How Does CBD Help PTSD?

How Does CBD Help PTSD?

Post traumatic Stress Disorder, often referred to as PTSD, is an anxiety disorder with symptoms like anxiety, anger, depression, irritability, sleep problems, and sadness. It is a serious mental health condition which occurs in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic, high stress, or fearful life event.  These events can include anything from a car accident to military combat, and it’s estimated that roughly 10 percent of Americans will experience PTSD at some point in their lives. The condition may be short lived or chronic, depending on the particular patient and the severity and duration of the stress or traumatic experience involved.

Prior to diagnosis and treatment, individuals with this mental health disorder often struggle to get through daily life and experience anxiety, depression and, at times, extreme traumatic memories. Treatment for many PTSD patients is therapy often alongside a cocktail of prescribed medications. 

CBD and CBD oil can help with some of the symptoms of PTSD. CBD, without THC, can help by reducing anxiety, disrupt fear memories and help REM sleep. CBD works by interacting indirectly with the CB2, dopamine and serotonin receptors.

CBD doesn’t actually increase serotonin or dopamine. It is a regulator that helps your body use chemicals that are there more efficiently or break chemicals down more slowly. Through interaction with certain brain pleasure centers, in particular the area that stimulates anandamide, scientists believe that CBD helps with serotonin and dopamine production and regulation.

4 Ways CBD Helps PTSD Symptoms

1. Assists in Better Sleep

Those individuals with Post traumatic Stress Disorder deal with a wide range of issues that cause insomnia. Cannabinoid (CBD) is a popular therapeutic treatment for many sleep problems, including insomnia. Many PTSD patients have reported that they were able to fall asleep easier and stay asleep longer when using CBD. 

The research supports this idea, too. For example, a 2012 study titled “Cannabidiol in humans-the quest for therapeutic targets” found that, compared to a placebo, a CBD dosage of 160 milligrams was shown to increase participants’ sleep duration. 

One reason CBD may help battle insomnia and provide better sleep is that its interaction with the endocannabinoid system can help regulate the body’s cortisol levels. Cortisol, commonly known as the stress hormone, is often higher at night for patients who suffer from insomnia and may be a factor in the patient’s inability to relax and fall asleep. However in a 2019 study titled “Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series”, patients given 300 to 600 mg of CBD displayed decreased cortisol levels, indicating that CBD may help regulate cortisol production.

Some Post traumatic Stress Disorder patients may also suffer from headaches, which keep them from falling asleep and/or staying asleep. CBD can also help with headaches can be an effective PTSD treatment that can lead to better sleep. 

Though additional research is needed, there is some early evidence, along with anecdotal testimony, pointing to the fact that CBD could be an effective remedy for insomnia that so often plagues those living with PTSD.

2. Decrease Anxiety

A dominant symptom of Post traumatic Stress Disorder is anxiety, which studies show may be managed using Cannabinoid (CBD).  A 2011 study exploring effects of CBD treatment for anxiety also reports that a single dose of 600 milligrams of CBD reduced anxiety. And further evidence indicates that treatment with CBD lessens anxiety most effectively in patients who suffered stress or trauma before their CBD treatment—meaning that therapeutic treatment with CBD is ideal for patients who experience anxiety stemming from previous experiences and situations. 

A 2018 study titled “Cannabidiol as a Therapeutic Alternative for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: From Bench Research to Confirmation in Human Trials” has shown that CBD was most effective when helping people deal with immediate traumatic events.      

3. Ease Symptoms of Depression

In “Antidepressant-like and anxiolytic-like effects of cannabidiol”, a 2014 study into Cannabinoid (CBD) as a treatment for depression indicates that CBD may interact positively with serotonin receptors in the brain. Serotonin helps regulate the brain’s emotional state and feelings of well-being or happiness, therefore keeping its levels in appropriate and healthy balance can be a key therapy for people suffering from depression. While it does not seem as though CBD boosts serotonin levels, cannabinoid may influence how the brain’s cannabinoid receptors respond to the serotonin that’s already in someone’s system.

4. Decrease Traumatic Memories

One 2016 study found evidence that Cannabinoid (CBD) interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system may help reduce Post traumatic Stress Disorder symptom severity after memory extinction or prolonged exposure therapy. 

The endocannabinoid system, which includes CBD receptors, affects both anxiety and memory, two factors that play a large role in PTSD symptoms.

Additionally, there’s some evidence to show that many patients who suffer from Post traumatic Stress Disorder have an endocannabinoid system that is impaired, so the effect of medicinal cannabis on the endocannabinoid system may help re-establish a healthy balance within the system, helping PTSD sufferers more healthfully replace traumatic memory association with neutral or positive ones.

CBD Can Ease a Multitude of PTSD Symptoms

Post traumatic Stress Disorder is complicated and often relentless in its ability to impair a patient’s everyday life and activities. And while many patients report good results with cognitive behavioral therapy, talk therapy, and prescription drugs; CBD may represent another path. A path that, according to early research, appears safe and effective, without the harmful side effects or possibility for addiction that many current drug treatments bring with them. 

CBD’s potential to ease PTSD symptoms is still being researched as more and more health benefits are being discovered. However, if you think CBD may help ease PTSD-related symptoms, it’s worth a conversation with your doctor to discuss pros and cons.

Simply CBD LLC offers a variety of CBD tinctures, flower, and CBD infused products if you are looking to take this path for your Post traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.