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How Does Medical Marijuana Help PTSD?

How Does Medical Marijuana Help PTSD?

Cannabis may be able to provide relief from the symptoms of PTSD such as nightmares, flashbacks and depression. A study published in Frontiers in Pharmacology reported that cannabis could help reduce the intensity of these symptoms and more. Let's talk about it.

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.

How to Get a Medical Card for PTSD

Let us help connect you with a local doctor, somebody who knows what you’re dealing with and who understands the benefits medical marijuana offers for those struggling with PTSD.

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.

There are numerous treatment options available for someone with PTSD. Therapies, prescription medications, and some doctors are now realizing the benefits of treating PTSD with medical marijuana.


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.

A person may experience many symptoms of PTSD. Not everyone will have the same symptoms, either. Yet, there are actually a number of symptoms of PTSD that cannabis can treat.


Decreases Anxiety

Among the many PTSD symptoms, anxiety is often at the top of the list that affects most people. Anxiety can interfere with daily life, making it difficult to hold a job, maintain a relationship, or function in society.


THC in medial marijuana can offer a calming effect, acting on the right combination of neural structures to allow a person to relax.


Stops Nightmares

If you want to know how to treat PTSD, you may already be struggling with sleepless nights. Medical marijuana has been known for a long time to be an effective sleep aide. It helps the body to regain a natural sleep cycle.


Improves Anger Management

Anger is often related to stress and anxiety. When you rely on medical marijuana to help you cope, you will likely feel less of these emotions and changes in your body. As a result, anger issues tend to be muted, easier to control and maintain, and less problematic.


Too often, for someone dealing with PTSD, the struggle to control their anger leads to relationship difficulties, which only exacerbates their stress and anxiety.


Low Appetite

A person who is stressed and anxious, who is isolated from the people around them, who has difficulty sleeping will likely also be experiencing appetite challenges. People for decades have known about the appetite inducing qualities of marijuana.


By helping to boost a low appetite, the individual may begin to return to some semblance of normalcy, but more importantly, they may begin (once again) receiving the level of nutrition their body needs.

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.

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

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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