CBD and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Peer-reviewed studies into the potential effects of Cannabidiol and PTSD

On this page, CBD and PTSD, you will find research pertaining to the use of Cannabidiol and Cannabinoids and its possible effects on PTSD. The information below is not meant to influence your opinion, but rather give you access to a wealth of scientific literature in an attempt to make and educated and informed choice. Click Here to see all of the conditions that have been researched alongside CBD and PTSD.

Article: The endocannabinoid system provides an avenue for evidence-based treatment development for PTSD.

From the article:

Manipulation of the endogenous cannabinoid (eCB) system with its two components, anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachinodoyl-glycerol (2-AG), has become a major focus or recent research, especially in the search for novel therapeutics that promote neurogenesis in diseases that are associated with anxiety and deficits in fear extinction, two defining features of PTSD.

Effectiveness of Cannabidiol Oil for Pediatric Anxiety and Insomnia as Part of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Case Report

From the abstract:

Anxiety and sleep disorders are often the result of posttraumatic stress disorder and can contribute to an impaired ability to focus and to demonstration of oppositional behaviors..Cannabidiol oil, an increasingly popular treatment of anxiety and sleep issues, has been documented as being an effective alternative to pharmaceutical medications. This case study provides clinical data that support the use of cannabidiol oil as a safe treatment for reducing anxiety and improving sleep in a young girl with posttraumatic stress disorder.


Reduction in circulating endocannabinoid levels in individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder following exposure to the World Trade Center attacks.

From the abstract:

Endocannabinoid (eCB) signaling has been identified as a modulator of adaptation to stress, and is integral to basal and stress-induced glucocorticoid regulation. Furthermore, interactions between eCBs and glucocorticoids have been shown to be necessary for the regulation of emotional memories, suggesting that eCB function may relate to the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)..these data support the hypothesis that deficient eCB signaling may be a component of the glucocorticoid dysregulation associated with PTSD.

Enhancing cannabinoid neurotransmission augments the extinction of conditioned fear.  

From the abstract:

The endogenous cannabinoid (eCB) system represents a major therapeutic target for the treatment of a variety of anxiety-related disorders. A recent study has demonstrated that pharmacologic or genetic disruption of CB1-receptor-mediated neurotransmission decreases the extinction of conditioned fear in mice... results demonstrate that the eCB system can be modulated to enhance emotional learning, and suggest that eCB modulators may be therapeutically useful as adjuncts for exposure-based psychotherapies such as those used to treat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and other anxiety disorders.

Cannabidiol blocks long-lasting behavioral consequences of predator threat stress: possible involvement of 5HT1A receptors.

From the abstract:

The present study investigated the anti-anxiety actions of CBD administration in a model of PTSD..Repeated CBD administration prevents the long-lasting anxiogenic effects observed after predator exposure probably by facilitating 5HT1A receptors neurotransmission. Our results suggest that CBD has beneficial potential for PTSD treatment and that 5HT1A receptors could be a therapeutic target in this disorder.

Stress switches cannabinoid type-1 (CB1) receptor-dependent plasticity from LTD to LTP in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST).

From the abstract:

Local blockade of CB1 receptors (CB1-R) in the anterior portion of the BNST and the use of mutant mice bearing a selective deletion of CB1-Rs in cortical glutamatergic neurons indicated that stress-elicited [long to potentiation (LTP)] involved CB1-Rs located on aBNST excitatory terminals. These results show that acute stress reverts [long term depression] into LTP in the aBNST and that the endocannabinoid system plays a key role therein.

Mitigation of post-traumatic stress symptoms by Cannabis resin: a review of the clinical and neurobiological evidence.

From the abstract:

This review presents a case report of a 19-year-old male patient with a spectrum of severe PTSD symptoms, such as intense flashbacks, panic attacks, and self-mutilation, who discovered that some of his major symptoms were dramatically reduced by smoking cannabis resin..Evidence is increasingly accumulating that cannabinoids might play a role in fear extinction and antidepressive effects.

Cannabinoid modulation of fear extinction brain circuits: a novel target to advance anxiety treatment. 

From the abstract:

Anxiety disorders, such as post-traumatic stress (PTSD), panic, and phobic disorders, can be conceptualized as a failure to inhibit inappropriate fear responses. A common, effective treatment strategy involves repeated presentations to the feared cue without any danger (extinction)... Collectively, translational evidence suggest that enhancing cannabinoid transmission may facilitate extinction learning and its recall, and that the cannabinoid system is a potential pharmacological target for improving the active learning that occurs during exposure-based behavioral treatments prompting future research…

The endocannabinoid system and extinction learning. 

From the abstract:

The endocannabinoid system has emerged as a versatile neuromodulatory system, implicated in a plethora of physiological and pathophysiological processes..As several human psychiatric disorders, such as phobia, generalized anxiety disorders, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) appear to involve aberrant memory processing and impaired adaptation to changed environmental conditions, the hope has been fuelled that the endocannabinoid system might be a valuable therapeutic target for the treatment of these disorders. This review summarizes the current data on the role of the endocannabinoid system in the modulation of extinction learning.

A current overview of cannabinoids and glucocorticoids in facilitating extinction of aversive memories: potential extinction enhancers.

From the abstract:

The simplest form of regulation of emotional responses is extinction, in which the conditioned response to a stimulus decreases when reinforcement (stimulus) is omitted..The purpose of this review is to briefly outline the animal models of fear extinction and to describe how these have been used to examine the potential of extinction enhancing agents which specifically alter the [endocannabinoid] and glucocorticoid systems. Pharmacological manipulations of these systems by agents such as cannabinoid or glucocorticoid agonists can enhance the extinction process and avoid the retention of memories which have the potential to trigger trauma.

Cannabinoids and traumatic stress modulation of contextual fear extinction and GR expression in the amygdala-hippocampal-prefrontal circuit.

From the abstract:

Considerable evidence suggests that cannabinoids modulate the behavioral and physiological response to stressful events..Cannabinoid receptor activation in the aftermath of trauma exposure may regulate the emotional response to the trauma and prevent stress-induced impairment of extinction and [glucocorticoid receptor]  up regulation through the mediation of CB1 receptors in the BLA and hippocampus. Taken together, the findings suggest that the interaction between the cannabinoid and glucocorticoid systems is crucial in the modulation of emotional trauma.

Non-antidepressant long-term treatment in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

From the abstract:

We conducted a review of the literature on the pharmacological options for PTSD other than the antidepressants... the most promising area for pharmacotherapy in PTSD is the modulation of the fear conditioning process, through agents used in adjunct to exposure therapy.

The anxiolytic effect of cannabidiol on chronically stressed mice depends on hippocampal neurogenesis: involvement of the endocannabinoid system.

From the abstract:

Here we investigate the potential involvement of hippocampal neurogenesis in the anxiolytic effect of CBD in mice subjected to 14 d chronic unpredictable stress (CUS)..These findings support that the anxiolytic effect of chronic CBD administration in stressed mice depends on its proneurogenic action in the adult hippocampus by facilitating endocannabinoid-mediated signalling.

The Use of Medicinal Marijuana for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: A review of the Current Literature.

From the abstract:

This study seeks to understand the current literature regarding the use of medicinal marijuana in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)... Posttraumatic stress disorder is 1 of the approved conditions for medicinal marijuana in some states. While the literature to date is suggestive of a potential decrease in PTSD symptomatology with the use of medicinal marijuana, there is a notable lack of large-scale trials, making any final conclusions difficult to confirm at this time.

Cannabidiol Modulates Fear Memory Formation Through Interactions with Serotonergic Transmission in the Mesolimbic System

From the abstract:

Emerging evidence suggests that the largest phytochemical component of cannabis, cannabidiol (CBD), may possess pharmacotherapeutic properties in the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders..Our findings demonstrate a novel [nucleus accumbens]→[ventral tagmental area] circuit responsible for the behavioral and neuronal effects of CBD within the mesolimbic system via functional interactions with serotonergic 5-HT1A receptor signaling.

Bidirectional Effects of Cannabidiol on Contextual Fear Memory Extinction

From the abstract:

Cannabidiol (CBD) has been established to have both acute and long-lasting effects to reduce fear memory expression. The long-lasting impact might be mediated by an enhancement of memory extinction or an impairment of memory reconsolidation..pattern of results is consistent with CBD enhancing contextual fear memory extinction when the initial conditioning is strong

 Cannabidiol disrupts the consolidation of specific and generalized fear memories via dorsal hippocampus CB1 and CB2 receptors.

From the abstract:

Pharmacological interventions able to modulate a fear memory while it is consolidated could have therapeutic value in tempering those maladaptively overconsolidated... the present results suggest the CBD disrupts the consolidation of different fear memories via anandamide-mediated activation of [dorsal hippocampus] CB1 and CB2 receptors.