As medical and adult-use cannabis programs expanded across the country and became more widely accessible, more people diagnosed with PTSD and sufferers of anxiety have been able to turn to cannabis as a way to find relief. PTSD and anxiety disorders are just two of the approved conditions that qualify Nevada residents for the state medical marijuana program.
While they are two different diagnoses, some overlap of symptoms between these two disorders exists, and cannabis may provide similar relief for both. Keep reading to learn how and why cannabis can relieve these disorders and what popular strains are best suited to alleviate their symptoms.
How Can Cannabis Treat PTSD and Anxiety?
For years, people living with PTSD have anecdotally touted the benefits of using cannabis medicinally to treat the debilitating effects of PTSD – hypervigilance, panic attacks, nightmares, etc. One of the potential reasons for this is that cannabis use slows down activity in the amygdala, which is the area of your brain responsible for producing fear responses. Also, some research suggests that cannabis may help eliminate trauma memories, which can be incredibly therapeutic for people with PTSD.
Cannabis has also been shown in a few preliminary studies to effectively reduce physical and emotional anxiety – whether it is being used regularly to treat symptoms of an anxiety disorder or whether it is used as needed to treat occasional bouts of heightened anxiety. When treating these conditions, cannabis is often used as a convenient and effective method of quick relief.
When choosing cannabis products to treat PTSD and anxiety, it is important to do your research and proceed with caution when consuming. Consuming too high an amount of THC or picking a strain with a less-than-ideal terpene profile for your symptoms may result in the opposite of the desired effect. Below we have listed five popular strains suited for treating PTSD and anxiety.
Mimosa is a hybrid strain made from parents Clementine and Purple Punch. Myrcene is the dominant terpene in this strain, followed closely behind by pinene and limonene, giving this strain overall uplifting and energizing effects. It typically has a moderate THC amount – around 19% – making it an appropriate choice for anxiety sufferers who want to stray away from extremely high THC strains.
Do-Si-Dos is an indica strain with a unique terpene profile of limonene, caryophyllene, and linalool. This strain’s relaxing effects with a boost of euphoria make it a great option for anxiety or PTSD patients. It typically has a THC percentage of around 21%.
Blue Dream is a hybrid strain from parents Blueberry and Haze. Although this strain is sativa-dominant, its terpene profile – heavy in myrcene, pinene, and caryophyllene – lends itself to a full-body relaxing high rounded out with euphoric effects. Blue Dream’s THC percentage is usually around the 18% mark.
Strawberry Banana, or Strawnana, is a unique limonene-dominant indica strain with a THC percentage of around 21%. Strawberry Banana provides overall soothing effects typical of an indica but is balanced out nicely with a high amount of limonene that makes for a peaceful, happy high.
Zkittlez is an indica-dominant hybrid from parents Grape Ape, Grapefruit, and a third undisclosed strain. Caryophyllene is the dominant terpene in this strain, followed by humulene (derived from hops and rare to find in high amounts) and linalool. This strain’s distinctive terpene profile leaves the consumer feeling relaxed, happy, and euphoric.
Used thoughtfully, cannabis is beneficial in treating PTSD and anxiety. However, not every cannabis strain or product is well suited to treat these symptoms. It is essential to be informed about the effects of different strains if you attempt to find relief with cannabis. Browse our menu of Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid strains to help find your relief.