CBD and Post-Traumatic stress disorder

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  • Updated 439 days ago
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According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, PTSD becomes a diagnosable condition after symptoms persist for over a month straight.

Post-Traumatic Stress is something many of us have heard of before, although the condition itself is not very well-understood. When PTSD is mentioned, most people think of veterans or first responders but the truth is that this condition encompasses a broad spectrum of people and situations.

What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD is characterized by poor adaptation to a traumatic experience. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, PTSD becomes a diagnosable condition after symptoms persist for over a month straight. It is important to note that many symptoms of PTSD may not appear for several months after the initial incident—and some may not appear until years later.

PTSD is a long-term psychological disorder one can develop after going through a traumatic event.

A traumatic event can mean perceiving or facing a life-threatening event, which causes extreme fear or danger.

Some examples of such events are:

  • Domestic abuse or violence
  • Witnessing any accident or anyone being killed
  • Surviving any accident, such as a plane crash or vehicle accident
  • Enduring a heart attack
  • Suffering a critical medical diagnosis
  • Being prey to rape
  • Victim of kidnapping or other crimes
  • Undergoing a life-changing situation, such as the death of a loved one or divorce
  • Witnessing terrorist attack or a war
  • Being a prey of natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods

Unfortunately, the statistics are dismal. Most patients never find relief and too many end up committing suicide because conventional treatments don’t seem to work.

What is CBD?

CBD is one of over 100 chemical compounds known as cannabinoids found in the cannabis or marijuana plant. It is used medically to treat patients who are experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, insomnia, inflammation, and more.

When consumed, CBD binds with the endocannabinoid (ECS) system (a network of receptors existing in the central nervous system) to trigger productive communications between your brain and body. The ECS is made up of receptors that regulate bodily functions such as pain, appetite, mood, memory, sleep, immune system function, bone development, and metabolism. These receptors, which are categorized as CB1 and CB2, are activated either by endocannabinoids produced by the human body, or phytocannabinoids which come from plants.

Symptoms of PTSD

Unlike other mental conditions, PTSD never develops on its own without outside influences. While many mental conditions can be genetic or hereditary-- or can come up irrespective of whatever life encounters one faces, PTSD is always the result of a life event.

Some PTSD symptoms include:

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Substance abuse
  • Antisocial behavior: becoming detached, emotionally numb, and avoiding people, places, or activities that can remind you of the trauma.
  • Flashbacks and nightmares of the experienced traumatic event
  • Insomnia and increased temper

There are other PTSD symptoms and all vary depending on the type of traumatic encounter and age.

Cannabidiol and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

One thing often asked about this condition is, “do people ever get well from post-traumatic stress disorder?” – and that question is a very difficult one to answer because most treatments may diminish the effects of PTSD, but none will make them go away completely. One treatment making headway in the fight against PTSD is the use of CBD oil or CBD products. CBD is known to provide numerous health benefits and shows particular promise with those suffering with PTSD. According to recent clinical studies, as well as anecdotal evidence, cannabis oil has been overwhelmingly encouraging, playing a significant role in reducing symptoms of PTSD.

Here are 3 common ways CBD has been shown to relieve symptoms of PTSD:

1. Reduces Anxiety

The most common expression of PTSD is chronic anxiety. CBD has been shown to reduce stress and decrease heart rate as well as improve mood.

2. Stops Nightmares

By reducing REM sleep and the vivid dreams that occur during this stage, CBD has been shown to assist in relieving nightmares experienced by many suffering from PTSD.

3. Helps With Insomnia

Many studies have shown CBD to help improve sleep quality and minimize sleep latency.

Other treatments and modalities for PTSD sufferers:

Various treatments can be used to reduce the effects of PTSD, including; presented centered therapy, exposure therapy, and cognitive processing therapy.

Present-Centered Therapy is a non-trauma focused treatment for PTSD. This therapy modality is called “present centered” as the goal is to focus on the client’s current/present life and not on the past traumatic event. This helps the patient start to recognize the connection between PTSD symptoms and current struggles and hopefully begin to lessen their anxiety.

Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PET) is a form of psychotherapy. This is behavioral based treatment targeting learned behaviors that people engage in (most often the avoidance) in response to situations or thoughts and memories that are viewed as frightening or anxiety-provoking.

Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) is a specific type of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy that helps patients learn how to modify and challenge unhelpful beliefs related to the trauma.


When people seek treatment for PTSD, a serious condition that drastically reduces the quality of life, many wonder if one specific treatment will provide that lasting cure. There are a number of effective treatments for PTSD, such as various therapy techniques, as well as encouraging evidence that CBD may be effective at combating various symptoms of PTSD. All of these treatment methods are used to help minimize, and sometimes even eliminate distressing symptoms that people with PTSD often experience. The goal is to not lose hope.

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