Medical Marijuana For PTSD – How Can it Help?
PTSD, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, is a mental health disorder that is resulted from a terrifying event. Patients with this disorder are unable to lead a healthy lifestyle. They often experience symptoms such as lack of focus, anxiety, flashbacks about the terrifying event, nightmares, etc.
PTSD affects about 3.5 percent of adults in the United States. And, approximately 1 in 11 people will be diagnosed with this condition in their lifetime.
Medical marijuana possesses amazing therapeutic properties, which provide health benefits such as anxiety relief, pain relief, etc. There’s scientific evidence that cannabis can help in managing PTSD symptoms, thus more patients are opting for it over prescription medications such as Zoloft.
How does marijuana treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder work? How does it interact with Zoloft? What’s the complete process to apply for a medical cannabis card online? Read on to get answers to these questions.
Medical Marijuana For PTSD
PTSD is caused by disturbing episodes, which can increase the risks of anxiety and depression. It’s common among combat veterans who experience anxious feelings about the war.
Marijuana has amazing medicinal properties. People use cannabis for various reasons. Some use it for boosting concentration. Some use it for dealing with anxiety disorders, insomnia, and PTSD. However, veterans suffering from PTSD use cannabis for reducing traumatic memories related to the war.
The cannabis plant contains more than 100 cannabinoids—the most talked-about ones are THC and CBD. THC is a psychoactive cannabinoid that causes euphoric feelings while CBD provides health benefits without causing high effects.
A new study published by the Journal of Psychopharmacology reported that marijuana may be already helping people to deal with symptoms of depression and PTSD. The findings were based on the analysis of over 24000 Canadians. Researchers at the British Columbia Centre on Substance Use and the University of British Columbia concluded those who don’t medicate with medical marijuana are more likely to experience depression and suicidal thoughts.
A study was conducted in 2014 to evaluate the effects of cannabis use in managing PTSD symptoms. It was published by the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs and reported that PTSD patients experienced a 75 percent decrease in the symptoms with medical marijuana consumption.
Medical researchers have reported that patients with PTSD have lower levels of anandamide compared to healthy people. Anandamide is an endogenous cannabinoid that is responsible for motivation, memory, and cognitive processes. THC and anandamide have the same chemical structure.
In other words, one of the major reasons for the development of PTSD is an endocannabinoid deficiency. Cannabinoids in marijuana can help in producing enough endocannabinoids to fill receptor sites in the endocannabinoid system.
Zoloft For Treating PTSD
Zoloft is an antidepressant approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). It’s listed among the Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) and can be used for managing symptoms of PTSD, depressive disorders, and social anxiety disorder.
Zoloft works by increasing the levels of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that controls mood and performs various other functions. Increasing serotonin means inducing positive feelings and emotions to make the patient feel good.
A research published in 2019 says that taking Zoloft 50-175 mg per day can help in reducing panic attacks. It’s as effective as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), a psychotherapy focused on changing the way thinking patterns work.
The effects of Zoloft aren’t the same on all patients. However, some of the common side-effects associated with Zoloft use are-
- Dry mouth
- Sleep problems
However, some patients may experience reduced sexual desire, vomiting, difficulty breathing, swelling, seizures, high heart rate, and irritability.
Marijuana as an Alternative to Zoloft
Although Zoloft is effective in fighting PTSD, panic attacks, anxiety and various other mental illnesses, they can lead to unpleasant side-effects as discussed above. However, some patients may lead to addiction.
Marijuana can be used as a natural alternative to Zoloft and other prescription medications. The herb provides health benefits without causing any risks. However, cannabis’ effects may vary from patient to patient. They depend on various factors-
- The type of strain consumed
- Metabolism rate
- Cannabis delivery method
Combining Marijuana & Zoloft
There is a wide range of studies conducted to evaluate the effects of medical cannabis and Zoloft on PTSD patients. Many researchers believe that mixing psychoactive drugs and psychotropic medications may lead to adverse effects.
It’s important to learn the effects of cannabinoids on patients’ mood and behavior. Clearly, the more drugs a patient consumes to receive health benefits, it will be more difficult to examine each one’s effects. That’s why physicians recommend one drug at a time and replace it with another later to evaluate the effects.
The Director of the University of California Daniele Piomelli said, “When physicians prescribe antidepressants or antipsychotic drugs, they are very careful, typically starting with a very low dose and if that’s insufficient, increasing the dose slowly until the response is satisfactory.”
According to him, marijuana is available in different forms, and you can’t guarantee whether you will get the same effects you had a few weeks ago.
As per federal regulations, marijuana is included in the list of Schedule I Drugs. Still, it’s legal for medical purposes in more than 30 states in the United States. To access state-licensed dispensaries, you require a licensed doctor signed medical cannabis card.
Accessing Medical Cannabis For PTSD Treatment
When using cannabis for managing PTSD symptoms, it’s recommended to consult a licensed doctor. Those who haven’t used marijuana treatment before may find that THC worsen anxiety symptoms. CBD, on the other hand, can help in counteracting some of the effects of THC such as anxiety and paranoia.
At a medical dispensary, there’s a wide range of cannabis strains with different levels of cannabinoids available. To receive the desired health benefits, make sure you get the right strains with optimal levels of THC and CBD. Here’s a list of the best marijuana strains for managing PTSD symptoms-
- OG Kush
- Pineapple Express
- Master Kush
- Blue Dream
- White Dragon
- Tangie Cookies
- Dakini Kush
- Snow Leopard
Applying For a Medical Cannabis Card Online
Telemedicine services allow you to apply for your medical cannabis card online. Thus, without leaving your sweet home, you can get legal permission to access dispensaries in your city. Here’s the complete process to get your MMJ card online–
- Sign up your account
- Talk to a licensed doctor through HIPAA-compliant platform
- Receive your MMJ recommendation letter in PDF format
The hard copy of your MMJ letter and a wallet-sized card is sent to you via mail.
PTSD is a mental illness that is linked to flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety, and lack of focus due to a terrifying event such as rape activity, loss of a loved one, etc. When it comes to managing PTSD symptoms, there’s a wide range of treatments available. Zoloft is a popular antidepressant medication, which belongs to SSRIs. SSRIs work by increasing the levels of serotonin, thus promoting sleep, increasing energy, and decreasing anxiety levels.
Zoloft can cause a wide range of side-effects such as nausea, dizziness, headaches, drowsiness, diarrhea, and seizures. Thus, it’s necessary to consult a licensed doctor to seek professional advice for the Zoloft dosage for PTSD.
Marijuana comprises medicinal properties that can help manage PTSD symptoms without causing any side-effects like Zoloft does. Cannabis treatment works by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system, thus regulating sleep, memory, mood, and appetite. Before starting marijuana treatment for PTSD, it’s important to analyze your condition and seek professional advice for cannabis strains, dosage, and consumption methods.
Want to access state-licensed dispensaries? Apply for your medical cannabis card online today! Now, with a medical marijuana grower license, you can increase your grow limit to 99 plants.