How Marijuana Can Help PTSD

Being someone with C-PTSD, complex post-traumatic stress disorder, I was delighted to learn that there is a way to reduce the pain, fear, guilt and most importantly: the night terrors. The only downfall to my solution is that marijuana is still illegal for post-traumatic stress disorder in Florida. Interestingly enough, Florida is not the only state where marijuana is legal for a disease/condition that is considered "seriously debilitating," weakening a person. These conditions are those such as cancer, HIV, AIDS, glaucoma, etc. However, conditions such as excessive nausea, chronic pain, migraines and mental conditions as severe as post-traumatic stress disorder are not listed as qualifying conditions for medical marijuana in Florida.

Most people think Colorado is where marijuana is easiest to access for any type of illness or pain, but post-traumatic stress disorder is still not a qualifying condition in that state as well. In fact, the only states out of the 24 who have legalized medical marijuana that consider post-traumatic stress disorder eligible are California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico and Oregon. Cannabis helps the people who suffer from this disorder by reducing their chronic pain and flashbacks. Having PTSD is chronically painful for both the brain and body, especially when the person suffering is not getting a sufficient amount of sleep or constantly has interrupted sleep. One major way that sleep is interrupted for people with PTSD is night terrors. People with complex post-traumatic stress disorders have night terrors referencing their prolonged victimization or physical abuse. Veterans, police officers and firefighters have night terrors referencing their war trauma or previous operations.

To reduce night terrors, anxiety, harmful thoughts and flashbacks, many pills are prescribed to people with post-traumatic stress disorder. It has become more common for veterans, and other people suffering from PTSD, to overdose on their medication. If marijuana were available to these people, there would be no chance of overdose unless multiple pounds of cannabis was inhaled in just minutes, which is not possible. Marijuana helps people have a longer deep sleep rather than REM sleep, where most dreaming happens. If the person does dream, there is a high chance that they will not even remember vividly. Clearly, this would help many people with post-traumatic stress disorder from having to re-live their past every night and waking up petrified, gasping for air.

It has been estimated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that PTSD has affected about 31% of Vietnam veterans. It is also estimated that about 7.8% of Americans experience PTSD at some point in life. More recently, congress allowed veterans to talk over the idea of having medical marijuana as a treatment option for the condition. They would have to be prescribed by their Veterans Affairs doctor and be living in a state where medical marijuana is legal. Some progress is being made for the condition's treatment, but more people need to understand the severity, meaning we need more research projects on how exactly marijuana can help PTSD. More people need to be informed about how PTSD's symptoms can be easily minimized by the use of marijuana. This will help get it legalized for anyone who has ever experienced a type of trauma; especially the veterans, police officers and firefighters. The answer is simple, but for some people it is unfathomable: marijuana will help millions of people's lives.

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