Medicinal Marijuana’s Positive Effect on PTSD

There are about 100,000 veterans in the great state of Montana. And with a population of just 1 million people, that’s nearly 10% of our state. There are many factors that make returning home an adjustment for service men and women. While some of these are minor, others are severe and often debilitating to their quality of life.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that PTSD afflicts:

31 percent of Vietnam veterans

10 percent of Gulf War (Desert Storm) veterans

11 percent of veterans of the war in Afghanistan

Veterans are one of the core groups of those who suffer from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). PTSD is a mental health condition triggered by a terrifying event, whether that event is being experienced or witnessed. Symptoms caused by PTSD often include flashbacks, nightmares, and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.

At Greener Pastures, we’re grateful for all those who have served in the military, which is why we are proud to share some of the medical advances taking place around medicinal marijuana and PTSD.

Recent studies have shown that medicinal marijuana may be a viable treatment when it comes to relieving the symptoms that veterans have suffered from for decades.

PTSD: How Fear Works in the Brain

To understand how medicinal marijuana relieves PTSD, you must first know what is happening in the brain of someone experiencing PTSD.

When an average person experiences something frightening, the brain’s “fear system” goes into overdrive. Your heart accelerates and pounds, you sweat, and your muscles contract. All of these are your brain’s way of signaling danger to your body. When the frightening event has passed, your fear system settles down and things go back to normal.

This isn’t the case for someone suffering from PTSD. When something frightening happens to them, their fear system goes haywire. Or, in more severe cases, a victim’s fear system will respond to triggers that remind them of the traumatic event. This could be anything from the sight of certain people, certain sounds, and even smell. When someone with PTSD’s fear system goes haywire, it cannot be modulated in the same way that the average brain can. That is without some assistance.

Cannabinoids Could Provide Relief

Research has shown that the body uses cannabinoids already in the brain to modulate the fear system and bring it back to even keel.

Cannabinoids are also found in THC, leading scientists to believe that medicinal marijuana may not only soothe symptoms of PTSD, but could prevent it, as well.

Medicinal marijuana is believed to be a valid treatment for PTSD due to the many symptoms within the illness that it can affect. These include:

  • Anxiety
  • Trouble falling asleep
  • Nightmares
  • Intense physical pain


Did you know: Doctors believe medicinal marijuana can reduce nightmares as it lessens the amount of REM sleep patients get? REM is the stage of sleep in which nightmares occur.

Did you know: Medicinal marijuana has an abundance of positive effects on those who suffer from intense or chronic pain? Check out our last post to see how.


At Greener Pastures, we believe in the chance to serve those who have served for us—some for years, some for a lifetime. As research continues, we look forward to even more answers for veterans or other victims of trauma who are suffering from PTSD.