PTSD and Medical Marijuana
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, around eight million people in the US have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In addition, the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) states that between 11% and 20% of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom veterans also have PTSD. The main cause of this debilitating medical condition is some kind of traumatic event, such as violence or rape, which triggers changes in the brain, altering how it functions.
Military sexual assault is another common incident in which PTSD can develop. The same is true with sexual assault incidents in the general civilian population. People with PTSD also usually have a higher level of the stress hormones norepinephrine and cortisol.
Many individuals ease PTSD symptoms with marijuana obtained legally in Delaware and in about 75% of the United States.
Several studies have been done to learn how marijuana affects people with PTSD. Some studies seek to determine whether PTSD be treated with medical marijuana instead of prescription drugs, such as benzodiazepines and antidepressants. Research to date suggests that for many patients, the answer is yes.
A Closer Look at PTSD
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a common mental condition that develops after a traumatic event, such as personal assault or rape. PTSD can develop after a person experiences an incident that is beyond a typical stressor,” as explained by the National Institute on Mental Health.
The condition can develop from combat, violent personal assaults, accidents, and human-made or natural disasters.
Symptoms of this disorder usually include constant preoccupation with the traumatic event, along with fears and nightmares, sleeping disorders, anxiety and tension, rage, and other symptoms.
Most individuals who go through a traumatic event might face short-term difficulty coping and adjusting. However, the good news is that PTSD is a treatable medical condition. And depending on the road a person takes, medical marijuana can treat PTSD, guided by a knowledgeable medical marijuana physician such as Dr. Fabricio Alarcon, whose practice is located in Georgetown, Delaware.
The intensity or severity of PTSD symptoms, such as flashbacks, could affect a person’s ability to perform certain tasks and daily activities or maintain a positive relationship with other people. Also, a person with this mental disorder can feel nervous, uncomfortable, scared, irritated, and anxious at any place or time.
Symptoms of PTSD
- Hard to stay upbeat and positive
- Feeling negative toward others
- Feeling hopeless, depressed, and fearful of the future
- Substance abuse (excessive use of illicit drugs and alcohol)
- Always on alert for danger
- Temper tantrums/outbursts
- Flashbacks and unwanted memories of the traumatic event
- Nightmares about the event
- Uncontrollable emotional or physical reactions to reminders of what occurred
- Avoiding people and places associated with the traumatic event
- Avoiding thoughts or feelings associated with the event
If you or your loved one lives in Sussex County, Delaware, and shows the signs and symptoms discussed above, you would be wise to connect with Dr. Alarcon, who is currently accepting new PTSD patients.
It is normal for a person to feel distressed, hopeless, or sad after a stressful event. However, keep in mind that if the symptoms, such as anxiety, last for months and impact your daily life, you may consider seeing a medical marijuana doctor for help.
Reliving a tragic or traumatic event turns a person’s life upside down. Your symptoms can interfere with your relationships, and you might even struggle with normal aspects of your day, like going to work.
So, when PTSD interferes with your ability to function normally or make progress in your life, you should seek a health professional’s guidance and advice to identify a treatment plan that helps you heal. The sooner you get help, the better your odds of alleviating the symptoms and getting better.
Can Medical Marijuana Help with PTSD?
Marijuana and cannabis are common products that many people use in order to ease PTSD symptoms. Also, recent research, shows how medical cannabis may reduce amygdala activity. It is the part of your brain that controls and regulates fear responses to threats.
There is also indication that the cannabinoids might help eiminate traumatic memories and feelings associated with PTSD.
According to the latest data, synthetic cannabinoids and cannabis may have potential therapeutic use for helping PTSD symptoms, such as reducing anxiety and improving sleep.
Medical marijuana has been legal in the state of Delaware since 2011, with the enactment and passage of the Delaware Medical Marijuana Act. In 2015, Delaware passed House Bill 39 which also decriminalized the possession of cannabis.
However, keep in mind that Delaware hasn’t legalized cannabis statewide. This makes it necessary for persons who need medical marijuana to treat a qualifying condition, such as PTSD, to apply for a cannabis card.
Patients living in Delaware have to be over eighteen years of age to qualify. If you are under 18, you must obtain parental consent. A patient has to provide proof of residency, such as a driver’s license.
Patients must also be evaluated by a certified physician, and this is where Doctor Alarcon can help. Besides helping you qualify for participation in Delaware’s marijuana program, Dr. Alarcon can also guide you in selecting various products sold locally at State-supervised stores in Lewes and Rehoboth Beach.
Ways to Use Medical Marijuana for PTSD
You will be pleased to know that there are many ways to ingest medical marijuana for post-traumatic stress disorder, such as:
This is an oral ingestion method that involves administering medical marijuana in an oil-based form under the tongue. This allows it to be absorbed into your bloodstream.
Edibles offer you a non-inhalation method of ingesting medical marijuana. As this method entails consuming the plant, it may take an hour or more for the full effects to be felt.
There is no doubt that inhaling medical marijuana by vaporizing (preferable to smoking) the plant offers the fastest onset, typically only a minute or two. And the effects tend to last for up to four hours.
Best Marijuana Strains for PTSD
There are many strain options available that can help alleviate your PTSD symptoms and improve your health. However, before choosing a strain, you have to understand the differences between strains high in THC and ones that are CBD dominant.
While much more research has to be done, some strains have been very successful in managing depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, nightmares, and other common symptoms and signs that come with PTSD.
When using medical cannabis to treat PTSD, keep in mind that high-CBD strains offer mood-stabilizing effects, which is particularly helpful if a patient feels emotionally or mentally unwell.
Here are some strains of medical marijuana that offer proven benefits for many PTSD patients.
With its euphoric and pleasant effects, many people consider OG Kush an ideal strain for patients with PTSD. This is because it calms the entire body, which makes it perfect for a relaxing and peaceful evening or night at home.
With a high CBD content, Cannatonic offers daytime relief. Also, it can produce a mild high since the THC content is only about six percent. People who use this bud normally feel relaxed and calm.
Because of its unique ability to provide full-body relaxation and mental invigoration, this Sativa-dominant strain is certainly one of the most popular options among PTSD patients. As Blue Dream is a hybrid cannabis strain, it is best for relieving anxiety and depression.
This is another hybrid strain that has a considerably higher THC content compared to most cannabis strains. Therefore, it is one of the best strains for patients looking to socialize.
Choosing the Right Doctor and Facility for PTSD
If you or your loved ones have PTSD and are using medical marijuana or cannabis in order to ease symptoms, such as anxiety and depression, it’s best to find a treatment plan that is unique to your specific needs and preferences and find solutions for tolerating and managing the triggers to post-traumatic stress disorder.
Dr. Alarcon can help veterans or civilians learn how to manage PTSD symptoms without misusing substances. Dr. Alarcon is one of the few local physicians who work closely with a local associate who has been certified by Healer.com as a Medical Cannabis Wellness Advisor. Earning this certification requires comprehensive knowledge and expertise. It includes an in-depth program encompassing a cannabis core curriculum, dosage protocols and methodologies, and CBD essentials and applications.
With the assistance of his advisor, Dr. Alarcon can direct patients toward products currently available locally that can confidently be recommended. As a patient of Dr. Alarcon, you or your loved one suffering from PTSD can benefit from the insight and expertise he possesses about medical marijuana products available in Sussex County.
Helping Relieve PTSD and Other Medical Conditions in Delaware and Georgetown
Moving on after a tragic or traumatic event can be challenging and lead to mental health conditions, such as PTSD. This is where marijuana combined with conventional treatments can help.
Dr. Alarcon can prescribe medical marijuana for patients with post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression in Sussex County, Delaware.
At Atlantic Family Physicians in Delaware, we are proud to give each patient full-service evaluations and valuable education at our medical marijuana clinics.
Our team, led by Dr. Alarcon, offers qualifying veterans evaluations that can help them save money; just bring in proof of military service. Dr. Alarcon is here to provide you with the right treatment guidelines for your condition.