- D. H. Reilly
PTSD Among Qualifying Conditions for Medical Marijuana in Alabama: New Relief for Thousands
One of the qualifying conditions under Alabama’s new medical marijuana law is PTSD, a condition that affects possibly hundreds of thousands of Alabamans who may soon be able to get an Alabama Marijuana Card.
And while we’ve told you about this already, we think it’s worth noting what a big deal this is. While we haven’t found any estimates of how many Alabamans suffer from PTSD, according to the the US Department of Veterans Affairs, 7-8% of Americans will suffer from it in their lifetimes.
That’s more than 26 million Americans experiencing an often debilitating condition, and now for the Alabamans among them there is a new hope for relief rapidly approaching.
Aren’t There Already PTSD Treatments?
There are already several treatment options for people with PTSD, but they don’t always provide real relief for patients, and they also usually come with unwanted side effects.
PTSD can be complicated because it involves two kinds of symptoms, physical and mental. As there are no traditional PTSD meds that can address both kinds, patients often take more than one medication. This compounds the side effects they have to endure even if their treatments are effective for them, which they often aren’t.
Medical Marijuana and PTSD Symptoms
PTSD is a form of trauma-induced anxiety that can cause many and diverse symptoms, including: extreme phobias, blackouts, irritability, difficulty focusing, poor sleep quality, intense phobias, hallucinations, blackouts, irritability, and even violent and suicidal thoughts.
While the underlying cause of PTSD is a psychological issue, its effects can and usually do manifest as physical problems as well, including increased susceptibility to infections and chronic illness, sleep complications (which can cause several other physical problems), and pain in the muscles and joints.
Traditional PTSD Treatments
PTSD is most often treated by using a combination of therapy and medication. The therapy attempts to address the psychological issues at the root of the physical problems, and medication to treat the actual physical symptoms.
Unfortunately, therapy doesn’t address the physical symptoms of PTSD, and the medications often come with negative side effects, such as weight gain and loss of libido.
How Do We Know Medical Marijuana is Any Better?
International studies have repeatedly found that medical marijuana is an effective PTSD treatment. Not only that, but research has also found that cannabis can treat both the physical and psychological effects of PTSD.
Researchers believe that medical marijuana is able to address both types of PTSD symptoms where other medications cannot, because there are receptors both in the brain and throughout the body that interact with cannabinoids.
Medical Marijuana as an Alternative for More Dangerous Medications
Not only is cutting down on the amount of medications PTSD patients take more convenient for them, but cutting down on those other medications means less reliance on more dangerous medications. For example, medical marijuana patients are less likely to use opioids for pain relief, and it was the overuse of those medications that led to the opioid crisis. Americans’ overuse of opioids has been such a serious issue that the CDC has labeled it an epidemic.
Similarly, patients who use medical marijuana are less likely to self-medicate with alcohol to make their pain tolerable.
The Bottom Line on PTSD and Medical Marijuana
To summarize, for many patients medical marijuana is more effective at treating their PTSD than traditional medications, because it treats physical and psychological symptoms, doesn’t have the negative side effects of traditional PTSD meds, and reduces the use of more problematic drugs.
Medical Marijuana is Good News for Alabama
Even if you don’t have PTSD, the inclusion of PTSD on the state’s list of qualifying conditions is a good thing for the entire state. As we’ve said, we don’t know for sure the number of Alabamans who are currently dealing with PTSD, but if our state’s numbers are consistent with the country’s, then almost 400,000 Alabamans could benefit from the inclusion of PTSD as a qualifying condition sometime in their lives.
Those 400,000 Alabamans would otherwise be stuck with traditional medications, and their negative side effects, which can include intolerable sexual dysfunction, gastrointestinal distress, and impaired cognition or “brain fog.” And those 400,000 Alabamans would otherwise be more likely to abuse opiates or alcohol.
But now those 400,000 Alabamans will have the chance to experience relief in a safe, natural way, relief that could have meant so much to an unknowable number of Alabamans who have gone before, but that will now be available to an unknowable number of Alabamans yet to come.
Are You an Alabaman Suffering from PTSD?
If you’re interested in finding out if medical marijuana is the right option to treat your PTSD, please let us help.
Reserve an evaluation with one of our knowledgeable, caring marijuana doctors today, and we’ll set you up with an appointment just as soon as Alabama’s medical marijuana market is up and running.
You’ll meet virtually with your doctor from the comfort of your own home via a telemedicine evaluation. You and your doctor will discuss your unique case and explore your treatment options. And you’ll decide together if medical marijuana is right for you.
You’ll also save $25 on the cost of your evaluation, and a total refund on your evaluation if medical marijuana doesn’t turn out to be the best option for you to try. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.