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Medical Marijuana for PTSD Patients in Arkansas

Does PTSD Qualify for Medical Marijuana in Arkansas?

PTSD affects nearly 3.5% of U.S adults every year, and an estimated 1 in 11 people will be diagnosed with PTSD in their lifetime. People living with PTSD are often subjected to heightened anxiety or unexpected panic attacks as a result of a traumatic event or experience(s). 


For people who are diagnosed with PTSD, the Arkansas Department of Health approves the use of medical marijuana as a viable treatment. Treatment for PTSD with cannabis can have the potential to provide the relief that you need to live a happy and fulfilling life, while managing the negative impact of PTSD on the mind and body.

What Is PTSD?

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental health condition that can occur after a person is exposed to a traumatic experience such as war, car accident, natural disaster, life threatening situation, or serious injury. 


People who suffer from PTSD frequently experience symptoms such as the inability to sleep, irritability, difficulty concentrating, blackouts, or in some unfortunate cases, homicidal or suicidal ideation.


Almost anyone who has lived through a scary or traumatic event can develop PTSD as a result of the trauma experienced. 


It is commonly observed in military veterans and those who have experienced assault, childhood abuse or physical abuse.


Those who suffer from PTSD can often find simple tasks very difficult, and uninvited stress can raise anxiety and tension. PTSD can seriously affect quality of life, as those diagnosed can have difficulty in relationships or careers, and daily life activities can be inhibited by intrusive thoughts, confusion, or impractical stress. 

The current treatments for PTSD include therapy and medications to reduce anxiety and stress, but PTSD is a complicated issue and unique to the patient. 


Therapy may not offer the full relief from the physical symptoms of PTSD, and traditional medications may not offer relief from the mental symptoms of PTSD, often accompanied by unpleasant side effects such as weight gain, lowered libido, and many more.

How Can Medical Marijuana Help PTSD?

Studies all over the US and Canada have shown that medical marijuana can be a solution for both the mental and physical symptoms of PTSD. The FDA has recently approved the study of medical marijuana for veterans with PTSD based on these findings. 


Receptors in areas of the brain that deal with stressors, memory cognition, inhibition, and your fight or flight response are affected by the cannabinoids in cannabis. These cannabinoids can act together to provide relief for those suffering from PTSD with benefits such as:

  • Relief from anxiety and depression

  • Improved quality of sleep

  • Alleviation of chronic pain

  • Reduced stress

  • Improved mood and focus

  • Social confidence

  • Reduced irritability

The relief that medical marijuana can offer to PTSD patients could also reduce the risk of substance abuse and self-medication, two big risks related to this mental health condition. Those diagnosed with PTSD are statistically more susceptible to developing unhealthy habits with alcohol and drugs, and as a result are more likely to develop a Substance Use Disorder (SUD). 

Ongoing studies are suggesting that cannabis use could help combat SUD’s and may aide in harm reduction as well as opiate dependency. 

While the medical community continues to study and determine the efficacy of cannabis as a viable treatment for PTSD, access to medical grade cannabis is nonexistent in federally funded research and institutions are under massive federal restrictions that prevent thorough medical research of cannabis. 

As such, the science behind the complexity of PTSD and its treatment with cannabis is slowly unfolding in the medical community, and new information is coming out every day from scientific research both approved and not approved by the FDA. 

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