Studies show one of the most widespread applications of CBD is in the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD.
PTSD is a very common disorder affecting more than 8 million Americans. The symptoms of PTSD are often uncomfortable, including nightmares, avoidance of certain activities, heightened reactions, depression and anxiety. The most common treatment for PTSD in the United States is pharmaceutical medication that often carries with it a long list of serious side effects.
Those suffering from PTSD often feel relegated to a life of pharmaceutical drugs—that is, until they stumble upon the wonderful healing effects of CBD. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is an all-natural, plant-based PTSD treatment option derived from hemp. Although PTSD itself is not curable—because the event can’t be un-lived—it’s symptoms no longer have to run your life. Interestingly enough, PTSD is one of the approved conditions for medical marijuana in many states.
Regardless of the symptoms associated with your PTSD, which can be very widespread, CBD can help! In order to understand how CBD helps provide relief from PTSD symptoms, we turn to a series of medical studies that have been conducted over the past six years. These studies evaluated CBD’s medical efficacy in treating those who suffer from various types of PTSD.
A 2012 study investigated the anti-anxiety actions of CBD administration in a model of PTSD that was simulated by being exposed to a predator. The study found repeated CBD administration prevents the long-lasting anxiogenic effects observed after predator exposure probably by facilitating 5HT1A receptors neurotransmission. The results suggest that CBD has beneficial potential for
PTSD treatment and that 5HT1A receptors could be a therapeutic target in this disorder.
A 2012 medical review presents a case report of a 19-year-old male patient with a spectrum of severe PTSD symptoms, such as intense flashbacks, panic attacks, and self-mutilation, who discovered that some of his major symptoms were dramatically reduced by smoking cannabis resin. This review shows that recent studies provided supporting evidence that PTSD patients may be able to cope with their symptoms by using cannabis products. Cannabis may dampen the strength or emotional impact of traumatic memories through synergistic mechanisms that might make it easier for people with PTSD to rest or sleep and to feel less anxious and less involved with flashback memories.
The presence of endocannabinoid signalling systems within stress-sensitive nuclei of the hypothalamus, as well as upstream limbic structures (amygdala), point to the significance of this system for the regulation of neuroendocrine and behavioural responses to stress. Evidence is increasingly accumulating that cannabinoids might play a role in fear extinction and anti-depressive effects.
2016 study evaluated the effects of CBD on contextual fear memory extinction. The study concluded CBD both acutely inhibited fear expression and enhanced extinction to produce longer lasting reductions in fear. These observations provide further support for the potential translational use of CBD in conditions such as post traumatic stress disorder and specific phobias.
Another 2016 study looked at the effectiveness of Cannabidiol oil in the treatment of pediatric anxiety and insomnia as a result of PTSD. The main finding from this case study is that CBD oil can be an effective compound to reduce anxiety and insomnia secondary to PTSD. This case study provides clinical data that support the use of cannabidiol oil as a safe treatment for reducing anxiety and improving sleep in a young girl with post traumatic stress disorder.
A 2018 medical review concluded human and animal studies suggest that CBD may offer therapeutic benefits for disorders related to inappropriate responses to traumatic memories. The effects of CBD on the different stages of aversive memory processing make this compound a candidate pharmacological adjunct to psychological therapies for PTSD. CBD also shows an action profile with fewer side effects than the pharmacological therapy currently used to treat this type of disorder.
As signified by the studies above, CBD inhibits the fear expression and helps treat the symptoms associated with PTSD.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions/Posttraumatic-Stress-Disorder
Campos, A. C., Ferreira, F. R., & Guimarães, F. S. (2012, November). Cannabidiol blocks long-lasting behavioral consequences of predator threat stress: Possible involvement of 5HT1A receptors. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22979992
Passie, T., Emrich, H. M., Karst, M., Brandt, S. D., & Halpern, J. H. (2012). Mitigation of post-traumatic stress symptoms by Cannabis resin: A review of the clinical and neuro biological evidence. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22736575
S., W., C., S.Lee, F., & C., J. L. (2016, December 01). Bidirectional Effects of Cannabidiol on Contextual Fear Memory Extinction. Retrieved from https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2016.00493/full
Shannon, S., & Opila-Lehman, J. (2016). Effectiveness of Cannabidiol Oil for Pediatric Anxiety and Insomnia as Part of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Case Report. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5101100/
Bitencourt, R. M., & Takahashi, R. N. (2018, July). Cannabidiol as a Therapeutic Alternative for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: From Bench Research to Confirmation in Human Trials. Retrieved from