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Cannabis & PTSD | Health

Trauma can be a physical injury to the body such as a broken bone. A broken bone is painful. There is redness at the site, it is hot to the touch and there is loss of movement. The pain is a sign telling our mind that we have to stop and rest and get attention for the broken bone. The pain is telling us that something is wrong. The bone eventually heals and the body no longer is in pain. The signs of the trauma are eventually gone.

Trauma that occurs to the mind, the kind that breaks your spirit, that trauma is one that leads to years and maybe a lifetime of healing. Getting to know one’s mind and emotions is the way out of the trauma which can lead to a new balance. Really taking the time to heal and granting patience to oneself will be the self-support needed. Having the support of friends, family, a medical professional perhaps for counseling is important but learning how to self-soothe and self-parent are important tools during the healing process from trauma. Knowing what soothes you, whether it be kind words or a hug, are things others can give to soothe, but when you are alone, then you may need to literally say out loud loving words to yourself. If you need alone time to soothe yourself, then take it. If you need to be around others, then do that.

The experience of trauma can store in the body and manifest as headaches, stomach aches and digestive issues like IBS, anxiety, racing heart and sweaty palms.

PTSD which stands for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, is a mental health disorder often connected to veterans, children who have experienced sexual abuse, first responders and people who work in prisons. There are millions of people who do not fall in any of these categories who also have PTSD. Being witness to a violent act can lead to the development of PTSD. Usually PTSD is from the experience of one or a few traumas.

People with PTSD have recurrent, intrusive thoughts of the trauma called flashbacks. The person then avoids anything that may trigger the memory of the trauma. For example, if someone was traumatized by being thrown off of a horse, then years later, this person may still avoid being around horses. Being hypervigilant, “high strung” and startling easily can all be experienced by someone who has PTSD. Difficulty sleeping and having nightmares and anxiety and depression are common in someone with PTSD. Trying to analyze or figure out “why” the trauma occurred leads to an exhausted mental state.

C-PTSD stands for Complex PTSD. This occurs when a person has been subject to a trauma over and over instead of a trauma associated with one event. Being in a long-term abusive relationship can result in C-PTSD. A person with C-PTSD may isolate themselves and avoid

intimate relationships. A person with C-PTSD may have a distorted identity and have difficulty regulating their emotions.

Cannabis has the ability to help the mind recover after a trauma. It can offer a better night of sleep without nightmares. Getting extra sleep while healing from a trauma is important to help normalize the nervous system. Cannabis can also help to see one’s life more objectively and provide less emotional triggers. When used for the intent of self-healing, cannabis can be a balm to soothe a traumatized psyche.

Kimberly Landino has been a Naturopathic Physician for over 20 years. She has been recommending Medical Marijuana to patients in Arizona for the last four years. Prior to this, she used the modalities of nutrition and diet, counseling, acupuncture, meditation, yoga, botanical medicine and more in her Naturopathic Family Practice in South Phoenix, Tempe, Flagstaff and in Tuba City, Arizona.



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