Preliminary, open-label, pilot study of add-on oral Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol in chronic post-traumatic stress disorder

Clin Drug Investig. 2014 Aug;34(8):587-91. doi: 10.1007/s40261-014-0212-3.


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 Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) for chronic PTSD.

Methods: Ten outpatients with chronic PTSD, on stable medication, received 5 mg of Δ(9)-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 Δ(9)-THC was safe and well tolerated by patients with chronic PTSD.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists / administration & dosage*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Dreams / drug effects
  • Dreams / psychology
  • Dronabinol / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Self Report*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnosis*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / drug therapy*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology


  • Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists
  • Dronabinol