Medically reviewed by Alexander Tabibi, MD
September 8, 2023

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that affects individuals who have experienced a traumatic event. It can lead to debilitating symptoms, including anxiety, depression, and chronic pain, significantly impacting the quality of life. In recent years, medical marijuana has gained attention for its potential to alleviate PTSD symptoms. In this article, we will explore the best cannabis strains known for their effectiveness in managing PTSD and discuss their specific effects.

This post is intended as information and for general knowledge only. It is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It is recommended that you talk to a healthcare professional about this before introducing cannabinoids into your daily routine (especially if you have been diagnosed with any medical conditions or are under any medication). It is not recommended to drive or operate any machinery when using cannabis- or hemp-derived products. Use responsibly!

Understanding PTSD and Cannabis

Research has shown that PTSD is associated with dysregulation of the endocannabinoid system, which plays a crucial role in regulating emotions, memory, and stress responses. Cannabis, with its active compounds THC and CBD, interacts with the endocannabinoid system, potentially providing therapeutic effects for PTSD patients.

One of the primary benefits of cannabis strains for PTSD is their ability to reduce anxiety, a common symptom among sufferers. The relaxing effects of certain strains can help calm the mind and alleviate feelings of hyperarousal. Additionally, cannabis may improve sleep patterns, addressing another significant issue faced by individuals with PTSD—disturbed sleep.

However, it’s essential to consider that using cannabis for treating PTSD is not without risks. Some individuals may experience increased anxiety or paranoia, especially with strains high in THC. Moreover, using cannabis as a treatment option should be approached with caution, and individuals should consult with healthcare professionals before starting.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Strains

Cannabis strains can be broadly categorized into Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid, each with distinct effects on the body and mind. Indica strains are known for their calming and relaxing properties, making them beneficial for anxiety relief and stress reduction. On the other hand, Sativa strains offer uplifting and energizing effects, potentially combating depression and fatigue associated with PTSD. Hybrid strains combine characteristics of both Indica and Sativa, providing a more balanced experience.

The cannabinoid content, specifically the THC to CBD ratio, plays a vital role in the strain’s effects on PTSD symptoms. Strains with higher CBD content may provide a more gentle psychoactive effect and are generally preferred by those who want to avoid intense intoxication. The terpene profile, responsible for the distinct aroma and flavor of each strain, also contributes to their potential therapeutic benefits.

Individual differences should be considered when selecting the best strain. Sensitivity to certain cannabinoids or terpenes may vary among individuals, and finding the right strain may involve some trial and error.

Best Cannabis Strains for PTSD

Indica Dominant Strains

Indica dominant strains, such as “Granddaddy Purple” and “Northern Lights,” are popular choices for PTSD patients seeking calming effects. These strains are known to induce relaxation and reduce anxiety, making them valuable tools in managing PTSD symptoms. Strains with a higher CBD to THC ratio, such as “Harlequin” or “ACDC,” may be particularly beneficial for those seeking anxiety relief without strong psychoactive effects. However, it’s essential to be mindful of potential sedation or lethargy associated with some Indica strains.

Sativa Dominant Strains

Sativa dominant strains like “Green Crack” and “Sour Diesel” are recognized for their mood-elevating properties and may help combat depression symptoms. These strains are generally associated with increased energy levels and improved focus, which can be beneficial for individuals experiencing fatigue due to PTSD. However, some individuals may experience heightened anxiety or overstimulation with Sativa strains, so finding the right dosage and strain is crucial.

Hybrid Strains

Hybrid strains offer a balanced combination of calming and uplifting effects, making them suitable for a broader range of PTSD symptoms. Strains like “Blue Dream” and “Girl Scout Cookies” are well-known hybrids that provide both physical relaxation and mental clarity. These strains may be an excellent option for individuals seeking a middle ground between the effects of Indica and Sativa strains. However, due to the variability of Hybrid strains, it’s essential for users to experiment and find the right balance that works for them.

Cannabis can be consumed through various methods, each with its pros and cons for managing PTSD symptoms.

Smoking and Vaping

Smoking or vaping cannabis offers a rapid onset of effects, allowing for easy dose control. For PTSD patients seeking immediate relief, these methods can be beneficial. However, it’s essential to be cautious about inhaling smoke, as it may irritate the lungs and pose potential health risks. Using high-quality products and clean smoking or vaping devices is crucial for safety.

Edibles and Oils

Edibles and oils provide longer-lasting effects, making them suitable for managing symptoms throughout the day or night. However, the onset of effects can be delayed, requiring patience when consuming. Accurate dosing is vital with edibles, as overconsumption can lead to unpleasant experiences and may exacerbate anxiety or other symptoms.


Tinctures offer a sublingual administration method, providing relatively quick onset of effects. They also allow for precise dosing, making them ideal for individuals who need careful control over their cannabis intake. However, users should be aware of potential allergic reactions to carrier oils and consider the taste of tinctures when choosing this consumption method.


The use of cannabis strains for PTSD treatment shows promise in alleviating symptoms and improving the quality of life for patients. However, it’s crucial to consider individual sensitivities, consult with healthcare professionals, and approach cannabis use responsibly. By understanding the potential benefits and drawbacks of different strains and consumption methods, individuals with PTSD can find the best strain that suits their unique needs and preferences. With proper guidance and care, medical marijuana may provide much-needed relief and support for those battling post-traumatic stress disorder.