The emergence of medical cannabis in the United States has led to the creation of an entirely new vocabulary utilized by doctors, physician assistants, psychologists, and pharmacists. The vocabulary includes new words like ‘canna-therapy’. As medical cannabis patients gradually learn the terminology, they are better able to talk about their own experiences with a bit more authority.
Canna-therapy is especially interesting because it combines several things: traditional medicine, alternative medicine, and psychotherapy. It is quickly becoming an accepted method of treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) without resorting to prescription medications patients may not want to take.
1. The Basics of Canna-Therapy
Canna-therapy takes its name from the combination of cannabis and psychotherapy. The cannabis portion is easy enough to understand. As for psychotherapy, it isn’t just one thing. It is a collection of mostly talking therapies designed to help patients overcome mental and emotional barriers. Psychotherapy has long been used to help PTSD patients manage their thoughts, emotions, and memories.
By combining medical cannabis and psychotherapy, licensed therapists have yet another avenue for helping PTSD patients lead more normal lives. The jury is still out on whether canna-therapy represents a successful intervention for a large number of PTSD sufferers, but what has been observed thus far is promising.
Canna-therapy for PTSD focuses on using medical cannabis to reduce stress and anxiety. Some PTSD patients insist that cannabis improves sleep and helps minimize nightmares. Just these few benefits alone can make life easier for the patient. Throw in the psychotherapy aspect and there is a real chance of minimizing the impact PTSD has on a person’s daily life.
2. Not In All States
As promising as canna-therapy appears to be, there is no guarantee that every state with an active medical cannabis program allows for treating PTSD with cannabis. Interested patients would have to check the laws in their state before moving ahead with a cannabis-based treatment.
Utah is one state that does include PTSD on its qualifying conditions list. Any PTSD patient with a valid medical cannabis card can visit the Pure Utah medical cannabis dispensary in Payson to obtain a one-month supply of medicine. Initial cards are good for six months in Utah. After that, they are renewed for either six months or one year.
As for canna-therapy in the Beehive State, it is still emerging. It is not clear how many medical practices offer it at this time. But even if a practice doesn’t, there is nothing to stop a patient from working with their primary medical provider to obtain a cannabis card and then letting their psychotherapist know that they are using the drug. Nothing prohibits the doctor and psychotherapist from consulting together on behalf of the patient.
3. A New Way of Looking at Things
The bottom line is that canna-therapy represents a new way of looking at things. PTSD is one of those tricky conditions that is hard to nail down. It manifests itself in so many different ways that science has yet to come up with a single treatment that works well for most patients. Needless to say, treating PTSD isn’t like setting a broken bone or performing an emergency appendectomy.
Canna-therapy recognizes that there may be alternative medications capable of relieving PTSD symptoms. It recognizes that those medications can be used alongside psychotherapy to achieve better results. Truth be told, that is what the entire medical cannabis movement is about. It is about offering patients alternative choices in the quest to feel better. If canna-therapy achieves that for PTSD patients, it’s a good thing. It should be encouraged at every opportunity.