Nowadays, the importance of mental health is high on the agenda, as more people begin talking about issues that they have beyond the surface, and the stigma that was attached to mental health problems is reduced because of increased awareness.
One of the most severe types of anxiety is PTSD, and it is estimated that about 3% of people experience it at some point in their life.
While there is a growing wealth of evidence of people using cannabis to improve their mental health, this has mainly been focused on the benefits of using THC.
In the past, academic research on cannabis has been focused on looking at the potential benefits and misgivings of using THC – the compound which is found in cannabis and gives users a high.
This has started changing, and reports and interested around the potential benefits of CBD oil has begun.
It is now evident that cannabis contains non-intoxicating compounds, which can be used therapeutically.
One of these compounds is cannabidiol, which is also known as CBD. It is a non-psychoactive compound, which is found in cannabis, and is the main ingredient used in CBD tincture, CBD oils, and other CBD products.
What is PTSD?
PTSD is an anxiety disorder which is caused by frightening, distressing or stressful events, which significantly impact a person’s mental health.
After someone has been through a distressing event, it is normal to feel anxious and negative. It is only after an extended period where these symptoms get worse that it turns into PTSD.
This condition leads to changes in a person’s mental health, including nightmares, flashbacks, mood and sleep changes and emotional withdrawal. Complex PTSD can also develop years after an event has happened, which leads to confusion around the trigger for the PTSD.
While PTSD is usually associated with war veterans, this disorder can affect anyone who has been through a significant amount of trauma.
Traumatic events include road traffic accidents, domestic abuse and physical or sexual assult, but can be any event which someone finds traumatic.
There are people who are more at risk of experiencing PTSD. These are people who are pre-disposed to mental illness because of another condition, genetic factors, going through other traumatic experiences and working in places where you are repeatedly exposed to trauma.
Does CBD help with PTSD?
A 2012 study in rodents was published that suggests that CBD affects predatory stress, which is hypothesized to be due to the interaction of the compound and 5HT1A receptors within the brain. CBD can also enhance anandamide signaling, which induces aversive memory extinction.
Another study in 2019 found that 91% of participants who were given CBD alongside traditional psychiatric care experienced a reduction in the severity of the PTSD symptoms after 8 weeks.
There are currently more studies being undertaken, with results from one promising study expected to be published in 2022.
How CBD affects PTSD symptoms
Research indicates that CBD tincture and other CBD products
work by interacting with the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors. These interactions are partly responsible for emotional memory processing, which is associated with people with PTSD experiencing negative memories.
Scientists believe that by blocking the retrieval of these memories, the endocannabinoid system can help with cognitive and emotional issues, causing anxiety relief.
Will CBD cure PTSD?
CBD tincture and other types of CBD are supplements, and cannot cure PTSD. While it can provide anxiety relief for people with PTSD who take it, it will not make PTSD completely go away. Besides taking CBD, it is recommended that people with PTSD should also consult the advice of a mental health professional, who will be able to guide you through processes to help you manage PTSD.
It is clear that in the future more robust research is required. With larger samples we will be able to understand how CBD interacts with PTSD in people.
The larger bank of evidence which is compiled through studies such as those mentioned in this article will hopefully prove fruitful in increasing our understanding of CBD and other cannabinoids.
Either way, if you believe that you may have PTSD, you should make sure that you speak with a mental health professional, so that you can get medical advice on how you might gain care for your symptoms.