Post-traumatic Stress Disorder is considered a severe psychological condition that develops after a person is exposed to traumatic events.  Instances of violence, rape, war, and other fearful situations can leave a person emotionally scarred for life, to the point where PTSD triggers disturbing flashbacks of the event.  This hyper-arousal anxiety is not healthy and highly stressful, and it’s little wonder that PTSD sufferers often resort to drunkenness or the abuse of painkillers just to minimize the emotional pain.

However, there is overwhelming evidence in research and anecdotally that medical marijuana may help treat symptoms of PTSD.  Much of this research is coming from veteran studies; and this demographic is one of the most commonly diagnosed for PTSD.

Mixed Messages

The Arizona Capitol Times ran a story quoting Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk who stated that the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) one stated it funded studies on medical marijuana, but that the Department of Health and Human Services forbid providing marijuana for studies for medicinal FDA evaluation.  Therefore, the NIDA has refused to cooperate with the FDA approval study.

This is frustrating, especially considering since Polk stated, “Our study of smoked or vaporized marijuana for symptoms of PTSD in U.S. veterans was approved by the FDA.”  Nevertheless, the operation has been stalled because of a technicality.

Memory and PTSD is Connected

In addition, Dr. Raphael Mechoulamm, an Israel scientist, identified THC as a treatment for PTSD, stating that the cannabinoid system is “integrally related to memory, specifically to memory extinction.”  He pointed to mice studies as evidence that medical marijuana activates the endocannabinoid system, and has brought on “neuroprotective effects” in case studies.

While other painkillers can do major damage to the body when abused, and alcohol is of course a silent killer when drunk to excess, long-term use of cannabis for anxiety and PTSD relief does not come with any significant side effects.  It may be just the miracle “cure” for veterans and other PTSD sufferers who need medical help forgetting the pain.