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Preliminary, Open-Label, Pilot Study of Add-On Oral Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol in Chronic Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Abstract

Background and Objectives

Many patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) achieve but partial remission with current treatments. Patients with unremitted PTSD show high rates of substance abuse. Marijuana is often used as compassion add-on therapy for treatment-resistant PTSD. This open-label study evaluates the tolerance and safety of orally absorbable Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) for chronic PTSD.

Methods

Ten outpatients with chronic PTSD, on stable medication, received 5 mg of Δ9-THC twice a day as add-on treatment.

Results

There were mild adverse effects in three patients, none of which led to treatment discontinuation. The intervention caused a statistically significant improvement in global symptom severity, sleep quality, frequency of nightmares, and PTSD hyperarousal symptoms.

Conclusions

Orally absorbable Δ9-THC was safe and well tolerated by patients with chronic PTSD.

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Acknowledgments

Raphael Mechoulam has consulted to GW Pharmaceuticals, UK.

Author information

Correspondence to Pablo Roitman.

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Roitman, P., Mechoulam, R., Cooper-Kazaz, R. et al. Preliminary, Open-Label, Pilot Study of Add-On Oral Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol in Chronic Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Clin Drug Investig 34, 587–591 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40261-014-0212-3

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Keywords

  • Sleep Quality
  • Ptsd Symptom
  • Duloxetine
  • Anandamide
  • Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index