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Best Marijuana Strains for PTSD

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Best Marijuana Strains for PTSD

Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 10/22/2019 in Medical Marijuana

Updated on August 16, 2020. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer

Shell shock is a term first coined over a century ago during World War I to describe combat-exposed soldiers’ symptoms–what we now refer to as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

PTSD can occur in anyone following a traumatic event. Symptoms will vary among affected individuals, but they can be debilitating and severely impact quality of life. People with PTSD may re-experience the trauma through distressing recollections of the event, flashbacks, and nightmares. They may also have difficulty sleeping or concentrating, become easily angered or irritated, or feel emotionally numb.

Treatments for PTSD include different types of psychotherapy and medication, generally the drugs that are used to treat anxiety and depression. However, there are currently no specialized, effective medications available for PTSD patients, and new options are needed. There has been an interest in the use of cannabis to help treat symptoms of PTSD, but actual studies are still scant. Despite legalization in a growing number of states, both for medicinal and recreational use, cannabis remains a schedule I controlled substance at the federal level and conducting clinical trials continues to be extremely difficult.

A recent paper that reviewed five studies of cannabis and PTSD found mixed results. One of the included studies was conducted in Israel, where all of the patients were actively using cannabis, while the remaining four were conducted in the United States with patients who had used cannabis in the past. Three of these studies concluded there might be a benefit to using cannabis, but two discouraged its use. Overall, there has been conflicting data for the use of marijuana for PTSD, and the current evidence is limited to anecdotal experiences, case reports, and observational studies. There are no randomized, controlled, clinical trials, the gold standard for evaluating any type of drug, looking at patients with PTSD who are using cannabis.

However, a recent study conducted in Canada, where cannabis is legal and researchers can more freely investigate its medicinal properties, found that cannabis significantly improved a variety of symptoms and quality of life after four months of use in nearly 600 patients with PTSD.

Even though more research is needed, cannabis is widely used to help treat psychiatric disorders including anxiety and depression, and many people use it to help relieve symptoms of PTSD.

Best Strains for PTSD

Blue Dream is a sativa-dominant strain known for inducing relaxation and a calm euphoria. This popular California-bred strain has THC levels of 17%-24% and a CBD content of between 0.1% and 0.2%. This strain has a reputation for elevating mood and boosting social interaction.

Sour Diesel, also known as Sour D, is sativa-dominant strain named for its pungent, diesel-like aroma. This fast-acting strain has an energizing yet dreamy effect, and users rely on it to treat stress, pain, and depression—all of which may affect people with PTSD.

OG Kush, introduced in the 1990s, has become very popular and is believed to be a cross between Hindu Kush and Chemdawg, although that has not been confirmed. The name is also a bit of a mystery, although some say that “OG” stands for Ocean Grown, in reference to its California origin.

This strain is considered to be ideal for individuals with PTSD because it provides a pleasant and euphoric effect and can calm the entire body. Its THC content is between 20% and 24%, with a CBD content of 0.2%.

Pineapple Express gives a smooth and well balanced feeling, and users report feeling clear-headed. For people with PTSD, it can help relieve social anxiety without affecting the ability to function. Its THC content is approximately 20%, and its CBD content is 0.1%.

Master Kush is not what is considered to be a “beginner’s strain. It’s quite potent, and a favorite in Amsterdam coffee houses. For people with PTSD who are experienced users and having sleep issues, Master Kush can be an effective remedy.

Cannatonic may be particularly useful for individuals experiencing anger related to PTSD. It is very calming, with only a slight psychoactive effect. It has a low THC content of 6%, while its CBD content ranges from 6%-17%, sometimes going as high as 20%. Due to this exceptionally high CBD content, this strain is also useful for relieving anxiety and depression.

Golden Goat is a popular strain from Colorado that is making its way around the US. It has a very high THC content, often above 23%, so psychoactive effects will be intense. Due to this high THC content, this strain is more suitable for PTSD patients who are already experienced users, especially with potent strains. Golden Goat may help with pain, anxiety, and depression.

About the Author

Roxanne Nelson is a registered nurse who has written for a wide range of publications for healthcare professionals and consumers, including Medscape, The Lancet, Prevention, Scientific American, WebMD, American Journal of Nursing, Frontline, National Geographic, Hematology Adviser, American Journal of Medical Genetics and the Washington Post, among others.

Cannabis is widely used to help treat psychiatric disorders including anxiety and depression, and many people use it to help relieve symptoms of PTSD.

I Have PTSD: Which Medical Marijuana Strain Do I Need?

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a disorder that affects certain people who have experienced a highly traumatic event. Being involved in warfare, extreme violence, or a road accident, or being the victim of child abuse, sexual assault, terrorism, or other threats to life can result in a person experiencing PTSD. It is also an affliction that can be treated with the use of medical marijuana.

Approximately 7.7 million Americans suffer from PTSD, and 11-30% of soldiers returning from combat in Iraq or Afghanistan have the condition. The main symptoms of this brutal condition are flashbacks, chronic anxiety, depression, insomnia and nightmares. Sufferers respond to innocuous events and cues in the external (and their internal) world with an acute panic response, because they remind them of the initial trauma they experienced.

There is a wealth of evidence demonstrating the benefits of medical marijuana for individuals suffering from PTSD. By aiding in something called memory extinction, marijuana can help reduce the association between innocuous stimuli in the present and traumatic events from the past. It also calms the body and mind, reduces stress, and aids sleep.

PTSD can affect people of all ages and backgrounds.

There are plenty of studies to back up marijuana’s effectiveness in treating PTSD. A University of Haifa study from 2014 showed that rats that were exposed to trauma, who received a synthetic cannabinoid within 24 hours, did not exhibit PTSD symptoms, however rats that were not treated with the cannabinoid did develop symptoms. This study led to an understanding of the neurological characteristics of the behavioral effects of PTSD. In traumatized subjects there was an increase in brain receptors associated with emotional processing. Cannabis was shown to decrease the numbers of these specific receptors in the areas of the brain that imprinted traumatic memories.

A study by Dr. George R. Greer MD in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 2014 showed that participants with PTSD reported, on average, a 75% reduction in major PTSD symptoms while using medical marijuana. Dr. Greer reported, “Many PTSD patients report symptom reduction with cannabis, and a clinical trial needs to be done to see what proportion and what kind of PTSD patients benefit, with either cannabis or the main active ingredients of cannabis.”

As well as evidence from studies, there is also a wealth of anecdotal evidence self-reported by sufferers of PTSD who say that their lives would be unbearable if it wasn’t for the positive impact that medical marijuana has on their debilitating condition.

There is no doubt that medical marijuana is a very effective treatment for PTSD, but not all weed strains are equally effective. Here is a list of seven hybrid strains that people have reported work particularly well in combating PTSD.

Medical marijuana can help sufferers of PTSD.

Blue Dream is widely available with a California medical marijuana card . It is a mildly high-THC hybrid, and offers very reliable relief from PTSD. The sativa-dominant strain has an energizing and buoyant effect. It contains a nice dose of indica which produces a warm feeling of physical relaxation also. The herb is not very strong, so you can go about your business, feeling clear headed and fully functional while enjoying its PTSD-busting effects.

Grand Daddy Purple is a very pleasant indica-dominant hybrid that produces feelings of happiness, positivity and relaxation. It is often used by cannabis card holders who suffer from depression, and is widely regarded as an excellent strain for treating PTSD.

Stress Killer this is a high-CBD strain created by Royal Queen Seeds and easily available to people with a California medical marijuana card . It has quite low levels of THC, and is ideal for people who enjoy a mild but very manageable psychoactive effect. It will produce a light, sedative high and is ideal for relieving the anxiety that comes with PTSD.

A very popular indica-dominant strain that is famously good for pain and stress relief is Blueberry Kush . This is a big favorite with California marijuana card holders. It puts the body into a very relaxed state, and is widely availed of by PTSD sufferers.

Northern Lights is a massively popular indica-dominant strain that is used extensively by people with cannabis cards who suffer with anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and PTSD. It brings on a mellow high and is a fantastic sleep aid. It takes hold fast and knocks you out hard. Northern Lights and heavy machinery are not happy (or safe) bedfellows!

Even more of an insomnia-wrecker is Master Kush . This is a firm favorite of people who are cursed with chronic and extreme insomnia. It is a very strong strain that is not for first time smokers. You should be an experienced 420 card user before you use this powerful strain! It will knock you out hard and fast, producing a super-mellow high and ultra-relaxed body. Don’t bother getting munch, you won’t be needing it! Oh and make sure you are seated somewhere nice and comfortable when you smoke this awesome strain, because you probably won’t be moving very far for the foreseeable future!

Pineapple Express is a relatively mild sativa-dominant hybrid strain with a THC content of about 20%. The effects are pleasantly relaxing. It provokes a warm, happy feeling, and is eminently usable for during the day. Many PTSD sufferers have enjoyed the effects that this pleasant strain has given them.

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