All About Norma Journal

Marijuana and Cannabis Use to Treat PTSD

Dec 4


What is Post-traumatic Stress (PTSD)?


According to the National Institute of Mental Health Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can develop when an individual is "exposed to a potentially stressful incident that exceeds the normal stressor." It may be caused by combat, personal violence, or natural or man-made catastrophes. Individuals suffering from PTSD according to the Institute are likely to have ongoing terrifying thoughts and memories of the event or experiences, sleep problems and numbness, or dissociated feelings and are easily scared.

Though symptoms of PTSD could be evident as early as three months after experiencing the stress of a situation, they can also develop several years later. The symptoms must last for at minimum one month and can cause disruption in relationships, work, and everyday life. There are four aspects that make up the PTSD diagnosis:

A minimum of one re-experiencing symptom must be present:


  • Flashbacks - reliving the incident repeatedly and triggering a heart race or sweating profusely are common symptoms of post-traumatic anxiety disorder.

  • Unfavorable dreams

  • Suspicious thoughts

  • Marijuana is derived from Cannabis sativa, which is the scientific name of Cannabis sativa. Some people use cannabis as well as marijuana to deal with the symptoms of PTSD.

Recent studies have shown that cannabis may reduce amygdala activities. It is the region of the brain that is responsible for the response of fear to threats. Forbes magazine reported this in a Forbes magazine article. Another study found that looking into the process that obtaining a medical card in Missouri and then analyzing marijuana, a chemical substance contained in the plant, may help in the elimination of painful memories associated with PTSD.

Do you think there is a connection between Marijuana and PTSD?


People who suffer from PTSD said that cannabis helped reduce the intensity of their symptoms by more than half in the short run.


A lot of people report marijuana can help them fall asleep and stay asleep. This can help alleviate the sleep issues they have. The long-term use of marijuana to treat sleep disorders has been proven to be linked with PTSD-related sleep problems. The study also discovered that sleep disorders could promote or exacerbate substance abuse.


While marijuana can help temporarily relieve certain symptoms of PTSD, the underlying problem is still present. Substance abuse, especially marijuana use, is used to treat anxiety depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. The symptoms could return after the effects of intoxication wear off and can become more severe.


Self-Medication is a band-aid.


A lot of people seek out self-medication for anxieties, sadness, and PTSD symptoms. Marijuana is a great way to deal with negative emotions such as anger or relieve chronic stress. There are more people who have access to cannabis and products containing THC as a result of the legalization for medical marijuana.


After stopping using marijuana regular users report being angered, having mood issues and sleep problems, experiencing reduced appetite, marijuana cravings in addition to restlessness, and body discomforts.


Cannabis and marijuana used for self-medication could turn into an addiction. The use of marijuana for PTSD can result in the addiction to other substances that are a part of the treatment, like alcohol or other substances like narcotics. The use of marijuana by those suffering from PTSD can cause issues with their families, work at school, as well as other obligations, in addition to making it difficult for them to complete their daily tasks.

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