smoking cannabis oil ....is this okay for ptsd ?

Eternitygrey

New Here
i have been self medicating for some time now and it helps me quite a bit with tremors and shaking or out of control breathing. curious if weed helps anyone else and if so what worked about it ??? very curious thank you
 

RubyBlue

Policy Enforcement
I haven’t used it (personally pretty against it but that’s besides the point). But if you search, not too far back is a post about cannabis giving the user some body memories/flashbacks. Those can be extremely disturbing and scary and I’ve also heard reports of it increasing feelings of paranoia. All this just to say, please be careful when self medicating with anything.
 

Friday

Moderator
You’d probably find this article pretty interesting
The pros and cons of using cannabis for ptsd

As far as being “okay for PTSD”? Eh. There’s no medication specifically for PTSD (like there are for many other disorders & conditions, some of which can be used to mod individual PTSD symptoms downwards, or to help manage comorbid conditions that are making PTSD worse, like depression). A lot of things can help manage symptoms - Meds/drugs/alcohol (mood and mind altering substances both legal and illegal), sex, gambling, fighting, adrenaline junkie / thrill seeking, workaholism... list of coping mechanisms (both healthy and unhealthy) goes on. But all of these things, and others, have side effects / consequences. So it very much depends on which consequences one is willing to bring into their life, and the extent they’re willing to tolerate them, IMO. <<< But NONE of those things actually treat PTSD. They may very well make one’s life better (or worse), but the disorder and all of its symptoms will still be there... until a person actually goes through and sorts the root cause.
 
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Ronin

MyPTSD Pro
If I were you I'd look into breathing techniques and body work and sports more ;)

All of which can help with shaking, breathing issues even with other chronic conditions present, and feeling out of control in many ways... way healthier than drugs do.

And what the above posters said.

We also had posters way back who, even though not doing cannabinoids but stimulants, basically threw themselves to a cycle of psychosis and on / off clean, where any progress with PTSD became impossible... Don't go that route.

Just because any healing may take several years doesn't mean it's not worth trying, and sticking to healthier cope.
 

Allie D.

MyPTSD Pro
i have been self medicating for some time now and it helps me quite a bit with tremors and shaking or out of control breathing. curious if weed helps anyone else and if so what worked about it ??? very curious thank you
I was very wary. I tried this stuff in high school and it made me SO depressed the next day that I stopped after my 3rd try. Got plenty of secondhand highs later on.... but it wasn't my thing. But just a couple years ago, after it became legal to use as medicine in my state, my family encouraged me to see a doctor about this. I'm so glad they did! They understood it's not the same old-school garbage. (I did have ONE type of tincture give me that depression, so I know I'm not imagining it from back in the day - but just one of many forms of the medication.)

So recently, I began to use it carefully for pain and it makes it a lot easier for me to accomplish things during the day, including having some mental energy left over to work on therapy PTSD-or otherwise, or to enjoy something like a good book, instead of spending 24/7 in physical misery. Now I can do things like sit through an entire movie.* Treatment of my other ailments makes the PTSD more bearable. I have better therapy sessions because I am more well-rested, etc.

*Coronavirus has put a damper on that; my area is still closed down, but I definitely follow more involved movies from home now, instead of just The Office over and over - which is an okay coping mechanism, but instead, I experimented with edibles to calm my mind, to be able to sit still and read more complicated books for more than a few minutes at a time. And actually think about the books as I read, and I remember them! Medical cannabis has helped me with pain relief PLUS focus during times of great stress.

YMMV. I have a lot of illnesses and relief of chronic pain is a powerful thing! I was careful too because of PTSD / fear of depression or some kind of bad reaction. But nope. I approached cautiously and experienced enough relief to counter negatives. The biggest negative is when I take a bit too much to sleep but that happens maybe once every few months - big deal. It's worth it; I handle it best as I can. But it improves my qualify of life drastically, and I don't get a psychoactive reaction at all. Just pain relief and muscle relaxing.

But, well you say you're self medicating and I'd avoid that. Always know how to use it as medication, with a doctor and a pharmacy or dispensary, and social support from those who know more about THC CBD CBG and all of that good stuff. Microdosing might be an option if you get cloudy from smoking. I'd definitely do it with a physician with real knowledge of the field (not just a "budtender" :D) I'd also look into edibles or sublingual things like lozenges.

It's not all sunshine and rainbows if anyone wants to know more about this. But I think it's a shame to automatically shoot down any one treatment idea without some research.
 

TedWNY

New Here
I’ve used it for years with success to help ease the feelings of anxiety and relax.
One thing about the paranoia episodes some people experience, as I use to occasionally, when consuming the cannabis medicine...it tends to lower blood pressure, which in turn raises the heart rate and strength of the hearts output. Same physical reactions of a panic attack. Marijuana actually helped me disconnect the increased heart rate with panic/anxiety attacks because I could see it’s just a physical response, and not something to worry about. Make sense?
 

rusty_maestro

Confident
I use it every night to help get to sleep, it gets me tired. While high it lift off my mood, and images don't invade my mind. Research showed cannabis interfere with the frontal love and thats why we think less and acts on the hippocampus which is responsible for memories. So not the healthiest option but helps me sleep. I use indica or hybrid, sativa gives you more that head high which one in a while is nice but to chill hybrids and indica are nice
 
M

Mbuso Khanyile

i have been self medicating for some time now and it helps me quite a bit with tremors and shaking or out of control breathing. curious if weed helps anyone else and if so what worked about it ??? very curious thank you
It has helped me a great deal. My past traumas used to be that "trauma" but with the help of weed, I've grown spiritually and emotionally. I am now able to go down memory lane and see my struggles as the effects of my parents short comings rather than lack of love for me. My own short comings have made me realize just how everyone wants whats best for themselves and their offsprings, but err because we are all human. Without weed, I wouldn't have understood this because my approach to life was always driven by anger.
 

River_Witch

New Here
I’ve smoked weed just about daily for 16 years.
I’m not wild about smoking oil (“doing dabs”) because it’s too strong for me. Smoking oil/“shatter” is akin to free-basing cannabis. To me, as a stoner, that seems wildly unnecessary — but I am limited by only ever living in my body and not yours. :) Rick Simpson oil (“RSO”) is a strain of cannabis oil that is pretty famous for its revolutionary health effects - cancer patients and folks with neuromuscular conditions tend to prefer RSO, from what I have observed.

Cannabis is legal in my state of the US, so I have the ability to select strains of weed and carefully monitor dosage of edibles, tinctures, or other forms of ingestion. These days, what’s most helpful is:
- Choosing 2:1 strains, where the CBD % is 2x higher than THC. This ensures I get a relaxed body and a relatively clear head. This helps me with symptoms like agitation, irritability, hyper vigilance, and insomnia.
- Generally, I avoid sativas because they are more likely to cause anxiety spikes or paranoia.
- I mostly smoke joints, pipes or bongs because I really enjoy the ritual of it and the effect takes hold in less than 5 minutes. If my PTSD symptoms are higher than a 6/10 on the distress scale, then edibles take too long to take effect for them to be helpful.
- I treat edibles more like preventative medicine: sometimes I pop one in the morning to get me to cruising altitude. Sometimes I make this choice if I wake up from a flashback/nightmare, knowing that I’m more likely to have symptoms flare during the day if my sleep was lame.

I agree with other commenters that weed helps manage the symptoms I experience (and the level of distress that they cause), but it doesn’t *treat* PTSD as a whole. If anything, “self medicating” like I’ve done for 16 years helped me tolerate shitty symptoms for FAR LONGER than I would have been able to without weed.

If I am having a panic attack, in a rage, stuck in some dark hole, I know smoking weed will pull me out and change my physiology to give me relief within 10 minutes. As far as “medicating” in an ongoing basis?.... meh, For me, ultimately, I’d say it’s enabled me to remain untreated for longer.
 

Elsewhere

Learning
Weed won’t cure PTSD, but for me, it sure takes the sting out of my symptoms. In fact, I may be alive today thanks to weed making life more tolerable and helping stave off a desire to suicide. If I’m experiencing a high volume of flashbacks, weed either helps them go away temporarily, or at least takes away much of the sting. And it really helps me sleep, which has been a godsend due to lifelong, crippling insomnia. Note that it also reduces REM sleep, thus nightmares (although, this is a mixed bag, because REM is important).

This guy has a lot to say about weed within a clinical therapeutic context, if you’re interested in some of the formal applications:

Some will argue that relying on substances to numb ourselves can be counterproductive to healing, because it prevents us from really feeling what we need to feel in order to deal directly with the root problems. Moreover, on a biochemical level, weed can flood our reward center in the brain, making it harder to feel ok at baseline (when sober), and leading to worse depression overall. For me, it’s a devil’s bargain: it gives me control to feel better in the short term, on demand, but when I’m not actively stoned, or if the weed has little effect because my tolerance has gotten too high, my depression is likely worse than need be. I guess because I’m old and tired now, the short-term half-solution of using weed seems reasonable enough for me. It gives me a regular, pleasant interlude within an otherwise largely miserable existence. Different folks have different situations, needs, priorities, and values, so it’s a case-by-case kind of thing, rather than one-size-fits-all.

I do edibles—won’t smoke the stuff, as I don’t want to foul my lungs. The nice thing about edibles is the effect lasts for hours (which is really important when used for sleep) and I think I get more bang for my buck than if I inhaled. It also seems to offer a more somatic experience of relaxation. Of course, edibles can take much longer to take effect, and it can be tougher to dose correctly (and ODing isn’t fun).
 

Lionheart

Sponsor
Hi. My suggestion is to talk with the people who work at the dispensary about which symptoms are bothering you the most, and finding the strain that is right for you, which I understand can take some practice. I have read that those strains that have higher CBD in relation to THC content are usually more calming and mood-elevating. I say if you are in a legal state go for it and perhaps talk to your doctor about whatever you are using be it oil or whatever and get their input on it. There probably needs to be more research done. But in my 47 years of experience and personal research, it has only increased my anxiety a time or two, but others may have more trouble with it, I think taking a good CBD oil is a good idea too, but then I am not a doctor.
 
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Freddyt

Confident
I have been using medical cannabis for about 2 1/2 years now. Originally it was for headaches and it helped get me off codeine the third time I was addicted.
That was before I was diagnosed first with anxiety disorder then PTSD.
There are now many ways of taking cannabis and many more products available than just smoking flower. I use CBD oil daily, three times a day. I find it calming which reduces intrusive thoughts, which helps me relax and be more calm. It also helps recover when I do have stuff happen that would otherwise start the slide to hyper everything, snap moods, and that slide to the bottom of the hill with a sore neck, back and more.
THC is for sleep - or trying to get to sleep more accurately. For me its slows churn in my head, allows enough focus to be able to read or do
something that absorbs my focus. Right now I am using hashish in the evenings. I find it gives me more of a sense of well being than flower.
As for paranoia and "bad trips" I have only had one product that negatively affected me that way. Bad thoughts are a problem for most of us here but learning to change those thoughts and sort out real from imagined is a battle we all fight. If I start sliding toward bad thoughts I find something funny to read or watch until I feel happier.

It may sound strange to some but I have found the ritual around rolling and prepping cannabis to be a way to slow down, focus on one thing, and complete a task.

Sometimes completing that small simple task is a victory in my day, and I really need those small victories right now.
 
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