Although PTSD is an increasingly common condition, it is still gravely misunderstood. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is normally associated with veterans, and while it does affect people returning from combat zones, it also impacts people from all walks of life for varying reasons.
It is now understood that you can become afflicted with the condition if you experience any form of traumatic event including childhood neglect, sexual assault, or physical abuse.
Treating PTSD isn’t as easy as taking a pill for your standard headache. There are a number of prescription medications on the market such as Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft, however they often lead to side effects such as nausea, headaches, and trouble enjoying sex.
There are a variety of alternative treatments on the market, but it is often hard to assess their effectiveness. Thanks to recent awareness, CBD, which is a non-intoxicating compound in marijuana, has been feted as a new and improved PTSD treatment and is now being used by a variety of doctors throughout the U.S.
Before we discuss the benefits of CBD, here are some startling PTSD statistics:
- Up to 8% of Americans suffer from it; as many as 24.4 million people.
- As many as 11% of veterans returning from Afghanistan have it, and up to 20% of troops who fought in Iraq have PTSD.
- 70% of Americans experience at least one traumatic event in their lifetime.
CBD – A New & Improved PTSD Treatment
There is no other way to put it – Living with PTSD is a nightmare. From night terrors and hyper-vigilance, to simply being in a crowd, you never know when the condition will strike. It is truly horrible to be perpetually on the cusp of panic. Throughout the last decade opiates have been recommended by most doctors, but not only are opiates unhelpful, they are also extremely dangerous.
So what would you do if you discovered there was an all-natural treatment for PTSD, that really works and has no side effects?
Well, recent studies show that CBD could be the answer. THC, the compound in marijuana, has long been championed as a PTSD treatment, but while it can work, residents of 21 American states can’t use it due to Federal and State laws. In contrast, CBD from hemp is legal in most states, and is easy to purchase online.
CBD helps you treat PTSD in a very different manner to THC. Studies show that PTSD sufferers have low levels of anandamide, which is an endocannabinoid known as the ‘bliss molecule.’ It is released when we do things like exercise, and these cannabinoids work to replace your anandamide levels, which in turn helps treat PTSD.
Indeed, PTSD patients all have far lower levels of endocannabinoids, along with higher CB1 receptor densities. Normally, the CB1 receptor deactivates any traumatic memories you may have so you basically ‘forget.’ If you have an endocannabinoid deficiency, on the other hand, you will suffer from chronic anxiety, impaired fear distinction, and other issues associated with PTSD. Cannabinoids act on the two receptors, CB1 and CB2, and helps them regain normal function.
Another problem experienced by people living with PTSD is a constant state of fear – CBD helps to reduce ‘learned fear,’ so unlike prescription medication, CBD gets to the root of the problem.
Science Backs CBD
Since CBD enjoys a very different legal status to THC around the world, we expect there to be an increased number of studies within the next few years. To date, though, studies involving cannabis and canna-related products in regards to PTSD have been extremely promising as it seems to allow PTSD patients to manage the three ‘core’ symptoms, which are Hyperarousal, Avoidance & Numbing, and Re-experiencing.
In a 2009-2011 study by Greer, Grob, and Halberstadt, for example, 80 patients were given marijuana for their PTSD, and the results indicated a 75% reduction in symptoms as per the Clinical Administered Post-traumatic Scale.
Another recent study, published in Frontiers in Pharmacology, showed that CBD was an effective treatment for specific phobias and PTSD. The research team gave 10mg injections of CBD to rats that had been exposed to strong fear conditioning. Rats are prey animals that often exhibit a ‘freeze response’ when under attack, but when exposed to a traumatic condition some time after consuming the CBD, they exhibited a lower level of fear.
Preclinical evidence from a study by Blessing et al. in 2015 also stated that “CBD has considerable potential as a treatment for multiple anxiety orders,” including PTSD which is recognized by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. The study also determined that CBD is more effective when it is given acutely (as symptoms arise), instead of chronically.
CBD Provides Long-Term Health Benefits
By far the most exciting aspect of CBD, and cannabis in general, is its potential for long-term positive effects. At present, the prescription medications available tend to have short-term benefits, and longer-term side effects.
A truly enlightening review by Emrich et al. in 2012, though, determined that cannabis has the potential to reduce the “strength or emotional impact of traumatic memory through synergistic mechanisms.” As a result, it is easier for PTSD patients to sleep and rest. They also feel less anxious, and less likely to experience flashback memories. The important thing, though, is that these effects are not temporary.
Why Choose CBD over THC for PTSD?
Unlike THC, which is known for giving you the “high” effect, If you choose to use CBD for PTSD, you should not experience any psychoactive effects. Furthermore from a health perspective, CBD has been proven to have a continuous positive effect on your general health, mind and soul. CBD will simply help you feel more ‘normal,’ and as it is non-intoxicating, meaning there is no concern over whether it could negatively impact your ability to perform day-to-day activities.
If anything, CBD will improve performance because it can boost your energy and improve your level of self-confidence.
Final Thoughts About CBD for PTSD
CBD isn’t for everyone but if you do decide to use it for PTSD then known this; CBD is ideal for daytime and nighttime use. It was even voted one of the best alternative treatments for anxiety and PTSD for 2017.
If you are new to CBD oil we have gathered some of the best CBD products on the market to combat PTSD. You can consume tincture by placing it under your tongue and swallowing, or you can add it to food or drink. There are also CBD edibles, creams and capsules if you don’t like the taste of oil, and best of all, it is easy to order CBD online to treat your PTSD, as it is legal in the majority of states.