Any exposure to life-threatening events that cause individuals to undergo symptoms of re-experiencing, avoidance, and hyperarousal for more than a month fits the diagnostic criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), 2019). Some encounter symptoms early, usually within three months of the traumatic incidents while others start displaying symptoms years afterward. PTSD was first recognized and described in the late 1980s as a disorder with specific symptoms that could be reliably diagnosed and was added to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (NIMH, 2019). According to the National Center for PTSD, about 7 or 8 out of every 100 people will experience PTSD at some point in their lives (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 2018). Women are more prone to develop PTSD than men, and the genetic components make some more susceptible to develop PTSD than others. PTDS can be very debilitating for the suffering individuals because it interferes with interpersonal relationships and work.
The attitude toward marijuana has changed drastically in recent decades. Last year, Canada become the second major country in the world to legalize marijuana for medical as well as recreational use (Bridgeman & Abazia, 2017). That adds up to twenty two nations legalizing cannabis for its medical purpose. As of November 9, 2016, 28 states in the U.S. and the District of Columbia legalized medical marijuana with 16 states approving its use for PTSD (Shishko et al., 2018). Yet, at the federal level, it is still classified as schedule I controlled substance and it remains prohibited for any purpose. This video power point presentation takes the medical cannabis as an area of interest and reviews current literature regarding its benefits and harms in treating PTSD in adults.