Cannabis & PTSD Treatment in Military Personnel & Veterans

Well-being, Health and Biomedical Discovery


Academic Unit:

Memorial Deadline: Inquire with RGCS

External Deadline: Thursday 6th, September 2018


The purpose of this directed funding opportunity is to support a clinical study designed to examine the efficacy and safety of cannabis as a mental and /or physical health intervention for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel and veterans.

PTSD is one of the most prevalent, chronic, and disabling disorders amongst veterans and active duty CAF personnel. A large proportion of individuals who experience PTSD symptoms in these populations do not seek treatment; and of those that do, many fail to fully respond to the treatments providedĀ or the available treatments provide only minimal benefit. Currently, cannabis is widely prescribed for a variety of medical conditions, however, scientific evidence substantiating the efficacy or safety of cannabis for PTSD treatment in Canadian military personnel and veterans is lacking.

Early clinical trial studies linking the cannabinoid receptors in the brain and PTSD support the idea that the cannabinoid system is a suitable target for PTSD treatment development. However, given that different strains of cannabis plants containing varying amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are used in the treatment of PTSD, this study will, in part, focus on assessing the efficacy and pharmacological properties of these compounds

In addition to cannabis having the potential to reduce PTSD symptoms, particularly anxious arousal, it may also help mitigate altered pain sensitivity and other comorbid disorders associated with military-related PTSD. A better understanding of the use of cannabis as an intervention to treat PTSD also has the potential to destigmatize the use of cannabis for medical purposes in this context and drastically improve mental health outcomes for CAF personnel and veterans.

For additional details on the program, please visit CIHR’s website.

Funding Sources

Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR)

This opportunity was posted by: RGCS

Last modified: August 9, 2018