If you want to find a product that may help with your PTSD, get some free info on CBD, and even learn the science of PTSD, this post is the perfect reading for you.
Therefore in this post, I’m going to reveal what CBD is, what’s PTSD, whether CBD is effective in alleviating your PTSD, and is there adequate research to back up claims that CBD may help PTSD patients.
What Is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the main compounds found in the cannabis sativa plant. This plant has over 116 cannabinoids, including CBD, CBN, THC and terpenes such as Limonene and Linaloll to name a few. Both cannabinoids and terpenes are naturally occurring compounds found in the cannabis plant.
The main difference between the most popular cannabinoids, CBD and THC is that CBD is non-psychoactive. And THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is psychoactive at higher doses. It means that when you’re using CBD, there is no high. But with higher levels of THC, there is a high, or a sense of euphoria from using it.
The cannabis plant has two varieties which are hemp and marijuana plants.
Hemp has a high concentration/content level of CBD and a low THC concentration/content level. The federally legal limit of THC contained within CBD or Hemp products in the US is 0.3% or less, which is non-psychoactive. This went into federal law December 20, 2018 when the new Farm bill was signed. Marijuana has high levels of THC and low CBD levels and any product that contains above 0.3% THC is considered Marijuana, not CBD.
Therefore for any CBD product you utilize, to purchase it legally, without a medical marijuana card, it must be hemp-derived CBD products that contain 0.3% or less THC. When a CBD product contains all of the natural occurring cannabinoids and terpenes, including the legal limit of non-psychoactive THC, this is known as a full-spectrum CBD product.
It is because, in line with the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp is distinguished as an agricultural product or commodity. Therefore products obtained from hemp are not listed as unlawful or Schedule 1 substances as of December 20, 1918. Thus they aren’t in identical or equal classification as other Schedule 1 substances, like Marijuana, as it is still classified a Schedule 1 substance even though it is medically legal in many states within the United States.
What Is PTSD?
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that occurs when someone has experienced or witnessed a traumatic event or incident. Such a traumatic experience can either be war, natural disasters, violence, or abuse.
PTSD is mostly associated with veterans and war victims. But also first responders, rape victims, and anyone who has experienced some type of trauma.
And according to the National Center for PTSD approximately 8 out of every 100 people will experience PTSD at some point in their lives.
While an estimated 70 percent of adults in the United States have experienced a traumatic event at least once in their lives and up to 20% of these people will go on to develop post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD.
Also, during the Covid-19 pandemic, post-traumatic stress disorder had a prevalence of 30.2 percent among acute COVID-19 infection survivors.
Among healthcare employees, a study conducted in April 2020 showed that; 14% of workers screened positive for PTSD. And one month later (May 2020), an online survey shows there was an uptick in PTSD where 22.8% of frontline healthcare workers had probable PTSD.
But what are the signs and symptoms that; PTSD sufferers experience? These symptoms can be; grouped into four categories:
- Re-experiencing symptoms which include:
- Having flashbacks of the traumatic event
- Experiencing nightmares about the terrifying event
- Emotional distress due to relieving the trauma all over again
- Avoidance symptoms:
- Staying away from or avoiding people, places, and situations that remind you of the traumatic event
- You’ll also avoid talking about it with others
- Arousal and reactivity symptoms:
- Irritability and angry outbursts
- Being easily frightened or startled
- Being on constant alert for danger or on the edge
- Having sleep problems
- You cannot concentrate thus can hurt your work or school or any activity performance
- Cognition and mood symptoms:
- Having a negative feeling about yourself, others, and the world
- Losing interest in things or activities you once enjoyed
- Having trouble remembering certain parts of the traumatic event
- Feeling guilty and blaming yourself for the traumatic event/what you experienced
Also, these symptoms affect everyone differently and vary from person to person. But when they affect your daily activities, you need to find the necessary help.
What Does the Research Say on CBD and PTSD and Can It Help in Providing Relief?
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) controls most of your biological processes and plays a vital role in the human body. Its function is to maintain homeostasis or balance within the body.
It has receptors named the CB1 and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors are found in the central nervous system and crucial for a healthy brain.
They play a role in mood, emotions, memory, and cognition. The CB2 receptors are linked with inflammation and your immune system.
The research found that people with PTSD had lower serum levels of anandamide, an endogenous cannabinoid compound, compared to those who did not show signs of PTSD after 9/11.
Anandamide is a mood neurotransmitter that binds to CB1 receptors. Therefore help in alleviating traumatic memories and even forgetting them. But when there are low serum levels of anandamide, the proper functioning of CB1 is disrupted hence more fear, anxiety, and PTSD side effects are not alleviated.
A study on patients taking CBD capsules showed that there was an overall decrease in PTSD symptom severity. CBD was tolerated and no patients discontinued it due to side effects. Also, patients who had nightmares due to PTSD reported improvement in this symptom.
Another research was done using synthetic cannabinoid (nabilone) on military personnel with PTSD. They were experiencing trauma-related nightmares despite receiving standard treatment. The results showed that nabilone provided significant relief for military personnel with PTSD, indicating that it shows promise as a clinically relevant treatment for patients with nightmares and a history of non-response to traditional therapies.
The interest and excitement on CBD and PTSD are because conventional ways of fighting PTSD like antidepressants and opioids usage have proven to be harmful to so many who have taken, or are taking them. These drugs have adverse side effects like insomnia, addiction or dependency and loss of sexual drive.
CBD is being championed as a natural alternative to opioids and antidepressants, but CBD is no cure for PTSD, however, it will assist in balancing your endocannabinoid system (ECS) and the ESC controls most of our biological processes and plays a vital role in the human body operating as it was intended to.
CBD and PTSD do look promising for veterans and anyone experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder.
But despite data showing that it can possibly assist with PTSD, it’s important to continue utilizing other traditional PTSD treatments like therapy. Also, exercising, eating well, maintaining a good support group, and even meditating can be crucial in managing your PTSD.
So combining CBD with other ways of managing PTSD symptoms could assist in balancing your endocannabinoid system and creating homeostasis within the body. But before you make changes or are considering using CBD for PTSD, consult your doctor or physician for medical advice.
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Disclaimer: fabuleaf’s products have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended for diagnosing, treating, curing or preventing any disease. Any information discussed in this blog is not a replacement for professional medical advice. Please consult your doctor or physician for medical advice.