Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, also known simply as PTSD, is a mental disorder categorized by a significant period of trauma in one’s life. This trauma is individual to the person, and can range anywhere from being in a war zone to surviving a car accident.
For those living with PTSD, the trauma remains with them for the rest of their lives with varying degrees of symptoms and triggers.
Common symptoms found in people with PTSD include panic attacks, flashbacks, depression, triggers, insomnia, and nightmares.
Unfortunately, while medication such as antidepressants can be used to aid some of these symptoms, often prescribed pills aren’t enough to lessen the harsh reality of living with PTSD.
While medication might not help the symptoms of PTSD, certain strains of cannabis are said to work wonders for people struggling with anxiety, productivity, and insomnia.
Each strain comes with its own side effects (positive and negative) to aid a variety of symptoms.
If you are interested in taking cannabis to aid your PTSD, whether in the form of smoking a joint or edibles, here are the best strains for PTSD.
1. Pineapple Express
- Type: Sativa-dominant hybrid
- THC: 22%
- CBD: 0.5-1.0%
Possibly one of the most famous cannabis strains in the world, the Pineapple Express strain is commonly used amongst people who deal with trauma and PTSD.
With a relatively high THC content, the strain is most popular for its uplifting and energizing effects that encourage a rush of productivity and a boosted mood.
For these reasons alone, Pineapple Express is ideal for people who struggle with symptoms of depression as a result of their PTSD.
For people with post traumatic stress disorder, it can be difficult to improve your mood after or shortly before experiencing a nasty flashback or panic attack.
Pineapple Express obviously won’t work to cure your trauma, but it provides the user with an uplifting yet relaxing boost to encourage them to get through the day.
This includes providing a sense of productivity to wash the dishes, go outside for a walk, and to even socialize with friends.
Pineapple Express is aptly named for its tropical-themed flavorings, with notes of citrus fruits, tangerine, apples, and a hint of pineapple. These flavors are detected on the inhale, while the exhalation tastes more woody and earth-like.
Aside from its energy-boosting properties, the Pineapple Express strain also works to relax the body and mind to improve sleep. Plus, it features antifungal and antibacterial benefits to improve digestion and the immune system.
2. Blueberry Kush
- Type: Indica hybrid
- THC: 19-23%
- CBD: 0.36-0.65%
Often known as the “Ultimate Indica”, the Blueberry Kush strain is an entirely indica-derived cannabis strain.
While this means that the lack of sativa won’t help to improve productivity or energy levels, Blueberry Kush is ideal for those who struggle to fall (or stay) asleep.
Native to Oregon, Blueberry Kush is most notable for its full-body high, which essentially knocks the user out into a deep slumber.
It’s not the type of strain to consume during the day if you have plans, which is why it is most commonly used at nighttime. The user’s body will go tingly and slightly numb, while the mind drifts into a state of total relaxation.
However, due to the strength of the strain, those with a low THC tolerance should take this strain in small amounts to feel the wonderful effects without immediately falling asleep.
As the name suggests, Blueberry Kush features a distinctive blueberry-like flavor, with hints of other fresh fruits mixed with the classic earthy tone of most indica strains. Once exhaled, the strain leaves a lingering lemon-like zing on the lips.
Due to its heavy full-body relaxation effects, Blueberry Kush is commonly used by people experiencing pain, depression, PTSD, chronic pain, arthritis, and other diseases as a form of pain-relief.
As it’s very difficult for people with PTSD (along with other mental illnesses) to turn off their minds and focus on resting their body, Blueberry Kush is the ideal way to temporarily block out those dark, traumatic thoughts.
- Type: Sativa-dominant
- THC: 0.5-1.5%
- CBD: 14-24%
ACDC is a peculiar cannabis strain for its high CBD content that massively outweighs the THC content, making it ideal for those with a low THC tolerance.
This also means that ACDC doesn’t technically make the user high, as the lack of THC makes for little psychoactive effects. Instead, the ACDC strain works to calm the mind and soothe the body without intoxicating the user.
ACDC is most commonly used by people who require a healthier, positive mindset when tackling daily activities. As it won’t intoxicate the user, it can be consumed during the day.
This is most ideal for those with anxiety and PTSD who might find the psychoactive effects of cannabis to be too overwhelming and paranoia-inducing to complete daily tasks.
While it won’t completely block out flashbacks and triggers, ACDC should work to clear the mind enough for the user to think rationally and with a positive, relaxed mindset.
The ACDC strain features a light citrus flavor mixed with the distinctive cannabis earth-like tones and a matching aroma. There are few negative side effects to this strain as a result of the limited THC content, but some users may experience the classic side effects of dry eyes and cottonmouth.
4. OG Kush
- Type: Indica-dominant hybrid
- THC: 16-24%
- CBD: 0.10-1.0%
Also known as “Premium OG Kush”, OG Kush is an indica-dominant strain with a high THC content suitable for people who enjoy a mellow buzz.
This strain was originally created in California during the early 90s from a combination of strains and plants, resulting in a unique aroma and flavor consisting of diesel tones matched with hints of lemon, pine, and spice.
Due to its high THC content, OG Kush is an ideal strain for people who struggle to sleep as a symptom of their PTSD. Flashbacks can often appear before or during the night for some people with particular traumas and triggers, resulting in insomnia and fatigue. T
he high indica content targets the endocannabinoid system to make the user relaxed, uplifted, and sleepy – which is why it’s best to consume OG Kush at nighttime to encourage the user to drift into a heavy sleep.
The unique combination of an uplifted mood matched with a full-body relaxation is also known as a mix of cerebral and couchlock.
For those intrigued by the name of the strain, OG Kush allegedly stands for either “Original Gangster”, “Ocean Grown”, or “Original Grown” depending on the grower’s opinion.
5. Blue Cheese
- Type: Indica-dominant
- THC: 15-20%
- CBD: 0.5-1.2%
Despite its somewhat unappealing name, the Blue Cheese strain is ideal for people with an array of mental illnesses, including PTSD, bipolar disorder, and anxiety. This is an indica-dominant hybrid that provides the user with a full-body relaxation.
As some of the most common symptoms of PTSD are panic attacks, headaches, chest pain, tension, and even digestive issues, the full-body relaxation experience provided by Blue Cheese can help to relieve the user of these pains.
As the name aptly describes, the Blue Cheese strain features a unique flavor, mixing the hues of blue cheese with the sweet, tartness of berries. It’s creamy and potentially not to everybody’s taste, but the side effects outweigh the flavor.
With the ability to relieve the user of tension, muscle spasms, and overall discomfort and pain, Blue Cheese is a good option for those with PTSD from an injury, such as a car accident, experience in a war zone, or a health-related trauma.
For those with a fairly high THC tolerance, Blue Cheese can be consumed during the day to relieve the user of pain to complete daily tasks.
However, if you have a low THC tolerance, it is recommended taking small doses of Blue Cheese, or perhaps consuming it at nighttime to allow your body to fall into a deep slumber.
6. Grand Daddy Purple
- Type: Indica-dominant
- THC: 18-23%
- CBD: 0.5-1.0%
The Grand Daddy Purple strain is a fairly potent strain (with some buds reaching a THC level of 32%!) that is most suitable for users with a high THC tolerance who struggle with the symptoms of PTSD.
Its high indica and THC content means that Grand Daddy Purple has the ability to melt away the user into a deep slumber free from interruptions.
This means that if you have previously tried using cannabis strains to treat your PTSD and you’re looking for something a bit stronger, Grand Daddy Purple is your best bet.
This strain offers a surprisingly tasty flavor, featuring tones of berries, grapes, and other sweet fruits on both the inhale and exhale.
On the exhalation, users are more likely to experience hints of spice and herbs, which also helps to put the user into a sedative state.
Aside from its ability to encourage sleep, Grand Daddy Purple is also great for creating a positive and uplifting mood that leaves the user feeling mellow and relaxed.
However, due to its strength, Grand Daddy Purple can result in head rush, dizziness, headaches, nausea, and paranoia for users with a low THC tolerance.