Medical cannabis has already been used extensively to treat those with chronic pain or symptoms related to chronic illness. One under-explored population that could greatly benefit from medical cannabis products is our nation’s veterans. This group commonly suffers from post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.
PTSD can be a severely debilitating psychological illness that prevents normal social interactions and can make it difficult to conduct common tasks. As a result, many PTSD sufferers have difficulty keeping jobs, engaging in normal activities and leading happy, fulfilling lives. Many also spiral into depression, leading to more severe issues like mania or suicide.
Fortunately, medical scientists are recognizing the tragic problem and putting the full force of their research behind it. One such scientist has even discovered that our brain’s natural endocannabinoid system could be the key to not only treating PTSD symptoms, but curing it altogether.
Research Shows Huge Promise for Cannabis-Based PTSD Drug
Israeli scientist Dr. Raphael Mechoulam has perhaps contributed more to our knowledge of cannabis than any scientist in the modern era. This medical doctor and researcher was the mind behind the discovery of trans-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly referred to as THC, as cannabis’ main psychoactive compound.
In addition to this research, Dr. Mechoulam has also expanded our knowledge of the brain’s internal endocannabinoid (eCB) system. In the past decade, he has begun to combine our understanding of PTSD’s neurochemical implications with his knowledge of how the eCB system helps our brain operate. One of the main connections between the two involves our mind’s natural process of memory extinction.
Memory extinction ensures that we remove certain mental associations from related stimuli. For instance, if a restaurant offers free soup on Tuesdays, we may begin to habitually enter on that day every time we walk past it on lunchtime. When the restaurant decides to stop offering free soup, we may feel the urge to go there anyway, but memory extinction allows us to gradually adjust to the new situation.
Veterans with PTSD lack this capability in regards to certain stimuli. Every time they hear a car exhaust backfire, for instance, they may try to take cover as if they are under fire. Our eCB systems help control this mechanism, and Dr. Mechoulam’s research has been searching for a way to treat the neurochemistry of PTSD sufferers using a different mechanism called FAAH inhibition. He and his team are in the process of developing of a drug currently code-named KDS-4103, which could directly target the eCB pathways responsible for memory extinction and may allow sufferers to permanently “let go” of their association between trauma and certain stimuli.
Medical Cannabis Can Be an Effective Treatment for PTSD Symptoms
Dr. Mechoulam’s drug is currently undergoing extensive testing, research and refinement. In the meantime, he suggests that cannabis products can alleviate symptoms related to PTSD-induced stressors. By smoking or ingesting moderate amounts of cannabis products, the sufferer can subject themselves to triggers through several episodes and possibly reduce the severity of their reaction. This recommendation is based on purely anecdotal evidence, and the effects may not work for everyone. Those who have an adverse reaction can lower their dosage, and if problems persist even at a low dosage, they may need to discontinue use entirely.
Veterans can also take advantage of CBD-only products that do not produce a noticeable “high” and instead have a purely anti-inflammatory and calming effect. Medical cannabis products high in THC can induce anxiety in some, so they can try high CBD:THC ratio products instead.
Veterans with PTSD and others suffering from trauma should talk with their medical doctors and psychiatric professionals in order to evaluate how medical cannabis products, including CBD-heavy ones, could benefit them. If they need recommendations on which strains and preparations of cannabis may best suit their needs, they can always come to Euphoria Wellness to seek our professional advice.
Visit us at 7780 South Jones Blvd., or call us to receive free Las Vegas medical cannabis delivery directly to your home.
This content is not intended as medical advice. The information provided is meant to encourage cannabis education, not replace direct patient-healthcare professional relationships. Always consult your primary care physician or other healthcare provider prior to using cannabis products for treatment of a medical condition. Any statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products referenced are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Products are only available where the consumption of cannabis is legal.