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Best Marijuana Strains for PTSD

different strains of cannabis

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition most frequently caused by a traumatic experience often following war. However, this medical condition can affect anyone who has experienced a traumatic event such as sexual assault, natural disaster, or childhood trauma.

Characterized by vivid flashbacks, nightmares, and often debilitating anxiety, PTSD can seriously hinder someone’s daily life. Group therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and lifestyle enhancements like meditation are non-pharmaceutical ways to treat PTSD.

Some patients are prescribed Zoloft, Prozac, or Paxil to manage their PTSD symptoms. Almost a third of veterans are also prescribed addictive sedatives despite lacking evidence for efficacy.

Medical cannabis may offer symptom relief for PTSD patients who have not found success with conventional medications. Veterans and other people experiencing PTSD have been using medical marijuana to treat their symptoms of depression, anxiety, and insomnia.

So, what are the best strains to try for PTSD as part of a medical marijuana treatment plan? Based on anecdotal evidence, here are seven of the best marijuana strains for PTSD:

  • OG Kush
  • Durban Poison
  • Jack Herer
  • Granddaddy Purple
  • Girl Scout Cookies (GSC)
  • Harlequin
  • Blue Dream

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Best Cannabis Strains for PTSD

Are some strains (cultivars) more effective than others for treating PTSD? Possibly, but for targeted symptom relief, it is more important to look at the plant’s chemical profile (i.e., what cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids it contains) and the method of ingestion rather than the name of the strain.

Finding the right cannabis strain can involve some trial and error. Though some strains are labeled sativa or indica, the majority of strains available on the market are hybrids.

However, many hybrid strains are either sativa-dominant or indica-dominant. Anecdotal reports suggest that sativa-dominant hybrid strains may produce unwanted side effects for some, such as paranoia.

Consumption Methods, Cannabinoids, and Terpenes for PTSD

Indica-dominant hybrid strains generally have a more relaxing effect. Strains with a high CBD content or other CBD products tend to have a calming effect and minimal psychoactive effects. However, some patients may need THC for symptom relief.

Some anecdotal reports also mention cannabis products with high CBN content are helpful for PTSD. Terpenes to look out for include caryophyllene, myrcene, and linalool.

When it comes to consumption methods, anecdotal reports from PTSD patients say that cannabis products, including edibles, transdermal patches, and extracts, are part of their consumption regimen. Ultimately, how marijuana use affects you will differ from person to person.

What works for one person does not necessarily work for another, though. It is usually better to be discerning and determine what cannabinoid, terpene, and flavonoid profile works best for you and at what dosage. You may even find several preferences for different times of the day.

It is important to note that one’s response to cannabis is highly individual, and you should consult with your healthcare provider before using medical marijuana for PTSD.

Download Our Free Guide to Cannabis and PTSD

OG Kush

A commonly mentioned cannabis strain that helps PTSD sufferers manage symptoms is OG Kush. This reputedly relaxing strain contains a high concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), clocking in at up to 25%. This high THC content makes OG Kush popular among experienced cannabis consumers.

If you’re new to cannabis or prone to anxiety, you should start low and slow with any strain, especially THC-rich ones like OG Kush, which have the potential for powerful psychotropic effects. Fans of OG Kush describe feelings of intense euphoria, and the strain may be best used in the evening, as people also report feeling in a dream-like state.

Durban Poison

Known for its energetic and creative effects, Durban Poison is a great strain for daytime use. Its cannabinoid profile contains around 18% THC and at least 1% CBG. Its dominant terpenes are terpinolene and myrcene. Medical patients use this strain for anxiety, depression, and stress.

Jack Herer

This strain also produces energetic and creative effects in users. Jack Herer’s dominant terpenes include terpinolene and caryophyllene. Its cannabinoid profile contains around 18% THC and at least 1% CBG. This strain is a popular choice for anxiety, depression, and stress.

Grandaddy Purple (GDP)

Grandaddy Purple is a strain popular for nighttime use due to its sleepy effects. Its dominant terpene is myrcene. Medical patients use GDP to combat pain, stress, insomnia, and appetite loss.

Girl Scout Cookies (GSC)

This strain has a high THC content, so it’s best to avoid it if high THC levels have a negative impact on symptom relief for you. Girl Scout Cookies (GSC) may be a good strain for daytime use due to its reported creative effects.

The dominant terpenes in GSC are caryophyllene and myrcene. Medical patients use this strain for chronic pain, nausea, and appetite loss.


Harlequin may be ideal for consumption during the day. This high-CBD strain has also been praised as suitablefor cannabis beginners. Harlequin has a fruity mango flavor profile, likely due to terpene myrcene.

Anecdotal reports suggest that people consume Harlequin for its pain-relieving and relaxing effects to treat anxiety, depression, and chronic pain. Harlequin has CBD levels similar to Cannatonic and is suitable for those who want a touch of THC but not too much.

Blue Dream

Blue Dream is notable as the most popular strain of medical marijuana and for a good reason. This THC-heavy strain (18%) has a comparatively small amount of CBD (2%) and is known for its balanced effects, both relaxing and uplifting.

Blue Dream is rich in myrcene and caryophyllene, which may contribute to this combined relaxing-uplifting effect. This combination can be helpful for someone whose PTSD symptoms include depression and anxiety.

A sweet but tart blueberry taste makes Blue Dream an attractive choice for many people.

The Bottom Line

PTSD is one of many qualifying conditions for accessing medical marijuana legally with a medical card. To find the best strain for PTSD symptoms, it’s important to seek professional medical advice from a healthcare professional and establish a treatment plan.

Reach out to the healthcare professionals at Leafwell to apply for your medical marijuana card online today.

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Published: November 2022

Updated: May 2024

Frequently Asked Questions

Is marijuana effective in the treatment of PTSD?

Marijuana may be an effective supplemental treatment for specific individuals with PTSD. Along with psychotherapy, stress management, and, in some cases, prescription medication, medical marijuana could help some people with PTSD feel better.

Can I use marijuana for PTSD if I'm taking an antidepressant?

Antidepressants and marijuana usually do not mix well, and combined use may increase the likelihood of adverse side effects. Speak with your doctor if you take an antidepressant or any other prescription medication and wish to use medical cannabis.

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