CBD and PTSD

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a condition where an individual fails to recover after experiencing a traumatic event. PTSD is most common in war veterans and combat, but affects approximately 2.5 million Americans and can be triggered by any severe trauma, including, but not limited to: natural disasters, car accidents,physical and/or sexual abuse and/or assault. It can affect anyone, even children.

An individual experiencing PTSD will have their own unique combination of symptoms and behaviors, both physical and mental, but will share common characteristics, such as: severe anxiety, flashbacks and nightmares where the individual re-experiences the traumatic event over and over, irritability, angry outbursts, sleep problems, rapid heartbeat, nausea, muscle tension, and sweating.

Treatment for PTSD focused on either psychotherapy and/or medication, until the recent research and development of the cannabis industry realized the potential benefits of CBD to aid in the treatment of this condition. Current medication, except for CBD, include strong sedatives, powerful anti-depressants and an assortment of anti-anxiety drugs. These medications are meant to focus on the secondary symptoms of PTSD, mainly depression and anxiety. The amount of possible side effects an individual could experience from any of these medications could cause an individual further health problems, and since one of the main characteristics of PTSD is severe anxiety, many sufferers find themselves turning to drugs or alcohol to numb the effects of the disorder combined with the drugs designed to treat it.

Cannabidiol (CBD) has been found to benefit patients suffering from PTSD by not only focusing on the secondary symptoms, but studies* show that CBD can actually diminish the development and memory of fear in the individual. This means that, over time, the PTSD sufferer will experience less severe symptoms when their disorder is triggered. CBD has also been administered by counselors and/or therapists to their patients before sessions in order to produce a calming effect so that the individual will respond better to treatment.

*"Bidirectional Effects of Cannabidiol on Contextual Fear Memory Extinction" published by Frontiers in Pharmacology

This article was posted on 2018.01.08