Cannabis Science

Best Weed for PTSD

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People turn to weed for a variety of ailments. Some swear by marijuana to relieve depression, migraines, and insomnia. While stoners may swear by marijuana for certain ailments, science sometimes isn’t too sure. We know more research is often needed to understand cannabis and its medicinal properties fully. However, many people are turning to a bong to alleviate symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), but is weed good for PTSD? If it is, you may want to know the best weed for PTSD. Here’s what we know. 

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Is Weed Good for PTSD?

There have been quite a few studies showing how weed can be great for people suffering from PTSD. But before we examine them, let’s chat a bit about this condition. 

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), PTSD is a disorder that develops after a traumatic, shocking, or dangerous experience or event. Not everyone who experiences these types of events gets PTSD. 

NIMH says some of the symptoms of PTSD are:

  • Bad dreams
  • Frightening thoughts
  • Staying away from places, events, or objects reminds you of the traumatic experience
  • Flashbacks
  • Feeling tense
  • Having angry outbursts
  • Being easily startled
  • Having difficulty sleeping
  • Trouble remembering key features of the traumatic event
  • Loss of interest in enjoyable activities
  • Distorted feelings like guilt or blame
  • Negative thoughts about oneself or the world

By just looking at the list, you can assume that weed could help alleviate some of these symptoms individually. For example, many stoners need a blunt to fall asleep. 

Now, let’s look at some of the studies that show that weed can be good for PTSD. A study published in 2020 found that in adults with PTSD, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) lowered threat-related amygdala reactivity. In case you’re wondering, the amygdala is the part of the brain responsible for emotions, emotional behavior, and motivation. 

A small 2014 study found that marijuana can help alleviate certain symptoms of PTSD. The study says, “The intervention caused a statistically significant improvement in global symptom severity, sleep quality, frequency of nightmares, and PTSD hyperarousal symptoms.”

In addition, a 2015 study on CBD could help reduce inflammation. You might be wondering what that has to do with PTSD. Well, according to a review, “anti-inflammatory agents can diminish PTSD features in an animal model, and in humans PTSD was accompanied by elevated circulating proinflammatory cytokines.”

Can Marijuana Make PTSD Worse?

Everybody reacts differently to substances. So, while weed may help some people with PTSD, others may have the opposite effect. A study found that marijuana abuse coupled with PTSD led to a worsening of symptoms. 

For some stoners, weed may actually make you more anxious. If that sounds like you, you may need to get a weed strain with a lower concentration of THC and higher CBD. Many stoners say that delta 8 THC doesn’t make them as nervous as delta 9 THC. 

In addition to that, according to the Recovery Village, weed doesn’t actually cure PTSD. As a matter of fact, there is a chance that using weed for PTSD can cause overdependence. Recovery Village says, “self-medicating with marijuana can lead to drug dependence or addiction.”

If weed doesn’t seem to help your PTSD, even as a stoner who uses weed for other things, you have other options! As a matter of fact, according to The Recovery Village, weed alone isn’t used to treat PTSD. They suggest using cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) In addition to those treatment options, other types of therapy and medication may be explored. 

NIMH also suggests:

  • Talking to trusted friends and family members
  • Joining a support group
  • Getting a positive coping strategy
  • Learning how to act and respond effectively while fearful
  • Learning to feel good about your own action while in danger

Best Weed Strains for PTSD

The best weed strains for PTSD depend on your individual needs. In addition to that, what may work for you, may not work for someone else. 

Therefore, using weed to treat ailments usually involves a bit of trial and error. Try and find out the cannabinoid concentration and terpene profile of the ones that work for you and make a note of it.

Just to be clear, the weed strains we’re about to recommend are not scientifically proven to alleviate or cure PTSD. However, anecdotal evidence suggests they could   Here are five of the best weed strains for PTSD.

Palm Tree CBD

Palm Tree CBD is a recommended strain for relaxation and stress relief. Even though it’s high in CBD, it can give you a satisfying high. According to Wikileaf, you can expect to be euphoric and tingly after using this strain.

However, this is not an energizing strain, so it can’t replace your morning cup of coffee. Wikileaf says, “Through your hazy and happy experience, you’ll start to feel increasingly sedated and might likely end up falling asleep when all is said and done.”

This is perfect for people with PTSD who need help relaxing or suffer from insomnia. The fact that it’s high in CBD could also reduce the chances that they’ll feel anxious. 

Bubba’s Gift

If you’re looking for a weed strain that will uplift your mind, this Indica strain may be right for you. It could work for PTSD because it may be able to dampen some of the negative thoughts you’re having. In addition to that, it relaxes your body, and PTSD is known to make people tense. This strain is a mix between Bubba Kush and God’s Gift and is described as fruity and sweet. 

Reggae Cowboy

If you’re looking for a calming and uplifting high, Reggae Cowboy is the strain for you. The high first starts as a tingling sensation and then melts in a sedative state. It’s known for alleviating depressive symptoms, stress, and even insomnia. However, the THC content of this strain is 23%, so it’s not ideal for beginners. 

Dreamy Widow

Dreamy Widow may be a strain for you if you’re prone to nightmares, whether due to your PTSD or otherwise. According to Cannabis Seeds Store, Dreamy Widow is a hybrid of blue dream and blue widow. 

They also said you can expect a “heavy body high and great relaxation; in higher doses, it may lead to drowsiness and certainly helps as a sleeping aid.” However, it can definitely give you great results in lower doses which may be more appropriate for others. 

Ice Cream Cake

Ice Cream Cake is another strain of weed that is known to provide relaxation effects. Healthline states Ice Cream Cake is a mix of Indica cross between Wedding Cake and Gelato #33.  

In case you’re wondering, Indica strains are pretty popular for sleep and relaxation. 

Ice Cream Cake is another THC-dominant strain. Healthline says it typically has between 20-25% THC and less than 1% CBD. However, the general consensus was that it was very relaxing. 


There is some evidence that shows weed alleviates symptoms of PTSD. While weed may not be the only treatment required, it could provide some relief, especially by eliminating insomnia and providing relaxation. The best weed for PTSD isn’t a singular type or strain; it’s simply whichever one works for you and your symptoms. However, we provide some strains excellent for relaxation and sedation, which can be just what someone with PTSD may need.  


About Trevann

Trevann is Stoner Rotation’s Jamaica-based lead writer for the Science section of our cannabis blog. She graduated with honors receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biology from the University of West Indies, Mona. For the last three years, she has covered some of the biggest questions around cannabis and health underpinned with research from supporting studies, medical journals and scholarly articles. Got something on your mind? You can reach her at [email protected].