Cannabis update: Anxiety disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder

doi: 10.1097/JXX.0000000000000864.

Online ahead of print.


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Amy L Haycraft.

J Am Assoc Nurse Pract.



The development of anxiety disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is complex. Both delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are of potential therapeutic use. Evidence suggests that cannabis has a beneficial effect on neural circuitry involved in fear regulation. In the United States, cannabis is considered either medical or recreational and can contain pure THC or CBD or any combination thereof. The numerous cannabis compounds of various administration routes, with variable pharmacokinetics, further affect the cannabis conundrum. Despite being federally unregulated, medical cannabis has received increased attention socially, and at present, 37 states, four territories, and the District of Columbia have legalized medical cannabis for use in specific health conditions. Patients are increasingly inquiring about cannabis, and clinicians must educate themselves with reliable cannabinoid information for patient education. In adults with anxiety disorders and PTSD, evidence supports a relatively safe profile for medical cannabis; however, conclusive scientific evidential support of its therapeutic properties is limited, resulting in a lack of standardization and Food and Drug Administration approval.

Conflict of interest statement

Competing interests: The author reports no conflicts of interest.


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