This conversation occurred during my last appointment at the VA Hospital:
Me: You guys should really start looking into cannabis for PTSD treatment. I haven’t had to adjust my prescribed meds since I started using it, and I haven’t had a drink in over a month [I used to drink ½ a bottle of wine a night]. I’m sleeping better and I’m able to manage my anxiety better than I was with the beta-blockers you prescribed.
Doctor: Yeah… You see, there are so many issues with that- marijuana might not work for everyone since people respond differently to it and have different reactions, plus there isn’t any conclusive evidence that it works, and it’s still illegal at the federal level.
Me: … Well, it works for me…
Doctor: … mmmhmmm… So, you were asking about what we would do if your current medication stopped being effective?Me: Yeah… I haven’t had to adjust my medication since I started using cannabis but I am concerned about what would happen since I’ve already gone through all the different types of anti-depressants. In the past, I got to the point where my meds weren’t working anymore and I couldn’t increase the dose because I was already maxed out. Then I had to switch to a different type, and deal with all the gross side-effects that go with each medication… Now there aren’t any other medications left that I haven’t tried…
Doctor: Well, there are options. Not all the medications work the same for everyone, and while most people will notice decreased effectiveness, some medications do stop working altogether for a few patients. So we can look at different combinations of the medications you’ve already tried to see if something else would work… I –
Me: Wait, did you just say that the anti-depressants don’t work the same for everyone?
Doctor: Yes, why?
Me: Well, then should you really be prescribing them? Since you don’t know how everyone will respond?
Doctor: uh… Oh, I see where you’re going with that. You have a really good point there.
Me: I know.
The short video below is an excerpt from “The Botany of Desire” and talks about the science behind PTSD and cannabis treatment. One of the best lines from the video is this one: “It plays a critical role in a sometimes underappreciated mental function: Forgetting.”
And here are a couple more links discussing the efficacy of Cannabis in treating PTSD symptoms:
*(Please note that research was published on the drugfree.org site)