Medical Marijuana for PTSD in Texas
Texas’ medical marijuana program was recently upgraded. Texans now have access to medical marijuana to treat PTSD.
PTSD is an anxiety disorder experienced by combat veterans and those who have suffered through any kind of traumatic experiences such as violent crimes and domestic abuse. Symptoms include high levels of anxiety and sudden panic attacks. These attacks can also be accompanied by flashbacks.
PTSD affects an estimated 8 percent of Americans or 24.4 million (that’s the total population of Texas). One in every 3 returning troops has PTSD. However, only 4 in 10 seek help.
Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome is a highly complex disorder that is still not fully understood. Moreover, the mechanisms by which cannabinoids help treat the symptoms of PTSD are also not fully understood.
How to use medical marijuana to treat PTSD in texas
You might be thinking of using medical marijuana to treat PTSD in Texas. It’s not quite the same as it would be in any other state with a medical marijuana program. Texas medical marijuana laws are restrictive.
For starters, Texas dispensaries are not permitted to to sell dried marijuana flower. In fact, all smokables and concentrates are illegal. That includes hashish, cannabis oil concentrates, wax, crumble, shatter, and rosin.
Infused edibles are available in limited forms.
Furthermore, it is illegal to grow marijuana in Texas without a marijuana cultivation license. And possession comes with stiff penalties under Texas marijuana laws.
Moreover, legislators have set a limit of 1.0 percent THC on all medical cannabis products in Texas. That’s up from 0.5 percent prior to a recent upgrade to the program under which PTSD was added as a qualifying condition.
In order to consume a 10 milligram dose of THC, a patient would have to consume 1,000 milligrams of cannabis oil — that’s a lot.
Regardless, medical cannabis products in Texas must contain at least 10 percent CBD. Fortunately, for many PTSD patients, CBD has been shown to be effective at reducing the incidence and severity of PTSD symptoms.
Cannabinoid inhalers offer the fastest relief and are a good choice for PTSD patients suffering with sudden onset panic attacks. The onset time for effects is very short as the cannabinoids are absorbed into the bloodstream directly from the lungs.
Cannabis oil tinctures are used sublingually. A few drops under the tongue can provide relatively fast relief as the cannabinoids are absorbed into the capillaries in the lining of the mouth.
Some tinctures are made with full-spectrum cannabis oil which contains additional active compounds known as terpenes. Terpenes are the essential oils that give cannabis strains their distinctive aromas.
Each type of terpene produces a different set of effects. Moreover, the presence of certain terpenes can modulate the effects of cannabinoids. The result is that no two patients will experience the same effects from a particular full-spectrum product.
When using full-spectrum products, some experimentation might be required to select the ideal cannabis strain for the patient’s condition.
Some PTSD sufferers who try using medical marijuana find that it makes them anxious and paranoid and thus they stopped using it. However, because Texas cannabis laws only permit low-THC products, this is less likely for Texas PTSD patients.
Cannabis lozenges provide the slowest onset time. However, cannabis lozenges offer long-lasting systemic effects and are a good option for those who experience feelings of anxiety throughout the day.
Cannabis topicals are not a good choice for PTSD patients — that is unless the patient is also suffering from chronic joint or muscle pain, or a skin condition in addition to PTSD.
Tips for getting the best results
For PTSD patients, tinctures or lozenges plus an inhaler can provide both reduced levels of anxiety and fast relief for the sudden onset of symptoms.
To avoid any unexpected side effects, patients should start with very small dosages and work their way up slowly.
In order to get the best results, PTSD patients are advised to discuss their condition with a qualified medical marijuana doctor in Texas who can help the patient decide on a proper formula and delivery method. There are also several groups on social media where PTSD patients can compare notes and see what works best for each patient.
Sources and additional reading:
- New Research Reveals Why Cannabis Helps PTSD Sufferers
- Texas Qualifying Medical Conditions
- Cannabis temporarily relieves PTSD symptoms, study suggests
- Marijuana-PTSD study concludes after 10 years of planning, research
- A review of medical marijuana for the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder: Real symptom re-leaf or just high hopes? | Mental Health Clinician
- The Use of Medicinal Marijuana for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Review of the Current Literature