Marijuana is one of the most frequently illegal drugs used within the United States. Many people suffering from symptoms of post-traumatic stress (PTSD) resort to marijuana to alleviate their symptoms. These could include anxiety and paranoia.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs found that more than two-in-ten patients who have PTSD take marijuana. But can marijuana and PTSD be the best combination? Does the drug help or worsen signs of the condition.
Can marijuana help in reducing Stress and PTSD?
Many people with anxiety disorders, including PTSD, are dependent on marijuana for a variety of reasons. For instance, veterans who have served in the military may use cannabis to alleviate irritable or anxious emotions due to combat. Those who survived assaults can smoke cannabis to ease the impact of their trauma.
Can people use marijuana for PTSD? In the short term, it can help relieve tension. But marijuana is still an addictive drug that could affect or even harm an individual’s mental and physical health.
Medical Marijuana to treat PTSD:
Marijuana is comprised of THC along with cannabidiol (CBD). THC is the component found in cannabis plants and is primarily responsible for generating euphoric sensations. In contrast, CBD is a non-psychoactive ingredient that reduces THC’s effects. THC.
Medical marijuana, which is legal in certain states, has low THC levels and high levels of CBD since medical marijuana decreases the likelihood that an individual feels euphoric, many who have PTSD take this type of cannabis to lessen their symptoms.
A study from 2014 published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs examined the efficacy of medical marijuana in relieving signs of PTSD. The study found that people with PTSD had a 75-percent reduction in their symptoms when they used medical cannabis.
The researchers also found that more data must be presented to assess the effectiveness of medical cannabis to treat PTSD.
Do marijuana’s effects have negative consequences on PTSD?
A lot of people who have PTSD take marijuana to help reduce insomnia. A study from 2015 released within The Primary Care Companion for CNS Disorders indicated that marijuana causes long-term sleep issues in those who have PTSD. Sleep disorders can cause or worsen drug use.
Marijuana does not cure PTSD. While it can temporarily ease symptoms, the root cause of the issue is usually. The symptoms can become more severe in certain instances after pot’s effects lessen.
Problems with Self-Medicating:
Since it’s a sedative, cannabis can reduce anxiety and tension for some people. In the end, marijuana is a popular method of self-medicating for people who have trauma-related PTSD.
Certain people suffering from anxiety disorders claim that the drug can help them manage issues related to traumatizing experiences, such as anxiety and chronic stress.
However, using marijuana to self-medicate could lead to addiction or dependence. The use of marijuana can cause individuals to crave the drug despite being aware of the social, medical, and legal consequences of their actions. The brain is the primary organ involved in marijuana addiction and a disorder that could require treatment to manage.
The study published in Archives of General Psychiatry found that using marijuana to self-medicate to treat anxiety disorders could increase the likelihood of developing a substance abuse disorder.
According to the study, the dependence or addiction to marijuana resulting from self-medicating can lead to social anxiety disorders.
Co-Occurring Marijuana Abuse:
People with co-occurring mental illnesses such as PTSD and addiction to marijuana have difficulty completing daily activities. They may have difficulty juggling the responsibilities of home, work, or school.
People who suffer from PTSD and abuse of marijuana typically use marijuana to help them get through the day, and it can provide them with some relief for a short time.
But, marijuana can affect an individual’s ability to connect with family members and trigger mood shifts. Many people with PTSD who regularly use marijuana have long-term mental health issues.
Solutions for treating PTSD as well as Marijuana Usage:
Individuals suffering from PTSD and addiction to marijuana must look for treatment for both. The treatment of one condition without taking care of the other may increase substance abuse and worsening mental health issues.
Medical marijuana cannot be employed as a treatment for PTSD. Patients who seek treatment for PTSD usually take part in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and are prescribed selective serotonin receptor inhibitors to improve their treatment.
Alongside CBT, Other psychotherapy options that could be utilized as treatment options to treat PTSD are exposure therapy and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing.
Anti-anxiety drugs can also be employed to ease anxiety and stress. But, many anti-anxiety medicines such as Xanax are addictive.
The Key Aspects: Marijuana and PTSD
A few important points to keep in mind regarding marijuana and PTSD.
- Many with PTSD use marijuana as anxiety relief.
- The risk of PTSD is increased for those who suffer from it. of developing a dependence on marijuana
- The VA is not permitted for marijuana to be used on their property.
- Co-occurring disorders like PTSD and marijuana addiction could be treated with a mix of psychotherapies and FDA-approved medicines.
Numerous studies have shown that people with PTSD who also use marijuana experience more difficulty in quitting drug abuse than those who struggle with the use of marijuana.
The withdrawal symptoms, particularly cravings, could be more intense because of the co-occurring mental health condition. But, rehabilitation therapy, specifically Cognitive Therapy for Behavioral Change, is proven to treat the addiction to marijuana and PTSD successfully.