Minnesota’s medical marijuana clinics open doors to PTSD patients
Marine Corps man enrolled with the Health Department’s Office of Medical Cannabis last year in search of relief from the pain and muscle spasms caused by injuries he suffered in a helicopter crash. But along with pain relief came relief from the anxiety, intrusive thoughts and fear that haunted him for years as a result of service-related post-traumatic stress disorder.
“It works,” said Erdos, who spent five years “bunkered,” barely able to leave his home. Now, when he visits the bright, airy lobby of the LeafLine Labs patient care center in St. Paul (there is also a location in St. Cloud), he wears a big smile under the brim of his Marine Corps hat. He no longer takes any of his old anxiety meds. He has the confidence to get out and visit his buddies at the American Legion and VFW.
Millions of Americans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Minnesota is the latest state to offer medical marijuana as a possible treatment option.
The Minnesota Health Department’s Office of Medical Cannabis opened enrollment to people diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder on July 1, and the state’s eight clinics will open their doors to those new patients in August.
What Is PTSD?
PTSD stands for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD is an anxiety disorder that occurs sometimes in people who have gone through something traumatic such as:
- War Veterans
- Serious accidents such as car wrecks
- Natural disasters
- Murder witnesses
Some tell-tale symptoms of PTSD include:
- recurring memories or nightmares of the event
- loss of interest
- and feelings of numbness, anger, or irritability,
- being constantly on guard
How does it help?
Researchers believe cannabis works by removing associations to painful memories. This is helpful in PTSD patients who have flashbacks when they smell, hear or see something associated with the traumatic event that caused the PTSD. By extinguishing memory associations, PTSD patients may gradually see symptoms improve.
I have been smoking marijuana since I was 14 years old to help with my mental disorders. I was sexually, physically, and verbally abused growing up which led me to develop PTSD myself.
In itself, it has done wonders for me by helping me relax and be emotionally at ease but unfortunately I live in a state where marijuana is still illegal even for medical use.
My Fiance smokes as well and it helps her deal with not just her day-to-day life but also her PTSD and other mental disorders like myself.
I am very much pro-marijuana and I hope it is legalized everywhere soon so it can bring relief to everyone who suffers from PTSD.