Each new research study conducted on the cannabis plant, further adds value to the therapeutic aspects of this herb. Especially now that the world has beheld so many of its wondrous benefits in the treatment of many severe debilitating medical conditions.
This brings to light our topic of discussion, medical marijuana for the treatment of PTSD symptoms. Is medical marijuana effective in treating PTSD symptoms and how to get a medical marijuana card in Oklahoma for the same, let’s find the answers to all such queries for the benefit of all suffering patients.
What is PTSD?
PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental disorder that affects patients who have undergone a traumatic event first hand, or second hand, as a witness. Such events are so terrible that the people are indelibly affected for life. These events are quite intrusive in nature or symbols of mental or physical violations like personal assaults, traffic accidents, being a part of some war, natural disaster, etc.
The memories of these events involuntarily make their presence felt time and time again through nightmares, intrusive flashbacks and severe insomnia.
Traditional Forms of Treatment of PTSD
Anxiety & Depression Association of America or ADAA have shared quite elaborate guidelines on the traditional forms of treatment of PTSD. Let us tick off the important methods that they have outlined for the betterment of afflicted individuals.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy
This is a trailblazing form of therapy that has shown immense potential in the improvement of PTSD symptoms both in the long and short term. This therapy is entirely trauma-based which means that it keeps the trauma in focus and works to help the patient eradicate the symptoms from the source.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
This is another therapy that helps a patient handle their PTSD symptoms. Here the patient recognizes and works on the memories, thoughts and feelings associated with the traumatic event.
Present Centered Therapy (PCT)
As the name itself suggests, present-centered therapy is one that addresses the present state of mind of the patient. It does not directly process the source of the trauma but is more focused on what the person can do at present to make everything better.
There are certain prescription medications as well, which a PTSD patient consumes as per the instructions of their doctors. Out of these medicines, popular ones include Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) and Benzodiazepines.
Medical Marijuana for PTSD
Despite these existing forms of treatments available to a PTSD patient, not all find relief with them. There are many people who have repeatedly appealed to the ADHS Website for the testing of marijuana for the treatment of PTSD. In July 2013, hundreds of people left comments on the site that was proof enough of how they had managed to find the missing relief in their PTSD symptoms with the help of marijuana.
There are many symptoms of this trauma disorder that can then be managed with cannabis consumption, let us go through them.
Which PTSD Symptoms Can Medical Marijuana Treat?
Many states have listed PTSD as a qualifying condition to apply for a medical marijuana card. This is because many reports have outright highlighted the reduction in the overall symptoms of PTSD and improvement in the quality of life of many patients with the use of marijuana. Let us then go through a list of PTSD symptoms that medical marijuana can work on to help a patient get better.
CBD and THC are two of the major cannabinoids that have been identified to date with about 100+ other cannabinoids. CB1 and CB2 receptors, located throughout the core places in the Endocannabinoid System, can get activated with the use of THC. Which might further aid the patients in consolidating their memories and being able to retrieve them on choice.
The consolidation of memory means that the traumatic event that has happened becomes part of the long-term memory of the patient making it stable for them. This is a huge help for all suffering patients who are forced to live through the traumatic experience frequently with recurrent uncontrolled flashbacks.
Stress & Depression
CBD, the other major cannabinoid, plays quite an important role in helping PTSD patients combat the stress and depression affecting them. As per a study, PTSD patients were found to have a low receptor occupancy of anandamide, which is a natural endocannabinoid molecule responsible for feelings of joy and happiness. Due to the similar structure of CBD to this natural endocannabinoid, it was found to be the perfect replacement for it.
One of the worst symptoms of PTSD that poses a real problem for patients is that of severe insomnia. Nighttime is the time for recovery. When a person sleeps for a healthy amount of hours, their body automatically works to recover them from any adverse symptoms afflicting their bodies
Insomnia is one such PTSD symptom that can be adequately gotten rid of with the right consumption of cannabis.
How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Oklahoma?
Now that we know how medical marijuana can help a PTSD patient, we must specify the steps for the process of getting the medical marijuana card for PTSD in the state of Oklahoma. Since PTSD is not a qualifying medical condition for an MMJ card, the patient must specify the particular symptom that troubles them as the main health concern.
For example, a PTSD patient suffering from anxiety, insomnia, or chronic pain, can separately talk to the doctors about one of these symptoms as the main health issue instead of relating it to PTSD as a whole. The rest of the process of applying for an MMJ card in Oklahoma remains the same.
New conditions are being identified and added to the list of qualifying health conditions for an MMJ card in each state of the USA. Hence, there is hope for PTSD to be added to the list of qualifying conditions in the state of Oklahoma too. Till then you can do what you have to do.