Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD is related to anxiety as a disorder, and is often developed after exposure to a traumatic event. Warfare, assault, rape/sexual assault, traffic collisions and threats to a person’s life are common causes of PTSD, especially when the trauma is particularly devastating, long-lasting and/or persistent. There is usually an increase in flight-or-fight responses and/or a “shutting down” of emotions. Mental and/or physical distress to trauma-related cues, dreams related to the traumatic event, dramatic alterations in thinking and disturbed thinking are other symptoms. PTSD does seem to have a genetic component to it, and those with a smaller hippocampus.

Approximately 5% of Americans – around 13 million people – have PTSD at any one given time. It is estimated that approximately 8% of adults, or 1 in 13 people, in the US will develop PTSD during their lifetime. PTSD leads to an increased risk of suicide and addiction to substances, and being constantly stressed may well make one more susceptible to other illnesses.

Antidepressants – particularly of the SSRI subgroup – and counselling are the first port of call for those suffering from PTSD. However, this is not always effective, and many medications like benzodiazepines may make things much worse. Whilst cannabis’s efficacy for PTSD isn’t proven as of yet, many veterans have used it to alleviate the symptoms of “shell shock”.

Value of Medical Marijuana

557 out of 4,276 (13.03%) patients surveyed use medical marijuana for PTSD. Although antidepressants have proven effective for PTSD, there are few other medications out there that can potentially help. Sadly, many with PTSD are prescribed benzodiazepines, barbiturates and powerful mood stabilizers as well – drugs that have no proven efficacy for PTSD, and may actually make problems worse. Cannabinoid-based medication may well prove to be an adjunct to antidepressants, and a replacement for harsher pharmaceuticals.

Positives

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Negatives

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Treatments

26.39% of patients surveyed with PTSD prefer indicas, whilst 27.29% of patients surveyed with PTSD preferred sativas. Our survey split out PTSD into PTSD A and PTSD B. PTSD A answered a preference for sativas – 27.52% vs. indicas’ 25.06%. For PTSD B, 30% of patients preferred indica, vs. sativas’ 26.67%. This suggests that, just as with anxiety and depression, finding the right cannabinoid profile for PTSD is a case of “fine-tuning”. Limonene, bisabolol, myrcene and humulene may well all be excellent anxiolytics and sleep aids, whilst CBD may also act in a similar way to antidepressants by acting on 5-HT serotonin receptors.

  • 27.29%

    Sativas

  • 26.39%

    Indicas

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