On Veteran’s Day, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a law granting sufferers of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) access to legal medical marijuana. PTSD now joins the other conditions eligible for medical cannabis in New York including HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s disease and chronic pain.
Governor Cuomo said, “Our veterans risked their lives in order to defend the ideals and principles that this nation was founded upon, and it is our duty to do everything we can to support them when they return home.”
It’s estimated that around 19,000 New Yorkers with PTSD could now be helped by medicinal cannabis. And that includes not only military veterans but also survivors of domestic abuse, sexual assault, violent crimes and others who’ve lived through a traumatic event.
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Why Medical Marijuana May Help With PTSD
We have a network of cannabinoid receptors in our bodies called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is hugely important as it regulates a variety of functions and overall good health. Cannabinoids are the compounds that stimulate the ECS. We produce cannabinoids naturally, but they’re also found in marijuana.
Studies show that people suffering from PTSD have more cannabinoid receptors than others, but also have low levels of cannabinoids, especially the naturally occurring cannabinoid anandamide, which is responsible for promoting a state of happiness and contentment. Since marijuana not only contains cannabinoids, but also increases cannabinoid levels in the body, it seems to be an effective treatment for PTSD. Plus, it’s safer than the usually prescribed opioid drugs, which can be highly addictive.
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Where to Start With Cannabis for PTSD
If you’re experiencing PTSD symptoms and want to add cannabis to your daily routine, a good place to start might be an anxiety-relief tincture or any marijuana product high in cannabidiol (CBD), which is shown to help with anxiety and inflammation. You can also head over to our Answers page to see what others with PTSD are using to treat their symptoms.
Photo credit: eflon
If you’re new to cannabis and want to learn more, take a look at our Cannabis 101 post. HelloMD can help you get your medical marijuana recommendation; it’s easy, private and 100% online.