The effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) vary by person. The symptoms of PTSD can last for several months or can become chronic. 

Veterans aren’t the only ones who suffer from PTSD, traumatic events—abuse, car accidents and natural disasters can trigger it. 

Treatment for PTSD often includes psychotherapy and pharmaceuticals. However, PTSD patients in Texas now have another treatment option after HB 1535 made PTSD an eligible condition for medical marijuana. PTSD patients can talk to a registered physician to get a prescription.

What is PTSD?

PTSD is a neurological condition and a debilitating mental health problem. PTSD can develop in people who have experienced a shocking, scary or dangerous event. Most people who experience trauma will recover from symptoms but those who continue to experience it may be diagnosed with PTSD. This disorder can be debilitating because of its unpredictability, manifesting in flashbacks, sleep disruptions and emotional detachment.

PTSD symptoms vary by person. Symptoms may include:

  • Re-experiencing (flashbacks and nightmares)
  • Avoidance (avoiding physical objects or places, avoiding thoughts and feelings)
  • Arousal and reactivity symptoms (easily startled, tense, difficulty sleeping)
  • Cognition and mood (negative thoughts, loss of interest)

How Does Medical Marijuana Help PTSD?

Cannabinoids have been found to directly affect the brain and central nervous system, which may play a role in easing the symptoms of many neurological conditions. Medical marijuana has been shown to reduce PTSD symptoms, sleep disturbances and nightmares. 

Preliminary data suggests that THC can help reduce the excessive fear and anxiety faced by PTSD patients. In one randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, researchers studied the amygdala response in participants with PTSD. The amygdala is the part of the brain that responds to fear from threats. They found that THC lowered the threat-related amygdala reactivity. This study suggests that THC may be an advantageous treatment for stress and trauma-related psychopathology.

In another placebo-controlled study, researchers used a synthetic pharmaceutical form of THC called nabilone to study its effects on nightmares on Canadian military personnel with PTSD. These participants found relief using THC and showed a significant reduction in nightmares. Though these findings need to be replicated with a larger sample, this study has provided insight into the potential for medical cannabis to give PTSD patients relief.

Yes, medical marijuana is legal for qualifying conditions such as PTSD. Click the button below to schedule an appointment with a cannabis clinic to receive your prescription.