Anyone who as smoked marijuana or knows tangentially of the effects it has cannot deny that it often creates a state of relaxation. Certain strains are more relaxing and calming than others. Additionally, there is a large part of society that supports the use of marijuana for medical purposes and as a legitimate form of medication. Therefore, it is only logical to consider it for treating PTSD and explore the relationship between veterans and pot.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Those who enlist in the armed services risk their lives and leave their families to fight wars in far off places. When they return, adjustment is often difficult on many levels and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is not rare. Some signs of PTSD are:
- Emotional distress or upsetting memories of a traumatic event
- Upsetting dreams
- Reliving or flashbacks of a traumatic
- Physical reactions to reminders of a traumatic event
Marijuana as Treatment
While many veterans claim that marijuana usage helps PTSD symptoms, there have been few controlled studies and there is no concrete evidence. That said, there has been so much support for the idea that Senate recently passed a bill allowing doctors to recommend marijuana to patients in states where it is legal. One promising study did find that administering synthetic cannabinoids to rats after a trauma triggered changes in the areas of the brain associated with the holding and formation of traumatic memories. This, in turn, prevented certain symptoms of PTSD. The calming effect of the THC in marijuana is undeniable, and like most things surrounding medical marijuana, it is the politics that are delaying further testing.
Thousands of soldiers leave active duty each year and it is our responsibility as Americans to do what we can in order to help them readjust to life at home.
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