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Cannabis and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

April 30, 2014
Depressed girl sitting on ground

Throughout its prohibition, cannabis has been considered a self-medicated “coping” drug, especially in individuals with anxiety disorders like post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. Government funded studies examining the link between cannabis and PTSD frequently use the term “marijuana abuse disorder,” a co-occurring problem in need of rehabilitation.

There is overwhelming evidence that PTSD and cannabis go hand-in-hand. But while most studies point out the prevalence of marijuana abuse among PTSD patients, a minority of emerging research is looking at the question in reverse: could cannabis be effectively treating PTSD?

Living with PTSD

PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, is an anxiety condition caused by disturbing episodes, such as military combat or sexual assault. Three classes of symptoms characterize PTSD: re-experiencing, avoidance, and hyper arousal (e.g., flashbacks, social isolation, insomnia). The persistence of PTSD over time is attributed to changes in brain chemistry that occur at the time of the trauma, when adrenaline and stress hormones are hyper-responsive.

Since age nine, Ben Nichols has experienced debilitating PTSD symptoms, and with it came a tangle of other issues like insomnia and ADD. Ben takes Adderall to help with concentration difficulties caused by PTSD, but turns to cannabis to treat the anxiety.

“It helps with daily tasks like school, work, and relationships,” Ben said. “My mind races and cannabis helps me slow down and think through the trauma rather than hide from it. I can tell it’s helping me because my sleeping patterns are normal and I don’t have anxiety attacks.”

Ben is fortunate to live in a state with legal medical cannabis, but not all PTSD sufferers have access to its unprecedented relief. Combat veterans have an especially high propensity for PTSD, and statistics show that about 1 in 5 military personnel deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan experience it. Given cannabis’ federally prohibited status, veterans are instead steered toward antidepressants and antipsychotics, medications that have had very little success in treating severe PTSD symptoms.

“The drugs that they were giving them … they couldn’t get up in the mornings,” said Army first sergeant Gregory Westbrook. “Most of the guys weren’t the type of soldiers who had issues before Iraq or even in Iraq, but they bring them back and put them on these drugs, and they’re falling asleep in the chair. There was no way they could function, especially in a civilian job. So maybe marijuana is an alternative.”

How Cannabis Can Help Treat PTSD

Currently there are no specialized, effective medications available for PTSD patients, but with new discoveries in our body’s therapeutic hotspot — the endocannabinoid system — research is beginning to pave new avenues of understanding and treating PTSD.

One investigator of PTSD and cannabis is the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). Martin Lee is a MAPS affiliate and director of Project CBD, and has studied PTSD and cannabinoids in depth.

“Researchers found that people with PTSD had lower levels of anandamide, an endogenous cannabinoid compound, compared to those who did not show signs of PTSD,” Lee wrote, “Innate to all mammals, anandamide (our inner cannabis, so to speak) triggers the same receptors that are activated by THC and other components of the marijuana plant.”

In other words, one pillar of PTSD is an endocannabinoid deficiency: the body stops producing enough endocannabinoids to fill receptor sites, and this is where the cannabinoids found in marijuana play a therapeutic role. By replenishing these missing endocannabinoids with those found in cannabis, researchers think marijuana pharmaceuticals might bring PTSD patients relief from their memories.

“Scientists have determined that normal CB-1 receptor signaling deactivates traumatic memories and endows it with the gift of forgetting,” Lee said, “But skewed CB-1 signaling, due to endocannabinoid deficits (low serum levels of anandamide), results in impaired fear extinction, aversive memory consolidation, and chronic anxiety, the hallmarks of PTSD.”

Accessing Medical Marijuana for PTSD

PTSD patients are advised to first consult a medical professional before treating symptoms with cannabis. Consumers unaccustomed to marijuana may find that THC aggravates anxiety symptoms. Cannabidiol, better known as CBD, is a marijuana cannabinoid that counteracts some of THC’s effects, including paranoia and anxiety. Further research examining the relationship between THC and CBD could lead to more tolerable variants of cannabis pharmaceuticals for high anxiety individuals.

The damage caused by PTSD cannot be fully unraveled by any medication, but for some, cannabis provides respite when nothing else can. Despite a strong need for development of more effective medication without adverse side effects, the promising pharmaceutical possibilities in cannabis are continually dismissed by government-backed research organizations. However, forward momentum builds as education about cannabis’ healing properties spreads.

photo credit: johnwilliamsphd via photopin cc

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  • Thankful dad

    Very funny I find this conversation when I googled “why does my ptsd make me angry”.

    Strain for my relief tonight: Purple Floss
    History: 5 direct combat deployments with SOF community, 3 gorgeous daughters, 1 wife of God like characteristics and amazing beauty… and 1 big bad apple of the bunch…me.

    I’m not special, my situation isn’t special … but my cannabis and keeping my family happy is held in the utmost forefront of my mind, at every passing second of the day. I have very bad tendencies to immediately lash out at the hint of a situation of my past reinserting itself into my beautiful surroundings I call my family. It is irrevocably the most intrusive and obtuse feeling I could have ever imagined.

    After I decided to end my life June of last year (and was found in my brother in laws driveway in a pool of blood, gravel and 5lb tears), my wife picked me up from the VA psych Ward (wacko basket, Charlie’s chicken farm and nut house), and we proceeded on our way to Colorado. All the while, please keep in your mind before and after discharge I was fed a cocktail of 13 different medications per day that gave me this wonderful thing my “hilarious wife” coined the “HEROIN STANCE”…I can’t help but laugh… amazing woman. So, we arrive in CO and I proceed to a local organic facility and… WOW, THESE PEOPLE LISTENED TO ME AND ACTUALLY ARMED ME WITH A VERY USEFUL TOOL, Our mutual friend cannabis… not brick weed… True cannabis.

    For the first time in years, I felt an inner peace that is just so amazing I don’t think of a single day without cannabis. It wasn’t just the simple trick it was pulling on my body, a few days in I noticed these gorgeous little ladies and my amazing wife had adorned this beautiful “true happiness” smile and glow like I had never before had the pleasure of seeing… someone was actually happy to see me alive and well, but you see, the truly amazing thing that had happened was I was given back the feelings of hope, humility,compassion, patience but most importantly the 1 feeling that I had not felt in years “true love” a deep heart warming feeling that shows you that tomorrow will be ok. With a little wisdom, love and cannabis… I am back on top of the world riding that good life out until the end of my watch.

    So as I fire another bowl, cheers to you guys of the cannabis industry, you saved my life… I owe you one! I wish i could repay the favor to the industry for this great gift, until then I will continue to be the husband and father that I have grown to love again. Thank you so much Jennifer.

  • Mary Lucas

    MMJ is SO IMPORTANT for PTSD!! It’s the only medicine that can give hope to veterans. There are several great strains that work well for PTSD , better than any other pharma out there.

    • Brandon Shallaghan

      Totally agree! Truly life changing for me too. Definitely helps me cope with my C-PTSD, anxiety, etc.

      Glad i heard about Cannabis use & PTSD.

    • frank lopez

      Relax with your rediculous antics, your a fucking idiot to just trash medications and say weed helps with anxiety, that’s bullshit, weed gets you high lol trust me I tried it. I tried pure CBD and hybrids. The cbd does not do anything and the Hybrid, because it has thc, will get you high and agitated!!! (Don’t delete this message, this is the truth from my experience)

  • carolina Abah

    Get MMJ for Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) at

  • Casey Bogart Epps

    I am a veteran of Operation Desert Storm who suffers from PTSD. I am still here thanks to this incredible medicine. I would encourage all Vets and family members of vets living with the invisible scars of war, to research and consider Cannabis as a viable alternative to pharmaceuticals. Welcome home, brothers and sisters in arms, welcome home…..

    • Donna Diggz

      God Bless You and THANKS FOR YOUR SERVICE !

    • Michael Weaver

      Brothers and sisters in arms, I too served in Desert Storm AND Operation Iraqi Freedom (I re-joined after 9/11). Marijuana has been the only thing to keep me level headed and with some modicum of my sanity. You see the VA has me on a hand full of pills every day and if I try to get by with just that I become someone else and my dreams torment me. The pills only have a small effect and I seem to be changing them up every couple years. Please don’t give up folks…

      • Lisa Bouchard

        Hey everyone, I’m new…I just read alot of your life stories and experiences. I thought things were bad for me after husband tried to kill me four times in eight years. I must say I’m very impressed with you all…You are all very brave peoples. I know this cause it takes bravery to go on in a world like this, when your heart,spirit and mind have been through so very very much. I wanted to extend my gratitude to you all for having the courage to share all of your experiences. Such bravery should be rewarded.You all also impressed me with the ways no one belittled anyone else’s experience. This speaks volumes of the sensitively and deep respect that you all have for one another as survivors of the brokenness of our world.As I read of the horrors endured, I realized something. I am Not Alone.That also, I just realized that all the bad things that happened to me,dont make me bad.I used to believe that…now I see that it is illogical, bc look, everything bad that happened to you, didnt make you bad, so, how could it have made me bad?It clicked….I’m gonna finally stop blaming and hating myself,bc I would never do that to someone else who survived what I did…However, I didnt put all of this revelation together until the privilege of getting to read your experiences….it has changed me mentally….for the better.Im crying as I write this…maybe I can finally,maybe, consider forgiving myself for what happened. Thanks so very much…..this all made a Huge mental and spiritual impact on me.That took alot of courage.Light love and peace to each one of you .You’re each so precious. 🙂

  • Mike Bernard

    As a veteran with PTSD, I can not speak highly enough about the benefits that cannabis has provided me. It calms the anxiety, smooths out the depression, and quiets the demons at night to allow me to sleep. I highly recommend that any veteran with PTSD at least give it a try. Stick with indicas. Stay away from sativas. I am very happy with the progress I’ve made in my treatment because of this wonderful medicine.

    • tkingt

      Mike, I’m a Vietnam vet with PTSD. I’m considering using cannabis through a doctor here in Florida. What are indicas and sativas? Thanks.

      • Mike Bernard

        Indicas and sativas, basically, are the two main types of cannabis. In general, indicas tend to be more mellow, great for chronic pain, and provide an over all calming effect. Sativas are great for chronic pain also, but tend to allow you to be a bit more creative. I find that I get “the paranoids” on sativas. The easiest way to remember is that indicas calm the brain, and sativas excite the brain. Everyone is affected differently by cannabis and dosages may vary. Past performance is not indicative of future results.
        If smoking, I would start with one or two hits. Give that a good half hour and see how you feel. Add from there. If doing edibles, take half a recommended dose, wait an hour. You have to be patient with edibles. There are a lot of variables involved. I hope this helps. Good luck!

        • frank lopez

          Mike. Now, I want you to tell me what indica strain relaxes the body. The muscles specifically because I had a lot of anxiety and I’m left with tight scalp muscles. Please tell me since your the expert. Thank you. Because dispensaries give
          Me either only cbd that do nothing or thc that makes me jump off the wall.

          • Mike Bernard

            Cannabis may not be for everyone. I’m sorry that you are having difficulties in finding a strain that works for you. I am far from being an expert. I can only speak from personal experience. Blue Dream is a Hybrid that works nicely for me.

          • frank lopez

            BD has 25% THC, it might help psychical ailmants but not mental or psychological e.g., anxiety and ptsd. I don’t know what you use it for. I need something relaxingmuscles in scalp after anxiety if you know a strain that will aid let me know thanks.

          • Dino-the-Wonder-Dog

            You have to EXPERIMENT with the different hybrid strains, because everyone reacts differently. Also not good to mix Cannabis with prescription drugs! You CAN, but not recommended…again…everyone is an individual

      • Andrew Quinn

        Thank you for your service. Welcome home brother. Iraq 2004 PTSD with all the crap. Need to try something better than hand full of meds. Makes me feel like crap. And still have issues.

        • Joe Black

          I hope you find cannabis works for you too brother, you’ve suffered long enough.

      • frank lopez

        Don’t do it I tried it, even indica will get you shaded!!’don’t believe this bullshit. Get on a good anti-depressant and give it time to make the changes it needs!

        • Dino-the-Wonder-Dog

          Well, Frank Lopez…everyone has an opinion like a certain body orfice! Individuals react differently…what WORKS GREAT for one, may NOT necessarily work good or work at all for the next guy or gal! Do your research…dont believe everything dictors tell you either! M.D. does not mean “major diety “!

          • Ed Plucker

            agree with this. good advice. what works for one person may or may not work for another. perfectly said bro.

      • frank lopez

        Mike is not a doctor ok, he spends his days on this blogs. Get on klonopin for sometime, seroquel will help you sleep. I suggest klonopin @ 2mg 3x a day, you will feel great and don’t believe the demonic bullshit you read in this internet! We’d isnfor physical ailments not mental ailments such as ptsd nor bipolar nor depression. Cbd does nothing and thc will make you jump off the wall.

        • Ed Plucker


          6mg of Klonopin is insane. Have fun withdrawing off that shit for 6 months. I speak from personal experience. I am an Iraq veteran and I was in the shit, Fallujah was hell. Operation Phantom Fury. We lost a lot of guys I was close with and I have terrible survivor guilt and it fucking sucks. But I have a Indica strain vape that I just has delivered to my front door (I live in CA where its pretty relaxed with drugs). It helps my anxiety and I don’t have sleep issues. I caught a couple of felonies and got locked up about 6 years ago and it has fucking ruined my life. I was a successful IT consultant for 15 years until I broke into a pharmacy. I needed dope or thought I did. But the point is I was 6mg (2mg 3x day like u) and I got NOTHING in fucking jail. I went through the worse 6 months of my life being locked up. And this was county jail where u don’t do shit but watch TV with like 20 other dudes some of whom are crazy. Indicas work well for PTSD. I saw guys blown to pieces. It was really like being in hell. And I probably spent a cartridge of ammo every minute firing at all these motherfucking pieces of shit.

    • Vince Lefaive

      Thank You Mike and God Bless

    • James Ives

      100% agree.

  • Donna Diggz

    I grew up with a Dad who served in the USMC and was a Vietnam Vet. The “Corporal Punishment” and “mental abuse” never leaves me. At age 17, I was raped by a neighbor. In my 20’s, I was hanging around the wrong people and was sent to jail and then prison for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Not wanting to use “man made drugs” – it has been my choice to use cannabis in order to live and maintain some “mental sanity” through all the stuff I’ve been through. I just wanted to add that JESUS has BEEN MY ROCK through it all. Cannabis is a plant created by God. The government has NO RIGHT to keep this from us ! Making it “illegal” is pure evil in my book !

    • Chelsea Perez

      My Husband is an Army Vet and a Jesus Freak, he went through years of addiction due to PTSD finally getting help and is clean and sober. He is now battling with using marijuana for his PTSD but being a Christian he had a dilema but all his meds either knock him out or have awful side effects and he hates pills. SO we started thinking “why is it morally and spiritually ok to take pills made in a lab and basically using the patients to experiment on when there is THC that we KNOW works and is natural and no harmful side effects” and now its legal here in california. I think we look into this option once again. God bless you Donna!

      • Donna Diggz

        God Bless You and please tell your husband “Thank You” for his service in the US Military. I am also a Jesus Freak. For many years I struggled with the same feelings of using vs abusing. I am in the process of looking to Jesus more and not focusing on what “triggers me” and sends me into a state of panic. I know it’s the enemy (satan) and I know it’s a spiritual attack that is going on. Many people are depressed and struggling with PTSD. If you read Genesis and the part about how God “created the plants bearing seeds” for us. To eat and to enjoy. You never hear of anyone overdosing on weed. But look at all the prescription bottles people have to pay for. Sometimes they take the pills never to wake up. God Bless You on your journey. I’m trying to stop using pot but my husband knows how I get so he’s walking on egg shells. Only Jesus can help us through this. I’m gonna pray for your husband because I know prayer works. Be blessed

      • alba alba

        Thank your Husband for Serving for my Freedom and like him I suffer from PTSD but not from war but from being abused since I was a child and its such a horrible illness cause your mind don’t shut up..Its not that you hear voices but your just remember things and one thing leads to another then its like a movie playing in your head..I always say Freedom cost…Your husband fought for freedom and I am free from my abusers but at a cost..So with all that said I am also a Christian and I feel that if God don’t heal you then he will heal you with medicine or make your life move bearable..God’s word says he came to give us life and life it abundantly..He wants us to be happy..Its just that some Christian teaching tell you that if you take medicine you don’t have enough faith..I don’t believe that..My Step-Father had cancer he had faith to move a mountain but God did not heal him and took him home..So if marijuana is legal and it helps him to live a better life..Then Praise God for supplying it.That’s my opinion..God bless you and yours…

      • Dino-the-Wonder-Dog

        WHY do you think Christians are against Cannabis? I believe Jesus passed a bowl around the Last Supper table…it was a bong! The myth is it was a cup of wine…the Holy Grail…maybe wine got passed around too? Hey i love Jesus,too… but Im just saying!

    • alba alba

      Does it make you paranoid? I tried it as a kid and it make me paranoid but that was street pot..Sorry about your Rape but Praise God you can maintain some Mental sanity with using Marijuana..I am a survivor of mental emotional and physical abuse since I was a child and since I got the help to finally get away from it I have PTSD real bad and have been suffering for a year and seems no one wants to help or tell you how to find help..I heard that Marijuana helps at the same time for me I wonder if I was to try it if it would make me Paranoid but because of the abuse I have fibromyalgia and ibs C&D and Generalized anxiety and I suffer..

      • swooper

        If you stick to Indica dominant or pure Indica strains, you should not experience paranoia, not at all. Cannabis is an excellent treatment for fibromyalgia (there’s a gum for that). A high CBD strain might help your IBS; it helps mine some. CBDs are also great if you have anxiety attacks – but the best mix is about a 1:1 THC:CBD mix.

      • frank lopez

        Your right you will get high and paranoid don’t don’t do it you’ll regret it.

    • Fem Queen

      I believe marijuana should be legalized on a federal level medically. Big Pharma won’t lose money, as there are people who have illnesses that marijuana would treat, and even cure, but they are not willing to try it due to the extensive brainwashing that Marijuana is nothing more than a harmful drug. So, it should still be legalized on a Federal level, especially for PTSD sufferers. I was diagnosed with chronic and severe PTSD.

    • Securro Rodriguez

      Donna, my Dad served in the USMC and in WWII, and had PTSD, aka Shell Shock, Couldn’t take or there weren’t really any meds…he self medicated with alcohol. Like you said the “Corporal Punishment” and “mental abuse” from him and mainly my mom…belief it or not. And to make matters worse, I was in a very serious car wreck when I was 16 yo, where I went all the way through the windshield and came back in the car. And when I did, all I looked over and saw my friend who was driving, passed out on the steering wheel and heard a women in the car we t-boned yelling at the top of her lungs, “YOU KILLED MY HUSBAND!” over and over. I died on the way to the hospital, brought back…had close to 200 stitches in my face the first night, refused to stay in the hospital. I wasn’t allowed to talk about it…”JUST DEAL WITH IT!” and my parents still made me go to school with my face swollen, bandaged and stitches every where. Was an A student, cheerleader before the wreak….ended up dropping out of school, couldn’t take it. Still had to do all the housework, cooking cleaning, laundry and take care of my sister. At that time there wasn’t any therapy for it. Had to go back to the hospital 2 more times for reconstructive surgery…died both times. For years afterwards, I had serious nightmares every night, waking up screaming or I would travel in my sleep…strange I know…but I did and could prove it. I have never really been able to talk about it, and all of it has seriously affected me to this day….decades later. I’ve tried every religion you can think of and then some. Suppressing it makes it worse. Nothing works. Meditation did for a while, now I can’t even do that anymore. I’ve been homeless so many times, at no fault of my own…my family has a lot to do with it. In fact, I’m homeless right now, living in a hotel. I’m a cultural anthropologist, art/artifact conservator, paralegal, and mainly an artist which has always helped me….but I’m not able to do my art until I get a place to live. I’ve been to so many drs, that know nothing about PTSD and tell me I look fine…it’s just your period, or age, or circumstances, or childhood. Tried pot for a while in the 70’s, but wouldn’t smoke it during the day, had too much to do at work and after. Haven’t been around it for decades. It has been a nightmare to say the least. Because I’m not a vet, drs don’t understand how I could have PTSD and think I’m making it up. Taken some meds, but they don’t work and make it even worse. I’ve told doctors that not only do I have PTSD from the car wreck, I got it from my Dad and Mom. I’m looking for some relief, some where soon. The Gov actually has had fields of marijuana for years….for research, so they say. There’s more money to be made by the gov / politicians who have stock in the pharmaceutical companies. It may be changing some since they’ve seen all the money being made by the legalization. Lets hope.

    • Dino-the-Wonder-Dog

      Absolutely!! Right in!!!

    • Halli Conkel

      Me too…wow I’ve never read anything like this.thanks feel like I’m doing my best. Best wishes hope things level out consistently.

    • Halli Conkel

      What strains do you use, I feel we most likely go through very similar “mental silent screaming”. I need to b selective with the way my brain is.

  • John

    There is multi disciplinary trauma clinic in Canada that focuses specifically on this topic (medical cannabis and PTSD). They are called the Trauma Healing Center – they have a bunch of helpful PTSD resources so you should include a link in the article!

  • Philip Cammarano

    If not for cannabis last year i was days away from swallowing my gun, disabled vietnam era veteran. God bless cannabis and those who provide it to us and for us. The only thing that regulates my insanity to where it keeps my crazy away!

    • Matt

      Thank you for serving our country. Though I have never been through something like that I can definitely relate.

  • Dan

    i keep reading the word pharmaceuticals in this article which is the wrong way to go! people need organic cannabis and they should be able to grow their own and make their own solventless concentrates…this whole big pharma thing is a joke and they ruin real medicine by isolating cannabinoids…they work best together! shaking my head…scary that real medicine isn’t an option for people that desperately need it! what a shame! #freetheweed

  • Very informative article on Cannabis and PTSD. Thank you for publishing.

  • Matt

    I was sexually abused by my older brother growing up and because of
    that I suffer from CPTSD, anxiety and clinical depression along with
    Avoidant Personality Disorder. I often wondered growing up if my medical marijuana use was a crutch or an addiction, but I know now looking back without it and to this day, I would be dead without it.

    • frank lopez

      Get on something like klonopin and seroquel for sleep stay away from weed it will only get you high and jumping off the wall.

  • Matt

    PTSD isnt just for veterans. As someone who suffers from severe childhood sexual trauma, this herb has saved my life WITH ACTIVE THERAPY AND COUNSELING. If you are suffering or thinking about suicide, or something is eating away at you, please seek professional help.

    • Lisa Bouchard

      Matt, thanks….I have always felt that survivors of sexual trauma, get a more difficult time to be understood…after all, they say, you didnt see your buddy blown up,did u?Etc…Not on here of course, These wonderful people are too caring for that…but ,I mean, in the world, it’s really hard to explain that having your own mom serve you up on a regular basis ,to your own father…can shock and horrify in a very distinct way…I’m so impressed by your courage…it made me feel much,much,less alone…..and ,yes….,I will seek professional help…also, the marijuana helps me with my suicidal ideation…helps calm me down enough to cope and think…..I dont know if I have marijuana use disorder..or if it’s just me being overwhelmed by a lack of support after husband tried four times to kill me,but I smoke every day….I feel it takes the edge off of my poor impulse control,my irritability,and my insommnia. I dont have a therapist yet as I am on a waiting list.I know that if I hadn’t started smoking weed ,that I’d have been dead by now.I tried the pharmaceutical route ,too,only to become psychotic as a side effect of Prazosin,which was given to me for nightmares, so,I just also wanted to warn others,that sometimes, in some people, you can get auditory hallucinations, visual hallucinations…etc.Be careful with Prazosin or any other blood pressure med, which then exacerbates your symptoms. Just from someone who tried it, I didnt know what was causing the hallucinations, until I stopped the med after doing careful research.The symptoms immediately resolved.My concern is that, at first the doctors were just saying I’d lost my mind from trauma, which was traumatizing.So, if anyone else is reading this and takes Prazosin for nightmares, be aware in some people, it can cause mental disturbances. I was traumatized again by the whole experience. That’s why I trust weed more than pharmaceutical companies…just my say….Not giving medical advice, always discuss your concerns with your doctor, and if you stop it,Do so Slowly… can have a rebound negative effect on your blood pressure…so as you can see, that I was reading everyone s comments and I just wanted to give you guys a heads up about the possibility of developing psychosis with Prazosin or Minipress…you decide .Worth it?It wasn’t worth it to me to lose the nightmares AND my mind,temporarily. I am sorry for rambling, but I just wanted to say what a brave hearted bunch you all are,I know it’s hard to carry on…it takes courage…Kudos to All

  • John Songer

    This is the utmost effective way to treat PTSD I have found. Hope it will be legal nationwide soon.

  • CommaMama

    Was born into a cult; abused several times; ran away – losing family & “friends”; witnessed a suicide; mugged & beaten up @ 19; suffered severe panic attacks. Went to emergency rooms, cardiologists, psychiatrists, gastroenterologists & after endless tests by these “professionals” was told nothing was wrong with me. Was introduced to yoga & marijuana. Learning how to breathe and having a non-addictive substance to calm me saved my life! 30+ years later, I am so grateful to witness the legalization of this magical herb!

  • Andrew Rossano

    In November, 1988, while riding a bicycle, a drunk driver hit me and broke every bone in my face while causing severe left hemisphere brain injury. I don’t know what I would have done without weed. A friend of mine brought me a quarter ounce of kind bud upon my arrival home from the hospital. While in my bath I smoked a small joint and began contemplating my life and the beginning of a long recovery. It was an afternoon I will always remember. That friend who brought the bag to me is now surviving in a nursing home. Limited in movement from a stroke and in pain from involuntary cramps, he is relieved that I can now return the 28 year old favor and bring him something to aid in his comfort and a stimulate a cheerier state of mind.

    With all due respect to the professionals who counseled me, I had to turn my back on their program of psychotropic drugs (900 milligrams of lithium/day). I became a danger to myself; a seriously suicidal zombie out on his own. First of all, chemical “meds” will never happen again. I still suffer anxiety attacks and painful fatigue in my legs from a circulatory disorder, but now I can select Indica and/or Sativa, depending on what I am targeting, and the relief is “just what the doctor ordered”. I feel assured I am on the right program. Recently I chose a new primary care physician because my old one was very “Old School” about my marijuana needs and proclivities.

    As a young man, I suffered life threatening asthma attacks that would often require adrenaline injections. In the summer of ’67 I was bracing for the worst of the allergy season when I smoked my first joint on the 4th of July. Sure, sure, the fireworks were super, but more importantly: I could breath. It would be another 28 years before I would have another intense asthma attack and that may have been due to being too close to a flower garden in the spring, at a time when I was out of weed.

    Marijuana has been a Godsend to me. I could have a high, jovial time communing with my friends and never get sick. I will never stop, if I can help it.

  • Joe Black

    Like Mike, I also am a combat veteran who has been through he’ll with the psychoactive meds they gave me. Finally found cannabis and they put it in my chart as a disorder. I am living a life today because of Indica and hybrid strains of cannabis. I hope they start seeing the benefits this is doing for guys like us who can’t turn the war off.

  • Laura Lee

    I’m currently reading “The Body Keeps the Score” by Bessel Van Der Kolk M.S., He’s the founder and director of the Trauma Center in Brookline, MS and has been studying PTSD since before it was named PTSD. The paths to recovery section compprises 1/2 of the book; the theory points out that it takes several different strategies and each person is different.

  • Queen Maeve

    I was diagnosed with PTSD more than once. I purchased the Newsweek issue that featured how pot is/was legal for Vets and then still had to save the life of one Vet prescribed over $3000 of pain medication monthly when he nearly aspirated on his own vomit. I think this article genuinely makes sense, is sound in the scientific sense & it would be really great if everyone who needed the medical marijuana Rx cards had them! Thank you 🙂

  • Matt

    My only question is what about paranoia and isolation aswell as derealation symptoms of ptsd? Truth be told ive come to the conclusion I will have those symptoms no matter what and the pot actually eases them but I often wonder if it makes those worse? I wish there was more research being conducted.

    • frank lopez

      You mate absolutely right, it won’t help you will find yourself high as a kite and miserable!!!

  • Christopher Van Zetta

    Where are the sources backing the claims? I don’t see any. Only antidotal claims

    • frank lopez

      There is no proof that weed will treat anxiety. That’s crazy I was prescribed a hybrid strain. 9lb hammer and pineapple express. The hammer was for sleep, lol they might as well have prescribed me cocaine for sleep because how in the name of god would you prescribe thc to relax??!? This is crazy.

      • Christopher Van Zetta

        High THC wouldn’t work but CBD does.

  • Janet Brockman Eisenmenger

    So many have given their lives for this amazing place I call home. And many many more have given half their life because of resulting PTSD. From the depths of my heart, I thank each and every one of you for your service.

  • Haley D

    MAPS is trying to do a study on the use of medical marijuana to treat veterans with PTSD. However, the Phoenix VA health care system isn’t allowing them to recruit patients. This is devastating to the studies efforts to recruit participants and may lead to the study’s discontinuation. If you believe that science and treating our veterans is more important than stigmatizing a drug please take a look at this petition to the VA secretary to allow MAPS to recruit patients.

  • timbowalker

    A pot high seems to lay all my past traumatizing experiences on the table for me to examine. Many long suppressed facets of my reality rise to the surface to be identified and worked with. I wake up the next day with these new thoughts still fresh and I work with them to develop a better, more comprehensive perspective of who and what I am as i drink my morning coffee. The self-loathing and despair slip away as I begin to see where the fault actually lies as the long submerged iceberg of evidence comes into view. The pot experience can be very painful for me because It helps me see things I have run away from most of my life. It can be a bit overwhelming, especially with the anxiety it can bring. If I get to that point I get up and find something entertaining to do.

  • Cayo

    I lost my Dad in a car accident, he was hit while we were biking, and I developed PTSD. They put me on Xanax and I just hated it. I was only nicked by the car so I only suffered minor physical injuries, but taking larger than average doses of ibuprofen, my usual antidepressants, and Xanax too all at once just sucked. I felt like a zombie that couldn’t feel anything, even good stuff. I started smoking Marijuana and then got my MMJ card when I felt like it killed several birds with one stone. I slept so the nightmares went away, the pain subsided normally, and the aftereffects of pot made me more mellow. I was still hurt, but I credit it with getting me through the worst aspects of PTSD.

    • frank lopez

      Xanax is for short term use bud, don’t judge medications by using a benzo as an example, come on now.

  • frank lopez

    This is a bullshit lie, weed gets you high if there is even a drop of thc. If it has no thc is has no effects!! Marijuana might work for a physical aiment but not for a mental one!! This is bullshit, it is a misconception and at easy one at that to just denegrate the use of say, SSRIs’

  • David Eason



  • Ginny D.

    Cannabis is definitely what everyone needs right now. For health prescription and medical purchases i recommend ANNCANNMED to anyone looking at cannabis for help!!

    • frank lopez

      Sure Ginny to get you high it will definitely help lol

  • Ginny D.

    For health prescription and medical purchases, visit ANNCANNMED and feel support talking to licensed physicians

  • Ronald Akridge

    Having PTSD is really hard to deal with. Thanks for this information. Cannabis is really beneficial to human that’s why it is created.

  • Mike Bernard

    Dude, I just now saw your message. I would have been very happy to assist you in that project. I’m sorry that I didn’t see it until now. I hope you did well.