Medical Marijuana Research for PTSD Moving Forward…

by | Mar 27, 2014

Please support my mission of helping families who suffer from PTSD and moral injury…order my books, My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1… (Kindle $2.99), and Reconciliation: A Son’s Story.  Click and order paperback or download Kindle version.  Buy my book at Barnes & Noble as well… Thank you! Steve Sparks, Author


Harborside Health Center employee Gerard Barber

(Photo: Jeff Chiu, AP)

Medical Marijuana Research at University of Arizona… Quote from this USA Today report…

“A researcher at the University of Arizona is a step closer to studying how medical marijuana affects veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Although there is a “mountain of anecdotal evidence” that marijuana helps with PTSD, there has been no controlled trial to test how marijuana suppresses the symptoms, including flashbacks, insomnia and anxiety, said Suzanne Sisley, the study’s lead researcher.”


I am no expert or researcher on the subject of medical marijuana…  I do believe we have proven that prescription medications, especially when combined with alcohol, cause major problems as a treatment strategy for PTSD survivors.  From my own experience, prescription medications with a narcotic component made me worse off.  I do use a prescribed anti-depressant and it seems to help as compared to not taking anything at all.  Anti-anxiety medications help me relax with the on-set of a potential panic attack or a high level of anxiety.  I also use an anxiety medication to help me sleep rather than a specific sleeping prescription drug.  All of this has been a long process of experimentation and appropriate medical professional guidance to find the right balance.  The best part is that, finally, after many years of frustration, the balance seems to agree with me.

Anecdotal experience and research in using medical marijuana for cancer and other health issues, suggests we should investigate further.  I am in favor of finding better ways to treat the symptoms of PTSD using complementary medications or even marijuana moderately as directed by a physician.  By far, however, alternative treatments using mindfulness strategies are the most effective for many on a long term basis.  I am convinced there is an ideal balance for each individual with the right kind of professional help.  My fear is that right now we just seem to try prescription drugs of all kinds as a challenging experiment.  With the risk of using alcohol at the same time, there is a danger of developing bigger problems for trauma victims, including suicide as the worst case outcome.

Please be guided by your primary care physician and medical professionals as you find the right treatment strategies, including prescription medications.  Some states, like Oregon, do have medical marijuana available with a prescription right now.  The main point is it can be life threatening using prescription drugs without appropriate medical advice and treatment strategies overall.

Steve Sparks, Author, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story & My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1… Click on my author page…

About the author

Steve Sparks is a retired information technology sales and marketing executive with over 35 years of industry experience, including a Bachelors’ in Management from St. Mary’s College. His creative outlet is as a non-fiction author, writing about his roots as a post-WWII US Navy military child growing up in the 1950s-1960s.
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