For far too long, people who suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome have had to deal with the debilitating symptoms of the condition with little successful treatment. One treatment that is gaining increased popularity among veterans and other people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), is the use of medical marijuana.
Marijuana May Be A Last Resort
Considering the fact that 20 veterans commit suicide every day in the United States, there is a clear need for a new form of treatment for people who suffer from PTSD. As Dr. Sue Sisley, the psychiatrist who is leading the first randomized, controlled trial of the ability for cannabis to treat post-traumatic stress syndrome states, “I eventually started to see that a lot of these veterans were not responding to conventional medications, and then I began seeing a lot of deaths in my practice…these were people who had already been through the gauntlet of medications and nothing had helped.”
As Dr. Sisley explains, the traditional anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications given to people with PTSD often end up causing more harm than help. Many veterans and others who have tried marijuana are actually able to slowly ween themselves off of the harsh mix of medications that they take on a daily basis.
Why Does Marijuana Treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?
The science behind why marijuana could help ease the effects of PTSD is actually very simple. One of the main symptoms of PTSD is an endocannabinoid deficiency. In people with PTSD, the body does not produce enough endocannabinoids to sufficiently fill cannabinoid receptors. Marijuana counteracts the symptoms of endocannabinoid deficiency by introducing cannabinoids from outside of the body that act as a replacement for the decreased production of cannabinoids in the body.
While there is overwhelming scientific and anecdotal evidence proving the efficacy of marijuana in treating post-traumatic stress syndrome, many people still don’t have access to it. For residents of Colorado however, that is changing.
Colorado Makes PTSD An Eligible Condition
Colorado lawmakers recently passed a bill making Colorado one of about 16 states which consider PTSD an eligible condition for treatment with medical marijuana. This huge step forward will finally allow Colorado citizens who suffer from PTSD to access the medicine they deem best fit to treat their condition. Hopefully more of the 29 states with established legal medical marijuana programs will consider the needs of veterans and others who have to live with PTSD and establish it as an accepted condition.While Colorado and other states are pushing forward by making PTSD an eligible condition for medical marijuana use, there are still many restrictions in place making it hard or even impossible for people to access the medicine they need. The fight must continue until everyone with PTSD has the chance to treat their condition with the safest and most effective medicine possible.
Lane is based in Southern California and is a content curator for Medical Marijuana 411. He focuses his research into finding informative stories that can help medical marijuana patients better understand their diverse medicine.