Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of many different compounds that make up the variety of herb that we call marijuana.
PTSD, or post traumatic stress disorder, is an incapacitating form of anxiety that often appears in people who have suffered severe trauma. Veterans returning from active combat are perhaps one of the largest groups of PTSD sufferers known in the United States.
Marijuana was approved for medical use in a few states well before the role of cannabidiol or CBD was entirely understood by researchers. Oregon, as an example, approved its use in 1998 and now has 55,000 patients taking medical marijuana via its state-approved facilities. New Mexico approved its use in 2007 and there are now almost 10,000 people being treated in that state. It is estimated that forty percent of these patients have been prescribed marijuana for the relief of their PTSD symptoms.
A 2013 study reported in the Psychopharmacology Journal looked at CBD in relation to memories. The scientists subjected healthy human volunteers to electric shocks and found that administering CBD to the subjects helped them extinguish the memory and associated fear. Those subjects who received CBD fared better and were less anxious than those who received the placebo.
An earlier study (2012) reported in The Journal of Psychiatric Research found similar results with laboratory rats exposed to a threat from a cat. Those given CBD suffered less anxiety after the trauma than those given placebo.
The findings of these and other studies suggest CBD can be a highly effective treatment for helping PTSD sufferers, since it can ease their painful memories. In PTSD these memories persist long after the events and contribute to their severe anxiety.
Cannabidiol can be obtained legally in many countries including the United States in the form of oils, tinctures, capsules, lotions, and edible items, usually obtained from hemp. Most dispensaries carry cannabis products that fit this bill.
CBD is increasingly becoming known for its advantages over commonly prescribed drugs such as antidepressants. This is because it works quickly and there are few side effects or withdrawal symptoms. Cannabidiol, interestingly enough, does not test positive on drug tests that are looking for the hallucinogenic component of marijuana, THC.
Have you or a loved one been recommended CBD as part of your treatment for PTSD? Willing to share your experience to help others? Please share. We’d love the opportunity to feature you.