In this paper I intend to show you that the best treatment for PTSD is in fact medicinal marijuana, also known as cannabis. I will show past and present studies and research analysis that shows that properly used, cannabis can successfully treat PTSD . PTSD sufferers are among the highest users of cannabis. Research shows that not only can cannabis help the PTSD patient, with nightmares and mood swings, it can also smooth over traumatic memories in which the patient can become more stable.
The next step is for congress to legalize its use for medicinal purposes beyond just letting the state decide. Even if the state allows its use medicinally, the government can still prosecute patients for its use. This just shows that regardless of state laws, medicinal marijuana is still illegal. Medicinal Marijuana and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) In order for medicinal marijuana to be used in the treatment of PTSD, there must first be a willingness to accept the scientific research. PTSD is a psychiatric disorder brought on by a single horrific experience or traumatic experience.
Most commonly diagnosed, are soldiers who have been to war, and women who suffered child sexual abuse. Although anyone who has been through a traumatic experience can develop PTSD. PTSD is a complex disorder and it is very difficult to treat as told by Leveque, 2007. Dr. Leveque has worked with numerous veterans of war that suffer from PTSD. As explained defined by Dr. Mikuryia, 2006, in an article on his website titled Cannabis eases post traumatic stress, “PTSD—a chronic condition involving horrific memories that cannot be erased—is a dissociative identity disorder.
The victims’ psyche is fragmented in response to contradictory inputs that cannot be resolved. Dissociative identity disorders are expressed in bizarre or inappropriate behaviors with intense sadness, fear, and anger. Repression or “forgetting” of the experiences may develop as a coping mechanism. ” PTSD symptoms range from flashbacks, nightmares, insomnia, depression and emotional detachment. PTSD sufferers can be startled easily and may have violent rages. “People who suffer from PTSD usually relieve the traumatic experience in the form of nightmares and disturbing recollections. (Bearman, 2006). Those who suffer with PTSD are difficult to treat. Unlike depression where one may face their fears and retrace the events that led up to their depression, people with PTSD have a difficult time rehashing the trama trauma. PTSD patients may even become agitated and aggressive when asked about their trauma. Those with PTSD tend to repress and regress as a coping mechanisim mechanism. A PTSD sufferer tries to act normal and may appear normal, however when they are triggered by something that agitates their regression, they may become hostile and engulfed in rage.
The stress of constantly trying to appear and be normal and hide their “true self” is another stressor in its self. Currently the most common treatments for PTSD are those which treat depression. and some that treat schizophrenia. Paroxetine, Sertraline, Pluoxetine, Citalopram, Fluvoxamine May produce insomnia, restlessness, nausea, decreased appetite, daytime sedation, nervousness, and anxiety, sexual dysfunction, decreased libido. The other commonly used drugs are Trazadone is usually to sedating, may produce rare priapism. Velafaxine cause or can make hypertension worse.
Buproprion can cause seizure disorders in some people. Mirtrazepine may cause sedation or make the patient feel too sedated or hung over. The main course of drugs to treat PTSD, have severe side effects stemming from insomnia, agitation and worsening of the condition as shown above. The side effects may also include the worse possible side effect which is death. This has no positive effect on treating PTSD. Most PTSD patients try the medications and then choose to get off and continue without them because the medications that are FDA approved cause them to feel worse and or have no positive effect on their condition. Why these weird medicines should work, or are supposed to work, is really a medical mystery. The adverse side effects of almost all of these, makes one wonder why they should be forced onto a psychologically fragile PTSD patient. ” As cited by (Leveque et al. , 2007). Recent studies and past studies have proven that the best most efficient treatment for PTSD is medicinal marijuana, also known as cannabis. Medicinal marijuana is arguably the best choice of medicine to treat PTSD. because receptors in the brain called cannabinoids react positively to oddly enough cannabanoids found in marijuana.
Cannabis has many positive characteristics that treat PTSD in all aspects of its condition. The problem with treating PTSD with medicinal marijuana is that, The reason that cannabis is the choice of psychiatrists and physicians for treating PTSD is because of its many characteristics. Cannabis, itself contains chemical called cannabinoids. Oddly enough our brains contain cannabinoid receptors. Scientists are very close to discovering why cannabis works. Scientists do know that the receptors in the brain react positively to cannabis.
Cannabis has many positive properties for the PTSD patient. The many characteristics of cannabis create a standard for phsychiatrists psychiatrists and physicians to prescribe and recommend it to their patients within the states that allow it. Cannabis itself remarkably contains a substance known as cannabinoids. Oddly enough our brains contain cannabinoid receptors. “Medical marijuana acts as a homeostatic modulator, which means that it is used to help patients get back into a normal state almost to the extent and cause of their PTSD.
Medical marijuana reduces pain and memories of pain, modulates emotional reactivity, relaxes skeletal and smooth muscle, it modulates mood and decreases anxiety and insomnia. It acts as an antidepressant without adverse effects. ” As cited by (Leveque et al. , 2007). Case Report: A 52-year-old retired executive secretary brought her 20-year-old daughter along to her follow-up interview two years after starting cannabis therapy. During her initial visit she had not disclosed fully the causality of her chronic depression with symptoms of PTSD (nightmares, chronic insomnia, dissociative episodes, rage).
She was experiencing loss of emotional control with crisis psychiatric interventions. Hypervigilance characterized her presentation; she described herself as being “all clenched up. ” On follow-up she reported being able to recover and process repressed memories of sexual abuse from age five to 15 by her father (a preacher) and having been beaten by her enraged mother. She reported the diminution and cessation of dissociative reactions to the painful memories. This permitted her to process and resolve —or come to an accord with— these unthinkable memories.
Her continuing psychotherapy focused on these issues. She no longer experienced episodes of loss of control. She was able to relax her hypervigilance. Her self-esteem was significantly improved and she seemed happy and optimistic Her daughter confirmed that her mother was less irritable and more emotionally available since starting cannabis therapy. Both described improvement in their relationship. (Mikuryia et al. , 2006). Case Report: A 55-year-old disabled male veteran had been a naval air crewman on patrol during the Vietnam war. A P2V turbo-prop engine failed to reverse properly on landing.
A propeller broke loose, pierced the fuselage, and instantly killed his crew mate who was two feet away. He brought a large binder of documentation of the incident. His PTSD was expressed primarily through a haunting, recurrent flashback nightmares that replayed the traumatic event. Attendant were the feelings of being emotionally overwhelmed. Sleep deficit was a salient aggravating factor for increasing vulnerability. Cannabis restored sleep and controlled nightmares. Depression and irritability had been eased. (Mikuryia et al. , 2006).
It has been argued that medicinal marijuana should or should not be used for medical purposes for any illness. The scientific research shows us that cannabis is a reliable medicine with little or no side effects when used for medical purposes. Although many states have legalized cannabis for medical illness, the problem lies within our Government. People with prescriptions for marijuana are still being arrested for its use and for possession. Even though, a state gives a patient the right to possess and grows marijuana with a prescription, it is still a felony in the eye of the government.
The FDA has heard numerous reports and has an abundance of scientific research to approve marijuana as a medicine. However the controversy being either from the public or the government the argument still prevails. In many cases when asked the general public majority does not pose a problem with legalizing marijuana as a medicine. However our government officials do. Perhaps with the government it is more about the question of losing money on arrest and fines. However with an open mind and insight, they would see the legal sale of prescription cannabis far outweighs felony fine money.
The benefits of cannabis for the treatment of PTSD are too great for the FDA and United States Government to ignore. There are thousands of soldiers returning from war that are diagnosed each year with PTSD. There are many child survivors of sexual abuse who need to feel normal and stable in order. Our veterans and the many survivors of rape and child sexual abuse need to feel normal and stable in order to have a productive life. Sitting day in and day out in hiding is not living. I know this because I also suffer from PTSD and fighting each day to avoid stressors of everyday life is complicated and unbearable.
I finds find it hard to concentrate and focus on any one task for more than a few minutes. I have been known to burst out in violent rages and throw things when I feel I can not can’t handle stress or I can not can’t deal with everyday issues. It is frustrating, and humiliating to not be able to handle life in general, good or bad. During my experiences with cannabis, I was able to relax, focus and calmly handle daily tasks chores and build a better relationship with my kids. There were times before cannabis that I totally detached myself emotionally from everyone within my circle of immediate family, in order to get by mentally.
I had stopped doing things in life that I enjoy such as camping and fishing with my kids. I just barricaded myself within my home and refused to do anything that required dealing with anyone that might pose a confrontation of any sort. If it weren’t for medicinal marijuana I would not have been able to complete tasks in my quest for a college education. I would not be able to handle problems calmly and successfully. I would have given up on school the first time I failed at a task. I would not be able to love my kids and family to the extent that I love and care for them now.
Medicinal Marijuana is the right choice for treating PTSD. Case studies, scientific research the many PTSD patients who use cannabis all agree that “Cannabis relieves pain, enables sleep, normalizes gastrointestinal function and restores peristalsis. Fortified by improved digestion and adequate rest, the patient can resist being overwhelmed by triggering stimuli. There is no other psychotherapeutic drug with these synergistic and complementary effects. ” (Mikuryia et al. , 2006).