Living with a condition like PTSD can be incredibly difficult. While huge amounts of research have gone into finding treatments for it, medical science doesn’t have all the answers and finding an option that works for you can feel near impossible. With an estimated 1 in 11 US citizens living with PTSD at some point in their life, this is a problem that simply can’t be ignored.
Thankfully, recent studies have shown that cannabis may be able to come to the rescue. This substance could share a very strong link with PTSD, providing a means to work against the problem, rather than simply reducing the symptoms. But what exactly is PTSD and how could cannabis have the potential to help you with it?
What is PTSD?
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that stands out from many others. Usually caused by a traumatic experience at some point in the life of a patient, many people don’t realize that they are living with this condition until they have it diagnosed. Those suffering from PTSD will experience nightmares, flashbacks, anxiety, and extreme stress, with these symptoms being triggered by the most unexpected things.
Currently, PTSD is most commonly treated with talking therapy and antidepressant medication. This varies in success from patient to patient, with some people finding that their PTSD treatments are almost entirely ineffective. While it’s soldiers and those in other stressful jobs that will be most likely to suffer from PTSD, this condition can be caused by things like childbirth, a car accident, or a traumatic experience.
What Is Anandamide?
It’s time to take a little bit of a detour so that we can dive into the connection between PTSD and cannabis. Anandamide is a type of chemical known as a cannabinoid and is something that your body produces naturally as a way to combat stress. Cannabis contains very similar chemicals that can mimic the effects of anandamide, and this is what creates the blissful feeling many people get when they consume cannabis.
A recent study carried out by Leiden University in the Netherlands used mice to test the effects of anandamide on stress. By limiting the natural production of this chemical in a group of mice, they were able to compare the stress levels between the groups, and those with lower levels of anandamide proved to be far more stressed, as evidenced by the higher cortisol levels in their blood. This goes further than just the stress itself, though.
The mice with suppressed anandamide were also found to hold onto conditioned fear for far longer than normal mice. This means that the mice with lower anandamide levels would be scared of something for far longer than a normal mouse, showing the long-term negative effects of limited anandamide levels. It’s worth noting that this study was unable to avoid blocking other cannabinoids in the mice, though the changes in behavior are most likely to be linked to anandamide.
The Connection Between Anandamide & PTSD
While studies like this are still relatively new, they can still serve to show connections between chemicals and the mental health problems people suffer from. Being unable to produce enough anandamide to remain emotionally stable is a likely culprit for the PTSD many people suffer. With the mice showing that lowering the levels of this cannabinoid makes it hard to forget stressful experiences, this could explain why those with PTSD often go through vivid and emotional flashbacks.
Using Cannabis To Help With PTSD
While cannabis doesn’t replace the anandamide in your body, the other cannabinoids in this substance can produce very similar effects. When people consume cannabis, their body will react as if it has had a major boost in anandamide, with stress levels going down, and reactions to conditioned fears lessening greatly. This means that cannabis may have the power to help with your PTSD.
Smoking, vaping, eating, or consuming cannabis in any of the other ways available on the market could give you the chance to reduce the symptoms of your PTSD considerably. Along with this, though, with the way that anandamide works with conditioned stress, cannabis could also help you on the road to recovery from PTSD.
It’s always worth keeping in mind that this is a relatively new field, and it’s hard to say for sure whether or not cannabis will have a positive impact on your PTSD. This study shows that there is a link between stress and chemicals like anandamide, but more testing will have to be done to prove the links between PTSD and cannabis.
Most people will want to find a discrete way to try this out for themselves, and this is where Planet 13 comes in. As the largest Las Vegas dispensary you’ll find, we have a wide range of different options that can make it easier for you to try cannabis out when you’re looking at options that might help with PTSD.
Along with the products we offer, we also have a cannabis entertainment complex that provides an excellent place to relax and socialize in a safe environment. We offer in-store, curbside pickup, and in-home delivery. This should make it easy to find the cannabis products you want without having to expose yourself to anything too stressful.
Living with a condition like PTSD can be very difficult, especially when you’re unsatisfied with the treatments you’ve tried in the past. Trying something like cannabis can be a daunting experience, but it could be well worth it if you find that it has a positive impact on your PTSD. More and more doctors are exploring treatments like this, and it’s only a matter of time before experts will be able to say for sure whether or not it’s the right option to use.