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Symptom Management: PTSD

November 22nd, 2021

PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, is a debilitating and life-altering condition that can occur after a traumatic incident, accident, or life experience. Those who suffer from it are in some ways trapped to relive their trauma repetitively, through flashbacks and nightmares, causing panic attacks, hypervigilance, overwhelming emotions, detachment from loved ones, and sometimes even self-destructive behavior. Sadly, PTSD is not an easy condition to treat pharmaceutically or naturally due to the individualization of the disease. Though certainly controversial, this has led to a deep analysis of how sufferers can alleviate symptoms. That said, treating PTSD with medical cannabis has been shown to be effective in two different studies.

The first of which revolves around recovery time and symptom reduction, this time primarily with US military veterans as testing patients. Formed by the Colorado public health department and pursued by a handful of prestigious universities, the results indicated by the study are shocking in the face of controversy. Results indicated a 4-5x decrease in the total number of symptoms and the full recovery rate remains at 2.57 compared to those pursuing standard medical alleviation of PTSD offered by the VA. Thus, on both symptom and cause addressing levels, cannabis is a strong choice for a PTSD sufferer to utilize. 

However, consistent research on the matter remains difficult. With the medical treatment of PTSD with cannabis being so heavily restricted, every study within the United States must obtain permission from the National Institute of Drug Abuse. Though on the surface, this seems like terrific planning, the lack of consistency from the NIDA makes continued research difficult. For example, most cannabis used by NIDA is drastically under the quality and potency typically offered by both medical or recreational dispensaries alike, with a vast range in percentages and batches. As most PTSD users choose high THC-centric chains with higher, consistent THC percentages, this remains difficult in the face of consistent, adequate research.

In the second study of medical treatment of PTSD with cannabis, similar results are corroborated with a more clear timeline in connection with standard pharmaceuticals. Over a year-long period, three groups, one medical cannabis user group, one with pharmaceuticals only, and a control group without medication, saw drastically different responses. As expected, cannabis takes the most effective spot, sporting a similar 2.5 rate compared to the control group. Following cannabis are pharmaceuticals, with a 1.3 rate of symptom reduction compared to medical cannabis. Though pharmaceuticals were effective at reducing symptoms in both groups, cannabis did so at nearly double the rate of time that pharmaceuticals did. 

Taking all into account, medical treatment of PTSD with cannabis still actively has impediments to showing its true effect, primarily the lack of consistently dosed THC content and quality offered by the NIDA currently. When faced with federal legalization, this will surely change, allowing for more consistent and impactful research to occur. If you suffer from PTSD, please get in contact with us here at Summit Releaf. We would love to help set you up with the ability to heal faster.

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