CBD’s Effectiveness for People with PTSD
What is the Relationship Between CBD and PTSD?
With 70 percent of adult living with PTSD it is important for us to understand the relationship between CBD and PTSD.
In the U.S., around 70 percent of adults have experienced some sort of traumatic event at least once in their lives. This equates to 223.4 million people, according to PTSD United. Of those people, up to 20 percent end up developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This amount equates to approximately 44.7 million people who were and/or are struggling with this condition, according to the same source.
PTSD affects more people than just military veterans; although the majority of war veterans end up developing PTSD after returning back home. Aside from addictive painkillers and harmful pharmaceutical medications, people with PTSD can with CBD and cannabis.
According to PTSD United, PTSD is categorized as a psychobiological mental disorder, which can affect survivors of various experiences including combat from war, terrorist attacks, natural disasters, serious accidents, assault or abuse, and even sudden and/or major emotional losses.
PTSD is changes in an individuals’ brain function and structure, which offer clues to the origins, treatment, and prevention of this condition. However, each case is different, and some PTSD cases might be delayed meaning that only subtle symptoms arise initially, and more severe symptoms arise months after the traumatic event, as also stated by PTSD United.
The Endocannabinoid System, CBD, and PTSD:
Everyone has an endocannabinoid system (ECS), which plays a crucial role in maintaining homeostasis. Various cannabinoids including CBD and THC influence the ECS which activates the body’s CB1 and CB2 receptors. As a result, this modulates the release of neurotransmitters that produce different effects on the body’s central nervous system, according to Medical Marijuana Inc.
Overall, cannabinoids like CBD are powerful because they block the continuous retrieval of memories and thoughts of a traumatic event(s), which reduces associated anxiety. Also, cannabis and CBD help PTSD patients manage avoidance and numbing, re-experiencing, and hyperarousal symptoms.
Fortunately, cannabis can change individuals’ mental state of mind. It is especially useful if they’re battling depression or suicidal thoughts. For PTSD patients, nightmares are known to be a huge motivating factor to consume cannabis and CBD. Studies have shown that cannabinoids are effective at reducing the emotional impact people feel after traumatic events. Thus, patients experience less fear and anxiety while also gaining sleep improvement.
Aside from CBD’s medical benefits listed above, CBD can reduce learned fear. Research also shows to temporarily correct imbalances within the body’s ECS. Although this cannabinoid can positively impact PTSD patients’ lives, it has many uses. CBD consumption can occur in conjunction to other areas of your health.
Common PTSD Symptoms:
On average, annually, PTSD affects 7.7 million American adults. However, it can develop at any age depending on the traumatic event the individual experienced. There’s various symptoms that people with PTSD experience, which includes strong and unwanted memories of the traumatic event, bad dreams, emotional numbness, intense guilt or worry, angry outbursts, feeling “on edge”, and avoiding thoughts and situations that are reminders of the trauma, according to PTSD United. Other common side effects include severe flashbacks, severe anxiety, nightmares, and uncontrollable thoughts about the event(s), as stated by Mayo Clinic in a Medical Marijuana Inc. article.
Generally, people with PTSD often feel stressed and in danger when no real threats are present. It’s also common to get startled easily, feel tense, have trouble sleeping, experience angry outbursts, and lose interest in former enjoyable activities, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Additionally, debilitating PTSD symptoms can occur including night terrors, hypervigilance, and living on the edge of a chronic fight-or-flight mode.
Common PTSD Treatments:
Currently, there are different treatments that people with PTSD can try. This includes powerful sedatives, antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, and other pharmaceutical medications. However, many of these medications bring potentially dangerous side effects like suicidal thoughts. People with PTSD are looking at alternative treatments especially the relationship between CBD and PTSD.
Also, severe dependency and over-prescribed painkillers has unfortunately led to a significant overdose crisis in the U.S. Therefore, lots of PTSD patients have turned their attention to finding alternative forms of treatment. Some use CBD so they can avoid negative side effects while preserving a positive quality of life.
In addition to prescription medications, other forms of treatment include psychotherapy efforts like exposure therapy, a cognitive restructuring. This therapy is meant to expose patients to the trauma they experienced, but in a safe way, which helps people make sense of their bad memories, according to Medical Marijuana Inc.
The Role Between CBD and PTSD:
According to different studies, anecdotal evidence, and testimonials, cannabis and CBD provide significant relief to many of the most common PTSD symptoms. According to a study by Frontiers in Pharmacology, it suggests that CBD is an effective treatment option for PTSD. Additionally, CBD provides both acute and long-lasting effects to reduce fear and memory. These findings provide extra support for the potential use of CBD to treat PTSD; explaining the link between CBD and PTSD.
On a similar note, it’s clear that cannabis and CBD provide powerful medical properties. PTSD patients feel effects regarding anxiety, night terrors/nightmares, painful memories, flashbacks, and overall discomfort. PTSD symptoms vary from person to person. However, collectively, according to a National Institute of Health study, it was found that CBD significantly reduces anxiety, cognitive impairment, and discomfort that’s associated with PTSD.