If you or a loved one is struggling with PTSD, you should know that medical marijuana is now available in Pennsylvania for treating symptoms of this neurological condition.
Post-traumatic stress disorder, also known as PTSD, is an anxiety disorder caused by a traumatic experience. Living with PTSD can be incredibly challenging. Many patients commonly deal with unexpected anxiety attacks, which often leads to a poor quality of life. When a person experiences a traumatic event such as combat, a car accident, abuse, or assault, it’s not always easy to move past that experience. And while a combination of therapy and medication offers some patients relief, many of them find it difficult to recover.
Compassionate Certification Centers is here to help you understand the benefits of medical marijuana for PTSD and how it can help cope with negative emotions. We can also help you legally qualify for a medical marijuana card in Pennsylvania. See below for more information.
An Overview of PTSD
A person with PTSD may experience fear, nausea, dizziness, depression, and insomnia as a result of a traumatic experience. In most cases, these symptoms last for several weeks, but there any many people who experience symptoms for decades. There are three main characteristics of PTSD:
- Re-living a traumatic event (e.g. flashbacks and nightmares)
- Increased arousal (e.g. paranoia)
- Avoidance (e.g. self medicating or relationship sabotage)
Due to the nature of PTSD, many sufferers are reluctant to seek professional help, thereby making it difficult to approximate the number of individuals living with this condition.
How to Diagnose PTSD
A doctor who has experience helping people with mental illnesses, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist, can diagnose PTSD. To be diagnosed with PTSD, a patient must have all of the following for at least 1 month:
- At least one re-experiencing symptom
- At least one avoidance symptom
- At least two arousal and reactivity symptoms
- At least two cognition and mood symptoms
Statistics to Consider
- There are approximately 8 million adults who experience PTSD in the United States
- Around 7-8% of the U.S. population has experienced PTSD at some or the other point in their lives
- PTSD is typically more common in women
- Around 10% of women population in the United States develop PTSD in the course of their lives
Common Symptoms of Anxiety
Individuals afflicted with PTSD typically exhibit pronounced symptoms, which include:
- Behavioral: agitation, irritability, hostility, hypervigilance, self-destructive behavior, social isolation
- Psychological: flashbacks, fear, severe anxiety, emotional detachment
- Mood: loss of interest or pleasure in activities, guilt, loneliness
- Sleep: insomnia, nightmares
Medical Marijuana for PTSD
There are several studies that demonstrate how medical marijuana helps alleviate the negative mental and physical symptoms of PTSD. Medical marijuana contains cannabinoids, which are chemical compounds with therapeutic properties. Among the cannabinoids are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol), which are structurally similar to the molecules in the human endocannabinoid system. They interact with one another to trigger neurotransmitters responsible for positive emotions.
The relief that medical marijuana can offer to PTSD patients also helps reduce the risk of substance abuse and self-medication, two of the biggest risks associated with this disorder. Many studies also show that the use of medical marijuana helps curb alcohol and drug addition in Veterans.
How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card for PTSD
Due to the seriousness of the disease, many states have legalized the use of medical marijuana for PTSD. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to get your medical marijuana card in the state of Pennsylvania:
- Register for the PA Medical Marijuana Program with Compassionate Certification Centers
- Have a physician certify that you suffer from PTSD
- Purchase a medical marijuana ID card
- Get medical marijuana from an approved dispensary in Pennsylvania
Compassionate Certification Centers is here to provide you with the support, care, and guidance you need to get certified in the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program. Schedule an appointment with us at 888-316-9085 to start your evaluation process!