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How Does Medical Marijuana Help PTSD?

Cannabis may be able to provide relief from the symptoms of PTSD such as nightmares, flashbacks and depression. Let's talk about it.
post traumatic stress disorder

Millions of people across the country (and around the world) are dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder, also commonly referred to as PTSD. Medical marijuana does have the potential to aide in treatment, which can bring a great deal of comfort to those who struggle with this mental health issue.

The human body has a built-in endocannabinoid system, with receptors located throughout the central nervous, immune system, and other systems responsible for maintaining physiological balance. 

Research suggests that some of the compounds found in cannabis can act on these cannabinoid receptors to produce beneficial effects that could help alleviate symptoms associated with PTSD. 

For instance, studies suggest that marijuana can reduce anxiety, improve sleep quality, decrease nightmares, and even improve concentration – all common symptoms of PTSD. 

Additionally, cannabis is thought to possess anti-inflammatory properties, which could be beneficial in reducing pain levels and improving the quality of life for those suffering from chronic pain associated with PTSD. 

Another study found that marijuana use was associated with reduced suicidal thoughts among certain subgroups of people with PTSD. 

While more research is needed to understand how medical marijuana treats PTSD, it appears promising as a potential treatment option and offers an alternative to traditional medications such as antidepressants or benzodiazepines.

Medical Marijuana and PTSD: Can It Help?

There may be limited research on medical marijuana for PTSD to date, but currently, there is a lot of positive support for its use.

Medical marijuana and PTSD don’t have to remain exclusive to one another, which is important for people with this mental health condition to understand.

So, if you’re asking, ‘Does marijuana help with PTSD,’ it can, and the sooner you speak to a qualified doctor about it, the sooner you can enjoy some relief.

PTSD Symptoms and Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana has been increasingly recognized for its potential benefits in managing symptoms of PTSD.

Here are some ways in which it may help:

  1. Alleviating Anxiety and Stress: Cannabis, particularly strains high in CBD, can have anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) effects. This can be beneficial in managing heightened anxiety levels and stress reactions common in PTSD patients.

  2. Improving Sleep: Many individuals with PTSD suffer from insomnia or disrupted sleep patterns. Certain cannabis strains are known for their sedative properties, which can help in improving the quality and duration of sleep.

  3. Reducing Nightmares: THC, a compound found in cannabis, has been reported to reduce the frequency and intensity of nightmares, which are a common symptom of PTSD. This is thought to be due to THC’s impact on REM sleep, the phase of sleep when most dreaming occurs.

  4. Easing Hyperarousal Symptoms: Hyperarousal (constantly being on edge) is a key symptom of PTSD. Cannabis can help in modulating the fight or flight response, thereby reducing feelings of irritability, heightened reflexes, and sudden anger or fright.

  5. Enhancing Mood: PTSD often coexists with depression. Cannabis, especially strains with a balance of THC and CBD, may have mood-stabilizing and antidepressant effects, thus helping in improving overall mood and outlook.

  6. Helping with Emotional Processing: Some research suggests that cannabis, particularly CBD, may aid in the processing of traumatic memories, making it easier for individuals to cope with and work through their traumatic experiences in therapy.

  7. Reducing Avoidance Behaviors: PTSD patients often avoid situations that remind them of their trauma. Cannabis might help in reducing this avoidance behavior, allowing individuals to engage more with their environment and therapeutic processes.

Potential Side Effects of Marijuana and PTSD

There are some potential risks involved with taking medical marijuana with PTSD. Some of them include:

      • An increased heart rate
      • Altered perception of time
      • A boost in appetite
      • Dry mouth
      • Dry eyes
      • Poor problem-solving skills
      • Reduction in memory retention
      • Slower digestion, which can lead to constipation
      • Reduce reaction time

    How to Get a Medical Card for PTSD

    With Elevate Holistics, getting  a medical marijuana card for your PTSD symptoms has never been easier. 

    Our expert MMJ doctors are well-versed when it comes to PTSD and medical marijuana, and it’s a qualifying condition for an MMJ card in most legal states. 

    You’ll meet with our doctors over the phone or computer and they’ll find out in minutes whether you qualify for a medical card. If you do, you’ll get approved within 24-48 hours — all without ever leaving your couch. 

    If you’re ready to get a medical card for your PTSD symptoms, click the button below to book a same-day online appointment with Elevate Holistics. 

    Table of Contents

    Asked Questions

    PTSD is a mental health issue that may affect a person who has experienced or even witnessed a traumatic event, ergo the term post-traumatic. This could include an attack on someone, an automobile accident, a natural disaster, war, and many other crises.


    What causes PTSD? As noted, it could be any serious event that is considered traumatic to the individual (though there are limitations). Not passing a final in school doesn’t elevate to the status of such an event to be considered traumatic in this sense.


    Being assaulted, witnessing the harsh realities of war firsthand, or surviving a major hurricane, tornado, flooding, and other weather events, however, can cause PTSD.

    When that individual has difficulty adjusting to life after such an event, it could lead to PTSD.

    When it comes to strains for PTSD, Indica has more calming influence on the body, but this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right one for you. If you have more anxiety and trouble sleeping, then Indica might be the better choice.


    That’s because, between Indica or Sativa for PTSD, Indica contains more CBD and less THC, which provides the body with more soothing comfort. Does that mean it’s the best strain for PTSD?


    Not exactly.


    Sativa strains tend to produce a more intoxicating effect. It is more of a stimulant and, in the right dosage, may offer improved effectiveness for a person dealing with significant PTSD symptoms.


    That’s why it is so important to consult your doctor before starting any type of medical marijuana treatment for PTSD.

    Not all states provide the option of using medical marijuana to treat PTSD. If you are in one of the medical marijuana PTSD states, though, it can be legal, so long as you consult a doctor, receive a prescription, and follow the law.

    Whether you should try it for your PTSD symptoms is something you need to discuss with a qualified doctor.

    CBD oil for PTSD may also offer some benefits. CBD oil is an over-the-counter alternative that doesn’t require a prescription. That’s because it does not contain the active THC ingredient more commonly associated with Sativa (and, to some extent, Indica).

    Even if you decide to try CBD oil for PTSD, it’s important to talk it over with a trained, licensed doctor first.

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