Using cannabis to treat PTSD

Although antipsychotic drugs have been prescribed en masse to treat PTSD, a prominent study found that they don’t work and cause negative side effects. Cannabis can be used to mitigate the symptoms of PTSD, especially when combined with a support network and positive coping strategies. 29 states, the District of Columbia, and Guam allow doctors to recommend medical cannabis for PTSD, in part because of the strong advocacy of veterans organizations on a state and federal level.

If you are suffering from PTSD, do not lose hope. Slowly but surely, stigmas surrounding mental health are being broken and education is the first step. PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental health condition triggered by experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event, triggering the body’s “fight or flight” response. About 20% of combat veterans suffer from PTSD due to traumatic experiences during war, and many other traumatic experiences can cause PTSD such as physical or sexual assault, natural disaster, abuse, or other trauma.

PTSD is actually fairly common. According to the American Psychiatry Association, one in 11 people will experience PTSD in their lifetime and approximately 3.5% of U.S. adults are affected by PTSD. Symptoms of PTSD range from flashbacks to the traumatic event and bad dreams to constantly feeling tense or “on edge,” outbursts of anger, or avoidance of places, people, and things that bring up bad memories. Read up on how PTSD symptoms like anxiety and insomnia can be treated by cannabis on the Tikun blog.