Ohio recognizes Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a qualifying condition to obtain your medical cannabis card. For this week’s Mental Health Mondays, we will hear a patient’s firsthand experiences with how much getting their medical marijuana card helps them every single day with their PTSD. We’ll also take a walk through cultivar lane and chat about a few that some patients say they see good results with.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder 

When you think of PTSD, what normally comes to the brain are scenes of battle. Extreme conditions, in all ways and fashions. Accidents. Survival. 

We sometimes look over the idea that PTSD is so much more: Losing a loved one. Taking care of that loved one as they grow sick. Bullying that continues into a cycle of abuse. Abuse in all ways and fashions, including mental and emotional.

The U.S Department of Veterans Affairs estimates

  • Most people who go through a traumatic event will not develop PTSD.
  • About 6 out of every 100 people (or 6% of the U.S. population) will have PTSD at some point in their lives. Many people who have PTSD will recover and no longer meet diagnostic criteria for PTSD after treatment. 
  • About 5 out of every 100 adults (or 5%) in the U.S. has PTSD in any given year. In 2020, about 13 million Americans had PTSD.
  • Women are more likely to develop PTSD, with about 8 of every 100 women (or 8%) and 4 of every 100 men (or 4%).

Ohioans and Medical Cannabis

For Ohioans, medical cannabis became a reality September 8th, 2016 with the passing of House Bill 523. With the passing of this bill came the responsibility of choosing qualifying conditions. PTSD/anxiety was and still is the only mental health condition on the list. The state Pharmacy Board maintains there is not enough research backing other mental health conditions at this time. Petitions for new conditions may be submitted annually, typically beginning in November.

Meet Sarah! 

Sarah is a medical marijuana program patient from Parma, Ohio. Here’s a little bit about her journey:

How long have you had your Ohio Medical Marijuana card?

3 years, I became a patient in March 2020.

What kinds of products have you found work best for you? 

Personally I use concentrates (I prefer a good Rosin) and flower as my go to daily products to quiet my mind. However, on the harder days I tend to use Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) alongside of concentrates and Flower. This allows me to have relief in the moment and later when the RSO kicks in.

What are some things you’ve found help your mental health? 

In all honesty consuming alongside a friend while chatting has been VERY helpful for my mental health. Especially when it’s a patient that faces some of the same obstacles I do, mental health wise. Also, I’ve found consuming in nature or just while taking a walk can really help ease some of my PTSD related thoughts.

Are you currently in therapy of any kind for your PTSD? 

I am currently not in traditional therapy for my PTSD.

If comfortable, please tell me a little bit about yourself.

A little about me, I have lived through many traumatic experiences in my life. I had a lot of childhood trauma. Then, when I was 20 yrs old I lost the love of my life, my fiancée, that had been my best friend since the age of 12. I woke up to find he had passed away in his sleep right next to me due to his Epilepsy. I’ve struggled with Drug Addiction, mainly opiates and heroin, however I am 8 years clean now.

I also lost my Mother tragically. She was killed by a drunk driver 5 years ago. I have had no contact with my “father” since the age of 16 when I came to terms with all the toxicity and abuse I had suffered from him. I have a 7 yr old son who quite literally saved my life. The moment I found out I was pregnant I never touched drugs again.

I’ve struggled with mental health since I was 8 years old. I am diagnosed with Depression, anxiety, ADD/ADHD, and PTSD. I’ve never had a good experience with Big Pharma pharmaceuticals that have been prescribed for my mental health. Cannabis has helped me and continues to help me especially with my depression and PTSD.

Tell me something important to you about PTSD you’d like to share with other patients. 

Something important about PTSD is that it presents itself differently in people. For instance, a part of my PTSD is flashes of horrific events. So I can be driving and all of a sudden I will see a car or truck and my mind will play out getting into a car accident with them and everyone dying. I get flashes of images of this event happening in my mind.

Offer any insight into PTSD awareness and wellness practices you’d like. 🙂 

When it comes to PTSD awareness there’s 3 things I’d like to express. 1) PTSD and/or Depression (bc a lot of times they go hand in hand) is NOT laziness or an excuse. It’s also not the person’s fault. And 2) Always try to be kind to others because you have no idea what’s going on in the mind of another person or what they’ve lived through. And of course 3) Using Cannabis for PTSD can be very beneficial, it’s not a “cure all” but it can help tremendously along the way.

Thank you so much for sharing your story, Sarah! If you are a patient who would like to share your story, ideas or thoughts about mental health, please reach out

Cultivars to consider

As a PTSD patient myself, I have found that Sativas activate me too much. If I’m trying to calm my nervous system and relax, a head high is the very last thing I need. 

Some Indicas you can snag from an Ohio medical marijuana dispensary near you:

Apres by Klutch: This 23% Indica is packed with Myrcene and linalool. Grassy and earthy notes kept me grounded and relaxed.

Cold Snap by KlutchThis beautiful dark colored and vibrantly aromatic Indica certainly had me “in da couch”.

Harry’s Kush by FarmaceuticalRX:  A 22% cross strain of Fire Alien Kush and Blissful Wizard. Blissful was an understatement.

Lemon Dosidos by Galenas: A beautiful blend of limonene, linalool and myrcene, 24% and some CBD? What more could I ask for? 

Shine Flower from Rise dispensaries: Rise locations are offering $10 2.83g flower. They have a variety of indica and indica-hybrid flowers you can give a go! 

Garlic cookies Ice hash by Riviera Creek: Such a favorite of mine! I RUN to the dispensary every time I see it listed online.

Tally Mon Live Resin by Fireland Scientifics: When first getting my card, this was one of the first products I tried. After an hour and a half therapy session, I felt this product significantly improved my symptoms. 

Terms to think about:

The internet with all of its accessibility also gives us overstating of terms, thoughts and ideas. We may hear people overuse terms like “triggered” or “disassociate“ as its become trendy in today’s lingo. What do they actually refer to and when should we use these terms? 

Disassociation: When the stimulation around and within an individual causes them to no longer partake in the conversation or experience. They might be responding to you, however they’re not hearing, seeing or potentially absorbing the information. 

Triggered: A term used when a stimulant creates an extreme reaction, and quickly. For example, if you smelled lemons the day of a car accident, smelling lemons might trigger you. We’ll talk more about triggers in future articles.

Writing prompt for 5/29/23

When exploring my own mental health illness, I try as often as possible to stay mindful and in the moment. With PTSD/CPTSD, disassociating can be a survival tactic. Staying mindful might feel like a threat. There are a few things to consider when considering mindfulness. Write down any ideas/thoughts that pop up when you think about what dissociation looks like for you.

  • Am I aware of my own disassociative experiences?
  • What do they look like for me?
  • What are some ways (if any) I can be mindful in those moments? 
  • What are some tools I can take with me into these experiences (breathing, sensory) that will help ground me? 

For example: When I’m in spaces that make me feel unsafe, I begin to dissociate. I will attempt to focus less on what triggered me and more on what I can do to bring myself back to a base. 

I will begin to blink, breathe rhythmically in a 4/4 count style and count things I can see, taste, smell, hear and feel. I often go for a short walk to count to 100, when reaching 100 turning around and counting to 100 again. 

I recognize that these tools will not work every single time. I choose to use them anyway, in hopes to regulate my mind and nervous system. It does not say anything negatively about me as a human if I am not able to regulate myself perfectly every time. I am a human and not a machine. 

During the next Mental Health Mondays article, we will be discussing Bipolar Disorder I & II, chatting with a few patients about their cannabis use and sharing tools to support a loved one (or yourself) with bipolar disorder.

Thank you for reading! 


Editor’s Note: Nothing MedicateOH or our writers publish should be construed as medical advice. Please seek a licensed counselor if you’re struggling with your mental health. In case of emergency, make use of the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988 on your phone.


  • Marissa Kehres

    Marissa Kehres is a Cleveland School of Cannabis graduate and cannabis advocate. She works full time, with her hands in multiple industries. Her true passion falls to psychoactive studies, pivoting her into the graduate school limelight Fall ‘23.