Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental condition involving uncontrollable anxiety and flashbacks that develop after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. PTSD patients may experience nightmares, stress, feelings of threat or danger, numbness, feeling tense, feeling guilty, losing interest in former enjoyable activities, becoming easily startled, sleep issues, angry outbursts, a fear of trigger places or events, and uncontrollable thoughts about the traumatic event. Currently, PTSD patients are prescribed various medications, mainly antidepressants, but these medications can have many horrible side effects on their own. Studies suggest marijuana can lessen the emotional impact of these events and can reduce anxiety and fear and improve sleep without the negative side effects.
Both THC and CBD interact with the endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for maintaining emotional homeostasis and regulating memory consolidation, retrieval, and extension. By activating the cannabinoid receptors, cannabis modulates the release of neurotransmitters which can increase pleasure and the alternation of memory processes. They block the retrieval of the traumatic event which enhances its extension and reduces anxiety. Cannabis can help combat the three core symptoms of PTSD, and as measured by the Clinical Administered Post-traumatic scale, 75% of PTSD patients saw a reduction in PTSD symptoms when they were using cannabis. Preclinical evidence also suggests CBD could effectively treat PTSD when administered acutely as symptoms develop as opposed to chronically. Lastly, cannabis has the potential to dampen the emotional impact of traumatic memories over time, and when used shortly after experiencing or witnessing the traumatic event, PTSD-like symptoms are less likely to develop.
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