What is PTSD?
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a disorder that develops in some people who have experienced a severely shocking or dangerous event. It is typically a devastating condition that can lead to other mental illnesses if left untreated.
Is PTSD associated with anxiety?
Yes. According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America (ADAA), most people with PTSD can recover with treatment and possibly anti-anxiety medications. However, people with post-traumatic stress disorder can continue to feel severely depressed and anxious for a significant period following the event.
Women are twice as likely to have posttraumatic stress disorder as men. It is also a common occurrence among children who have gone through a traumatic experience.
PTSD often enhances depression, substance abuse, or anxiety disorder. Treatments other than anti-anxiety drugs include group therapy, cognitive processing therapy, acupuncture, hypnosis, and more. Medical cannabis can also be a convenient and effective method to eliminate trauma memories if you live in a legal state.
Group Support Therapy
Group therapy allows a person with PTSD to learn social skills from others that may be going through similar situations in a safe space. Participating in group activities with other people that have anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or another mental disorder can make one feel less alone and more understood as an individual.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy
Cognitive-behavioral therapy, or talk therapy, is the most common type of therapy for those that have anxiety disorders. During talk therapy, the patient with PTSD disorder will meet regularly with a therapist to self-report measures of behaviors, emotions, and thoughts during everyday life.
This will encourage and assist the individual to recognize and address intrusive, negative, or false ideas to help treat PTSD patients. In time, cognitive behavior therapy can change thought patterns and help the patient to see things in a more positive light.
This category includes yoga, meditation, exercise, and acupuncture. These holistic therapies are popular for people looking to increase blood flow, change their lifestyles and build healthier habits. For some, they can assist in treating PTSD.
Some alternative solutions combined with medication, therapy, or medical marijuana could successfully result in a significant decrease in anxiety and build a healthy, happy, and productive lifestyle.
What are the symptoms?
Many people may have PTSD at any life stage. Its symptoms can include the following:
- Repeating intrusive memories, dreams, and thoughts correlated with a frightening event.
- Evading people, situations, or places that bring back a memory of a traumatic event.
- Unwanted feelings of agitation, anxiety, or insomnia.
- Mood disruptions may include depression, impaired cognitive abilities, and low self-esteem or desire to be social.
- Considering these symptoms, PTSD patients find it hard to function well in society while maintaining relationships. These patients are also exposed to higher suicide risk among elderly populations. Some marijuana strains, like blue dream and pineapple express, could be the best strains for PTSD and to relieve self-harming thoughts.
Who typically suffers from PTSD?
People with PTSD deal with present emotional reactions to past trauma memories or even a recent traumatic event. The main people who are known to develop PTSD are:
- War Veterans
- Sexual Assault Victims
- Prolonged Exposure to Childhood Abuse
- Sufferers of a Traumatic event
- Near-Death event Survivors
How can cannabis help?
The best strains for PTSD and anxiety would have a more considerable amount of CBD, and lower levels of THC. High THC cannabis strains can induce anxious feelings and panic attacks.
Critical cure is a great strain because CBD and THC are in a nice balance. Safe access to certain marijuana strains with a combination of these concentrations could allow for the health benefits of marijuana use without the risks.
THC and CBD cannabinoids can improve sleep quality, chronic pain symptoms, and duration of anxiety disorders or panic attacks for PTSD patients. These clinical trials tell us that CBD dominant strains may help reduce PTSD in the short term and help you sleep better overall.
Is Indica or Sativa better for PTSD?
Indica and Sativa cannabis plants differ in physical traits and their psychoactive effects on a person. Indica originated around the mountainous countries of Central Asia in a cool climate. Sativa originated near the equator in warm and humid weather. Indica and Sativa vary in flowering period, leaf shape, and plant size, considering the difference in origin.
Indica grows wide and short, making them ideal for indoor growers. Indica strains have anti-inflammatory, muscle relaxation, and soothing qualities. Containing high CBD and low THC content, PTSD patients are guaranteed to feel a powerful body high. If you have difficulty sleeping or are suffering from chronic pain, Indica will be suitable for you.
Sativa strains create euphoric, uplifting, happy, and energizing sensations. With standard medical marijuana dosages, these strains are an efficient treatment for people who have gone through stress-related traumatic events and have developed anxiety, and depression, or to treat PTSD. Sativa is ideally taken during the daytime to attain focus and relieve anxiety symptoms. Two of the best strains are Sativa hybrid cannabis strains called blue dream and pineapple express.
Best strains for PTSD and Anxiety
Leafy Mate has compiled a list of the best strains for PTSD and Anxiety. The link between medical marijuana, social anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder is still being studied. However, medical cannabis use, especially high CBD strains, can potentially offset some of the PTSD symptoms.
Jack Herer is a slightly Sativa-dominant strain that is named after famous marijuana activist Jack Herer, who wrote The Emperor Wears No Clothes. This cannabis strain is the epitome of a feel-good, mellow, energizing weed. This incredibly therapeutic strain is typically great for reducing anxiety and negative feelings due to its’ mood-stabilizing effects. It is great for treating PTSD due to its pleasant and euphoric effect on the user.
Critical Cure is an Indica-dominant cannabis strain that has a lovely balance of CBD and THC percentages at around eight percent each. This hybrid cannabis strain is quick-acting and long-lasting with mildly psychoactive effects. This descendant of Critical Kush will be sure to relieve tension, ease muscles, and provide a sense of satisfaction. It can treat symptoms of anxiety disorders that accompany PTSD.
Ringo’s Gift is a high CBD strain that has an average CBD-to-THC ratio of 13:1, but strains as high as 20:1 have been cultivated. Users boast relief for stress, anxiety, and insomnia among other ailments from this Sativa dominant hybrid strain. It’s arguably one of the best strains for PTSD sufferers.
ACDC is a strain with fourteen percent CBD. It has very little THC, so there won’t be a high associated with this one. It’s a great one for morning or evening and is sure to leave you happy, relaxed, and pain-free. If you are going to be public speaking, these high CBD cannabis strains may be just the calming, clear-headed weed to try out.
Pound Cake also known as London Pound Cake, gets its name from its warm, fruity flavor profile. It is an Indica strain that can promote self-soothing and mindfulness. Similar to pineapple express flavor, this fruity strain is excellent for a quick cure for replacing stress and anxiety with a feeling of euphoric sensation due to its extremely high THC content, which can go up to 29 percent. Pound cake will help you back to reality when feeling down.
Hawaiian Haze is produced by Botany Farms and is nearly THC free. This is one of the best marijuana strains to promote cerebral stimulation and focus with almost 20 percent CBD. Cannabidiol CBD maintains a sense of calm without the psychoactive effects brought on by THC, making it useful in social situations.
Frisian Dew is a nearly perfect 50/50 hybrid strain with a low THC content. Like OG Kush and the blue dream cannabis strain, this strain is helpful in social settings because it assists in staying present and letting your creativity shine through to come up with interesting questions and keep the conversation going with others. Frisian Dew is a good option for relieving anxiety and mental invigoration because of its balance of Indica and Sativa.
Gelato is an Indica-dominant cannabis strain with a sweet and fruity flavor profile and is one of the best strains for PTSD and anxiety. It produces optimism and euphoric feelings in many of its users. Despite its mildly Indica-dominant origins, this Indica strain shouldn’t make you drowsy.
Gelato’s well-balanced high sneaks up on the user, helping ease them into the euphoric effects. The uplifting benefits combined with the improved sense of satisfaction and calm are just a few reasons Gelato may be perfect to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression in people with PTSD.
Medical marijuana card
PTSD sufferers are recommended to discuss cannabis-based treatment with a medical professional before smoking weed to potentially treat PTSD symptoms.
For people with PTSD, it’s also an excellent idea to talk with a health consultant and dispensary experts about the top cannabis strains and medical marijuana products that can help with post-traumatic stress disorder, and the specific strains that could have an increased risk of adverse effects or drugs abuse.
Depending on local laws, you may be able to order medical marijuana delivery or pickup from a recreational dispensary, or you may need a medical marijuana card and prescription before using cannabis strains for PTSD.
Wrapping it Up
Similar to anxiety disorder, PTSD is not a condition to leave untreated. It can be a remarkably debilitating condition that negatively impacts many aspects of life along with your mental health. It’s not uncommon for PTSD sufferers to develop severe anxiety or depression and in severe cases, some PTSD patients have developed other serious mood disorders.
For those with post-traumatic stress disorder that are considering obtaining a medical marijuana card for the condition, we greatly recommend discussing any changes in the way you treat PTSD or use medical marijuana with your medical provider first.