Almost one out of every two people will experience a traumatic event during their lifetimes. A percentage of those people will then go on to develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 3.6% of all adults will experience PTSD at one time during a given year. Women are also much more likely to be affected by PTSD compared to men.
There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding PTSD, which causes people to be ashamed of the condition. This can make treatment extremely difficult. There are a variety of traditional treatments for PTSD, which include psychotherapy, counseling, and SSRI based pharmaceutical medications.
However, there is growing evidence that would suggest that cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD) could provide an alternative treatment to traditional remedies.
What Is CBD, and How Does It Work?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid found in both the marijuana and hemp plants. Both plants are part of the cannabis Sativa plant family, but each has its own unique properties. CBD is a non-psychoactive compound, which means that it doesn’t get you high.
CBD and other cannabinoids interact with the body's endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is made up of a series of receptors spread throughout the body and central nervous systems. Cannabinoids bind with the receptors in the ECS, which cause a chemical reaction.
One of the advantages of CBD is that it’s extremely versatile. There are a variety of different delivery methods available for people to choose from, including CBD oils, CBD tinctures, CBD edibles and CBD vape juice, CBD lotions, and creams. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.
How Could CBD Help Treat PTSD?
There is increasing research, which suggests that CBD could be an effective alternative treatment for anxiety disorders and other mental health conditions such as PTSD. CBD is showing a lot of potential in the treatment of the core issues affecting people with CBD, including arousal symptoms, avoidance symptoms, and re-experiencing the events which caused the PTSD.
How CBD Could Help With PTSD-Related Memories
When you consume CBD, the cannabinoid enters the bloodstream and then binds with and activates the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the ECS. This causes different reactions in the central nervous system, such as altering memory processing and increasing pleasure.
At the same time, the cannabinoids also prevent the retrieval of traumatic memories. Basically, the CBD helps to block traumatic memories, increase pleasure, and reduce feelings of anxiety. Over time, the CBD will continually block the memory retrieval and lessen the details and intensity.
As a bonus, there are fewer side-effects associated with the use of CBD when compared to traditional pharmaceutical medications.
How CBD Could Help With PTSD-Related Anxiety
When you are exposed to a traumatic event, it often leaves you having to with a particular assailant or threat. Exposure to this is what can lead to anxiety. For example, an attacker during an assault.
This can lead to ongoing problems with anxiety related to the event, such as fear of running into the person again or similar situations and scenarios.
In one study conducted on rats, the rats were exposed to a predator. The rats who received CBD after the event for a period of 7-days showed less anxiety compared to the rats who received nothing. Researchers believe that this was related to the CBD effect on 5HT1A receptors. They concluded that CBD’s anti-anxiety effects could greatly benefit people with PTSD.
How CBD Could Help With PTSD-Related Sleep Issues
Trouble sleeping is a severe symptom associated with PTSD. It can have flow-on effects into your daily life affecting the way you function both professionally and personally. Traditionally prescribed pharmaceutical medications are opioid-based and can lead to further addiction problems.
CBD could help with anxiety, which is the underlying reason for the sleep issues. It’s also not addictive like opioid-based sleeping aids and has very few side-effects.
CBD Versus THC for PTSD Treatment
While some people with PTSD may self treat with marijuana and experience similar results to CBD, there are some side-effects associated with high-THC strains of marijuana.
The problems with high THC strains of marijuana is that it could lead to anxiety and paranoia as well as restricting your ability to accomplish tasks such as daily shopping, driving, and employment.
CBD gives you the same benefits of THC without the intoxicating effects, which could cause problems in your daily life.
CBD As A Treatment for PTSD Conclusion
CBD Can be purchased legally across the United States if the THC content is lower than 0.3%. It can be purchased in a variety of different delivery methods, which makes it a versatile compound that is suitable for a wide variety of different people.
It’s important to consider that research into how CBD works and how it affects people is still in the very early stages, with the majority of studies conducted on animals.
Research suggests that CBD could be an effective treatment for PTSD when delivered in a variety of different delivery methods.
The advice mentioned in this article is intended for information purposes alone and shouldn’t replace professional medical advice. Always speak to your doctor or healthcare professional before altering, ceasing, or beginning any new medical treatments.