Condition Overview

Post-traumatic-stress-disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety condition afflicting more than 7 million people in the United States. While war veterans are likely candidates to develop PTSD, any person who experiences a highly stressful, traumatic, life-threatening or otherwise catastrophic event may develop this psychologically crippling condition. Up to 20 percent of military men and women returning from combat in Iraq or Afghanistan are estimated to be suffering from PTSD.

Symptoms of PTSD fall into three categories:  re-experiencing, avoidance and hyperarousal (flashbacks, social isolation and insomnia).  Suicidal thoughts are also common. Sadly, a report from the Department of Veterans Affairsin 2014 stated that an average of 22 American veterans take their own lives every day after returning home from service. Nearly all of these veterans suffer from PTSD or have traumatic brain injuries.

Real Life Stories

When Matt Kahl returned from active duty in Afghanistan in 2009, he had all the classic symptoms of PTSD — flashbacks, hypervigilance, sleeplessness, alcohol abuse, social isolation — and the prescribed painkillers, anti-anxiety drugs and sleep medications he was taking weren’t helping. By 2013, he had already attempted suicide twice and was on the brink of kidney and liver failure, when he decided to try medical marijuana. “Almost instantaneously, I recognized it could help,” he says. “It was the first time I was able to relax.”


Cannabis species and cannabinoid concentration preference among sleep-disturbed medicinal cannabis users

Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol alone and combined with cannabidiol mitigate fear memory through reconsolidation disruption

Elevated brain cannabinoid CB1 receptor availability in post-traumatic stress disorder: a positron emission tomography study

Cannabis use among military veterans after residential treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder

Interesting Fact

Medical marijuana can treat the entire spectrum of PTSD symptoms, reducing the need for pharmaceutical prescriptions, according to Dr. Sisley, a PTSD expert and researcher.