Using cannabis for PTSD

How Cannabis Helps Treat PTSD, Anxiety and Depressive Disorders

Certain disorders, such as PTSD, anxiety and major depression, can completely debilitate someone’s life. While everyone experiences some degree of sadness, anxiety and feelings of vulnerability from time to time, individuals with severe versions of these feelings can gradually begin to suffer so much that their normal lifestyle is difficult to maintain.

Those who suffer from PTSD, for instance, may only notice anxiety in certain situations at first, such as after a loud noise like a car backfiring. But eventually their condition may worsen in negative cyclical patterns. Their anxiety can make them not want to enjoy social activities in public, and then eventually they may begin to feel paranoid and vulnerable in their own home.

A variety of treatment options are available for individuals suffering from these types of conditions. They include psychotherapy, lifestyle changes, prescription medication and alternative remedies like medical cannabis. Medical cannabis for PTSD and depression have shown growing promise in recent years thanks to an upsurge in clinical research and anecdotal experiences.

How Medical Cannabis for PTSD and Depression Works

Our bodies have natural receptors that respond to compounds identical to those found in cannabis strains. This system manages many neurological functions, including appetite, mood, pain and memory.

Receptors for the system regulate these important biological functions based on the uptake of neurochemical compounds, which are produced naturally in the body and can also be derived from substances, including chocolates and cannabis products. We tend to produce these chemicals in response to certain stimuli, too. For instance, our endocannabinoid system could be responsible for the “runner’s high” and even for feelings associated with sexual arousal.

Those suffering from PTSD tend to have elevated CB1 endocannabinoid receptor availability in their brain, which basically means they have less neurotransmitting chemicals binding to these receptors than the average person. Since cannabis can provide a supplement for these chemicals, researchers are looking into cannabis-derived medicines to effectively treat PTSD and similar disorders related to anxiety and depression.

Clinical evidence suggests that cannabinoids can help individuals through “fear extinction and antidepressive effects.” Anecdotal evidence suggests that certain individuals suffering with depression and anxiety-related disorders can use cannabis to finally relax, regain their appetite, lessen their dependence on alcohol and other drugs and get a good night’s sleep.

These benefits also come with far fewer side effects than commonly prescribed antidepressant and antianxiety medications. Side effects of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Paxil and Zoloft can even include worsened anxiety and suicidal thoughts along with insomnia, headache, nausea, appetite loss, sexual dysfunction and more. Put simply, medical cannabis could be the solution individuals need to alleviate their symptoms while improving their quality of life and helping them ease back into a more “normal” feeling lifestyle.

Trying Medical Cannabis for Anxiety Disorders From a Las Vegas Cannabis Dispensary

The key with trying any adjustment to your lifestyle when you suffer from anxiety, depression and/or PTSD is to work in close coordination with a medical professional and your personal support system. Introducing changes should be done in a controlled environment, so you should have the recommendation of your psychiatrist, for instance, along with support from a close friend or family member who can help you discuss your ongoing experience.

Generally, anecdotal evidence suggests that strains high in a CBD:THC ratio have more positive benefits for those trying to alleviate psychological issues. THC produces a euphoric sensation when consumed, which can help with pain relief and relaxation, but it can also stimulate the amygdala, which can create worsened feelings of paranoia and anxiety in certain situations. By comparison, CBD has no psychoactive effects but does help individuals relax and enjoy better sleep, among other effects.

If you would like to learn more information about the strains of cannabis and the various products available, including their potential effects, then you can visit a medical cannabis dispensary near you to discuss the products available with a cannabis consultant.


This content is not intended as medical advice. The information provided is meant to encourage cannabis education, not replace direct patient-healthcare professional relationships. Always consult your primary care physician or other healthcare provider prior to using cannabis products for treatment of a medical condition.  Any statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products referenced are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Products are only available where the consumption of cannabis is legal.