Medical Marijuana and PTSD
Imagine someone following you around all day, and when you hear certain words, see certain images and even smell something familiar, the person pokes you in the arm and tells you about the most horrific time of your life, recanting every awful moment in vivid detail.
That is the person you live with in your head when you have PTSD. It takes a toll on a person’s body over time. People become something they never imagined they could. It can break marriages, tear friendships apart and stop new relationships from happening all together. It’s a serious problem that many are facing head on with little to no help. However, it is believed that there may be a viable solution in alternative methods of treating PTSD, and if implemented properly, can potentially lead to a healthier long term coping strategy.
I am reefer-ing to medical marijuana, of course. Some may balk at the idea of medical marijuana as a PTSD solution, but in fact, scientific research suggests that stress reduction is a universal benefit from cannabis consumption. Although results will most likely vary from patient to patient, here are some of the symptoms that medical cannabis has treated for me:
- Symptom Induced Vomiting
- Appetite Loss
- Mood Swings
As a cannabis user, specifically for PTSD, I can attest to the positive affect it has on these symptoms and the way I cope. The psychoactive effects allow me to disconnect from my typical train of thought and turn off the bombardment of reminders, for hours at a time. When you struggle to think outside that constant train of thought, being outside of it feels free and refreshing. You can function again and be present in your life. I’ve found that in addition to the medical marijuana, being active and spending time with people I care about has greatly increased my ability to just shut it off for a bit as well.
The stigma around marijuana, from what I can see, is generally false. Many people seem to misconstrue what cannabis can do-probably because we’ve barely scratched the surface of what is possible. Some people think that you become more anxious and paranoid but those reactions are rare among other cannabis users I have known throughout my life. If I could have been prescribed medical marijuana earlier on in my experience, I would have. So, I turned to all the typical methods prescribed by doctors. I tried therapy, counseling, support groups and talking with friends and family, eventually. Don’t forget the multiple medications to numb me into coping nirvana. And of course, exercise, smoking cigarettes, drinking, partying and on and on and on, until I smoked cannabis.
Although I was self-medicating, I knew that if done right, it would be the solution for me in the future. For those few hours, the cannabis kept me grounded and sane and able to laugh and live and be myself again. Today, I am a legal, card carrying medical cannabis user. It’s very similar to other medications in that there’s a proper dosage, monitored by a doctor, that brings me back to being normal. It provides me with the level of relief I need that I couldn’t get from traditionally prescribed medications for PTSD, and I don’t have to take additional prescriptions to treat the side effects of the original PTSD meds they prescribed. It’s been 8 years since my attack and I can always turn to cannabis for the help I need.
I would like to thank DocMJ for being the pillar of hope that the medical marijuana community needed in Florida. I got my introduction to medical cannabis from DocMJ and appreciate the care they took to make sure I was properly diagnosed. I would also like to thank Trulieve, one of the licensed medical cannabis facilities in Florida. Their knowledgeable staff has been able to recommend and provide exactly the medicine I needed, specific to my diagnosis and symptoms. Not only do I feel better, I now have the ability to help others that need it because I am truly getting the relief I need.