Sunday March 9, 2014
Marijuana: Best Therapy for PTSDDr. Phil Leveque, Professor of Pharmacology Salem-News.com
Better than alcohol, and most drugs: It will prevent millions of deaths
(PORTLAND, Ore.) - When I first started being a marijuana doctor, I had a lot of combat veterans with all kinds of physical wounds. These patients were eligible for medical marijuana permits. Many of them told me that they also had PTSD and they found out for themselves in Viet Nam that marijuana was good for combat terrors related to battle fatigue or shell shock, from WWI and WWII.
PTSD is related to battle fatigue, but it is far more serious and certainly more insidious.
These early combat veterans were perplexed that they could not legally or medically obtain marijuana which worked “miraculously” for the extremes of combat stress. Other doctors, especially in California, treated many PTSD veterans because marijuana was okay for that, in California. As of Jan 1 2014, it will be okay in Oregon.
New Mexico found that more than 50% of marijuana medical applicants were combat veterans with PTSD.
One of the first articles written by myself on this subject for Salem-News.com was “Medical Marijuana: PTSD and Medical Malpractice" (June 14, 2007). I pointed out that the standard drugs, Antidepressants, Beta blockers, anticonvulsants, and anti-psychotics did not work for PTSD. Actually, many other standard medications didn’t work either, such as, strong sedatives, strong analgesics, and muscle relaxants made the patients groggy and stupefied.
In fact, Dr. Tod Mikuriya, the outstanding figure of the doctor marijuana advocates actually wrote an article about PTSD medications (2006) in O’Shaunessey’s. He called it, the Toxic Alternatives, which include SSRIs, serotonin acting antidepressants, second-generation antidepressants, MAOIs which prolong the action of the above drugs. Others are tricyclics, antidepressants, antiadrenergic drugs, anticonvulsants, and a-typical anti-psychotics.
I am a retired professor of pharmacology and when I read about this “dirty dozen”, I choked! Dr. Mikuriya wrote a long, excellent article entitled “Cannabis Eases Post Traumatic Stress” which I think was the first, real article on the subject.
Alcohol is a very dangerous medicine for PTSD.
Dr. Mikuriya’s article is highly recommended. He recommended marijuana for all the medical problems associated with PTSD.
Well, I have been doing marijuana research for the past 60 years and intensified searches for the past 10 years, I have come across articles by psychologists, possible social science workers, and a whole bunch of others who seem to be trying the old “lay on the couch and tell me about your worst experiences”. The main symptom of severe PTSD is that the victims can NOT talk about them! But I do understand that the VA centers do have some kind of “talk therapy” which should be abandoned as worthless or counter productive.
In an article titled, “What Works for PTSD” by Alexandra Carmichael, she posts with a figure or chart about 30 therapies tried for PTSD with their levels of effectiveness, rated from 0.1 to 0.9 and their popularity with the patients, rated from 0.1 to 0.8.
There are two sides to this chart. The first side is treatments which are surprisingly effective. The other chart is somewhat different.
In the second chart, about popularity of the treatments, we have:
My first article on this subject on Salem-News.com was in 2007, Oregon Medical Marijuana Doctor on PTSD; it has very few facebook "recommends" as that feature was not available in the beginning.
My second article “Marijuana vs Antidepressants for PTSD” in 2009 had 887 recommends.
"Medical Marijuana Prevents PTSD Suicides!" from August 2012 had 590 recommends.
My fourth article "PTSD/Depression and Anguish" in March 2013 had 345 recommends.
My fifth article, May 2013, "Marijuana Prevents Suicides (of PTSD Victims)" had 604 recommends.
The sixth article, published in August 2013,"Marijuana Can Prevent Millions of Tobacco Deaths", had 650 recommends.
Last June, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber signed Senate Bill 281 which added PTSD to the list of "debilitating medical conditions" so that patients can get a permit to legally use cannabis medicinally. That goes into effect Jan 1, 2014.
In addition to my own articles on this subject, I have extracted much of this information from hundreds of articles by dozens of authors. The strangest thing is that, like me, we are all gleaners of useful information from as many sources as we can find.
For more information, SEARCH "Marijuana Leveque Cannabis", &/or see this article: Dr Phil Leveque: The Coolest 90-Year Old on Planet Earth
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