Imagine suffering from a chronic health condition for which your doctor has no answers. You try all the standard treatments to no avail. You suggest alternative treatments you have heard about from other people, but your doctor insists that he cannot recommend them because they have not proved to be effective. If this sounds strange to you, consider the fate of so many post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) patients.
Far too many PTSD patients try all the standard treatments only to discover that none work. No amount of group counseling, job training, and prescription medications can stop the constant nightmares and feelings of guilt. Ultimately, the chronic sufferer loses hope. Then what?
Utah Marijuana is one of many organizations that steer patients toward medical cannabis. Their reach does not extend beyond Utah, but there are similar organizations around the country. Then there are others that are pointing PTSD sufferers toward psychedelics.
Cannabis for PTSD
Reliable scientific research into the efficacy of treating PTSD with cannabis is lacking. However, that may only be due to government restrictions on marijuana and THC. Remove those restrictions and things might be different. All that notwithstanding, the anecdotal evidence in support of cannabis is substantial.
To be clear, when people talk about using cannabis to treat PTSD, they are talking specifically about marijuana and THC. This is important to note given that CBD is also a cannabinoid. Where THC comes primarily from marijuana plants, CBD comes from hemp. Yet both marijuana and hemp are cannabis species.
The THC in marijuana is said to help PTSD sufferers in a number of ways. It is said to reduce anxiety. It is believed that THC helps sufferers relax. Patients themselves say that the drug minimizes the number of recurring nightmares they experience.
Psychedelics for PTSD
Psychedelics are a class of drugs that encourage somewhat unique psychoactive responses. If you have heard of magic mushrooms and LSD, you are familiar with at least two psychedelics. These days, LSD and psychedelic mushrooms are being used alongside DMT, ketamine, and a few others for therapeutic purposes.
Exactly how psychedelics help PTSD sufferers is not quite clear. But that has not stopped patients from speaking out in favor of psychedelic therapies. Some even go so far as to suggest that psychedelics have saved their lives. Such claims are easily believable if psychedelics can reduce the likelihood of suicide.
Sticking with Standard Treatments
Despite PTSD sufferers advocating for medical cannabis and psychedelics, the medical community continues to stick with traditional treatments. To some extent, they have federal law to blame. It is risky recommending that patients use illicit substances the government continues to fight against.
On the other hand, some thirty-six states have already legalized medical cannabis. A small number are now looking at doing the same thing with psychedelics. Doctors in permissive states can recommend the drugs to PTSD sufferers. Those patients, if they want to use the drugs, have to do so privately and pay for them on their own. Health insurance will not cover them. But if patients are willing, shouldn’t the drugs be available to them?
It is extremely frustrating for PTSD sufferers to play by the rules only to find no relief from standard treatments. They can be left feeling like their doctors don’t care. And when that’s the case, feelings of loneliness and isolation only get worse. What is a PTSD sufferer to do?
One option is to live with it and try to cope as best as possible. Another is to take matters into one’s own hands and start looking at alternative treatments. Which way would you go?