What is PTSD?

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a treatable anxiety disorder which affects around 3 million Australians at some point in their lives. It is triggered by experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event and symptoms can include flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety and uncontrollable thoughts about the event. For people who suffer PTSD these symptoms may last for months or even years and interfere with day-to-day functioning.

How is it commonly treated?

Effective treatments for PTSD often involve psychological treatment but medications such as anti-depressants are also recommended in some cases. It is usually best to begin with psychological treatment unless the severity of the person’s distress cannot be effectively managed this way, at which time medication may be prescribed.

Factsheet: Medical Cannabis and PTSD

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) factsheet

PTSD and Medical Cannabis


Research on the effectiveness of medical cannabis for the treatment of PTSD is in its early stages but results are promising. Oral THC and synthetic cannabinoids have been shown to be effective for improving sleep duration and quality as well as reducing nightmares and daytime flashbacks for people who are not helped by other treatments. Additional research is needed to better understand the effectiveness and therapeutic use of medical cannabis and to monitor its safety.

Looking for support?



Phoenix Australia aims to improve outcomes for individuals, families and communities dealing with PTSD with evidence-informed practice and treatment and by enhancing the system of help and support for those affected by trauma. Phoenix Australia | Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health


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