For those who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) normal day-to-day activities can be a challenge.
The looming thought that something terrible is about to happen can make it hard to interact with people or get through simple tasks, such as going to the grocery store. The constant re-experience of the trauma that caused the PTSD can mean avoiding things that remind patients of the event. For example someone who was in a near death car accident may never drive again, or even want to be a passenger in a car. The current treatments for patients suffering from PTSD are, at the moment, psychotherapy, anti-depressant medications, or a combination of both. There is currently no specialized effective medication for PTSD. Fortunately, there is now more research going into medical marijuana giving patients another avenue to try to alleviate their symptoms with CBD. In this post we will discuss what PTSD is, who is affected by it and how new research is showing that CBD may be a natural and effective treatment for those who are suffering.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a reality for many people who have gone through traumatic life events that have involved things such as death, the threat of death or serious injury. These incidents can include things such as natural disasters, accidents, war or conflicts, and sexual violence. Recently there have been rising reports of domestic violence on women and children linked to causing PTSD, however the most common occurrence today is seen in our veterans. Those who suffer from PTSD report having vivid nightmares of the event, flashbacks or thoughts of the event that come from nowhere, finding themselves nervous and on edge at all times, and experiencing rapid changes in thoughts and moods. Because of these changes in behaviors and moods as well as the re-occurring thoughts of trauma, many PTSD victims are, unfortunately, a risk for self-harm. There is no sure reason for why PTSD occurs in some people and not in others, however there is a link in all patients suffering from PTSD that involves the endocanabanoid system.
The endocanabanoid system (ECS) is basically the therapeutic hotspot for the body. It is made up of two types of receptors, CB-1 and CB-2 and has recently been implicated in a growing number of physiological functions. The CB-1 receptors mediate biological functions such as emotional learning, stress adaptation and fear extinction. The ECS is the main molecular target of the natural anandamine, which some say is like the bodies “inner cannabis.” This is the substance found in the body that helps humans to “cope” with emotional turmoil. The anandamine relives the effects of any stressful situation by temporarily putting you in a state of bliss so that you can work out your situation more effectively. Recently it has been noted that anandamine tests much lower in patients who are suffering from PTSD and this endocanabanoid deficiency plays a part in the inability to cope with those stressful and anxious situations. Research has shown that cannabis has the ability to trigger the same receptors that are activated by anadamine and to give those who are suffering from PTSD the same blissful state to help them cope with their situation. From this research we can safely assume that the use of cannabis may be considered as a treatment for patients suffering from PTSD. But where does the CBD come into all of this?
Good question, CBD is the non-psychoactive part of the cannabis plant that also helps to aid in reducing paranoia and anxiety. Because CBD does not have any kind of psychoactive action it can be used as an anti-high approach to treating PTSD. As mentioned above, people suffering from PTSD already feel anxious and on edge, so to add in a substance such as THC (The High Causer) it could potentially make the symptoms worse. CBD has the ability to act as a key to help close the receptors that are being affected by a lack of anadamine and to help alleviate some of the symptoms that PTSD patients suffer from. Smoking strains that are high in CBD has been proven to calm the brain and help cope with the fear as well as help to aid in temporarily “forgetting” about the events that led to PTSD.
Recent studies have shown that the pharmaceuticals prescribed to PTSD patients can have an adverse effect, especially on those patients who have been to war. Veterans are amongst the highest number of people who suffer from PTSD and with no real effective medication they are left to try to cope with the constant reliving of traumatic events. Thankfully the cannabis community is working with a number of local Legions to aid some of their members in a more natural and effective way to alleviate many of the symptoms of PTSD. For those who would like to avoid smoking, there is also a variety of other CBD products that you can try to help you with your endocanabanoid deficiency and improve your mood while curbing some of the PTSD symptoms.
If you would like more information about how cannabis can help cope with PTSD feel free to send us an e-mail and we will do our very best to answer your questions!