We need compassionate care for those suffering from post-traumatic stress. To wind down our Marijuana and PTSD series, we wanted to give you a small peek into the lives of those who suffer from PTSD. The following four success stories are from people who have been touched by the healing powers of cannabis.
Marijuana for Trauma
In an incredible video, Canadian veterans describe what medical marijuana has done for them. The stories are truly amazing. The first is told by retired Cpl. Chris Dupree of Marijuana for Trauma. Marijuana for Trauma is a Canadian group which provides cannabis to veterans with PTSD.They treat veterans with either THC or CBD, whichever cannabinoid they respond to best. Dupree explains that marijuana was able to calm some of his symptoms:
“I used to have high anxiety, hypervigilance, depression all that stuff. You know, I still do have it for the most part, but I’m able to control it now. I know that when I wake up in the morning, that I’ll go to bed just as happy as when I woke up in the morning. I don’t gotta worry about spiraling out of control with something that I didn’t see coming.
That’s just little things like someone looks at you the wrong way, you can think ‘that guy is out to get me.’ Little things like that spike your hyper-vigilance. Now I gotta deal with that anymore. I can just put it away.”
Retired Sgt. Fabian Henry is also featured in the clip. When asked if marijuana was just a band-aid for this condition, Henry had some insightful words to share with the audience. He explains:
“There is no cure for PTSD. So, yes, it’s a bandaid. It’s the best bandaid to control our symptoms. You still need treatment for your injury. You need neurofeedback, you need psychotherapy, you need family support, you need peer support. Then you need to come to a retreat or you need to learn how to connect with nature and love yourself again and love people around you.
So, is it a bandaid? Yes. It’s a bandaid.”
If you have 8 minutes, the video is definitely worth the watch. Unbelievably compassionate and touching.
Medical marijuana doesn’t only help the patient. For every person prescribed medical marijuana, the positive effects are felt by their family, friends, and society as a whole. PTSD strongly impacts spouses, children, and caretakers. The stress and emotional turbulence experienced by the patient spill over into other relationships. This creates an immense strain not only for the sufferer in question but for those who love them as well.
CannaConnect shares another heartbreaking story from Jenny, who’s husband developed PTSD after his time with the Canadian military.
In tears, Jenny questions:
“Want to know what it’s like? Our lives with PTSD? Want to know what it’s like when you know that something is good for your husband and nobody will listen to you? Do you know what it’s like when the whole system is letting your husband down?
My husband is suffering from PTSD. He served 20 years. My husband is wounded. Medical cannabis is the one thing that truly helps him.”
In the second segment of this four-part video series, Jenny explains the impact medical marijuana has had on her husband’s quality of life.
“It’s changed his life. Medical cannabis helps him cope with his PTSD on so many levels. For instance, my husband suffers from really high social anxiety. It’s hard for him, dealing with people, dealing with strangers. You know, we’re here in Toronto today, but driving in the city, the crowds, people talking to themselves, sirens, policemen, for him, it’s another world. But, it’s his world, a true world.
Medical cannabis really helps him cope with his anxiety. PTSD and depression can keep someone sitting on this chair for the longest time. Medical cannabis really changed our lives.”
Each video is only about two minutes long, and they’re well worth the time. Be warned: you might want to have a few tissues handy. Jenny is a very eye-opening speaker.
Rena Moss’s story
Veterans are far from the only ones who suffer from post-traumatic stress. Eight million people are diagnosed with PTSD every year. Rena Moss is among them. She was courageous enough to share her story during a Michigan State hearing by the Bureau of Health Services. This was back in 2013 when the state was deciding what conditions to include in their medical cannabis legislation.
With both pain and calm awareness in her voice, Rena tells her story:
“Probably the most difficult thing anyone could deal with happened to me. I went home one night and found my only child dead. And that replay goes over and over, and over, and over, and there’s no way to stop it unless I smoke some cannabis. Or eat it.
I don’t know anything about PTSD, but I know it stops the reruns and it really, really helps. Everyone should have this available to them through their doctor.”
Post-traumatic stress is now a qualifying condition for medical marijuana in Michigan state. Speaking publicly about the traumas which most haunt you is an incredibly difficult task. But, thanks to the willingness and bravery of individuals like Rena, Jenny, Fabian Henry, and Chris Dupree movements have been made to get a life-changing medication to those who need it most.
In the United States, we’re still fighting for marijuana reform. Though, there has been some significant achievements. After a year of deliberation, the DEA has finally approved a study which examines medical marijuana as a treatment for PTSD. This is a major step toward providing safe access to veterans and civilians alike.
New legalization legislation is expected to hit Canada in 2017.
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