Doctors of Natural Medicine

How Medical marijuana Can Help Veterans To Deal With PTSD

The use of cannabis to treat various medical ailments is a topic that is garnering an increasing amount of interest and concern. Medical marijuana for veterans with PTSD has been a major talking point, as their are many reports of people helping their condition by using cannabis. Additionally the use of cannabis for treating PTSD has been officially approved for usage in several states.

medical marijuana for veterans with PTSD

What we know about Benefits of using Medical Marijuana as a treatment for PTSD?

Unfortunately, the research conducted on medical marijuana for veterans with PTSD does not support using cannabis as an effective treatment for PTSD. Several studies suggest that using cannabis can be hazardous, particularly for extended periods. Because of these risks, medical professionals do not currently suggest cannabis as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Nevertheless, medical marijuana for veterans with PTSD and paranoia is still being researched, and the persistence seems to be paying off. In one study, patients with PTSD claimed the severity of their symptoms lessened after one year of cannabis use.

So, what are the ways veterans can use medical marijuana for their PTSD, and what makes it good enough that veterans still use it to soothe this terrible condition?

How PTSD Affect The Body?

Knowledge of a few fundamental features of the stress response is necessary for understanding why so many veterans with PTSD benefit from cannabis and some of the limitations to this usefulness.

The amygdala signals the body to either “fight or flight” when threatened. In this state, the body’s resources are prioritized for use during a fight or flight, meaning that processes like digestion get put on hold. The amygdala does all this by setting off a chain reaction of stress hormones and stimulating the sympathetic nervous system.

The procedure may be difficult to understand, but the result is clear: Adrenaline gets released from the adrenal glands, which causes the heart rate to elevate. This release can cause a startle and cold hands before we know the impending danger.

The stress hormone cortisol is produced mostly by the adrenal glands. Cortisol increases sugar in the blood, giving you more stamina and making your body more ready to recover from injuries. In most cases, the body’s stress response will end by itself. With all its hormonal repercussions, the fight-or-flight response can get set off by the sudden panic that we neglected to mail our income tax return on time. In contrast, the neurological and hormonal panic response immediately subsides once we recall that we sent it yesterday.

On the other hand, normal self-limiting influences get overcome when the stress response is as severe and continuous as it is in battle conditions. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a real possibility in these scenarios. When someone has PTSD, even small or tangential reminders of the traumatic event might trigger a full-blown stress response.

3 Reasons Medical Cannabis May Be Beneficial For Veterans

The effects of cannabis on PTSD

A person with PTSD has an amygdala that is constantly on high alert, ready to launch into fight or flight mode at the slightest reminder of the traumatic event. Research studies have demonstrated that marijuana rapidly reduces amygdala neuronal activity. As most people with PTSD report feeling better after using cannabis, many believe this drug can alleviate symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

How Veterans Use Cannabis to Manage PTSD

If you are considering trying cannabis for this purpose, you may be wondering: What are the ways veterans can use medical marijuana for their PTSD?

Fortunately, the method of use is preferential. Cannabis comes in many forms. There are edibles where the effects take longer to kick in, but they last for longer. There are also tinctures, which work quicker than edibles but don’t typically last as long. And, of course, there is the time-honored tradition of smoking cannabis.

But what are the most common ways veterans use medical marijuana for PTSD? According to a 2020 survey, the most common method of using marijuana is smoking it. However, when it comes to cannabis, should you choose to partake, it is wise to find the method of use that makes you most comfortable, especially when using it to manage PTSD.

Treatment Options For PTSD And Marijuana Use

So what are the most common effective ways veterans can use medical marijuana for PTSD? Those with post-traumatic stress disorder and a marijuana addiction should get help for both problems. Relapse to substance abuse or worsening mental health issues may result from focusing on one disorder. PTSD does not typically get treated with medical marijuana alone. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are standard treatments for PTSD.

Exposure therapy and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing are two more forms of psychotherapy that have shown promise in treating post-traumatic stress disorder. To help with stress and worry, some people turn to anti-anxiety drugs. Although, you must remember that Xanax and other anti-anxiety medications can be very addictive.


If you are considering using medical marijuana for any reason it is always best to consult a doctor first.

Want to learn more? Read “3 Reasons Medical Cannabis May be Beneficial For Veterans” here!