Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, more commonly known as PTSD, is a psychological affliction that affects thousands of United States veterans after they have come back from deployment. PTSD symptoms cause adverse changes in a person’s mental, physical, and emotional state, and in the most serious cases, can render an individual incapable of fulfilling daily tasks.
Recent studies have indicated that CBD hemp oil can help manage symptoms of PTSD through its high concentration of cannabidiol (CBD). Although CBD isn’t recognized by the FDA as a medical or therapeutic aid for those suffering from PTSD, it is becoming an increasingly popular dietary supplement for individuals who suffer from similar conditions, such as panic disorder, social phobia, and anxiety.
How does CBD hemp oil help with PTSD?
It is important for anyone interested in using hemp oil to help with PTSD to know that CBD is not psychoactive. This means veterans already suffering from drastic changes in their mental health do not have to worry about unwanted side effects caused by the “high” that other cannabis plants, namely marijuana, produce.
Furthermore, CBD helps manage symptoms like panic, anxiety, and memory loss. It does this by stimulating 5-HT1A (serotonin) receptors in the central nervous systems. But, that not all it does. CBD is a cannabinoid, and cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid system to regulate functionality in various physiological systems, like the central nervous system. The body naturally produces cannabinoids, one of which is anandamide.
Anandamide levels in PTSD patients have been shown to be much lower than those without the condition. Since CBD is also a cannabinoid, using it can make up for the shortage of anandamide, thus improving the regulation of the central nervous system. A better functioning nervous system means less anxiety and panic.
All in all, studies have shown that CBD hemp oil can aid PTSD patients in the following ways:
- Stimulate sleep hormones
- Regulate pain receptors
- Inhibit mood receptors
- Impede reconsolidation memory
- Enable extinction learning
- Regulate stress hormones
What else have studies of CBD use amongst veterans with PTSD revealed?
As of now, not many studies specifically geared toward CBD hemp oil use and veterans with PTSD have been conducted. However, researchers do know that among veterans suffering from PTSD, the most highly abused substance is marijuana. Since marijuana is a cannabis plant like hemp, it also contains levels of CBD. Medical professionals believe PTSD patients turn to marijuana because of CBD’s ability to help manage anxiety and stress.
Although research for PTSD patients is not yet abundant, clinical research is currently being conducted by several institutions. This includes a facility in New Mexico and the University of British Columbia. The study in New Mexico found that there was a 75% reduction in PTSD symptoms and severity associated with CBD use. Since researchers already know CBD can reduce anxiety and stress, they remain optimistic about the effect CBD can have on PTSD patients.