sleep may be modestly increased, it may not be of optimal quality. Do to cannabis’ long standing classification with the federal government there is currently limited research on cannabis and its effects of sleep. What we do know is that when compared to other common sleep aid methods such as, alcohol and pharmaceuticals medications cannabis has lower long term negative side effects. Marijuana has been found to decrease REM sleep while increasing slow wave sleep. Slow sleep wave is the stage of sleep right before REM, in this stage the body builds mentally and physical energy. Keep in mind that all medicine alters its users REM sleep some more than others.
Save The Date: Find out if cannabis is the right therapy for you. We would like to invite you to attend PTSD and cannabis. A free public event sponsored by Sensi magazine and Stratos. Hosted by Lux Leaf INC on Thursday September 28th 2017, 5:30pm- 8pm. Visit Luxleaf.com for further event information.
Author: Lux Leaf INC staff, Lux Leaf Learning Center staff
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Roehrs, T., Roth, T. Medication and substance abuse. in: M. Kryger, T. Roth, W.C. Dement (Eds.) Principles and practice of sleep medicine 5th edition. Part II, section 16. Elsevier Saunders, St Louis (MO); 2010:1512–1523. 5 July 2017.