As a mental illness, PTSD is not able to be cured. However, you can use medical cannabis strains to help treat PTSD & anxiety. The first treatment for PTSD patients should be to use psychotherapy or group therapy to help people living with PTSD deal with their traumatic event. Being able to overcome the memory of this traumatic event depends on the trauma experienced by PTSD patients, as well as how well they use the tools given to them by the therapist. If you’d like to buy the best weed strains for PTSD use marijuana delivery to your home.
To supplement therapy as a treatment for PTSD, many PTSD patients use specific strains of cannabis to treat depression and anxiety. Depression and anxiety are both common symptoms in those who suffer from PTSD. The calming effect of Indica strains, the energizing effect of Sativa strains, and the regulating effects of CBD are all ways that cannabis can help treat these PTSD symptoms.
Chronic pain, insomnia, and loss of appetite are more symptoms that people with PTSD often experience. Certain marijuana strains (especially those heavy in CBD) can greatly help those with PTSD find relief from these symptoms.
What is PTSD?
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a disorder that develops in some people who have experienced a shocking, scary, or dangerous event. Not everyone who experiences a traumatic event/s will develop PTSD. Due to previous coping skills and lived experiences, many are able to move through these experiences with resilience.
Yes, for up to 10% of people who survive a traumatic experience, the reality is much darker. These individuals are plagued by recurring thoughts, flashbacks, and other symptoms of PTSD. For many of these survivors, cannabis has proven to be a supplement to help confront, manage, and heal from these experiences.
Cannabis for PTSD
Many have already known that cannabis can help with PTSD, but a lack of peer-reviewed data to support its efficacy has kept this largely secret. Thanks to two new studies, we are on our way to more inclusive, reputable studies on cannabis for PTSD.
One study, out of Wayne State University in Michigan, analysed how cannabis use can impact the amygdala part of the brain in those dealing with PTSD. The amygdala is what controls our fight, flight, freeze, or fawn responses during a traumatic experience. Researchers concluded that “low doses of ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) can produce anxiolytic effects, reduce threat-related amygdala activation, and enhance functional coupling between the amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex and adjacent rostral cingulate cortex (mPFC/rACC) during threat processing in healthy adults”.
Is Indica Or Sativa Better For PTSD?
The two types of cannabis strains are Indica and Sativa. Both strains of cannabis have two main cannabinoids: THC and CBD. THC is the reason why cannabis creates a high feeling, while CBD is not psychoactive and can counteract the high feeling. Therefore, strains of cannabis with high CBD content are usually used by PTSD patients who want to stay alert when they use cannabis.
When looking at Indica vs. Sativa, anxiety is often treated better by Indica cannabis strains thanks to their high CBD content and low THC levels. Indica marijuana strains are also good at treating chronic pain, inflammation, and insomnia, thanks to the high CBD levels in these marijuana strains.
Sativa cannabis strains have a more intoxicating and energizing effect thanks to a higher THC content, and lower CBD content, so many people with PTSD use these strains of cannabis to help treat PTSD symptoms of depression.
Weed Strains That Help Combat PTSD
Before the magic occurs, for us it is very important that you understand the difference between cannabis strains that have a high concentration of THC and those that are high in CBD.
High CBD cannabis strains are usually recognized for being ideal for daytime use thanks to their mood-stabilizing characteristics, while high THC is more used at night because it can help get a deep sleep.
Knowing that in the market are a huge amount of strains, we have identified six of the best strains for PTSD.
Blue Dream is an excellent hybrid strain of cannabis with a nice mix of energizing and calming effects and a good balance of THC and CBD. Because Blue Dream is a hybrid strain of cannabis, it is one of the best strains for anxiety and depression.
Pineapple Express is another hybrid strain with a much higher THC content than most strains of cannabis. Therefore, it’s one of the best strains of cannabis to use for listening to music and socializing.
One of the best strains for PTSD and anxiety is the Indica strain Sunset, which has quite a euphoric feeling for an Indica. Anxiety is much more manageable for PTSD sufferers thanks to its 23.7% THC content and 0.07% CBD content.
Dakini Kush is the best strain for pain and anxiety, thanks to how it relaxes the body and elevates the mind. PTSD sufferers with anxiety and chronic pain can use this cannabis strain to help enhance their mood and reduce their pain.
Medical Cannabis for PTSD Anxiety and Depression
Studies show both negative and positive results for the use of marijuana for anxiety and depression. Some individuals with PTSD will feel a significant lessening of these symptoms. Others may feel an increase in them, as well as an increase in paranoia. However, the pills that doctors prescribe for the treatment of PTSD have similar opposing effects. For example, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors can increase symptoms of depression and anxiety. In fact, some of these drugs can produce suicidal thoughts and behaviors. No conclusive causal relationship has been found between medical marijuana and suicide.
Marijuana, PTSD and Reduced Risk
Studies show, and the Department of Veterans Affairs agrees, that self-medication — substance abuse to treat illness — can be caused by post-traumatic stress disorder. When prescribed medications do not help, sufferers ingest drugs like marijuana and alcohol to alleviate their symptoms.
Although the VA hasn’t yet conducted studies examining the role marijuana can play in helping people with PTSD, it has found a connection between veterans seeking health care from the VA and veterans with cannabis use disorder.
According to the VA, 40,000 veterans with PTSD who were seen by the VA in 2014 were diagnosed with cannabis use disorder. The reason for that is likely two-fold. People with PTSD are likely to self-medicate when standard treatments for the condition aren’t effective. While some turn to alcohol to help improve sleep and calm anxieties, others choose to smoke pot.
Because marijuana is not accepted as a treatment for PTSD in most areas, this self-medication is often done without the knowledge of the sufferers’ therapists and physicians. But when people self-medicate with pot, they often don’t know what they are smoking, how potent the strain of marijuana is or even what compounds might be in the strain. That can mean they might be using a form of cannabis that will be less helpful for their PTSD than a strain that would be available with a recommendation from a marijuana doctor and purchased from an approved marijuana dispensary.
Additionally, the VA has pointed out that people with PTSD are more likely to struggle to stop using marijuana than people who smoke and who don’t have PTSD. For that reason, it’s even more important that access to medical guidance be available to people living with PTSD who wish to use pot to manage their symptoms. If PTSD sufferers were allowed prescription cannabis, the risk for side effects, overuse, legal complications and stigma can be reduced or eliminated.
Certain medications used for the treatment of PTSD can cause severe adverse reactions. There is also treatment-resistant PTSD. Patients who cannot take the medications prescribed for PTSD are left with therapy only, which may not work. In some of these cases, medical marijuana could alleviate symptoms, thus reducing the risk of suicide, which is high in PTSD, and increasing quality of life.
As noted above, the experience with the use of medical cannabis as a trauma-informed alternative treatment varies by individual. Remember that every organism reacts differently to cannabis. So if you are able to consult or work with a therapist who specializes in medical cannabis, we recommend you do so.
As a personal recommendation whether you are under PTSD symptoms or not, it is much better if you go low and slow to choose the right strain depending on your needs. You can also look for nonsmoking methods like oils, edibles, or sublingual alternatives.