In Canada, a whopping 10% of the population suffers from a condition known as PTSD. Or, Post-traumatic stress disorder which is a mental health condition that offsets a wide range of symptoms and side effects. Not to mention the condition can arise from a number of triggers, occurrences, or incidents over the span of one’s life.
Without any effective cure or medications, many PTSD sufferers have begun turning to medical marijuana for help. As many doctors and researchers are further exploring the natural plant compounds as a legitimate, beneficial and recommended treatment. So as studies attempt to prove the efficacy of cannabis for PTSD, we explored the topic ourselves.
Read this article to find out how weed can potentially help the condition, the research conducted so far, and the best strains that many are using to self-medicate with.
What is PTSD?
PTSD is a disorder that’s classified by many symptoms. It even offsets other mental health issues, too. The condition is triggered in patients, by re-experiencing the trauma that caused them to have the disorder in the first place. Depending on patient to patient, this includes nightmares and vivid flashbacks. Those who suffer from PTSD often endure the following symptoms –
- Feeling on edge
- Overly jittery
- Numb to emotions
- Become angry or irritable easily
- Have trouble sleeping or concentrating.
- Memory issues
- Self-destructive behaviour
In many cases, people with PTSD will also succumb to depression, substance abuse, narcotic use, or anxiety. Hence, the need for an effective treatment, for a disorder that is so far-reaching, and can be debilitating for those who have it.
How is Medical Marijuana helping PTSD?
Which leads us to the fact that many PTSD patients are self-medicating with medical marijuana, if not prescribed to them already. This is shown most recently, by a study published by the British Columbia Centre for Substance Use. In 2018, the Centre conducted a study showing that 60-65% of the study’s participants with PTSD had less depressive symptoms and thoughts of suicide when using medical marijuana to treat the disorder.
Another Canadian study published in 2016, had similarly positive results. MedReleaf and their doctors, studied 100 veterans who suffered from PTSD. Over an 18-month period, the patients were prescribed and consumed approximately 9.4 grams of marijuana daily. After they began using cannabis, the study published the following results –
- Drug and alcohol overuse by patients was reduced by 82%
- Suicidal thoughts were decreased by 77%
- Improvement to PTSD social symptoms improved by 59%
So, while the medical community is aware that cannabis can be effective in helping PTSD patients with the symptoms and side effects of the condition – just how does cannabis help? That’s what researchers are still trying to figure out. Luckily, many recent trials are helping pin down the exact source of relief, which we’ll explore further, next.
The Science Behind Cannabis & PTSD
Cannabis contains over 100 cannabinoids that are therapeutic in nature. Along with many terpenes, that act as the aromatic centres of the plant, but that also have their own unique individual effects, too.
Together, the compounds interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system for their benefits to be felt. The endocannabinoid system, or ECS, is our body’s network of receptors and neurotransmitters, that send messages from physiological system to system, to balance ‘homeostasis’ or the overall feeling of ‘well-being’.
Since PTSD is a mental health condition, experts are aware that the condition originates from communication from different parts of the brain. Which, in turn…cannabinoids can positively effect. One function that the endocannabinoid system regulates is memory – a key factor that that cannabis can influence for PTSD symptoms.
Cannabinoids can help essentially block or turn-off the area of the brain responsible for re-living of traumas or traumatic memories by influencing the CB1 receptor. In addition, cannabinoids affect another important endocannabinoid that is related to PSTD, too – anandamide.
Anandamide is a natural endocannabinoid found in the body that is responsible for regulating functions like mood, fear, anxiety and happiness. In fact, it’s often termed as the ‘bliss’ molecule by the scientific community. Researchers at New York University recently concluded that those who suffer from PTSD typically have lower levels of anandamide than those who don’t.
Being an endocannabinoid, it’s no surprise that cannabinoids, especially CBD and THC influence the levels of anandamide, and quite positively. Here’s how –
- One study recently published results that CBD has the ability to enhance the signaling of anandamide. By doing it, the cannabinoid conversely increases the production and overall levels of the compound.
- Experts are also citing that THC and anandamide share many similarities for how the compounds work internally. Meaning THC may be able to supplement or support the endocannabinoid system for PTSD, in the same way that anadamide already does.
Best Strains for PTSD
Because CBD is showing specifically helpful for PTSD symptoms, oils and tinctures are increasingly being used by patients who have the condition. These types of products can also contain THC, allowing PTSD sufferers to fine-tune the strengths and ratios that work for their symptoms the best. Of course, there are many cannabis flower strains that are becoming popular amongst those who have the condition too. Here are the top strains, most noted to help with the symptoms and side effects of PTSD.
- Bruce Banner #3 (Sativa Dominant Hybrid)
- Violator Kush (Indica)
- Lindsay OG (Indica Dominant Hybrid)
- Bubba Kush (Indica Dominant Hybrid)
- Lemon Sour Diesel (Sativa Dominant Hybrid)
Relieving PTSD with Cannabis
For many with PTSD, cannabis is a natural alternative to healing their symptoms and side effects. With more and more patients using medical marijuana than ever before. So far, there’s been solid research conducted to prove what PTSD sufferers have already concluded themselves.
That the beneficial compounds found in cannabis, are highly relieving of the condition. If you’re seeking to relieve PTSD with high-quality marijuana flower and goods, then Greenz has the collection of premium products for you. Securely purchased, and conveniently delivered to your door.