skip to page content
Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

Health Services Research & Development

Go to the ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Mental health symptom severity in cannabis using and non-using Veterans with probable PTSD.

Johnson MJ, Pierce JD, Mavandadi S, Klaus J, Defelice D, Ingram E, Oslin DW. Mental health symptom severity in cannabis using and non-using Veterans with probable PTSD. Journal of affective disorders. 2016 Jan 15; 190:439-42.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


BACKGROUND: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a disabling illness suffered by many Veterans returning from war. Some Veterans believe that cannabis may be therapeutic for PTSD. The purpose of this study was to better understand the association between cannabis use and PTSD symptoms. METHODS: The study was a matched case-control cross-sectional evaluation of the psychiatric and sociocultural associations of cannabis use in Veterans with probable PTSD. Patient self-report measures were examined comparing cannabis users (cases) to non-users (controls) who were case-matched on age and gender. RESULTS: Results indicated that there were no significant differences between cases and controls in mean PTSD Checklist-Civilian version (PCL-C) scores (59.2 and 59.1, respectively). There was also no association between PTSD scores and frequency of cannabis use. It was also observed that cases were more likely to be non-Caucasian, financially challenged, and unmarried. LIMITATIONS: The sample is a convenience sample of Veterans being referred for a clinical assessment and therefore, sampling biases may limit the generalizability of the results to other populations including Veterans not seeking health care in the Veterans Affairs (VA) system. CONCLUSIONS: The results do not support the theory that cannabis use would be associated with less severe PTSD symptoms. Results do suggest important sociocultural differences in cannabis users compared to controls.

Questions about the HSR&D website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.