CANNABIS FOR PTSD & MENTAL HEALTH: THE SAFEST OPTION

Cannabis has been in both good and bad spotlights for many decades. Bad because of the misconception that surrounded the use of the beautiful herb in the olden days. Meanwhile, people suffering from mental health issues have been successfully self-medicating with cannabis.

Our world today is broken, and many people struggle with mental health issues constantly. Regular prescriptions have always had a clause attached in the sense that, they have terrible side effects like weight gain, and even death when slightly overdosed. The stigma among western psychiatric medications is not a stigma at all. My belief is that the “stigma” is rooted in African Ancestral values of the use of herbal and earth medicine as a treatment for diseases.

The two active ingredients in the cannabis plant are CBD (Cannabidiol) and THC (delta-9- tetrahydrocannabinol). CBD is the component that has been researched the most as it has been linked to the reduction of anxiety and trauma-related issues like insomnia and nightmares. Sleep is the foundation to having a quality life. The majority of people struggle with staying and or falling asleep at night. Poor sleep can have detrimental effects on one’s health.

Substantial evidence has been provided to prove that cannabis actually does reduce the debilitating effect of opioid withdrawal. From pain management to lesser risks cannabis has proven to be a more potent drug, with many effects than most medical prescriptions

Unlike opioids, cannabis cancels out the risk of death from overdose. Opioids repress our respiratory function and cause strong addictions with negative physical effects. Patients have to struggle with knowing that what eases their symptoms and pain also has a lethal dose that could end their life.

Patients who have made the switch to cannabis have reported lesser pain without the mental foggy state induced by prescription drugs containing opioids. Deaths associated with opioid use; both medical and recreational, reach about 46-50 every day and no one can say the same about cannabis.

Cannabis Approved for PTSD and Pediatric Autism

Post-traumatic stress disorder can be very draining. It’s developed from a troubling or unpleasant experience that occurred in the past. This experience is relived over and over again causing high anxiety and panic attacks. PTSD is terrible and comes with side effects like insomnia, disturbing flashbacks, and hyperarousal.

Research has linked an imbalance between two neurochemicals present in the brain to PTSD. The greater the imbalance, the greater the effect of the disorder. Treatment of PTSD mostly requires an increase in the brain’s level of serotonin and cannabis is known to promote serotonin creation in the brain.

In Isreal, a clinical trial reported that medical cannabis brought about significant improvement in the social responsiveness of children with autism. Cannabis is said to decrease the excitation in brain neurons that cause aggression and increase child inhibition.

Symptoms associated with PTSD and pediatric autism have been treated with cannabis both officially and unofficially for years. Serotonin and dopamine are highly linked to both disorders and cannabis CBD have an effect on these neurons. Recently states like Colorado, Arizona, and more have legalized it as a natural medicine for the treatment of a range of medical issues.

Benefits of Cannabis for Mental Health

The age-old misconception about cannabis has prevented many people from reaping its benefits for years. But thankfully more research has been carried out in this area and they keep proving that medical cannabis truly has a positive effect on people’s mental health.

We want to highlight these scientifically proven benefits.

  1. Sleep

Marijuana restores the sleep cycle of people, contrary to popular belief. Sleep eludes many adults thanks to stress and anxiety which our world today doesn’t lack. Insomnia is common among adults in America, seeing as statistics show that 40 million Americans experience it at some point.

Cannabis has proven to be an effective treatment because it helps to restore sleep cycles when they fall out of sync. Marijuana restores the sleep cycle of people, contrary to popular belief. Sleep eludes many adults thanks to stress and anxiety which our world today doesn’t lack. Insomnia is common among adults in America, seeing as statistics show that 40 million Americans experience it at some point.

Cannabis has proven to be an effective treatment because it helps to restore sleep cycles when they fall out of sync. Research has shown that THC one of the strains of cannabis increases deep sleep stages.

  1. Nightmares

We mentioned before how THC helps to increase deep sleep stages, in addition to that it also helps with sleep latency by reducing the time it takes to fall asleep. Cannabis has also helped to suppress REM sleep which is great news for those who experience nightmares and sleep-related disturbances.

The use of Cannabis has proven to be helpful for patients who suffer from PTSD nightmares. RBD is also a disorder that causes people to act out in their dreams and Cannabis has been very effective for its treatment.

  1. Intrusive Memories

People who suffer from intrusive memories and thoughts are usually those who have been diagnosed with chronic OCD. A study in 2020 was the breakthrough needed to prove that medical cannabis had a positive effect on uncontrollable actions like intrusive thoughts and memories. The patients involved in the study reported significantly reduced compulsions, reduced intrusive thoughts and reduced anxiety.

  1. Elation

A well-known fact is that cannabis can improve your mood. People who suffer from depression and mood swings can benefit from this advantage. The National Academy of sciences, engineering, and medicine says that there is conclusive evidence that cannabis can help with chronic pain, nausea, and mood disorders.

The advancement of science has continued to work in the favor of CBD as a legit safe option for a host of medical problems. For mental health and PTSD, there’s now more than enough evidence to show that CBD is safe for use. With more states legalizing Cannabis and more research being carried out, its many other benefits will soon come to light.

Refrences

https://www.psychiatryadvisor.com/home/topics/anxiety/ptsd-trauma-and-stressor-related/ptsd-linked-to-chemical-imbalance-in-brain/

https://edition.cnn.com/2021/12/19/health/autism-medical-marijuana-cbd-weed-documentary/index.html

https://www.marijuanatimes.org/can-cannabis-help-treat-sleep-disorders/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33049434/

 

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