Cannabis can help to reduce the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) through two of its main cannabinoids, CBD and, to a lesser extent THC, with the aid of several terpenes. CBD interacts with several brain receptors – the cannabinoid type-1 receptor (CB1-R) and the serotonin receptor (5-HT1A). The interaction of CBD on these receptors can help to regulate fear and anxiety-related behaviours. This interaction is boosted by the Entourage Effect of the terpenes limonene and linalool, who on their own also possess the ability to reduce feelings of fear and anxiety. THC can help to reduce insomnia and the frequency of nightmares. 

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental disorder that develops in people who have experienced a lurid, shocking, or traumatic event. Unfortunately, the after-effects of these events stay with the person throughout their lives, leading to symptoms like panic attacks, insomnia, anxiety, and stress.

While anyone is potentially vulnerable to a stress disorder, Post-traumatic stress is particularly prevalent in war veterans, especially those involved in the line of active combat. 

However, the symptoms of PTSD are not necessarily experienced in the initial moments following a traumatic incident. A person may experience the symptoms of PTSD as much as a year after the traumatic event or within the first three months. But, to be diagnosed with PTSD, the qualifying condition of PTSD has to be severe enough to disrupt a person’s personal and professional life. In a few of these cases, a case of chronic PTSD might develop as well.

While there are several medicinal treatments for PTSD, the emergence of medical marijuana as a viable alternative could prove to be a real game-changer for people with PTSD in the months and years to come. 

Research Highlights the Potential for Cannabis as a Treatment for PTSD

In recent years, a vast number of PTSD patients have turned to medicinal marijuana to treat PTSD. 

One of the largest groups of people who live with PTSD is military veterans who often endure unthinkable traumas during combat that can cause a lifetime of PTSD. Indeed some war veterans have begun to speak at length about the improvements to their lives that medical marijuana has afforded them. 

As such, medical cannabis is now proving to be a popular option for war veterans who are looking for alternatives to sedatives like zolpidem or other drugs like clonazepam and trazodone.

Beyond anecdotal evidence from military vets, further scientific research also suggests that medical cannabis may be a promising option for treating insomnia. The analysis suggests that people using medical marijuana may fall asleep easier and for longer.

Keeping this in mind, a 2015 review was undertaken to study how the use of cannabis and its derivatives could affect military veterans. While the study did establish that there was scope for more research, the evidence indicated that several patients did benefit from cannabis as their insomnia, anxiety, and coping ability had improved.

In October of 2019, it was also reported that nearly 65 per cent of the people who had experienced PTSD at some point in their lifetime had used cannabis. 

The study of more than 5,000 people across the US revealed that the experience of PTSD at a point in a person’s lifetime was connected with an increased likelihood of also using marijuana.

Specifically, of those who had suffered PTSD, 65 percent had also used marijuana at some point in their lifetime (compared to only 41 percent of people without PTSD).

Further Research conducted in 2019 confirmed what many already believed to be true – That cannabis does show real potential to reduce the symptoms related to PTSD. The research indicated that the cannabinoids present in cannabis, such as CBD and THC, may help to treat the symptoms of PTSD, including inflammation, insomnia, anxiety, and depression. It should also be noted that research conducted on animal models shows favourable results highlighting the potential benefits of cannabinoids in the treatment of PTSD. 

Most PTSD patients also tend to suffer from anxiety. CBD, a chemical compound found growing in the cannabis sativa plant, helps to stimulate the production of serotonin in the body. This, in turn, makes it a potential treatment for generalised post-traumatic stress disorder. 

A report published in 2014 also revealed that the patients who took part in the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program experienced a massive 75% reduction in PTSD symptoms.

Clearly, a much more detailed and clinical research analysis needs to be conducted to fully understand the efficacy and ability of cannabis to improve the condition of patients who have post-traumatic stress. However, based on both the early research and anecdotal evidence, the future looks promising. 

With that being said, let’s take a closer look at some of the most potent cannabis strains that could help to provide real relief to those living with PTSD.

Blue Dream

One of the most popular choices for people living with PTSD is the hugely popular Californian marijuana strain, Blue Dream.  This sativa-dominant hybrid is the result of a cross between Blueberry with Haze that can provide a soothing full-body relaxation.

With levels of THC approaching 20%, Blue Dream can deliver rapid symptom relief for people with PTSD without any heavy sedative effects. As such, Blue Dream is a popular daytime energising strain for patients treating pain, depression and nausea,

Another famed super-strain, Blue Dream successfully balances full-body relaxation with gentle cerebral invigoration and with its sweet, berry aroma similar to that of its Blueberry parent, has the potential to provide real relief from the symptoms of PTSD.

With primary terpenes including, limonene, pinene, and myrcene, this sativa dominant strain is an excellent choice for those looking to treat PTSD and their related symptoms like anxiety, stress and depression.

OG Kush

Another strain that has gained a huge level of popularity in recent years, OG Kush could be an ideal strain for those looking to treat the symptoms of PTSD. 

Said to be one of the best strains for treating stress and anxiety, OG Kush boasts a remarkable terpene profile that includes myrcene, limonene and caryophyllene and aids to this strains spicey, diesel-like aroma.

With a slightly above average THC content that can reach as much as 21%, OG Kush is favoured by many because of its potency and ability to treat a number of PTSD symptoms like nausea and anxiety. 

Pineapple Express

A hugely popular strain and one of the best for people with PTSD is the world-famous hybrid Pineapple Express. 

This wonderfully uplifting sativa dominant strain is the product of its parents, Trainwreck and Hawaiian. The heavy-hitting combination of Trainwreck and Hawaiian produces a wonderful sativa dominant hybrid with a THC content somewhere between 17-20% and a fairly low CBD content of less than 1%.

With a terpene profile that contains caryophyllene, limonene and myrcene that helps to generate this strains fruity aroma and flavour, this hugely popular cannabis cup winner can help to energize the body and improve productivity. This makes Pineapple Express an excellent strain to treat the symptoms of PTSD like stress and anxiety. 

Sour Diesel

Also known as Sour D, Sour Diesel is an energising sativa dominant strain that is said to be highly effective in relieving symptoms of PTSD including depression, and anxiety. 

Named after its robust and diesel-like aroma, this so-called super strain (THC content around 20%) was born in the early ’90s and is thought to have emerged from Chemdog 91 and Super Skunk. 

This fast-acting flower provides an invigorating high that has helped to establish this strain as a market leader amongst medical patients. Stress and depressive emotions can rapidly dissolve as the effects of Sour Diesel begin to take hold. A particularly potent strain, Sour Diesel has a terpene profile that is rich in caryophyllene, myrcene, and limonene which helps to generate Sour D´s pungent and luxurious scent. 

For those suffering from PTSD, Sour Diesel could provide some welcome relief from a number of related symptoms. 

If you are suffering from PTSD and you want to learn more about our extensive range of cannabis seeds, please visit our growing community and webshop where we have loads of strain information on hundreds of cannabis strains including CBD strains and popular indica strains like Master Kush and Girl Scout Cookies.

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