When people hear the term PTSD, they often think about veterans. While our military forces suffer from PTSD at a higher rate than the general population, PTSD is not exclusive to Veterans. That is because over 70% of Americans experience severe trauma during their lifetime, and roughly 7% of the trauma incidences fulfill the criteria for a post-traumatic stress disorder diagnosis.
The three primary characteristics of PTSD include heightened arousal, avoidance, and reliving traumatic events. Reliving can take the form of nightmares and flashbacks and may be triggered by reminders of those traumatic experiences. Arousal is a hyper-vigilant condition that might manifest as paranoia. These PTSD experiences are often accompanied by rage, relationship sabotage, nausea, anxiety, self-medication, and avoidance of routine activities.
PTSD is the most expensive anxiety-related condition since it:
- Significantly impairs job and social performance,
- Increases one’s chance of developing other mental and physical health issues, and
- Doubles the rise in suicide rates to those suffering from it.
Why Is CBD Recommended to PTSD Patients?
Cognitive-behavioral treatment and counseling can help relieve PTSD; both methods are beneficial to the person, but they are not always effective. Some medications can also manage PTSD symptoms such as sleep disturbances, insomnia, and anxiety. However, the drugs do not address the underlying issue.
Since therapies are not always effective, researchers are seeking other alternatives for managing PTSD. One of the methods they are considering is the use of medical cannabis. That is because a recent study on substance usage found out that cannabis use may help alleviate some of the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
Researchers have found out that those with PTSD who did not use cannabis are “much more likely” to suffer from severe depression and have suicidal thoughts as compared to those using CBD alongside their treatment.
The researchers have also discovered that PTSD is “significantly related” to suicidal thoughts and severe depressive episodes among non-cannabis users.
To be more precise, non-cannabis users who have PTSD were 7 times more likely to experience episodes and 5 times more likely to have suicidal thoughts than non-cannabis users without PTSD.
How Does CBD Aid in the Treatment of PTSD?
Everyone has an active endocannabinoid system (ECS), but for some people, this system malfunctions, causing hormone imbalances and making their traumas worse.
Using CBD impacts the endocannabinoid system, thus helping alleviate the symptoms associated with PTSD. That is because the endocannabinoid system, which contains CBD receptors, can impact anxiety and memory, two variables that contribute significantly to the development of PTSD. CBD also helps PTSD patients to:
- Minimize the occurrence of nightmares,
- Prevent the creation of “fear memories,”
- Alleviate anxiety and sadness, and the
- Minimize sleeplessness.
CBD also makes people sleep better and less likely to remember their dreams, which means PTSD patients get more restorative deep sleep than Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep.
Although research is relatively limited, further studies and personal testimony are emerging that demonstrate the therapeutic properties of this chemical.