* What is PTSD
* PTSD and Veterans
* How PTSD Hurts Relationships
* Living with PTSD
* Can Cannabis Help with PTSD?
* Forms of Cannabis for people who have PTSD.
Continued Part 3
Cannabis and VA
The VA's website labels marijuana use as harmful to veterans. "Marijuana use for medical conditions is an issue of growing concern," the VA states.
"Controlled studies have not been conducted to evaluate the safety or effectiveness of medical marijuana for PTSD. Thus, there is no evidence at this time that marijuana is an effective treatment for PTSD," the VA website notes.
Despite the denial of VA, the growing awareness about the medicinal properties of cannabis is turning the tide nationally. As a result, the acceptance of cannabis has dramatically increased.
Now veterans nationwide are using cannabis to deal with their PTSD symptoms such as anxiety and depression.
As a result, veterans overwhelmingly support the use of cannabis to treat PTSD-related issues among veterans.
A survey conducted in 2017 found 92 percent of veterans supported research into medical cannabis while 83 percent support legalizing medical cannabis.
Cannabis and veteran groups
The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) is the country's largest veterans service organization for post-9/11 war veterans. A most recent survey by the group shows one in every five veterans use medical marijuana. Still, fewer than one-third of them mentioned this to their doctors.
According to Lindsay Rodman, a marine veteran who served in Afghanistan and is now executive vice president of communications and legal strategy at IAVA, veterans fear reprisals at VA and in the workforce. They tend to hide their cannabis use.
"We have found anecdotally that in parts of the country where the use of cannabis is less stigmatized, such as San Francisco, they can have an open conversation with the VA physicians," Rodman told Healthline. "But in parts of the country where it is still illegal, such as Georgia, providers are more skeptical or judgmental and it shuts up the veteran, and then the veterans do not communicate openly with their provider, and that is dangerous."
Lamenting limited access to medicinal marijuana, Rodman notes, "I have a friend who is not a veteran and does not know too much about veteran issues, and he receives medical marijuana for his dog's anxiety," Rodman said. "He was shocked when I told him that while he can get medicinal marijuana for his dog, a veteran cannot get the same treatment at the VA."
Best Strains for Veterans with PTSD
Blue Dream is considered one of the best strains for PTSD. Blue Dream helps patients to reduce social anxiety, depression, and sadness. Blue Dream is famously chill and well known for the full-body unwinding it provides. Blue Dream also provides a feeling of a gentle cerebral invigoration that makes it perfect for a wake-and-bake. Because Blue Dream relaxes without turning someone lazy make this strain ideal for PTSD sufferers. Many agree Blue Dream is one of the best strains for managing PTSD symptoms.
Critical Mass proves to be an excellent relaxant. Making Critical Mass an easy decision to consider when you are in for a chill night. Critical Mass is quite complex on the body, so it's probably a good idea to not operate heavy equipment and enjoy the ride. Critical Mass is also known to make you sleepy, so it can also help manage sleep disorders. This hybrid strain is considered one of the best strains for PTSD patients.
OG Kush has become a go-to strain since its introduction in the 1990s. The exact origin of this cannabis strain may be a mystery, but its benefits for PTSD are well known. OG Kush is more head-focused when it activates. Users describe OG Kush as starting with a sudden head-rush that focuses you more on surroundings. Sounds and colors even may seem intensified. OG Kush's cerebral focus gives way to a general uplift in mood that progresses towards euphoria. The increase in focus is not as cerebral as with a pure sativa. Which means that unlike with consuming pure sativas, smokers will not suffer from ordinary disorienting senses such as rapid thought association or "mind race." It's also a great way to enhance activities like video games, exercise, and sex.
Warning - With higher dosages, OG Kush has the potential to make users feel paranoid.
The preliminary research into the effects of cannabis on PTSD shows the natural drug can effectively help address PTSD symptoms. Moreover, various anecdotal accounts state that US war veterans use medical marijuana to relieve their PTSD-related symptoms.
But VA still labels marijuana use as illegal. It discourages veterans from openly talking about their use of medical cannabis. Several veteran groups are campaigning for a change in attitude towards medical marijuana. They stress VA should allow veterans to get treatment beyond prescription drugs and opiates.
Alternative medication approaches like acupuncture, yoga practices, and elective drugs such as ketamine, psilocybin mushrooms, or ecstasy, are sometimes used. However, more and more researchers are confirming that the best course of all might be cannabis.