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The German armed forces (Bundeswehr) follow the current guidelines from the Association of Scientific Medical Societies in Germany (Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Wissenschaftlichen Medizinischen Fachgesellschaften, AWMF) for their therapeutic approach to psychological traumatization (1). Additional complementary therapeutic options for the treatment of therapy-resistant forms of posttraumatic stress disorder or the treatment of comorbid disorders are already available in army hospitals in various forms—for example, acupuncture or meditation techniques. The therapeutic use of cannabis products contradicts existing rules and regulations of the armed forces’ service law, which prohibits the use of illicit drugs on principle. Experiences with individual cases of self-treatment with cannabis products in whom the consumption usually took on a life of its own, showed only short-term alleviation of different symptoms (mostly from the agitation cluster) in our patients, and ultimately led to the development of tolerance and other addiction-related problems. Whether the targeted medical use of cannabinoids will, according to considerations from basic research, yield different experiences in clinical practice should be urgently investigated in controlled studies.

DOI: 10.3238/arztebl.2013.0144b

Dr. rer. medic.Jens T. Kowalski, Forschungssektion Psychotraumazentrum, Berlin, JensKowalski@bundeswehr.org

Conflict of interest statement
Dr Kowalski is employed by the Bundeswehr.

1.
Flatten G, Bär O, Becker K, et al.: S2 – Diagnostik und Behandlung von akuten Folgen psychischer Traumatisierung. Trauma & Gewalt 2011; 3: 214–21.
2.
Kowalski JT, Hauffa R, Jacobs H, Höllmer H, Gerber WD, Zimmermann P: Deployment-related stress disorder in German soldiers: utilization of psychiatric and psychotherapeutic treatment. Dtsch Arztebl Int 2012; 109(35–36): 569–75. VOLLTEXT
1.Flatten G, Bär O, Becker K, et al.: S2 – Diagnostik und Behandlung von akuten Folgen psychischer Traumatisierung. Trauma & Gewalt 2011; 3: 214–21.
2.Kowalski JT, Hauffa R, Jacobs H, Höllmer H, Gerber WD, Zimmermann P: Deployment-related stress disorder in German soldiers: utilization of psychiatric and psychotherapeutic treatment. Dtsch Arztebl Int 2012; 109(35–36): 569–75. VOLLTEXT

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