Key Takeaways: Can Cbd Help With Ptsd Symptoms
CBD for PTSD is all safe and effective as long as you stick to the recommended dosage. There are a lot of products and brands of CBD that you can find in the market.
When taking CBD for PTSD, it is also advisable to consult your doctor first before starting. This will prevent you from guessing what the right dose is for you. Your doctor will also help you know the type of CBD oil, product, or strain that will work best for your condition.
Cannabis Use And Ptsd Among Veterans
Melanie Hill, PhD, Mallory Loflin, PhD, Kendall Browne, PhD, & Sonya D. Norman, PhD
Cannabis use for medical conditions is an issue of growing interest and concern. Some Veterans use cannabis to relieve symptoms of PTSD and several states specifically approve the use of medical cannabis for PTSD. However, research to date does not support cannabis as an effective PTSD treatment, and some studies suggest cannabis can be harmful, particularly when used for long periods of time. Given these concerns, cannabis is not recommended for the treatment of PTSD.
Is Cbd The Ultimate Solution For Ptsd
The medical research on cannabis is still fresh to bring conclusive results. Even though humans have used the cannabis plant for thousands of years, the scientific research on CBD is only 20 years old.
A 2016 study by Frontiers on the contextual fear memory extinction showed reduced contextual fear memory expression both acutely during the extinction session as well as later at a fear retention test.
In 2018 The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine published a study where 91% of examined patients demonstrated an improvement in symptoms of PTSD when using medical cannabis.
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Benefits Of Cbd Oil For Ptsd:
1. Stops Nightmares
Patients using CBD reported lower frequency of nightmares due to its anxiolytic and sleep-inducing effects acting on CB1 receptors. This results in a bliss-like effect that may be the main reason behind a good nights sleep.
2. Erases Bad Memories
Certain cannabinoids have the ability to flood the amygdala, inhibiting specific nerve cells and blocking fear memories. CBD regulates stress hormones by suppressing reconsolidating memory.
3. Calms The Hyperactive Amygdala
Cannabinoids are known to act on the amygdala. We do not exactly know how it happens but the therapeutic effects of CBD on the brain play an important role in the regulation of negative evasive responses which were reduced in patients with PTSD.
4. Reduces Anxiety and Depression Symptoms
Related: Can I Take CBD for Anxiety?
Full Spectrum CBD reduces cortisol levels and regulates serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain. This is associated with boosting GABA activity in the brain.
GABA is a chemical in the brain which inhibits certain impulses in the brain. In other words GABAs primary task is to put brakes on the endless thoughts in the mind.
When you feel nervous, restless or angry GABA steps in and blocks nerve cells from firing fear signals. If GABA is not working properly, you might never reach a calm state of mind. This can lead to frequent panic attacks and freezes every time there is a stressful situation.
5. Regulates Hormones
6. Lowers Inflammation in The Brain
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Final Hit: Can Cannabis Help Ptsd Patients
From the sounds of it, cannabis certainly has the potential to help PTSD patients. The way the main psychoactive and non-psychoactive cannabinoids impact memory can be beneficial to PTSD patients. More research on cannabis and PTSD is necessary for a more definite answer. Medical marijuana patients in several states have the option to use cannabis to treat their PTSD. Unfortunately, until cannabis is made federally legal, there will be many PTSD patients with no alternative to inefficient pills with unwanted side effects.
References Cited In This Article
Can Cbd Help With Ptsd
Brave men and women who serve our country are often scarred with invisible woundsposttraumatic stress disorder . But theyre not the only Americans who suffer from this invisible debilitating illness. PTSD is a rising problem in the US among veterans, soldiers, and everyday Americans. Currently, 7.7 million Americans suffer from PTSD and another 8% are anticipated to develop this disorder. Learn what types of PTSD there are, treatment options, and how CBD can help with PTSD.
New Research Reveals Why Cannabis Helps Ptsd Sufferers
Amy Rising, an Air Force veteran, smokes medical marijuana. Rising has been working on legislation … for veterans’ freedom to treat PTSD with medical cannabis.
The Washington Post via Getty Images
PTSD patients have been saying for years that cannabis helps with their PTSD. This debilitating condition causes chronic problems like nightmares, panic attacks, hypervigilance, detachment from others, overwhelming emotions, and self-destructive behavior. In some cases, these overwhelming symptoms can even lead to suicide. And while research on the topic has been somewhat inconclusive, many PTSD patients continue to report that cannabis does help.
Now, new research suggests the biological mechanisms behind this therapeutic effect.
Two recent studies point to the way that cannabinoids may help treat PTSD. One shows how cannabis can reduce activity in the amygdala – a part of the brain associated with fear responses to threats. Meanwhile, another suggests that the plants cannabinoids could play a role in extinguishing traumatic memories. Both effects could be therapeutic for those suffering from PTSD – according to recent studies.
Those exposed to THC had lowered threat-related amygdala reactivity.
Denver Post via Getty ImagesDenver Post via Getty Images
But for those with PTSD, extinction learning doesnt happen. The trauma attached to the old memories continues to cause problems.
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Will Cannabis Remove The Need For Other Medications For Ptsd Symptoms
Maybe. There is no specific answer to this question because cannabis works differently for everyone, and in some cases doesnt work at all. Dr Matty Moore said that a guiding principal for any medical management plan is that less is more if youre getting relief.
A doctor thats experienced with cannabis medicine may be able to help you move on to cannabinoid medicine and titrate off of other traditional medications. Some patients may respond well to this and others wont. These are the discussions that your doctor should be able and willing to have with you.
Dr Matty Moore also said
Its important that our patients dont have false expectations. Theres always a chance with any medication, including cannabis, that it may not be beneficial or get us the outcomes we want.
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Treating Ptsd With Medical Cannabis
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental condition that develops following a traumatic event experienced by the patient. The condition may include constant preoccupation with the trauma, nightmares and fears, anxiety and tension, sleeping disorders, rage, and other symptoms.Having gone through the traumatic event, the person is essentially experiencing it time and again in a way that troubles and interferes with their daily routine which causing emotional pain and difficulties to those closest to the patient.PTSD was officially recognized as a disorder in the 1980s, following the impact of the Vietnam War on American soldiers. This important step had launched significant research in the field.In June 2014, The Israeli Ministry of Health approved the usage of medical cannabis products for treating PTSD patients, thus joining many other western countries that enables such treatment, following extensive research proving that it proves to be highly effective in some cases of PTSD. The Israeli decision is particularly important, as it opens the door for treating soldiers suffering from PTSD after battle and those affected by terror attacks.
What Is The Right Dosage Of Cbd For Ptsd
The dosage of CBD oil depends on varying factors such as:
- use of other stimulant substances
Everybodys physiology is special and unique. In order to conduct a successful test you should make it a priority to minimize all random factors so that you can experiment with different doses of CBD. Only slow and steady can win this race.
Just think about it, if significant damage has been done to the brain through a prolonged exposure to stressful factors, do you think you can reverse all of them in a week, or even a month?
Well, it is safe to say that a few days might not be sufficient to observe the full potential of CBD.
The idea is to find the lowest effective dose and stay on it for a while.
Moving further, to make the test even more comprehensive you can also opt for CBD oils with high amounts of THC for more severe medical conditions. But, remember, THC will make you high, which can exacerbate symptoms in some users.
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How Does One Receive A Medical Cannabis Permit For Treating Ptsd
First, keep in mind that medical cannabis is the appropriate treatment for only some of the patients suffering from PTSD. A post-traumatic patient with a history of mental illness, such as psychosis, is likely to be found unsuitable for such treatment, for instance. The same goes for patients suffering from heart failure, pregnant women, and others.A PTSD patient can receive their medical cannabis permit only with the approval and continuous guidance of a psychiatrist. The permit request will be submitted only after other forms of treatment proved ineffective and will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Its also worth mentioning that the initial permit is given for a period of six months. Youll find the complete information regarding the latest regulation related to medical cannabis treatments for PTSD on the Ministry of Healths website. We predict that alongside research in the field, regulation will continue to evolve and advance in order to improve the lives of people suffering from PTSD with medical cannabis, which proved to be more effective and involves fewer negative side-effects.
Using Cbd To Feel Normal
In a blog post, Barbara Harris, RT, CMT reported on one of her patients who started using CBD for PTSD. According to Harriss notes, her patient experienced trauma as a child decades later, as a 61-year-old, she decided to seek treatment. She was undergoing therapy, practicing meditation, exercising, and receiving weekly massages. Despite all of this, she still reported never feeling normal. She explained that she felt like she was walking on eggshells all the time.
Once she started taking CBD, she reported feeling normal again. In fact, she called CBD the missing link between her and a continued recovery.
How Does Medical Cannabis Help Treat Ptsd Patients
Many believe that treating PTSD patients with medical cannabis is meant solely to help relieve tension and treat insomnia and nightmares. But the medical community knows otherwise, since medical cannabis is known for reducing the core traumatic memories.The scientific explanation relies on the fact that the cannabinoids found in medical cannabis affect parts of the brain involved in learning and memory. The medical cannabis treatment allows the brain to reduce and moderate the outbursts of traumatic memories, which reduces anxiety and minimizes other symptoms. In doing so, medical cannabis enables PTSD patents to fully function and live a trauma-free life.Traditional PTSD treatment includes antidepressants and psychotherapeutic procedures that reach partial success rates and are accompanied by many unwanted side-effects. Groundbreaking research shows that medical cannabis may be more effective in treating these patients. Research conducted at NYU in May 2018 found that there is a connection between the number of cannabinoids receptors in the brain which are called CB1 and are activated during the treatment in medical cannabis and PTSD improvement.
Alterations In Physical And Emotional Reactions
Changes in physical and emotional responses can cause the following symptoms:
- Being easily startled or terrified
- Always being on the lookout for risk
- Self-destructive conduct, such as excessive drinking or driving too quickly
- Sleeping problems
- Irritability, rage, or aggressive behavior
- Overwhelming feelings of guilt or humiliation
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How Does Cbd Help With Ptsd
PTSD is a chronic mental condition that can happen to anyone who has gone through a major trauma. According to PTSD statistics, there is a higher risk of PTSD among specialists working in public services, such as soldiers, policemen, or firefighters, the condition can affect just anybody.
The symptoms of PTSD include anxiety, higher sensory sensitivity, dizziness, forgetfulness, fatigue, depression, headaches, and troubles with focus. PTSD is also characterized by returning traumatic memories, which may lead to a panic attack.
Coincidence or not, CBD can help relieve, or at least manage, the above symptoms on top of reaching the core problem of the condition.
In order to understand that mechanism, we need to elaborate on the interactions between CBD and CB1 receptors in the endocannabinoid system .
CB1 receptors occur throughout the entire body, with the highest concentrations in the brain and the central nervous system. The indirect activation of CB1 and serotonin receptors through the use of CBD can result in reduced anxiety, better sleep, stable mood, and increased alertness.
Moreover, CBD targets the cannabinoid receptors in the immune system, regulating the release of stress hormones, blocking mood receptors that are compromised by traumatizing stimuli, and stopping reconsolidation memory referred to as flashbacks.
Is Cbd With Thc Better For Ptsd
Veterans supplementing with CBD oil with higher concentrations of THC showed significant improvements in the severity of their PTSD symptoms. Everybody is different and there are multiple factors at play when treating symptoms of PTSD.
The sedative and psychoactive effects of THC mixed with cannabidiol oil may have more powerful effects on patients with epilepsy and other PTSD-like symptoms.
It should also be noted that THC impacts deep sleep, otherwise known as REM sleep. CBD with higher THC concentrations might disrupt dreams. At the same time it may prove to get rid of nightmares and reduce anxiety.
A good test is to start with a CBD isolate which doesnt contain any THC. From there you can observe your symptoms and their change over time. If the symptoms improve, you might just need a pure CBD oil. If they persist, you might want to try a full spectrum CBD oil. Remember to always start with a low dose and increase accordingly.
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