ISTSS Online Learning Library

Promoting the advancement and exchange of knowledge about traumatic stress is a core mission of ISTSS. Our online learning library contains video and audio recordings of conference presentations and recordings of past webinars.

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Cannabis and PTSD: Existing Evidence and Clinical Considerations

Marcel Bonn-Miller, PhD
Recorded on June 9, 2016

WebinarAudio with synched slidesEligible for the Advanced Training Certificate Program

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Dr. Bonn-Miller will provide an overview of cannabis, including associated consequences and benefits stemming from its use. He will then summarize epidemiological data, particularly from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), related to recent and emerging trends in cannabis use/disorders, including among veterans with PTSD. Limitations of epidemiological tracking will be discussed and methods for improving cannabis use/disorder identification will be provided. Following, Dr. Bonn-Miller will focus on the existing evidence related to cannabis and PTSD, including how cannabis has the potential to lead to both positive and negative outcomes as a function of its composition. Currently ongoing research will then be highlighted that addresses some existing empirical limitations. Finally, Dr. Bonn-Miller will provide an overview of treatment implications stemming from existing work, both in terms of substance abuse treatments as well as PTSD-focused interventions.

Learning Objectives

  • Explain the heterogeneity of the cannabis plant, and the well-established long- and short-term consequences and benefits associated with its use.
  • Describe recent trends in cannabis use within the VA, including as a function of PTSD, and why individuals with PTSD primarily report using cannabis.
  • Summarize existing evidence and ongoing research in the area of PTSD and cannabis, both in terms of improving substance abuse interventions and PTSD treatment approaches.


About the Instructors

Marcel O. Bonn-Miller, PhD is a Research Health Science Specialist at the Center of Excellence in Substance Abuse Treatment and Education (CESATE), National Center for PTSD (NCPTSD) and Center for Innovation to Implementation (Ci2i) at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System. He also holds an academic appointment in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. He received his B.A. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Vermont and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at VA Palo Alto and Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Bonn-Miller has dedicated his career to understanding the interrelations between cannabis use and PTSD, with the aim of informing intervention and prevention strategies. He has received dozens of grants varying in focus from experimental laboratory-controlled to clinical trials and pre-implementation, has published well over 100 peer-reviewed empirical publications, and serves on the editorial boards of six scientific journals.