Anyone can face an unfavorable situation or may go through some intense pain. However, for some people, the memories of those situations remain for a lifetime. People with a traumatic past often get frightened when they get into situations related to those memories.
Data suggests roughly 8 million people have post-traumatic stress disorder only in the United States. Moreover, the cases of PTSD are estimated to increase further due to the covid-19 pandemic.
While there is no easy solution to fight PTSD, research suggests medical cannabis or some cannabis extracted product may be able to help. Cannabis extracted products such as THC have a pretty sound effect in stressful conditions such as PTSD.
THC products are available in several types, such as THC vape pen, capsules, tinctures, and gummies. So, let’s see if THC vape pens could help people living with PTSD or not.
Can THC Vape Pens Help PTSD Patients?
As already mentioned, THC is extracted from the cannabis or hemp plant. Due to its cannabis-based origin, experts believe THC can help to lower the stress level. Other than THC, these vape pens also contain many terpenes that may help treat symptoms of PTSD such as respiratory dysfunction like asthma.
Scientists believe THC helps lower the symptoms of PTSD by affecting the endocannabinoid system(ECS). The ECS is a regulatory system that helps manage stress levels, pain response, inflammation, sleep cycle, and immune responses. Our body has two different endocannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2, and THC binds with both of these receptors.
So, when you vape a THC vape pen, the THC content goes from the lungs to the bloodstream, and from there, it makes its way to the brain. Since THC can affect the ECS, it gives a variety of effects such as a feeling of euphoria, stress reduction, and sleep promotion. These effects help the body to manage the symptoms of PTSD better.
Evidence supporting the role of THC in managing THC:
Some newer research has found that people with PTSD have a lower amount of anandamide. Anandamide is an endocannabinoid that helps improve mood and reduce fear and anxiety. Moreover, the molecule is often considered the body’s natural antidepressant.
Scientists have found that anandamide activates CB1 receptors like THC. Interestingly, the chemical structure of anandamide is somewhat similar to that of THC, and the similarity in structure allows THC to affect and alter standard brain communication.
Researchers have also found that THC can manipulate the functions of the hippocampus and other areas of the brain related to forming memories. In another study, THC can also reduce the activity in the Amygdala, and Amygdala is mainly responsible for the perception of fear and threat. Due to these benefits, vaping THC may help in fighting traumatic memories.
Older studies have shown that THC can help lower anxiety attacks or stop intense anxiety in dangerous situations. However, researchers from Wayne State University in Detroit, MI, have investigated the effect of THC on the Amygdala in people with anxiety disorder and PTSD. The researchers validated the potential role of THC in managing the symptoms of PTSD.
In another study, researchers from Brazil’s Federal University of Parana found that cannabis has the potential to help people with PTSD. According to the researchers of this study, a low dose of THC or THC combined with CBD may help in improving the condition of PTSD patients. Moreover, it can also reduce anxiety responses for good.
A 2008 study shows that using cannabis strains with higher levels of THC can reduce the duration of REM sleep. REM sleep is a phase of sleep in which we dream, and by lowering dreams, THC could also reduce nightmares. Due to the nightmares, most PTSD patients struggle to sleep peacefully, so by reducing dreams, THC ensures PTSD patients get enough sleep.
It’s worth noting that when THC is used with CBD, they produce the entourage effect, which ensures a potential increase in the therapeutic benefits of both of these compounds.
According to R. Andrew Sewell, associate professor of psychiatry at Yale University, medical cannabis or THC could be able to help people living with PTSD by “overwriting” the traumatic memories with new memories. The process is called ‘extinction learning,’ which may be highly beneficial to patients with PTSD.
Animal model studies have shown that the binding ability of THC with CB receptors can improve extinction learning.
According to a new study, PTSD patients who use marijuana or THC products saw significant improvement in their PTSD symptoms. Moreover, THC users were also 2.5 times more likely to recover from PTSD than those who don’t use THC products.
Why should you vape THC in PTSD?
The THC vape oil contains several other cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes besides THC. Due to the richness of these compounds, THC vape pens perform better than any other alternate medication.
Moreover, the effects of THC also take place quite fast, which is crucial in the case of PTSD. In PTSD, patients may get triggered merely by the thought of those memories or situations similar to those memories.
As already mentioned, THC vapes directly reach into the bloodstream through the lung’s surface. This delivery method is among the fastest and can help patients calm down in emergencies.
Furthermore, THC vape pens have a higher bioavailability, meaning, with vapes, you can get a potent dose by using less THC than in capsules and tablets.
Most of the available scientific research and literature show that vaping THC may help in fighting the symptoms of PTSD. Vaping THC can help in lowering stress and anxiety levels. Moreover, it can also help in promoting sleep.
However, THC is mainly seen as the same as cannabis due to the traditional ‘high’ associated with it. Because of the high producing effects of THC, it is illegal in many places. So, make sure to know the legality of THC in your area, or you can also use CBD products or products with less than 0.3% of THC if you live in the United States.
Recreational marijuana is legal in 19 states, including Washington, D.C., and Guam. So, in these states, you may use THC vape pens for PTSD. However, before doing that check, the local laws to be sure as the marijuana laws in the U.S. are ever-changing.