PTSD, Insomnia, and Cannabis: What’s the Evidence Say?

Photo Credit: Leafly

Photo Credit: Leafly

Many of those who suffer from PTSD may suffer from insomnia as a result of the disorder, and it is said that psychotherapy medications and sleep aids are commonly prescribed to treat PTSD-related insomnia. However, these treatment regimens can produce a wide range of negative side effects. Now, research suggests medical cannabis may be able to provide relief for sleep-related issues without producing the unwanted side effects. According to a study funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institute of Health (NIH), and the pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis, consuming THC helped subjects to fall asleep easily and quickly.

Another study headed by Dr. Kenneth Cousens from the Napa State Hospital, California, and Dr. Alberto DiMascio, Director of Psychopharmacology at the Department of Mental Health, Boston State Hospital, suggests medical marijuana not only helps people fall asleep quicker, but that their quality of sleep is better and they are able to stay asleep longer. In addition to research, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence suggesting medical cannabis is much more preferable to the various combinations of medications that the VA currently relies on to treat the problems associated with PTSD.

This information has been provided by Leafly and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

Why Cannabis Relieves PTSD Symptoms

Photo Credit: MassRoots

Photo Credit: MassRoots

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder resulting from traumatic experiences. Currently, PTSD patients are prescribed psychiatric medications that can produce negative side effects, but cannabis may be able to help. Neuroimaging studies have suggested the endocannabinoid system plays a key role in managing the central neurobiological pathways, which contributes to the dysregulation of threat-related processing responses to previous traumatic exposure. The endocannabinoid system also plays an important role in the function of the prefrontal cortex, making it key in information processing, subcortical arousal, and the regulation of cholinergic inputs. It may also disrupt conditioned fear and facilitate adaptation to aversive situations. Additionally, the ECS' ability to modulate hippocampal memory and plasticity may be the most important reason for cannabis' ability to treat PTSD. 

When cannabinoids receptors are activated in the prefrontal complex, they could augment serotonergic neurotransmission and elicit antidepressant effects. Researchers believe activation of the CB1 receptor may prevent the alteration of G-proteins in the prefrontal cortex, which in return may reduce suicidal thoughts and behaviors. One study involving patients in New Mexico's Medical Cannabis Program for PTSD found medical cannabis' antidepressant properties reduced the frequency and severity of suicidal behaviors in most participants, and in some cases, it led to the complete cessation of these behaviors. Cannabis may also help PTSD patients manage symptoms and prevent the relapse of symptoms by contributing to the disruption of aversive memories, anxiety, and improving stress-coping behaviors and reactivity to threat signals. 

Research correlates lower levels of anandamide with the occurrence of PTSD, and PTSD has been attributed to a deficiency in endocannabinoids, which regulate mood perceptions, flashback memories, behaviors, metabolism, and digestion. When cannabis activates these cannabinoids receptors, it helps to alleviate PTSD symptoms. One Brazilian study found THC is more potent than CBD in attenuating fear memories, and a combination may relieve symptoms with minimal and tolerable side effects. Other research has found CBD can treat neuropsychiatric disorders by interacting with serotonergic receptors and dopaminergic systems. One induced-fear test in animal models found CBD-treated laboratory animals exhibited less stress when nearing an electric maze in which they had previously been exposed to painful sensations. Lastly, one study found THC's binding to CB1 receptors in the medial prefrontal cortex resulted in memory reactivation and retrieval, but that CBD wa able to counter this as well as other psychotropic effects, leading to an effective way to manage PTSD symptoms. Even sub-effective doses of the two cannabinoids mitigated dysfunctional aversive and fear memories, locomotor activity, and anxiety-related behaviors. 

This information has been provided by MassRoots and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Cannabis Treatments for PTSD in Non-veterans

Photo Credit: MassRoots

Photo Credit: MassRoots

Of the studies involving cannabis and PTSD, most focus on PTSD associated with military veterans affected by combat-related stress and anxiety, but cannabis can also be effective in treating PTSD stemming from other traumas as well. A Brown University study suggests ordinary citizens with PTSD garner less attention, care, and treatment from medical institutions in comparison to military groups suffering the same symptoms, but this might be because developing long-term problems during the progression of the condition can be more difficult to treat. Authors of the study state, "A major finding of the authors’ search for nonmilitary service providers is that there is no centralized listing of PTSD providers, treatment programs, and support programs at the state or local level and limited listings at the federal level."

Access to cannabis could be helpful for these patients suffering PTSD because it is capable in treating the four types of PTSD symptoms that classify the condition, which includes intrusion, avoidance, negative alterations in cognition and mood, and alterations in arousal and reactivity. The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) released a report detailing the link between endocannabinoid deficiency and PTSD. Cannabis can fill the void of insufficient endocannabinoids within the body, which results in relief from painful memories and supports coping mechanisms. Researchers have found equal parts THC and CBD are effective in treating self-esteem issues stemming from PTSD, and smoking or vaping is reported as preferable for immediate relief from PTSD symptoms.

This information is provided by MassRoots and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

New Study Suggests Marijuana May Benefit Mental Health

Photo Credit: Flickr @ Jordan Greentree

Photo Credit: Flickr @ Jordan Greentree

In a recent report published in the journal Clinical Psychology Review, researchers have found cannabis may be able to help those who suffer from depression, social anxiety, and PTSD. That being said, they did not find it beneficial for those who suffer from bipolar disorder. The study looked through 60 different studies to see if cannabis could be useful as a therapy in relation to mental health, especially on adult psychopathology and assessment. Of those studies, 31 articles discusses cannabis for therapeutic purposes and mental health, and 29 articles that discussed mental health and cannabis but not for therapeutic purposes. 

Author of the study, and associate professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia, says, "This is a substance that has potential use for mental health... We should be looking at it in the same way [as other drugs] and be holding it up to the same standard.” The author also noted its potential in combatting the opioid epidemic, and in turn benefiting public health. 

This information has been brought to you by Marijuana Times and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

10 Little-Known Uses for CBD - Pt. 2w

Photo Credit: High Times Magazine

Photo Credit: High Times Magazine

Today, we will continue our discussion of the lesser-known uses of CBD. 

Evidence is continuing to mount about the medicinal benefits of CBD for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). CBD's anti-anxiety, antipsychotic, and anti-inflammatory effects can produce a calming effect, which helps provide a stable mental environment for those who suffer from PTSD and allows them to overcome anxiety and stress. A German study from 2012 and published in the journal Translational Psychiatry compared the antipsychotic Amisulpride and CBD in 45 patients who suffered from schizophrenia, and found that while both treatments were effective, the fewer side effects of CBD made it preferable to the pharmaceutical medication. 

CBD could also benefit bowel diseases, and research shows cannabis' anti-inflammatory properties, along with CBD and THC's ability to control gut function in the body, offers relief for Crohn's disease patients. Using animal models and cell cultures, scientists from the Cajal Institute found CBD reversed inflammatory responses and provided protection from multiple sclerosis (MS). Within 10 days of beginning CBD treatment, mice had superior motor skills and showed improvements in their condition. Lastly, CBD provides a non-habit forming sleep aide that can help those who suffer from insomnia.

This concludes our post about CBD's little-known uses. This information has been provided by High Times Magazine and approved by our Chief medical officer. 

The Evidence Behind Marijuana and PTSD

Photo Credit: opensourceway/Flickr)

Photo Credit: opensourceway/Flickr)

One recent study from the University of Haifa, Israel, found cannabinoids prevented the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in rats. Those who suffer from PTSD experience their symptoms upon encountering common triggers, or trauma reminders, whatever they may be. PTSD is generally treated after the symptoms appear, but this research team, led by Dr. Irit Akirav from the Department of Psychology, found that dosing rats with cannabinoids after the traumatic event made them immune to future triggers. Rats treated with cannabis showed no symptoms of PTSD, while those who ere not treated experienced impairments in memory extinctions, altered pain sensation, and increased panicking. The researchers suggested cannabinoids were able to do so by rewiring circuits in the brain associated with the traumatic event. 

The research team hopes this rodent trial paves the way for future trials on humans studying the effects of cannabis on PTSD. Dr. Irit Akirav said, “The importance of this study is that it contributes to the understanding of the brain basis of the positive effect cannabis has on PTSD, and thus supports the necessity to perform human trials to examine potential ways to prevent the development of PTSD and anxiety disorders in response to a traumatic event.”

This information has been provided by Leaf Science and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

MMJ for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

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.

This information has been brought to you by Medical Marijuana Inc. and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Pets for Vets: Helping Veterans One Paw at a Time

Sponsored Content By Pets for Vets

Sponsored Content By Pets for Vets

Military personnel face unimaginable hardships to protect this country while on active duty, but sometimes returning home from service is just as difficult. As many as 20% of veterans suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and many others face other mental and physical problems due to their time in service. This makes it difficult for veterans to assimilate back into civilian life, and this is why organizations like Pets for Vets find it so important to care for veterans and thank them for all they've done. Studies have shown animals have the ability to improve mental and physical health by reducing stress, depression, and anxiety, which are symptoms many veterans face. Pets for Vets recognize this potential, and by providing shelter dogs and companion animals to veterans they hope to treat the emotional wounds caused by the time spent overseas. 

When veterans return from service, many are prescribed pharmaceutical pain killers to combat PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury, chronic pain, and more. Cannabis has the potential to reduce the use of opioid based medications, thereby reducing the medication's negative side effects and decreasing the rate of addiction and fatal overdoses. Clinical studies have shown medical cannabis is not only effective in the treatment of chronic pain, but that it is also a safe therapeutic alternative. While there is still a vast need for clinical research, investigators have found the endocannabinoid system is integrally related to memory extinction, which is a normal and healthy process of removing associations from stimuli. Many veterans who suffer from PTSD respond to stimuli that remind them of a specific trauma, even when it is no longer appropriate to do so. This suggests cannabis, which is able to interact with the endocannabionid system, can aid memory extinction and disconnect stimuli from their past traumatic events.

The power of an animal's companionship combined with the therapeutic benefits of cannabinoid therapy may help veterans significantly reduce their use of pharmaceutical medications so they can live a healthier and happier lifestyle. We thank Pets for Vets for all they've done for our military veterans, and we are excited to see what's to come from this exceptional organization. Want to learn more about Pets for Vets? Visit their website here.

Medical Marijuana Users Believe Drug's Effectiveness Is Greater Than Other Treatments

Very little comprehensive clinical research exists on the uses of medical marijuana in the treatment of various illnesses. That being said, countless patient testimonies attest to the efficacy of the treatment. We at CannaBest Medical believe this anecdotal evidence is substantial, and so do the people at PatientsLikeMe, who conducted a survey and found "a little more than 75% of users said they use medical cannabis because other treatments aren't as effective or cause too many side effects, or both." The survey also found that patients preferred the treatment because it was natural. They used it to treat pain, muscle stiffness or spasm, insomnia, anxiety, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, depression, PTSD, and ALS.

http://onforb.es/1g4UhWo

PTSD and Medical Marijuana

Evidence continues to mount in support of cannabis as a treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD can result from any traumatic event in a person's life, and can consist of a variety of psychological symptoms. Currently, most states only allow for pharmaceutical treatments for PTSD, but prescriptions are considered inadequate, and patients and doctors alike say cannabis is a better therapy for treating PTSD. Doctors point to something called "memory extinction" as the source of relief for PTSD sufferers. "Dr. Raphael Mechoulamis, the Israeli neuroscientist who discovered THC in 1964 and, later, the endocannabinoid system, has discovered that the cannabinoid system is integrally related to memory - and specifically something called 'memory extinction.' Memory extinction is the normal process of removing conditional associations from events or stimuli." Studies exist on the relationship between PTSD and cannabis in animals, but much more research is needed to examine the effect of cannabis on humans with PTSD. For a more in depth look at medical marijuana for PTSD, check out this article by Whaxy: http://bit.ly/1gdcEIz

10 diseases where medical marijuana could have impact

10 diseases where medical marijuana could have impact

Marijuana is one of the tightest controlled substances under federal law, but it's gaining popularity among patients as a medication for a variety of illnesses. Many Drs. have also changed their tune in support of the drug, including Dr. Sue Sisley, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and Dr. Mehmet Oz. This CNN report highlights some of the illnesses medical marijuana could potentially treat, including PTSD, AIDS and HIV, Alzheimer's, Arthritis, Asthma, Cancer, Chronic Pain, Crohn's Disease, Epilepsy and Seizure disorders, Glaucoma, and Multiple Sclerosis. http://cnn.it/1Nimp33

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