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Best reviews

2021: A review of clinical guidelines for doctors treating PTSD patients with nabilone (a synthetic cannabinoid similar to THC)

Nabilone for the Treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: A Review of Clinical Effectiveness and Guidelines

2021: This review looks at how what we learned about the ECS & PTSD from animal models & how this might be translated to helping humans

Translation of animal endocannabinoid models of PTSD mechanisms to humans: Where to next?

2021: This insightful review of the literature suggests the mechanisms by which CBD exerts its promising effects on PTSD

Cannabidiol and the corticoraphe circuit in post-traumatic stress disorder

2021: This review discusses targeting the ECS for treatment of PTSD

Targeting the endocannabinoid system in the treatment of PTSD: A promising case of preclinical-clinical translation?

2021: This review looks at how the ECS helps with the storage of memories with a special focus on the painful memories of PTSD

The role of endocannabinoids in consolidation, retrieval, reconsolidation, and extinction of fear memory

2021: Another review finds that cannabis is helpful for PTSD & that the area needs more large clinical studies

Cannabis in the management of PTSD: a systematic review

2021: This review looks at ten studies using the cannabinoids (including CBD) for PTSD

Use of cannabinoids for the treatment of patients with post-traumatic stress disorder

2021: A review looking at targeting the endocannabinoid system with CBD or THC for PTSD

Endocannabinoid System as Therapeutic Target of PTSD: A Systematic Review

2020: A review of cannabinoids for PTSD with a focus on the HPA axis

Cannabinoids as therapeutics for PTSD

2020: A review of how dopamine interacts with the ECS in PTSD

Dopamine, endocannabinoids and their interaction in fear extinction and negative affect in PTSD

2020: This review of many clinical trials finds that low-dose THC as well as THC+CBD help to suppress anxiety & aversive memories

Effects of ∆ 9-tetrahydrocannabinol on aversive memories and anxiety: a review from human studies

2019: A review of studies of traumatic memories & cannabinoids in humans & animal models

Tempering aversive/traumatic memories with cannabinoids: a review of evidence from animal and human studies

2019: ECS & PTSD

Endocannabinoid System Alterations in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Review of Developmental and Accumulative Effects of Trauma

2019: A review finds "cannabinoids may help reduce global PTSD symptoms, sleep disturbances, and nightmares" and double-blind trials are highly warranted – 10 studies

The Effectiveness of Cannabinoids in the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): A Systematic Review

2018: Looking for biomarkers for PTSD

Biomarkers for PTSD at the Interface of the Endocannabinoid and Neurosteroid Axis

2018: How the sex hormones are modulated by the ECS in PTSD

Modulation of the endocannabinoid system by sex hormones: Implications for posttraumatic stress disorder

2018: CBD & PTSD

Cannabidiol as a Therapeutic Alternative for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: From Bench Research to Confirmation in Human Trials

2018: Matthew Hill on the ECS & PTSD

Integrating Endocannabinoid Signaling and Cannabinoids into the Biology and Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

2014: In survivors of critical illness, the role of endocannabinoids and stress hormones

The role of glucocorticoids, catecholamines and endocannabinoids in the development of traumatic memories and posttraumatic stress symptoms in survivors of critical illness

Chart Gallery

Timeline of Research

2023: In a case report on complex dissociative PTSD, very positive effects from cannabis assisted psychotherapy
Cannabis-assisted psychotherapy for complex dissociative posttraumatic stress disorder: A case report

2023: In a mouse model of PTSD, using CBD nanovesicles with ultrasound to help them across the blood-brain barrier for targeted brain delivery
Cannabidiol-loaded biomimetic macrophage membrane vesicles against post-traumatic stress disorder assisted by ultrasound


2023: In a rat model of PTSD, inhibiting the FAAH enzyme lowered their freezing time & showed anti-anxiety & antidepressant effects
Fatty acid amide hydrolase inhibitor URB597 suppressed conditioned and sensitized fear responses in a rat model of post-traumatic stress disorder

2023: In a rat model of PTSD, an ultra-low dose of THC reduced the fear response via the hippocampus (memory center)
Effects of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol on fear memory labilization and reconsolidation: A putative role of GluN2B-NMDA receptor within the dorsal hippocampus

2022: In humans with PTSD, CBD significantly lowered their stress levels while recalling traumatic events

Effects of cannabidiol on symptoms induced by the recall of traumatic events in patients with posttraumatic stress disorder

2022: In humans with PTSD, a low dose of THC helped with emotional processing during an emotional regulation task
Cannabinoid modulation of brain activation during volitional regulation of negative affect in trauma-exposed adults

2022: In humans with PTSD, 10 mg of THC helped with problems in the limbic (emotional) system while 5 mg decreased activation of the amygdala (fear center)
Varying Doses of THC Rescue Neural Fear Circuitry Dysfunction in Trauma-Exposed Adults

2022: In humans, a pilot study showed that THC helped to extinguish fear conditioning induced by visual stimuli & electric shocks
Facilitated extinction of conditioned fear responses by delta 9-tetrahyrdrocannabidol in humans: a pilot study

2022: A diary study of using cannabis for PTSD & to help with sleep with CBD-rich products helping the most to lower early awakenings
Posttraumatic stress disorder, sleep and medical cannabis treatment: A daily diary study

2022: In a review of the UK cannabis registry, those with PTSD using cannabinoids saw significant improvements in PTSD symptoms, sleep & anxiety
Assessment of clinical outcomes in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder: analysis from the UK Medical Cannabis Registry

2022: In women with PTSD, their genetic variant of FAAH (the enzyme that breaks down anandamide) influences their response to fear

The influence of FAAH genetic variation on physiological, cognitive, and neural signatures of fear acquisition and extinction learning in women with PTSD

2022: A longitudinal study looks at the levels of AEA & 2-AG in those with PTSD

Circulating endocannabinoids and genetic polymorphisms as predictors of posttraumatic stress disorder symptom severity: heterogeneity in a community-based cohort

2022: In a mouse model of PTSD, CBD helped to lower their fear response & anxiety
Cannabidiol Prevents Spontaneous Fear Recovery after Extinction and Ameliorates Stress-Induced Extinction Resistance

2022: In female rats, CBD helped to block them from storing fearful memories via the CB1 receptor
Cannabidiol impairs fear memory reconsolidation in female rats through dorsal hippocampus CB1 but not CB2 receptor interaction

2022: In female rats exposed to fear conditioning, CBD reduced their anxiety responses via the dopamine/serotonin axis in the hippocampus (memory center)
Cannabidiol attenuates fear memory expression in female rats via hippocampal 5-HT1A but not CB1 or CB2 receptors

2022: In a rat stressed out by the smell of a predator (a model of PTSD), CBD helped to lower unconditioned – but not conditioned - fear
The Divergent Effects of CDPPB and Cannabidiol on Fear Extinction and Anxiety in a Predator Scent Stress Model of PTSD in Rats

2022: In a mouse model of PTSD, a comparison of CBD with sertraline (an SSRI) found that CBD reduced the “the consolidation, retrieval, and reconsolidation of trauma-related fear memory” (while sertraline only reduced fear-memory retrieval) & that CBD was effective whether given before, during or after the trauma while sertraline was only effective if given before
Comparison between cannabidiol and sertraline for the modulation of post-traumatic stress disorder-like behaviors and fear memory in mice

2022: In this rat model of PTSD, they look at how THC & CBD might affect the stress responses

Cannabinoid use is enhanced by stress and changes conditioned stress responses

2021: In a mouse model of PTSD & aversive memories, this study looks at how CBD works in the brain to help

Medial prefrontal cortex mechanisms of cannabidiol-induced aversive memory reconsolidation impairments

2021: In female mice, CBD was superior to the SSRI citalopram for extinguishing fearful memories

Comparison of cannabidiol to citalopram in targeting fear memory in female mice

2021: In humans with PTSD, the ability of exercise to help reduce threat expectancy is mediated via anandamide & BDNF (an important brain growth factor regulated by the ECS)

Exercise-induced increases in Anandamide and BDNF during extinction consolidation contribute to reduced threat following reinstatement: Preliminary evidence from a randomized controlled trial

2021: In humans, genetic differences in their CB1 receptors & FAAH enzymes showed that they are involved in forgetting fears

Cannabinoid polymorphisms interact with plasma endocannabinoid levels to predict fear extinction learning

2021: In humans, a certain genetic variant of FAAH (the enzyme that breaks down anandamide) is linked to how much people process fear & their susceptibility to PTSD

A common genetic variant in fatty acid amide hydrolase is linked to alterations in fear extinction neural circuitry in a racially diverse, nonclinical sample of adults

2021: In a female mouse model of PTSD, anandamide & 2-AG caused opposite effects in fear expression & fear extinction

Sex-dependent effects of endocannabinoid modulation of conditioned fear extinction in rats

2020: When mice are panicked at the sight of pit vipers, here's how the CB1 receptor modulates the signals

The modulation of striatonigral and nigrotectal pathways by CB1 signalling in the substantia nigra pars reticulata regulates panic elicited in mice by urutu-cruzeiro lancehead pit vipers

2020: In Canadian soldiers with PTSD, nabilone (synthetic THC) found to be helpful for their nightmares

Use of a synthetic cannabinoid (nabilone) in the ongoing management of posttraumatic stress disorder nightmares in the Canadian Armed Forces: Results of an anonymous online survey

2020: In mice, both CBD & CBDA helped with PTSD-type symptoms around fear & trauma

Cannabidiol disrupts conditioned fear expression and cannabidiolic acid reduces trauma-induced anxiety-related behaviour in mice

2020: In adults with PTSD, low amounts of THC "lowered threat-related amygdala reactivity, increased mPFC activation during threat, and increased mPFC-amygdala functional coupling"

Cannabinoid modulation of corticolimbic activation to threat in trauma-exposed adults: a preliminary study

2020: In rats with induced panic, CBD injection into the hypothalamus reduced “both panic attack-like behaviours and unconditioned fear-induced antinociception” – effects blocked by a CB1 antagonist

Cannabidiol-induced Panicolytic-Like Effects and Fear-Induced Antinociception Impairment: The Role of the CB 1 Receptor in the Ventromedial Hypothalamus

2019: A survey in Minnesota showed cannabis caused clinically meaningful reductions in PTSD

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in the Minnesota Medical Cannabis Program Report

2019: In rats, cannabinoid receptors & others are involved in the fear mitigating effects of CBD

A time-dependent contribution of hippocampal CB1, CB2, and PPARγ receptors to cannabidiol-induced disruption of fear memory consolidation

2019: In rats, CBD blocks the consolidation of fearful memories when taken within an hour of trauma

A time-dependent contribution of hippocampal CB 1 , CB 2 and PPARγ receptors to cannabidiol-induced disruption of fear memory consolidation

2019: In humans with PTSD, after exercising their AEA & OEA levels increased but not 2-AG

Loss of exercise- and stress-induced increases in circulating 2-arachidonoylglycerol concentrations in adults with chronic PTSD

2019: In rats, CBD given up to an hour after trauma reduced fear conditioning – seems to work via CB1, CB2, serotonin, adenosine and PPARγ

A Time-Dependent Contribution of Hippocampal CB 1 , CB 2 and PPARγ Receptors to Cannabidiol-Induced Disruption of Fear Memory Consolidation

2019: In mice, CBD & hemp plant extracts significantly reduced the fear response – while THC did not

Cannabidiol and the Remainder of the Plant Extract Modulate the Effects of Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol on Fear Memory Reconsolidation

2017: In rats, CBD disrupts the consolidation of different fear memories via AEA mediated activity at the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the dorsal hippocampus

Cannabidiol Disrupts the Consolidation of Specific and Generalized Fear Memories via Dorsal Hippocampus CB 1 and CB 2 Receptors

2017: In rats, an infusion of CBD interrupted fear consolidation 5 hours after the trauma – reduces influence of prefrontal circuit on cortico-limbic circuits

Selective Post-Training Time Window for Memory Consolidation Interference of Cannabidiol Into the Prefrontal Cortex: Reduced Dopaminergic Modulation and Immediate Gene Expression in Limbic Circuits

2016: In rats, the authors find CBD using a novel circuit in the mesolimbic system that works via serotonin pathways to block the formation of fearful memories that cause a conditioned freeze

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

2015: In an animal model, THC & CBD can disrupt the reconsolidation (re-saving) of fearful memories

Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol alone and combined with cannabidiol mitigate fear memory through reconsolidation disruption


2014: 10 chronic PTSD patients saw improvement with THC

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

2014: In a human fMRI study, THC helped with extinction recall (14 participants in a a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, between-subjects design)

Cannabinoid modulation of prefrontal-limbic activation during fear extinction learning and recall in humans

2013: In human placebo trials, THC found to help with fear extinction

Cannabinoid facilitation of fear extinction memory recall in humans

2013: In humans, examination of circulating endocannabinoid levels after traumatic event (9/11) – 2-AG levels down but not AEA

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

2012: In rats, CBD as a reconsolidation blocker for fear memories

On disruption of fear memory by reconsolidation blockade: evidence from cannabidiol treatment

2010: In rats, injections of CBD into the prefrontal cortex helped to lessen their conditioned fear

Involvement of the prelimbic prefrontal cortex on cannabidiol-induced attenuation of contextual conditioned fear in rats

2006: In rats, both THC & CBD potentiated the extinction of conditioned incentive learning

Effect of low doses of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol on the extinction of cocaine-induced and amphetamine-induced conditioned place preference learning in rats

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