Essence Blog

How Cannabis Helps Treating Anxiety, PTSD, and Depressive Disorders

It’s normal to feel down, scared, confused, angry, or anxious from time to time. But, if these feelings don’t go away, they can become very disruptive to your daily life. While this may sound far-fetched to some, to those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and other depressive disorders, it is like being held in a prison of your own thoughts.

Treating Anxiety, PTSD, and Depressive Disorders

Those seeking solace from the negative feelings associated with the aforementioned ailments are usually prescribed antipsychotics and antidepressants. And, while these medications do work for some, it can make things worse for others. For instance, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (which increase serotonin levels in the brain) can also produce suicidal thoughts and behaviors.

Other side effects associated with these types of medications include:

  • Sexual problems
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Excessive sweating
  • Constipation
  • Insomnia
  • Appetite loss
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Loss of bladder control

Cannabis and Depressive Disorders

For those who don’t want to use prescription meds, there are many who tout the benefits of cannabis. Take Cody, for example.

When Cody got out of the military, he wasn’t in the best shape. He had two herniated discs, fractured vertebrae, PTSD with major depressive disorder, anxiety, and depression with suicidal ideations and tendencies.

When things became too much for him to handle, Cody began researching alternative options to help him deal with his symptoms. Time after time, he came upon articles about cannabis but, initially, he rejected the idea that it could help.

Out of desperation, he finally decided to give it a try. Almost immediately, the cannabis began alleviating his problems. Within 6 weeks, he’d significantly decreased his use of cigarettes. Within 6 months, he’d lost 30 pounds, started sleeping and eating better, and stopped taking all his medications.

How Does Cannabis Help Those Suffering From Mental Health Disorders?

The feelings of fear, worry, hopelessness, and anxiety associated with the above disorders cannot be fully eliminated. But, for some, cannabis provides a respite sans all the debilitating effects of prescriptions. Still, it’s important to note that, the results are dependent on the type of cannabis you are using.

For instance, cannabis contains two major cannabinoids, THC and CBD. THC is the more popular of the two because it’s associated with feelings of euphoria. But, because it activates the amygdala (the part of the brain responsible for fear), it’s also linked to feelings of anxiety and paranoia.

CBD, on the other hand, is a non-psychoactive () compound that can counteract these feelings. In fact, there are studies that show that taking it on its own can reduce or even eliminate anxiety. Read more about the differences here.

Using Cannabis to Treat PTSD, Anxiety, and Depressive Disorders

Did you know that cannabis has been used for centuries to treat depression and other medical conditions in Eastern countries like India? And, new research is finally catching up. In fact, there are some studies that show that cannabis may hold significant benefits for people suffering a variety of mental and physical health conditions.

How does this work? It’s quite simple really. Cannabis has the ability to improve the mood while simultaneously addressing the primary symptoms associated with depressive disorders. For instance, cannabis can help slow down negative cyclical thought patterns that cause so much grief and pain. And, if you take a canna-brownie or cookie about an hour before bed, a good night’s sleep is ensured.

The Bottom Line

As of right now, the information available on the benefits of cannabis for depressive disorders is mostly anecdotal. But, forward momentum is building as more people are learning about the healing properties of this healthful herb. Think about it, wouldn’t it be cool if a joint a day could keep the psychiatrist away?

 

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Cannabis Infused Edibles? What You Should Know.

Edibles are a great alternative for those who don’t want to smoke cannabis.

If you are a beginner, no problem! – this concise (and comprehensive) guide aims to help you clear up some of your questions:

What are Edibles?

Edibles is an all-encompassing term that describes cannabis that is ingested instead of inhaled. This is typically achieved in one of two ways:

  • Through the saliva (sublingual)
  • Through the stomach (gastrointestinal)

Sublingual edibles (lozenges) enable the cannabinoids to enter your bloodstream through the tissues in your mouth. This results with the effects sometimes being felt within a couple of minutes, much like smoking. The catch is, their effects typically wear off within a couple of hours.

When you ingest gastrointestinal edibles (brownies, gummies, chocolates, etc.), you might not  “feel anything” for quite a while. But, when you do, the feeling typically lasts a lot longer. For instance, if you eat a cannabis infused cookie, it may take up to two hours for you to feel the effects. But, you may feel them for up to eight hours afterward.

What Happens When You Eat Edibles?

Typically, you feel the effects of edibles for about five hours, with the peak happening about 2 1/2 hours after ingesting the cannabis. One of the reasons for this intensity is that ingesting cannabis allows the cannabinoids to be released in waves. But, truth be told, the exact effect is dependent on a number of factors:

  • Potency
  • Type of edible consumed
  • Your personal tolerance
  • Body chemistry
  • How much non-medicated food you’ve eaten recently

Start Low and Go Slow

Edibles are surprisingly delicious so, it’s relatively easy to eat more than you should. But, you must keep in mind that it’s always wise to start low and go slow. In other words, eat a small amount, wait, and eat more should you want to feel strong effects.

Although these amounts seem conservative, they’re actually not. In fact, it’s possible to feel the effects from taking a single bite of a brownie or eating one candy., Prior to medicating with edibles, consider these few tips:

  • Read the label thoroughly to make sure that you are taking the right dosage for your unique needs & body.
  • Take notes while medicating so you can remember the dosage you consumed and how you felt (you can reword this)

In Case of Overindulgence

If you happen to consume more than you should, paranoid and anxiety-filled thoughts may start to creep into your head. But, it’s important to remember one thing – you are going to be OK. So stay calm, relax, breathe normally, and give your body enough time to let the cannabis pass through your system. In addition:

  • Keep note of how much you consumed
  • Find a calm place where you can relax.
    • Distract yourself by playing some music or watching TV, playing a game on your phone, etc.
    • If you are with friends or in public, inform someone you trust about the situation and plan a safe exit, like hiring an Uber, Lyft or a Cab. Never drive while intoxicated.

All in All

Edibles offer users a discrete  and convenient method of consuming cannabis. But, when first venturing into this delicious world, you may have lots of questions. . Thankfully, through medicating and taking careful notes (you can reword) and research, you will find what’s best for you. And remember to start low and go slow.

 

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THC vs CBD – What’s the Difference?

When most people think of marijuana, they probably jump right to the psychoactive effects of using the flower. While marijuana is most commonly known for its mind-altering effects, there are other chemicals in the plant that cause different, and sometimes opposite, effects than most people would expect.

In fact, there are dozens of chemicals in cannabis flowers that have very different effects on people. While some have no real effect, others can change the way you use medical marijuana.

For many patients, it all comes down to are two different chemicals that are naturally occurring in cannabis: THC and CBD. While they are found in the same plant, the two chemicals can have some very different effects on individuals.

The discovery and understanding of CBD’s medical properties are causing it to become a more popular option among many patients. Switching your medical marijuana doses to strictly CBD could be the change you need.

What Is THC?

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the chemical that has made pot both famous and illegal. It produces the mind-altering effects that commonly go with marijuana, as well as other beneficial side effects.

While it does alter the user’s state of mind, THC is also said to help with a number of ailments, such as cancer and tumor growth. This could be the reason why medical marijuana is legal in most of the United States.

There are also other traits of THC that aren’t found in CBD. THC can act as a sleep aid while CBD could potentially have the opposite effect.

Understandably, THC gets the most attention when discussing marijuana. But CBD might offer better benefits for some.

What Is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is another main chemical found in cannabis, but it doesn’t get nearly as much attention as THC. This is because CBD doesn’t affect the mind the same way THC does.

In reality, CBD doesn’t produce the psychoactive side effects of THC, or any mind-altering side effects for that matter.

CBD helps with cancer, inflammation, nausea, and pain relief, much like THC. However, CBD can also fight anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses. This is one of the main reasons patients opt for CBD over THC. Depending on your individual needs, CBD could offer more benefits of marijuana that you’re looking for.

Also, CBD is known to reduce the side effects of THC. Taking the two together can yield the medicinal value of THC with dulled psychoactive side effects.

Thanks to advancements in the field of medical marijuana, CBD is available in different forms. For example, we carry CBD capsules, trokies, oil, lotions and flowers at Essence Cannabis Dispensaries in Las Vegas.

 

Should I Use THC Or CBD?

When you are deciding which product to use to treat your illness, there are a lot of factors to consider.

As far as medical use goes, both THC and CBD are legal in the state of Nevada. So, if you prefer one to the other, you’ll have no problem finding the product you need.

But the two chemicals can have very distinct effects on your body, both mentally and physically. The best way to find out which chemical works best for you is to try out different products and take notes. CBD oil is going to produce a different effect than CBD flowers, just as you would expect THC oil to be different from THC flowers.

You should also keep in mind that you can get both THC and CBD from most types of medical marijuana. Unless you are using a product that is purely THC or CBD, the two chemicals naturally occur together. From there, all you need to do is find a product that offers the perfect balance of THC and CBD for you.

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Nevadans Voted Yes On Question 2 – Now What?

On November 8th, the Question 2 ballot initiative was passed, making recreational cannabis use legal in Nevada.

But, boy did it take a long time to get to this point. The ballot to legalize medical cannabis was passed way back in 2000. And, it wasn’t until 13 years later that the state legislature made it legal for dispensaries to operate.

lasvegasAfter that, things began to move a bit quicker. In fact, about a year later, Nevada State Secretary Ross Miller announced that the recreational cannabis initiative had received enough signatures for it to be placed on the November 2016 ballot.

And now, we’re here. But, what does it all mean? We aim to answer those questions for you below:

Recreational Cannabis Legislation

Although cannabis will be legalized for recreational use soon, it will take some time for it to become legal to sell or buy marijuana. In fact, it’s expected that it may take as many as 18 months for the state to iron out all the details in this new industry. What is known, however, is:

  • Once the new rules are put into place, dispensaries will be able to apply for recreational licenses to sell cannabis. The application process itself is expected to take anywhere from 6-12 months.
  • The path to regulation is expected to be easier because medical marijuana is already legal in the state and lawmakers can use other states who have legalized recreational marijuana use as examples. Furthermore, since Nevada already has experience regulating unique industries, like gambling.
  • Recreational cannabis will be regulated similarly to alcohol. In other words, the Department of Taxation will be left with the task of monitoring cannabis sales and revenue. The cities and counties will handle business regulations and enforcements on a local level.
  • The number of shops will be limited to the population of the county in which you reside. For instance, Clark County will have 80, Washoe County will have 20, Carson City will have four, and counties with less than 55,000 residents can have two.
  • There will be a 15% excise tax added to wholesale cannabis transactions only. Therefore, customers visiting a retail shop should expect to pay the standard state sales tax.
  • The tax revenue generated from the sale of recreational cannabis will be deposited into Nevada’s general tax fund. From there, it will be used to support both education in Nevada and to enforce its adult cannabis use program.

Recreational Marijuana Laws in Nevada

Now that we’ve gotten all the political stuff out of the way, it’s time to get down to what you really want to know. What does legalization mean for people who want to partake? Here are some rules that you should be aware of:

  • Although approved in November, the law that legalizes recreational marijuana use doesn’t go into effect until Jan. 1, 2017. So, until that time, officers will enforce the current law i.e. no possession of recreational marijuana
  • The new law permits adults (aged 21 and over) to have up to 1 ounce of cannabis or 1/8 of an ounce of cannabis concentrate in their possession at a time
  • Driving while intoxicated is still a crime
  • Smoking will only be allowed in private homes. That means no smoking in hotel rooms, bars, or casinos
  • Even if it’s legal to possess cannabis in Vegas, crossing over state lines with this flower is still illegal
  • You cannot sell or distribute cannabis to anyone under the age of 21.
  • You cannot smoke in a public place i.e. sidewalks, parks, community centers, etc. If you do, you may face a $600 fine.

The Statewide Economics – What is Expected

Legalization of recreational cannabis is estimated to generate close to $400 million for the state in 2018 alone to balloon up to $1.1 billion by 2024 – especially when you consider the influx in cannabis-specific tourism. People all over the country will come to Vegas, not only for the casinos, premiere venues, or great eats but, the simple pleasure of legally taking a hit or two in a city already known for its indulgences.   And, that’s not all – this new industry is expected to create at least 6,000 new jobs.

Just a couple decades ago, cannabis legalization was a pipe dream that many thought would never come true.

But, with joint efforts, times are a’changin’! Happy Smoking!

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Question 2: What You Need to Know

Recreational cannabis users have much to be happy about. Because of the success of the medical cannabis industry in Nevada, this herb might be legalized for recreational use in the very near future.

How soon are we talking? Question 2 – the initiative to legalize the use recreational marijuana – will be on the 2016 ballot so that Nevada voters can make the choice for themselves.

How’d it get on the 2016 ballot?

nv_yeson2_headerThe initiative passed because it received enough signatures to bring the proposed law in front of the state legislature. In fact, it was reported that there were approximately 200,000 signatures more on the initiative than the required 102,000 needed for review. After taking a look at the proposal, the state legislature decided that they would pass the choice along to the voters by putting in on the upcoming 2016 ballot.

Although Question 2 calls for the legalization of cannabis, similarly to alcohol, it would not be without its regulations. For instance, if the law passed, it would let adults (in this scenario those age 21 years and older) to have up to one ounce of marijuana in their possession for private use.

How do people feel about this?

If residents vote yes for Question 2 in the upcoming election, it would make Nevada the fifth state (and sixth location) to legalize the use of recreational marijuana in the United States. As of right now, cannabis is legalized for possession and recreational use in the Nation’s Capital and the states of Washington, Oregon, Colorado, and Alaska.

Many are expecting a positive outcome come election day. For instance, the majority of local business owners believe that voters will vote “yes” on Question 2.

Possible benefits

coloradoGenerally, it is believed that legalizing recreational marijuana in Nevada will have a positive effect. All you have to do is look at Colorado’s economy to see how – in 2015 alone, the state collected over $85 million in tax revenues from cannabis alone.

Question 2 places a 15% excise wholesale tax on marijuana, which would go to the school system – an incredible boon to the local community. But, that’s not all, the legalization of recreational cannabis will create opportunities for both tourism and existing businesses.

Medical cannabis dispensaries, in particular, are in the perfect position to take advantage of this legalization. Furthermore, we can expect the tourism industry to benefit as well. People are already traveling to states where recreational cannabis use has been legalized in order to go on tours and take part in the local industry.

And because of cities like Vegas and its existing (and very popular) tourist attractions – think their casinos, bars, shows, conventions, and their premiere club scene – recreational cannabis will be yet another feature that attracts tourists and boosts the local economy.

Furthermore, not only would the legalization of cannabis for recreational use make money for the state, it would help Nevada save money as well. How is this possible? As of right now, the US spends about $78 billion every year on marijuana prohibition efforts. Voting yes on Question 2 would significantly reduce the money that the state has to spend on cannabis enforcement and prosecution.

The Bottom Line

Based on the information listed above, cannabis may be legalized for recreational use following the Fall 2016 vote. If this does happen, Nevada’s cannabis industry can expect to see a boost in both profits and customer bases. This is especially true since medical marijuana dispensaries like Essence are well equipped to both handle any legal changes that may occur in the next few months and educate the influx of new customers that they are sure to see.

Where do you stand on Question 2? Let us know in the comments below.

Vot Yes!ffor marijuana regulation infographic

 

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Cannabis and Wine

When you hear obscure terms like terroir and tasting notes, you may expect to find yourself at a fancy wine tasting event. Well, that’s not necessarily the case anymore. As marijuana increases its mainstream appeal, the vocation of the wine sommelier has transformed into that of the ganjier or the cannaseur!

Ganjiers and Cannasseurs
These new terms are definitely riffs on the phraseology used to describe wine experts. As you can see, ganjier is a spoof of sommelier, while cannasseur is a more playful adoption of connoisseur. Regardless of these playful terms, they both indicate someone who is well versed in the full spectrum of marijuana flavors. And more importantly, how to pair them together.

Cannabis-wine-pairingParing Cannabis and Wine
There is a true and rich experience to be had here. But to discover the perfect wine and cannabis pairing, you should consider their taste profile. Too complicated? It doesn’t have to be. In essence, it’s no different than pairing wine with a meat or cheese. If you have a preference for bold or full bodied wines, then consider matching them with a similar heady strain. An acidic or a more dry wine will work best with citrusy or lighter strains.

Now, we’ve gone ahead and paired several different types of wine with strains readily available at our dispensaries. But, as always, a word of caution: for the optimum experience, make sure to enjoy your wine and cannabis in moderation.

On to the pairings!

Riesling – Considered a “wet” wine, it’s the perfect foil for marijuana. The residual sugary tang of this wine helps to make your mouth water and can offset the dry mouth effect of marijuana. It’s also subtly sweet that can help satisfy the sweet tooth! Pair it with a citrusy or sweet strain such as Cherry Pie or Golden Goat.
Wine: 2012 Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Spätlese

Sauvignon Blanc – This wine has plenty of herbal note, with a sweet and almost tropical flavor. . Therefore, you can also pair it with citrus strain of marijuana like Star Killer or Tangie. The sweet flavor is perfect for the strong acidic finish of the wine.
Wine: Mulderbosch Sauvignon Blanc 2012

Cabernet – These blends tend to be full bodied. Therefore, you can combine it with a strong and heady strain like Golden Goat or 9 Pound Hammer to keep up with the strength of a good red wine.
Wine: 2013 Jérémy Quastana L’Insurgé

Chardonnay – This tends to be a rich white wine that is overflowing with fruit flavors. Depending on the ripeness of the grape, it can have a pineapple or lemon aftertaste. It is best paired with a strain like Lemon Haze or Agent Orange.
Wine: Massican “Annia” 2014 Napa Valley

Sparkling Wine – For a savory and complex taste beyond the traditional wine, we suggest a cup of cool champagne! You should combine this with a strain that is strong and earthy, like Jack Herer or even Key Lime Pie.
Wine: Bérêche Campania Remensis Rosé

Beer – Finally, if you’re not a wine kind of person, then you may want to look into pairing your choice of cannabis with a beer. Wheat beers go well with a citrus strain like Maui Wowi or Grape Stomper.
Beer: Blue Moon

A New Appreciation
We hold a deep appreciation for the full spectrum of flavors, experiences and benefits that cannabis provides. And now, it’s possible to add to that by pairing marijuana with the sophisticated notes that wine can offer.

Find your essence. And let us know of any pairings you’ve tried out!

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Visiting Nevada? You Can Purchase Medical Marijuana Here!

Did you know that is possible for out of state residents to buy medical marijuana in Las Vegas?

When you are suffering from pain, anxiety, cancer and other ailments, medical marijuana is oftentimes the only thing that brings true relief.  This is all fine and dandy if you live in a state that understands the benefits of cannabis but when you find yourself in a position where you have to travel out of state, it can be tough to continue your treatment.

If you’re visiting Nevada (Vegas maybe?) – when it comes to the medical marijuana programs – it is one of the few states that recognizes reciprocity. In other words, you can continue your medical marijuana program confidently here – provided you meet the following conditions:

  • Your medical marijuana card must be issued by your home state and have a valid expiration date
  • The law in your home state must protect medical marijuana card holders from criminal prosecution for using cannabis as a form of treatment
  • Before you receive your medical marijuana card, your home state must make it a requirement that you discuss the benefits of cannabis for medical purposes with a qualified physician.
  • Nevada authorities must be able to verify your status easily on the database of registered users

It is also important to note that the possession laws vary from state to state. Thus, you must to do your research before you visit to ensure that you are in compliance with all Nevada medical marijuana possession laws.

Residents of Nevada Can Legally Buy Medical Marijuana in Rhode Island and Michigan

Although it is changing day by day, there are still a number of states that don’t recognize medical marijuana as a legitimate form of treatment. Thus, Nevada residents often find it hard to get their treatment when they travel out of state.

What’s more? Many of the states that DO recognize the benefits of cannabis for medical purposes will also deny visitors their treatment. But, there are three states – Rhode Island, Michigan, and Nevada – where this is not an issue. If you have a valid medical marijuana card, it’s possible to get your treatment from approved dispensaries. It is also worth noting that the medical marijuana laws are different in each of these states, so before you visit, it’s recommended that you do your due diligence to ensure that you remain within legal limits and any other requirements.

For more information about the medical marijuana laws for each state, check out Americans for Safe Access. This site is an excellent place to get up-to-the-minute news on the ever-changing medical marijuana laws.

As of right now, reciprocity (or lack thereof) is one of the biggest issues that many medical marijuana users have to face. But, there is good news – more states are jumping on the medical marijuana bandwagon and are creating laws that legalize its distribution. If the current trend continues, we can expect that the view of medical marijuana will change for the better. As a result, it may soon be legal in many more states.

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Mexico’s New Direction In Terms of Cannabis Policy

Attendees of The UN Drug Policy Summit held in New York on April 20th were met with a surprising announcement made by none other than the Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto. In the spirit of 420, he spoke about his plans to support cannabis marijuana legislation for research, scientific, and medical purposes.

Nieto has the unique distinction of being the very first Mexican president to ever make such bold statements in favor of cannabis. But, it’s also important to note that his suggestions were strictly centered around legalizing cannabis use for medicinal, not recreational, purposes.

Mexico’s Current Views on Cannabis

When it comes to the letter of the law, Mexican residents can legally possess up to five grams of cannabis without fear of dealing with serious criminal charges. This law, which was voted on and passed back in 2009, is considered by many to lay the foundation for marijuana legalization.

And things continue to change e.g., in the past year, there have been several organizations that have lobbied for immediate legislative action. It’s safe to say that many in Mexico are eager for to see the cannabis laws in the country changed.

Furthermore, Nieto announcement is just another step forward in the government’s plan to slowly roll out a new set of marijuana-related laws designed to protect Mexican citizens from underground trafficking and Mexican cartels.

Still, when you consider the institution’s conservative views on marijuana, one does wonder if the president’s timing (4/20) when revealing his plans to fellow attendees was a smart move. Fortunately, there were other representatives present who shared similar views – like Jamaican Foreign Minister Kamina Johnson-Smith, who referenced the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs when bringing up similar concerns about outdated marijuana laws.

The Life-saving Effects of Legalization in Mexico

Mexico is constantly bombarded with violence stemming from notorious dealers, smugglers, and gangs. Thus, the legalization of cannabis will have an interesting impact on the country.

The current militarized approach to illegal marijuana consumption and cultivation has not been as successful as government officials have hoped. Thus, it is Nieto’s belief that, a change in Mexico’s cannabis policy may be just what the country needs to slow down the country’s escalating ever-increasing problems with large-scale drug operations. The numbers are staggering – The Mexican drug war has claimed the lives of over 100,000 men, women, and children. Furthermore, approximately 30,000 people have mysteriously vanished in connection to this violent epidemic.

The horrendous acts (corruption, assassination, kidnappings, etc.), while tragic, are symptomatic of a bigger problem – the Mexican government’s lack of control. But, it is believed that this new cannabis legalization may help curtail these events and bring about a more harmonious situation.

Nieto plans to provide more information about his plans in the very near future. And, based on information in a recent Reuter’s report, it may be sooner than we expect. In fact, the report stated that a Mexican senator from Nieto’s own party (Institutional Revolutionary Party) has said that they are expecting to approve the medical marijuana bill as soon as next month.

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New Research Shows that Cannabis May Be an Effective Treatment for PTSD

During marijuana’s controversial history, specifically its prohibition, many have considered it to be a “coping drug” used to self-medicate symptoms of anxiety disorders like PTSD i.e. post-traumatic stress disorder. Furthermore, studies funded by the government analyzing the link between PTSD and marijuana tend to use the term “marijuana abuse disorder,” a problem that they say can only be fixed through rehabilitation.

The evidence that cannabis and PTSD have a sort of symbiotic relationship is strong. But, while many studies only look at PTSD sufferers and the prevalence of marijuana abuse among this population, there’s some emerging research that dares to look at this conundrum from a different perspective – is it possible that marijuana may be an effective treatment for PTSD?

Life with PTSD

To get the answer to the above question, it’s important to first get a better understanding of what PTSD really is – essentially an anxiety problem caused by traumatic episodes, like a sexual assault or military combat.

There are three major symptoms of this panic-inducing ailment:

  • Avoidance
  • Re-experiencing
  • Hyperarousal, like insomnia, social isolation, and flashbacks

Additionally, if symptoms of PTSD persist for an extended period of time, it can lead to changes in brain chemistry.

Medical Cannabis and PTSD: A Patient’s Perspective

Many who use cannabis to treat their PTSD symptoms rave that about its anxiety-reducing capabilities, which include:

  • It helps calm down their racing minds
  • Normalizes their sleeping patterns
  • Seems to reduce the number of anxiety attacks

There are some PTSD sufferers who are lucky enough to live in states where it is legal to use medical cannabis as a treatment, but this is not an option for everyone. Those who have been to war especially tend to fall victim to PTSD – statistics show that about 20% of military personnel deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq have dealt with episodes. But, because cannabis is federally prohibited, veterans are being treated with antipsychotics and antidepressants instead, medications with low success rates when treating those who suffer from severe PTSD symptoms.

Marijuana and PTSD: The New Science Behind It

As of right now, there are no effective medications that are available specifically for those who suffer from PTSD. But, this doesn’t mean that there has been no progress in the field. For instance, researchers have made several discoveries about our bodies therapeutic hotspot, i.e. the endocannabinoid system, which helped them gain a new perspective on PTSD and its treatment.

This new research has found another common thread in all PTSD sufferers – lower levels of something called anandamide- in comparison to those who showed no symptoms. Anandamide is an endogenous cannabinoid compound (i.e. our inner marijuana, in a manner of speaking) that’s responsible for triggering the same receptors of THC and other cannabis compounds.

In other words, this information points to a link between PTSD and a deficiency in our endocannabinoids. Those who suffer from this disorder don’t produce enough of these compounds, but the cannabinoids in cannabis can replenish our stores. Furthermore, researchers believe that marijuana pharmaceuticals might help PTSD patients find relief from painful memories.

Important Considerations for PTSD Sufferers

Before using cannabis to treat symptoms of PTSD, it is important that patients consult with a licensed physician. Those who are not used to marijuana may find that the THC makes their anxiety symptoms worse. However, cannabidiol (also known as CBD) is a cannabinoid that minimizes some of the negative effects like anxiety and paranoia.

PTSD cannot be treated with medication alone, but marijuana has been shown to provide some relief when prescription medications have failed. Still, cannabis’ promising pharmaceutical possibilities are continuously being ignored by government-funded research organizations. But, there is some good news – as more people are getting educated about the healing properties of medical cannabis, momentum is building that promises a change to this country’s legalization policies.

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Nevada’s Medical Marijuana Program Is Growing By Leaps and Bounds

If you are a proponent of medical marijuana, you may want to consider heading to Nevada – their medical marijuana program has grown, and continues to grow, substantially. In fact, based on information from the Division of Public and Behavioral Health, the program currently serves approximately 14,000 – 4,000 more than last year when licensed dispensaries began opening in the state. The report also states that the Department sees approximately 300 new patients every month and they estimate that they may soon serve as many as 60,000 patients.

While all this is going on, a campaign (Initiative Petition 1) has been launched that aims to make cannabis legal for adults 21 and over. In the documents, proponents are calling for the government to tax and regulate cannabis as if it were alcohol.

This campaign has gained some traction and has already been certified for this year’s ballot, which gives voters a chance to consider the initiative. However, since Nevada legislators did not adopt the measure last year (and are not planning to congregate this year), proponents will have to wait until next year to know if their campaign was truly successful.

Non-Resident Medical Marijuana Patients Can Access Their Treatment in Nevada

One of the biggest benefits of Nevada’s medical marijuana law is that it recognizes the patient status of out-of-state residents, providing that their home state has a cannabis law on the books. But, before you get too excited, it may interest you to know there are certain requirements that must be met before you are given the all-clear. For instance:

  • Patients must sign an affidavit
  • Patient must consult with the staff to receive instructions to stay protected.

After this is completed, you will be protected by state law and can purchase your treatment at any licensed dispensary.

Nevada’s Possession Laws: What You Need to Know

Did you know that Nevada is one of 20 states where possession of cannabis has been decriminalized for personal use? In addition, four of those states (Oregon, Alaska, Colorado, and Washington) have also adopted laws that tax, legalize, and regulate marijuana for those 21 years of age and older.

Still, it’s important to know that although Nevada has laxer laws than other states, in terms of marijuana possession, you can still be charged harshly if caught carrying an excessive amount. The penalties are as follows:

  • If this is your first charge, instead of jail time you may be charged with a misdemeanor and might have to pay a $600 fine. You may also be subject to arrest and drug addiction screening, which may lead to mandatory rehabilitation and treatment. A criminal conviction can have far-reaching consequences, such as a lifetime of discrimination that severely limits housing options and job opportunities.
  • A second offense will get you a $1,000 fine and you will have to undergo drug addiction screening.

The penalties get worse as the number of times you are arrested increase. Also, it may surprise you to know that if you get caught with 2 ounces of marijuana in Nevada, you can go to jail for 4 years.

In 2012, almost 10,000 people were arrested for either cited or arrested or cited for a cannabis-related crime, roughly 80% of these events involved possession. That same year, almost 90% of reported burglaries (including home invasions) and motor vehicle thefts went unsolved. It’s time for lawmakers to face the facts – especially since the majority of Americans now agree that alcohol is more harmful than marijuana. Thus, if fewer resources were spent on antiquated marijuanna prohibition laws, the police could focus on the crimes that are really harming our communities.

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