Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a serious mental health condition that can develop after experiencing a traumatic event. Approximately 10% of people will experience PTSD at some point in their lives. Symptoms of PTSD may include trouble sleeping, reliving the event repeatedly, anxiety, increased sensory sensitivity, dizziness, forgetfulness, fatigue, depression, headaches, and trouble with focus. PTSD is most commonly associated with war veterans, but you don’t need to be a veteran to suffer from PTSD. This disorder can be triggered by any traumatic event, such as childhood neglect, sexual harassment, or a tragic accident. There is increasing evidence that CBD may help people manage symptoms of PTSD.
To understand how CBD can help with PTSD, we must first understand how CBD works within the body. CBD interacts with a system in the body known as the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The ECS is a communication network that transmits information to and from all systems throughout the body. This system is made up of CB1 and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors can be found in the highest concentrations in the brain and the central nervous system. The activation of CB1 receptors through the use of CBD can reduce anxiety, improve sleep, stabilize mood, help regulate the release of stress hormones, and ease flashbacks.
A 2019 study examined the effects of CBD on symptoms of PTSD for a group of 11 adult patients at an outpatient psychiatry clinic. A mental health professional administered CBD to patients formally diagnosed with PTSD for eight weeks. PTSD symptom severity was assessed every four weeks. 91% of patients experienced a decrease in PTSD symptom severity after eight consecutive weeks of treatment with CBD. CBD was well tolerated across the board, and no patients discontinued treatment due to side effects.
According to Frontiers in Neuroscience, CBD may also affect the amygdala and hippocampus in the brain. People with PTSD have a hyperactive amygdala, which can worsen symptoms. CBD may help reduce the hyperactivity of the amygdala.
Some research has even found that taking CBD immediately after a traumatic event might make it more difficult for the brain to develop PTSD symptoms later. However, CBD works best when used consistently, not on an as-needed basis. It is best to take CBD preemptively instead of reactively. This is because of the way CBD interacts with our Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The ECS maintains homeostasis- the body’s optimal state- and creates balance and harmony. When the ECS is out of balance, any system within the body can become compromised. Disruption may be caused by various things, including trauma and stress. When someone starts taking CBD for the first time, depending on the severity of the imbalances they are experiencing, it can take a little while for their ECS to recalibrate.
Further research on CBD and PTSD is in the works, but all early studies have yielded promising results with little to no adverse side effects. PTSD is a serious condition, and CBD is not intended to be a cure-all. CBD can be a helpful addition to therapy or your existing treatment plan to help you manage symptoms. For assistance choosing a product best suited to your needs, reach out to us via our live chat, firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us at 303.674.5759. If PTSD is interfering with your ability to work, personal relationships, or day to day life, please contact your doctor to discuss further treatment options.