How Cannabis Helps PTSD

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By Amber Roundtree

Many people living in cities such as Tampa, Orlando, and Miami today are suffering from some degree of post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD), which is seriously and negatively affecting their lives. While most associate PTSD with people returning home from war, people who suffer through many other types of tremendous mental and physical stresses can develop it as well, and doctors are really still struggling to get a handle on the disorder. No matter what the root cause of someone’s PTSD might be, they need to have help in getting their disorder to a level they can manage, so they can live a normal life. Some feel that medical marijuana could be the answer here, as it is with so many other types of medical issues today.

New Study to Discover How Cannabis Helps PTSD

Research happening at the University of Arizona is studying how medical marijuana is affecting veterans who have PTSD. Currently, most of the evidence that marijuana is able to help sufferers is anecdotal, which is not enough to make most medical professionals want to prescribe it to their patients. The lead researcher of the study is Arizona, Suzanne Sisley, hopes to change that. With more studies on how marijuana might be able to help veterans and other PTSD sufferers, she hopes they can finally get the help they need.

When one looks at how medical marijuana is helping other patients with other issues, it is possible to see just how it might be able to help PTSD sufferers. Many use the drug as a means to help them with their anxiety and insomnia. Those two things are hallmarks of people suffering from PTSD. The marijuana may also be able to help those who are dealing with flashbacks. This particular study, run by Sisley, is still awaiting clearance from the Drug Enforcement Agency before the research can actually begin. The study already received approval from the Public Health Service.

What Will the Study Entail?

Assuming that the study is allowed to go forward, it will last for a total of ten weeks and work with fifty veterans. The vets have moderate to severe PTSD symptoms, and they will be using federally grown marijuana. Those who are in the study will receive one of five different amounts of THC in the marijuana they take from 0% for the placebo group up through 12% for the group with the highest THC level. The study will also look at the differences between how someone uses the marijuana – smoking and vaping – to see which one is the most effective.

If approved, this will be the first study of its kind, and it can go a long way in helping those veterans who need help in dealing with their PTSD. Currently, more than seven million people in the United States suffer from the disorder, and this study has the potential to help many of them. Currently, only six states allow PTSD to be a qualifying condition for medical marijuana – Nevada, Maine, Connecticut, Delaware, Oregon, and New Mexico. Florida is not among that group, but this could change in the future.
About the Author

I am the chief medical officer of Florida Weed Maps (floridamedicalmarijuanatreatmentcenters.com). I have a University of Florida bachelor’s degree in Microbiology and a Master’s in Medical Research focused around Molecular Biology. My early research focus was on the epigenetic links to cancer which lead me to my current research in studying the effects of immunology on patient recovery. I am further focusing my interests on the chemotherapeutic effects of cannabis on the human endocannabinoid system.

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