Written by Kandi Neal:
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a long-lasting mental health condition that’s brought on by a horrifying memory of something that the patient either experienced or witnessed. Symptoms often include nightmares, flashbacks, extreme anxiety, and continuous thoughts about the event. The good news is that there is treatment for PTSD, and even better news is that there is strong evidence that CBD may be a natural alternative with no side effects for helping those who suffer from this ailment.
First, let’s unpack posttraumatic stress disorder a little more. Many times, individuals don’t think that they meet the criteria for having Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) because it’s often associated with military veterans and first responders. That’s simply not the case; many different people suffer from PTSD. Traumatic events include, but are not limited to:
- Victim of assault
- Experiencing a natural disaster
- Receiving a life-altering medical diagnosis
- Victim of a crime, including torture, stalking, or kidnapping
- Surviving an accident
- Domestic abuse or violence
- Witnessing someone being injured or killed
- Experiencing a terrorist attack or civil unrest
- Experiencing a life-changing event, such as death of a loved one, job/home loss, or divorce
Next, let’s discuss what the symptoms of PTSD are. Individuals that live with it day in and day out will often experience multiple symptoms as the mind and body try to reconcile the stressful event. PTSD can show up in several different ways and may develop into anxiety disorders, depression, and even lead to reckless behaviors. On a more physical level, people with PTSD can develop migraines, reduced immunity, and gut issues.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, the following is list of some common signs & symptoms:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Physical manifestations such as sweating, brain ‘fog,’ and racing heartbeat
- Emotional detachment or overly emotional
- Living in fear
- Hard time concentrating
- Social isolation and avoidance
- Negative feelings and beliefs
- Substance abuse
- Intrusive thoughts and memories
- Difficulty maintaining employment
Unfortunately, these symptoms can last anywhere from just a few months to several years after the trauma. Left untreated, it can lead to chronic illness. Sufferers often feel on edge, which lends itself to entering fight or flight mode. Although a certain amount of fear and anxiety are considered normal situational responses and not everyone who experiences a traumatic event will develop PTSD, it can be debilitating for those that do.
So how can CBD Oil help?
Studies show that there are many promising benefits of CBD oil for PTSD, especially for people that haven’t done well with conventional therapies. In fact, CBD and other therapeutic interventions that reinforce cannabinoid receptor signaling could develop into cutting edge treatments for PTSD. In addition, since cannabidiol doesn’t contain any psychoactive effects, CBD products have become a front runner when it comes to looking at holistic treatments.
The Endocannabinoid System
The two major cannabinoids found in Cannabis, THC and CBD, both interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), but have very contrasting effects. The ECS plays a big part in how the brain and nervous system work and is also involved in helping to regulate other bodily functions, such as pain, cognition, and appetite. Moreover, researchers are continuing to explore how the ECS plays an important role in helping to regulate emotions, which leads to maintaining homeostasis. When that happens, internal balance can be created, regardless of outside influences. Researchers have also found that a traumatic event or chronic stress can impair the ECS to signal the brain, which can lead to many of the above mentioned symptoms and conditions.
To help understand this a little better, there are two main receptors that cannabinoids like CBD will target, and those are the CB1 and CB2 are receptors. The CB1 receptors are responsible for regulating the nervous system and brain. They assist with mood, tolerance for pain, appetite, and memory formation. When the CB1 receptors experience a deficiency, it is not uncommon for anxiety and stress to increase. On the other hand, CB2 receptors are responsible for regulating inflammation and pain. High concentrations of CB2 receptors can be located in the gastrointestinal and immune system. CBD binds with the CB2 receptors, hence regulating appetite and boosting immunity, while decreasing pain & inflammation. Since most cannabinoids work with both CB1 and CB2 receptors, it makes sense that CBD for Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) could be a viable treatment option.
Benefits of CBD oil for PTSD include:
- It can aid in reducing depression and PTSD anxiety. CBD infused products can help produce calming effects that reduce compulsiveness, panic attacks, compulsiveness, and the long-term effects of stress.
- It can help with insomnia. CBD oil has been known to improve both the quality and the quantity of sleep, as well as reduction of night sweats.
- It helps to stop nightmares. Studies have shown that cannabidiol has been helpful in lessening unpleasant memories and flashbacks.
- It can prevent fear memories from forming. Data shows that CBD can avert long-term fear memory processing, which leads to reduced anxiety and stress.
If you’re just starting to dip your toe into the CBD pond, start small and go from there. Dosage depends on a few factors, including body weight and which product you choose. As you start to feel more comfortable with CBD oil, consider that many studies have shown going with a bit of a higher dosage (12 mg to 25 mg) tends to yield the best results when treating PTSD. A good idea is to journal your dosage and keep track of what feelings come up. This will help you document your journey and get to a place where you figure out the perfect dose for your individual needs.
When it comes to top CBD products, Cannafyl offers a variety of oils, edibles, and topicals. For a daily dose to assist with anxiety and common symptoms of PTSD, we highly recommend Cannafyl™ Balance – Full Spectrum CBD. It will help to stabilize the mind & mood, reduce nausea, muscle spasms, & anxiety, relieve pain & inflammation, and work as a sleep aid. There is so much that CBD can do for your general health and we look forward to helping you find the perfect product.
Adaa.org: Symptoms of PTSD
NORML.org: Introduction to the Endocannabinoid System