CBD Potential Treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder


What is CBD?

As you already read in the introduction; the term CBD is short for cannabidiol; A cannabinoid found in cannabis or hemp and one of the at least 115 active cannabinoids identified in cannabis. Cannabinoids are found in two species of cannabis; Cannabis sativa and cannabis indica. Whereas hemp is part of the same family as cannabis sativa there is a significant difference noticeable in THC/CBD levels when it comes to industrial and cannabis as a drug or medicine. Cannabis has been grown over the years for its THC and CBD but hemp pretty much remained the same as the plant materials are needed for industrial production so there has never been much change in the containment of cannabinoids and the levels of THC and CBD are notably lower.


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Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

During the Vietnam War, U.S. soldiers often smoked Southeast Asian cannabis to deal with the horrors of combat. After returning home from the war, many veterans continued to use cannabis to deal with the posttraumatic stress of their experience in Vietnam. Recent studies underscore a strong connection between the endocannabinoid system and how the brain processes traumatic memories.

Post-traumatic stress disorder is typically triggered by exposure to an extreme traumatic stress, involving direct experience of death or serious harm, actual or threatened. The response to this stress usually involves an intense experience of terror or helplessness. The classic symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder include intense recollections of the original event often in the form of flashbacks or nightmares. PTSD often leads to increased emotional distancing, avoidance and intense arousal or rage.

Traumatic experiences that can lead to PTSD symptoms include combat, natural disasters, sexual abuse, traffic accidents and violent crime. It is estimated that 10 percent of the U.S population will experience some PTSD symptoms during the course of their lives.

PTSD symptoms People may experience:

Mood: loss of interest or pleasure in activities, anxiety, anger, general discontent, hopelessness, limited range of emotions, guilt, loneliness, nervousness, panic attack, loss of interest

Behavioral: agitation, aggression, hostility, irritability, hypervigilance, screaming, self-harm, self-destructive behavior

Sleep: sleeping difficulty, insomnia, night terror, nightmares, difficulty falling asleep, sleep deprivation

Psychological: fear, depression, flashback, severe anxiety, hallucination,

Whole body: blackout and acute stress

Cognitive: thoughts of suicide or unwanted thoughts

Also common: emotional detachment, feeling detached, headache, or lack of emotional response

Medical cannabis has proven very effective in treating PTSD symptoms. The amygdala is a small almond shaped portion of the brain associated. PTSD changes the structure and function of the amygdala. The endocannabinoid system is associated with the extinction of adverse memories such as those associated with the amygdala. The ability of phytocannabinoids to interfere with memory processing has been demonstrated pretty conclusively and known for decades. A recent brain scanning study indicated that abnormal endocannabinoid signaling in the brain is strongly implicated in PTSD patients.

Molecules to target PTSD

High CBD strain is best supplemented with a generous amount of CBG for its synergistic effects. Pinene should probably be avoided since this terpene may reduce the ability of the cannabinoids to extinguish aversive memories.

Dosing for PTSD

Dosage of CBD needs to be refined and better understood. The effectiveness of medical cannabis to treat PTSD appears to be dose-dependent. Again, relatively moderate doses are probably crucial.

Methods of ingestion

Oral cannabis is excellent for reducing dreaming, including the nightmares that sometimes plague some PTSD sufferers.