Mental Health Awareness Month: Medical Marijuana for PTSD

Mental Health Awareness Month: Medical Marijuana for PTSD
Mental Health Awareness Month: Medical Marijuana for PTSD


Mental health is often stigmatized and overlooked as a medical condition but plays a vital role in overall health and happiness. For that reason, The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recognizes the month of May as Mental Health Awareness Month.  

In Texas, over 2 million people have been diagnosed with PTSD. Under the Compassionate Use Program, Texans with PTSD qualify for medical cannabis treatment.  

What is PTSD?  

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is characterized by poor adaptation to a traumatic event, series of events or set of circumstances. Most people who experience trauma will recover from symptoms but those who continue to experience it may be diagnosed with PTSD.  

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)

PTSD has been a qualifying condition for the Texas Compassionate Use Program since 2021 and extends beyond veterans to any Texan with PTSD. Treatment for PTSD often includes psychotherapy and pharmaceuticals and PTSD patients in Texas now have access to medical marijuana as a treatment option.  

Can Medical Marijuana Help PTSD and Mental Health?  

Recent research suggests that medical cannabis may reduce amygdala activity and could be a viable option for PTSD'. A 2023 study of treatment-resistant combat PTSD findings shows an overall improvement in sleep quality and duration and a decrease in PTSD symptoms. According to the PDS questionnaire, there was a reduction of at least 20% in PTSD symptoms in over 65% of patients, with nearly 80% showing improvement. 

In another study, 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.

Does PTSD Qualify for Medical Marijuana in Texas? 

Yes, PTSD is a qualifying condition for medical marijuana in Texas. PTSD patients can talk to a registered physician to get a prescription for medical marijuana. Some of the medication options for patients with PTSD include:   

  • Tinctures - This is an oral ingestion method that involves administering medical marijuana in an oil-based form under the tongue. This allows it to be absorbed sublingually into your bloodstream.  
  • Edibles - Edibles offer an oral method of ingesting medical marijuana. As this method entails consuming the medicine, it may take an hour or more for the full effects to be felt. Texas Original offers fast-acting gummies that may offer a quicker onset. 
  • Beverages - Beverages offer simple dosing for THC products.  

Click the button below to learn more and find a physician registered in the medical marijuana program.