Medical Marijuana For Veterans With PTSD
The men and women of the United States of America who have served our nation have given us the freedom we have the liberty to enjoy. For some, it has come at a great sacrifice. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) affects 11–20% of veterans from Operations Iraqi Freedom (OIF), Enduring Freedom (OEF), and Gulf War (Desert Storm). For our Vietnam Veterans, the number reaches a staggering 30%, with half of those just recently diagnosed with PTSD.
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can occur after you have been through trauma. Trauma is defined as a shocking and dangerous event that you see, or that happens to you. During this type of event, you think that your life or others’ lives are in danger. This can affect your daily life, your ability to sleep, and how you interact with others. Until recently, the most common treatment for PTSD was Sertraline (Zoloft), Paroxetine (Paxil), or Fluoxetine (Prozac). Though these prescribed medications may be helpful, the side effects may be just as debilitating as the disorder itself.
“The drugs that they were giving them … they couldn’t get up in the mornings,” said Army 1st Sgt Gregory Westbrook. With such heavy medication out there that comes with a host of negative side effects, many are turning to medical marijuana for veterans with PTSD as a natural substitute.
Thankfully, recent research has begun to pave the way to a new understanding of PTSD and how to treat it. The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) has been studying the body’s therapeutic hotspot, the endocannabinoid system. Researchers found that people with PTSD had lower levels of anandamide, which triggers the same receptors that are activated by THC and other components of the marijuana plant. In other words, “One pillar of PTSD is an endocannabinoid deficiency: the body stops producing enough endocannabinoids to fill receptor sites, and this is where the cannabinoids found in marijuana play a therapeutic role. By replenishing these missing endocannabinoids with those found in cannabis, researchers think marijuana pharmaceuticals might bring PTSD patients relief from their memories.” This research suggests that medical marijuana for veterans with PTSD may be one of the better solutions instead of heavy pharmaceuticals.
First Sergeant Westbrook concludes: “Most of the guys weren’t the type of soldiers who had issues before Iraq, or even in Iraq, but they bring them back and put them on these drugs, and they’re falling asleep in the chair. There was no way they could function, especially in a civilian job. So maybe [medical] marijuana [for veterans with PTSD] is an option.”
The American Legion, which represents more than 2 million veterans nationwide, adopted a resolution on August 24, 2017, urging the federal government to allow Department of Veterans Affairs doctors to discuss and recommend medical marijuana for veterans with PTSD in states where it’s legal (such as Colorado), adding to the group’s efforts to get medical cannabis into the hands of veterans it could help.
Local veteran, Ben, has experienced debilitating PTSD symptoms and with it came a tangle of other issues like insomnia and ADD. Ben turns to medical cannabis to treat the anxiety. “My mind races and cannabis helps me slow down and think through the trauma, rather than hide from it. I can tell it’s helping me because my sleeping patterns are normal and I don’t have anxiety attacks,” Ben reports.
There is good news for those living in a legal state, such as Colorado. Grant Pharms MMC, located in Colorado Springs, offers compassionate assistance to local residents and veterans living with PTSD. Started in 2016, Grant Pharms MMC is a family business with two convenient locations in Colorado Springs. As patients themselves, Grant Pharms understands the need for a knowledgeable, professional, and caring place to seek medical relief. Our staff is highly trained and can recommend strains of medical marijuana for veterans with PTSD.
Grant Pharms offers medical cannabis flower strains such as Bruce Banner, a powerful strain whose effects can come on fast and strong, but then settle into a euphoric and creative buzz. This popular strain is commonly used to bring relief from stress, depression, pain, fatigue, and nausea. Bruce Banner’s medicinal effects have been reported to make patients feel happy, euphoric, relaxed, uplifted, and creative. Bruce Banner is easily one of our most recommended strains of medical marijuana for veterans with PTSD.
Casey, a veteran of Operation Desert Storm who suffers from PTSD, states “I am still here thanks to (medical cannabis). I would encourage all Vets and family members of Vets living with the invisible scars of war, to research and consider [Medical] Cannabis as a viable alternative to pharmaceuticals.”
Grant Pharms offers several cannabis strains to choose from and an experienced and compassionate staff to help you choose the right strain for you. Come in, relax, and join the community of veterans that have found relief with Grant Pharms medical marijuana dispensary in Colorado Springs, CO. Live your best life!
August 2017. PTSD: National Center for PTSD. Retrieved from ptsd.va.gov.
Nikki Wentling. August 2017. American Legion adopts resolution supporting medical marijuana. www.stripes.com
Bailey Rahn. 2016. Cannabis and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). www.leafly.com