Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental condition brought as a result of a traumatic episode. While some people don’t necessarily experience lifetime trauma after a life-threatening situation, some people can end up suffering from these painful memories. PTSD patients typically suffer from sleeping problems, anger issues, poor concentration, traumatic flashbacks, panic attacks, blackouts, and irrational phobias when exposed to a triggering event.
PTSD patients often turn to medications and psychotherapy to reduce their fearful memories. Some patients, however, find little to no relief from traditional therapies. When all options have been exhausted, PTSD patients can reap medical marijuana benefits from a variety of medical marijuana strains and products. Cannabis for PTSD is an extremely effective treatment with multiple benefits.
Increase Anandamide Levels
All mammals produce anandamide, also known as the “bliss molecule.” This neurotransmitter is released during exercise, for example, giving people that “runner’s high.” Research has shown that people with PTSD have lower levels of anandamide than those without PTSD. Anandamide, a naturally occurring compound, works similarly to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) found in cannabis. THC produces mind-altering feelings of euphoria along with sedation. Too much, THC, however can increase paranoia and anxiety. The solution is to use a cannabidiol (CBD) rich cannabis product to offset the negative effects of THC.
Higher Signaling of CB-1 Receptors
Since THC makes up for the low levels of anandamide in our central nervous system, it interacts heavily with CB-1 receptors in our brain. CB-1 receptors are responsible for regulating our emotional responses, ability to handle stress, and fear extinction. Fear extinction enables you to forget traumatic memories. When CB-1 receptors aren’t activated as much, the fearful memories stay with you and increase your levels of anxiety. Medical marijuana for anxiety has shown tremendous promise in removing painful memories across a variety of mental disorders.
CBD and THC Work Together
CBD-rich cannabis products enable you to offset paranoia or increased anxiety if you take too much THC. Additionally, CBD works on different mechanisms of action such as inhibiting the FAAH enzyme which lowers the amount of anandamide present in your central nervous system. CBD is also helpful in reducing anxiety by binding to the 5HT1A serotonin receptor creating a synergistic stress relief treatment with THC.
THC Can Improve Sleep
THC can be helpful for people who cannot get a good night’s rest. Whether you have insomnia or night terrors, THC can provide sedative effects to relax your muscles and mind making you fall asleep faster. Furthermore, THC (specifically indica strains) will keep you in a deep state of sleep without interruption.
While cannabis has many benefits to people with PTSD, healthy lifestyle habits like eating right and regular exercise can amplify the beneficial effects of cannabis to treat PTSD. Now, that you’re armed with the knowledge to improve PTSD symptoms, experiment with a variety of medical marijuana strains to find the best one that works for you.