Review: Cannabinoids Effective and Well-Tolerated in Patients with Post-Traumatic Stress

Saba, The Netherlands: The ingestion of cannabinoids and cannabinoid products is likely safe and effective in the mitigation of symptoms of post-traumatic stress (PTS), according to a review of the relevant clinical literature published in the Journal of Basic and Clinical Physiology and Pharmacology.

A pair of Dutch researchers reviewed data published within the past ten years assessing the use of cannabinoids in patients with PTS. Studies involved the administration of THC, plant-derived extracts, CBD, and/or synthetic cannabinoids.

They reported, “Cannabinoids were shown to improve overall PTSD symptoms, including sleep quality and quantity, hyperarousal, and treatment-resistant nightmares.”

Authors concluded: “Cannabinoids have been shown to be an effective treatment option for patients with PTSD. Besides aiding to relieve the symptoms and enhance extinction training, they also are relatively well tolerated.”

The study’s findings are consistent with prior scientific reviews, including one published in September in the journal BMC Psychiatry. More recently, the results of a longitudinal study – published in December – concluded that PTSD patients who consume state-licensed cannabis products exhibit reduced symptoms over time as compared to nonusers.

Other studies, however, have yielded mixed results. Specifically, observational trial data published in 2020 in the journal Psychological Medicine reported, “No evidence of improvement in PTSD-related intrusion symptoms or remission in PTSD diagnosis in association with long-term use of cannabis.”

Full text of the study, “Use of cannabinoids for the treatment of patients with post-traumatic stress disorder,” appears in the Journal of Basic and Clinical Physiology and Pharmacology. Additional information on cannabis and PTSD is available from NORML.