Cannabis 101

Using Cannabis for PTSD

What you need to know

This is a guide to show you the different aspects of using cannabis and evidence-based studies, so you can try cannabis with a clear conscience.

Treating the symptoms

Depression, anxiety, nightmares and sleep disturbances are some of the worst symptoms of PTSD and if you are suffering from any of these, cannabis can help you. Studies have shown that 5mg of THC twice a day can improve sleep quality and reduce nightmares. Cannabis also reduces the stimulus response inside your body which causes anxiety by activating the CB1 receptor in your nervous system. Once this receptor is activated in your body it produces Anandamide which gives you feelings of joy, bliss and happiness. This lifts your mood and primes your mind opening you up to new things that can make a big difference in your life.

Cannabis can also help as a useful tool in creating openness or a bridge to assist psychotherapy. This is very much decided by the user.

Using Medical Cannabis 

When you start taking cannabis medicinally, you will go through an education session with a nurse and see a physician for your prescription. There are bad stories of overuse where people start vomiting or eat too much and feel like they are dying. No one has ever died from cannabis, however it’s better to stay within your limits and have a good trip.

 

Cannabis Strains

Indica and Sativa

The general perception is that sativa strains give mainly a cerebral head high, while indica strains primarily provide a body high. The literal difference between the two is in terms of classification – Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica are two of the subspecies of the genus Cannabis.

There are many strains to choose from and each strain will have an Indica to Sativa ratio. That ratio will give you a lot of information about what kind of high the strain will give you.

We love Leafly to get more information about specific strains.

 

Indica

Indica is generally for nighttime use because it has a calming effect, helping you get a better sleep. 

Here are some of the effects:

  • It lowers anxiety, 
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Reduces muscle pain
  • Aids sleep
  • Stimulates appetite
  • Relieves headaches

Here are Fabian’s top 10 Indica’s.

1. Bubba Kush

2. Pink Kush

3. Purple Bud #1

4. Headband

5. Sensi Star

6. OG Kush

7. Master Kush

8. ICE

9. Rockstar

10. Creamsicle

Sativas

Sativas are an uplifting daytime bud and promote creativity and concentration.

Here are some effects of Sativa:

  • Reduces depression
  • Increases creativity
  • Energizes and stimulates
  • Relieves headache and migraines
  • Stimulates appetite

 

Here are Fabian’s top 5 Sativa’s.

1. Ghost Train Haze

2. Jack Herer

3. DelaHaze

4. Dark Angel

5. Super Lemon Haze

CANNABINOIDS

There are a number of different cannabinoids, as many as 100, and they all have varying ways of supporting your body. The cannabinoids interact with receptors in your brain and nervous system creating many different effects.

Let’s talk about THC and CBD.

CBD

What is CBD?

CBD is non-psychoactive and derived from the hemp plant flower. It doesn’t give you the heady highs like its THC brother. One of the biggest issues in living well with PTSD is finding balance and CBD could help you do that. It’s proven to have clear anti-stress effects and the anti-inflammatory properties will boost you to start feeling great again.

Project CBD has a few great articles to support using CBD for PTSD.

THC

This stuff gets you high!

THC is the psychoactive cannabiniod in cannabis and when it interacts with our nervous system it gives us different highs. This depends on the percentage of THC, the strain and our own body chemistry.  

 

CBD is great for:

  • Lowering inflammation
  • Neuroprotective qualities
  • Anti-psychotic
  • Anti-depressant 
  • Anti-seizure (and for epilepsy)
  • Eliminating depression and anxiety
  • Easing autism symptoms
  • Improving mental clarity
  • Relieving headaches

THC promotes:

  • Relaxation
  • Sedation
  • Laughter
  • Heightened joy
  • Improved overall outlook
  • Increased appetite

Will you start to include cannabis in your life?

Many studies will be ongoing for years to come, but the best information is from veterans with PTSD currently using cannabis to treat their symptoms. When you use cannabis during therapy, you can regain your confidence through trying new coping methods to find what works best. As you feel better, you may also become more interested in taking a proactive approach in finding other alternative therapies and natural treatments to maximize your healing experience. This is the best way you can ensure the outcome of creating a healthy, balanced lifestyle for you and those around you.

Cannabis Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What if my kids or animals get into my cannabis and eat it?

A: You can’t get high from eating the cannabis buds. The buds must be heated for the psychoactive properties to be ‘turned on’. Edibles have been prepared and are activated so you might want to lock those up!

Q: I have had bad anxiety from smoking cannabis before, I don’t think I can take it.

A: There are different strains of cannabis that have different ratios of Indica and Sativa. If you have high anxiety then a high indica ratio cannabis might work better for you. You could also start by using CBD to get your anxiety under control before trying THC. 

Disclaimer

We are not advising any medical treatment  and it’s important to register with a medical cannabis clinic to get medical advice from a physician about using cannabis.