Medicinal Cannabis for PTSD: An Observational Study

About PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a treatable anxiety disorder affecting around one million Australians each year. It happens when fear, anxiety and memories of a traumatic event don’t go away. The feelings last for a long time and interfere with how people cope with everyday life.

Symptoms of PTSD can vary greatly, from subtle changes in day-to-day life, withdrawal and numbness, to distressing flashbacks or physical anxiety. The main symptoms of PTSD are:

  • re-experiencing the trauma through memories, nightmares or flashbacks
  • deliberately avoiding reminders of the trauma
  • negative thoughts and mood
  • being very alert and having a physical response to sudden changes that could be a sign of danger

PTSD can be a chronic and disabling condition, potentially having severe impact on individuals and their families. It can also lead to other conditions such as depression or substance abuse. However, with the right support and treatment, recovery is possible.

Medicinal Cannabis for PTSD:

Emerging evidence indicates medicinal cannabis may be suitable for PTSD, especially where patients are not responding to conventional physiological and pharmaceutical treatment. In Australia medicinal cannabis is only available for prescription by a Medical Doctor after TGA and state health authorities provide approval.

How will patients be involved in this study?

The study aims to study the role of high CBD, low THC medicinal cannabis in 300 patients affected with PTSD.  Patients eligible for the study will be given verbal and written information so that they may consider their participation in the study.  On agreeing to participate the patient will then be carefully assessed by a trained and experienced medical doctor for their suitability in the study.  All eligible patients will be monitored routinely for their condition and general health.

Consultations will be held in person where clinics are easily accessible to patients, otherwise tele-health facilities are available for patients.

The results of the study will be analysed and published at an appropriate time to build knowledge for medicinal cannabis use in this group of patients.  No personal information will be published. All personal information will be confidential and not shared with any third parties.

This study has been reviewed and approved by national regulatory authorities.

Patients will be treated exclusively through Cannabis Access Clinics with centres across Australia through a shared-care medical model. For eligible patients in remote or regional areas there will be the opportunity to use “Tele-Health” to participate.

Who is conducting the study?

Applied Cannabis Research, an Australian Contract Research Organisation currently undertaking a range of studies in the medicinal cannabis field, will conduct the study.

How do I register my interest?

Patients interested in participating in the study can ask their regular doctor for a referral to Cannabis Access Clinics for treatment via shared-care. For more information contact 1300 991 477 or visit the Cannabis Access Clinics website www.cannabisaccessclinics.com.au.

Other Resources:

Australian Resource Centre for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder:  https://www.arc4ptsd.org.au/

Cannabis Access Clinics: www.cannabisaccessclinics.com.au

RedSix, support for veterans: www.redsix.com.au

Emergency Numbers:

PTSD is a serious condition. If you are concerned for yourself or anyone you know please contact one of the emergency numbers below:

Emergency: 000
Lifeline Suicide Hot Line: 13 11 14
Suicide Callback Service: 1300 659 467
Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636
Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800