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Post traumatic stress disorder and cannabis

Post-traumatic stress disorder with new research using cannabis, PTSD, marijuana, weed, pot, medical
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Post-traumatic stress disorder with new research using cannabis

According to MayoClinic, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which is triggered either by or experiences a frightening incident, is a mental health disease. Symptoms can include recollection, hallucinations, extreme anxiety and uncontrolled thoughts about the event.

Most stressful people may have occasional problems adapting and coping, but generally, they get better with time and good self-care. You may have PTSD if you have worse symptoms, last months and even years and interfere with your everyday life.

Efficient therapy may be important for reducing symptoms and improving function after PTSD symptoms develop.

Post traumatic stress disorder and cannabis
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Symptoms of Post traumatic Stress Disorder

These symptoms cause significant problems in social or work situations and relationships. Symptoms can vary over time or vary from person to person.

PTSD symptoms can vary in intensity over time. You may have more PTSD symptoms when you’re stressed in general, or when you come across reminders of what you went through.

After surviving a traumatic event, many people have PTSD-like symptoms at first, such as being unable to stop thinking about what’s happened. This may mean turning to family and friends who will listen and offer comfort. It may mean seeking out a mental health professional for a brief course of therapy.

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Post traumatic stress disorder and cannabis
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New Studies shows that Cannabis can be an effective treatment for PTSD

The use of medications is normal in survivors of abuse, including cannabis. The medicine can be quickly written down as just a way to stop bad thoughts in a nutshell, which may aggravate long-term symptoms. Nevertheless, it is more complicated than on the surface to have the association between cannabis and PTSD.

Certain components of the cannabis plant, including the well-known molecules tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol, are also cannabinoids because of their structural similarity to endogenous cannabinoids.

 Brain imaging research suggests that patients with PTSD have an abundance of cannabinoid receptors but produce few endogenous cannabinoids to lock into them, meaning that supplementing the body with plant-based cannabinoids like THC might help some brain processes function as normal.

Post traumatic stress disorder and cannabis
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Decreases the Feelings of severe despondency and dejection

Roughly one in four individuals with PTSD in the Statistics Canada survey data that were analyzed used cannabis, compared to about one in nine in the general population.

In the study, statistical models were used to quantify the relationship between having PTSD and recently experiencing a major depressive episode or suicidal ideation. Furthermore, the study hypothesized that if cannabis helped mitigate symptoms of PTSD, we’d see a much weaker association between PTSD and these indicators of mental distress in the cannabis-using population.

Indeed, exploring the associations in this way while controlling for other factors supported our hypothesis.

In a follow-up analysis of the 420 individuals in the sample who had PTSD, we categorized cannabis use into «no use,» «low-risk use» and «high-risk use».

We found that low-risk cannabis users were actually less likely than non-users to develop a major depressive episode or to be suicidal, though there was a trend towards increased risk of both outcomes for the high-risk users.

Post traumatic stress disorder and cannabis
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A hopeful future for those who are suffering post traumatic stress disorder

Our study has a number of limitations that prevent us from being able to understand whether cannabis is what’s causing the reduced association between PTSD, depression, and suicide. Our study’s strength comes from its ability to describe patterns of PTSD symptoms and cannabis use in a large sample that’s considered to be representative of the Canadian population. 

Although our findings suggest that cannabis could be of possible therapeutic use in the treatment of PTSD, cannabis use is not without risks, including the development of cannabis use disorder. We’ve uncovered a promising new signal on the potential of cannabis-based therapies, but we look forward to much work ahead in understanding how they might fit into PTSD and mental health treatment more broadly.

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