The impact of a traumatic event can reverberate for the rest of a patient’s life. As many people know, “post-traumatic stress disorder” (PTSD) is a serious long-term mental health condition. While PTSD is commonly associated with veterans, data suggests at least 10 percent of the US population will deal with PTSD over their lifetimes.
Although standard treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) show promise in managing PTSD symptoms, some patients have turned to CBD oil for relief. CBD’s anti-anxiety properties may play a positive role in future PTSD treatment strategies.
How Could CBD Oil Help People Struggling With PTSD?
Many recent studies suggest CBD has a noticeable impact on anxiety conditions like social anxiety disorder (SAD). Although SAD isn’t the same as PTSD, there’s a lot of crossover in how these anxiety conditions work. Also, many researchers believe the way CBD influences the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) may decrease stressful symptoms in PTSD patients.
Most notably, scientists have discovered CBD can increase the production of an endocannabinoid called “anandamide.” Although anandamide has many functions in the body, it’s closely associated with mood regulation. Some believe this increase in anandamide compounds may help PTSD patients feel a sense of inner calm.
A trial out of the University of Colorado suggests PTSD patients who take CBD oils report fewer night terrors. While this wasn’t a large or placebo-controlled study, CBD may help PTSD patients with insomnia or nightmares.
Interestingly, some researchers believe CBD may have neuroprotective effects that could help PTSD patients. Most notably, scientists at University College London found that CBD increases blood flow to the hippocampus. This finding is significant for a few reasons. First, the hippocampus is involved with memory processing, and recent studies show PTSD patients have a higher risk of dementia.
Also, some researchers suggest that strengthening the hippocampus may decrease the amygdala’s influence on a PTSD patient’s brain. The amygdala is a tiny brain structure central to the body’s response to fear. People with PTSD often have an overactive amygdala.
What CBD Is The Best For PTSD Patients?
There’s no “ideal” CBD formulation for PTSD patients, but most doctors recommend sticking with broad-spectrum CBD oils or CBD isolate powders. These product categories should contain zero traces of the psychoactive cannabinoid THC. By contrast, full-spectrum CBD oils could have as much as 0.3 percent delta-9 THC.
Currently, there’s conflicting evidence on how THC affects PTSD patients. Some studies claim small doses of THC may reduce generalized anxiety symptoms, but it’s also well known that THC can trigger paranoia and panic attacks. Since PTSD patients are already prone to panic, it’s safer to stick with CBD products that won’t put them at risk of THC exposure.
PTSD patients should also remember CBD oil can interact with other medications. So, if people are already taking antidepressants or anti-anxiety pills, they must speak with their psychotherapist before trying CBD oil.
Find Clean “CBD Near Me” On Real Tested CBD
Although CBD shows great potential to reduce PTSD symptoms, it won’t work if customers pick a low-quality product. Unfortunately, there are a lot of CBD oils that contain high traces of heavy metals, solvents, and pesticides. The only way to avoid these icky compounds is to ask your CBD manufacturer for third-party lab test results.