To celebrate National PTSD Awareness Month in June, the Pharmacy Times interviewed Jordan Tishler, MD, President of the Association of Cannabis Specialists, Faculty of Harvard Medical School and cannabis specialist at inhaleMD, about how medical cannabis can be used to treat post-traumatic illness Stress disorder (PTSD) in veterans and the general public.
During the discussion, Tishler explained what PTSD is and how it can affect the daily lives of people with the disorder.
In addition, Tishler pointed out that while PTSD is often associated with veterans, the disease is by no means exclusive to this population. PTSD can also affect a wide range of people outside of the veteran population.
“PTSD is just the newest historical term for the type of psychological harm we see from war events and as a result there is a great awareness of PTSD in the veteran population and a great deal of research on PTSD veterans and well cannabis use in the PTSD veteran population” said Tishler. “But it is certainly not the only population that is affected. For example, we are certainly seeing the development of PTSD in rape survivors and people who had traumatic or abusive childhoods. “
Given the far-reaching impact PTSD has on the lives of people with the disorder, Tishler emphasized the importance of developing multiple treatment options to increase the likelihood of positive patient outcomes.
“I think any disease that disrupts people’s lives is important, and PTSD is certainly disruptive,” said Tishler. “There are a number of treatments from the pharmacological side of things as well as the psychological side, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, all of which have a place in treating this particular type of disease. And for many people these can be successful, but the success rate is not as good as we would like it to be. “
Tishler found that cannabis is able to complement the arsenal of treatments that can help disrupt the cycle that people with the disorder often experience, which includes being triggered by internal or external events as they occur can.
“This constellation of symptoms, be it hypervigilance or the awakening from dreams, these kinds of things block cannabis and the effects are pretty wide,” said Tishler.
Tishler also discussed how cannabis can specifically help treat patients with PTSD neurologically and some best practices for developing a treatment plan that includes cannabis therapy for a patient with PTSD.