PTSD, more formerly known as post-traumatic stress disorder, is a type of anxiety disorder that affects as many as ten percent of the population. Many of us associate PTSD with victims of abuse and military veterans exposed to harsh environments of combat, but the reality is that this disorder can affect anyone of any age, and that there is no criteria for how severe an event must be in order to lead to the development of PTSD.
It’s important that anyone who struggles with this disorder knows that help is available. Today, there are several different options for PTSD sufferers, and many have the serious potential to be effective. We also know that CBD is being used by many people who struggle with anxiety disorders of all kinds.
What is PTSD?
PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, is a chronic anxiety condition that is caused by a specific traumatic event or circumstance. The event or circumstance varies from person to person, and many people mistakenly believe that PTSD can only occur if a person’s life has been legitimately threatened. The reality is that PTSD can result in anyone who has been exposed to some sort of intense stress, especially early on in life. Common culprits behind PTSD include abuse, near-death experiences, a severe childhood illness, poverty, a dysfunctional home life, the loss of a loved one and a natural disaster.
When we experience trauma, especially at an early age, the literal architecture of our brain can change, which can lead to a host of anxiety and depression symptoms seemingly beyond our control. The area of the brain which traumatic events are stored is responsible for triggering the stress response, which includes all of the symptoms that are associated with an anxiety attack, including an increased heart rate, racing thoughts and more. PTSD sufferers typically have triggers that remind them of the traumatic event, and as the event is inevitably played out in their minds, they feel the stress response throughout their body as though they were actually reliving their traumatic experience.
Symptoms of PTSD
Symptoms of PTSD will vary from person-to-person, as the most common ones include:
- Panic Attacks
- Irrational Phobias
- Obsessive-compulsive Tendencies
- General Feelings of Anxiety
All of these symptoms can persist regardless of circumstances. It’s far from rare for PTSD sufferers to have some sort of psychosomatic response to the stress as well, whether it be chronic migraines, digestive troubles or something else that is often mistaken for ill physical health.
A big part of managing PTSD is receiving a proper diagnosis from a licensed mental health professional, usually a psychiatrist. They will ask you a series of questions and determine whether or not your responses meet the criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder.
Nowadays, those who have PTSD have multiple options when it comes to treatment. Your mental healthcare provider will discuss with you the treatments that are available, and help you decide which one you may best respond to based on your unique symptoms and priorities. There are medications that can help manage the anxiety that results from PTSD, so that a person may live a more functional life.
Those who wish to abstain from medications may benefit from some form of therapy whether it be CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing), or even traditional talk therapy. Some psychologists may recommend exposure therapy, in which the patient must confront their fears by exposing themselves to their triggers, in order to recognize that in reality, they are not threatening after all.
Note: Each person’s responses to individual treatment options will vary. For instance, some people may respond better to medications while others may prefer a form of cognitive behavioral therapy to manage their symptoms.
Cannabidiol for PTSD: What the Studies Say
Cannabidiol is the leading compound in hemp, and it binds with cannabinoid receptors in the brain and various parts of the body to trigger regulations of important processes carried out by the bodily systems. PTSD causes architectural changes in the brain, changing the way in which we process memories, respond to stress, experience triggers and more. We know that CBD may be able to regulate these functions by supporting their natural mechanisms.
There have been plenty of studies on CBD for anxiety, and in fact, multiple studies relating to CBD specifically for PTSD have been promising.
- Study #1: Researchers laid out the variety of effects that CBD may have on overall brain activity in someone with PTSD as a result of the binding process between cannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors in the brain.
- Study #2: A group of patients with PTSD were administered cannabidiol, with a 91 percent success rate in terms of the reduction of symptoms.
How Can Somebody Use CBD Specifically Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?
Well, the most important thing is that you have a conversation with your mental healthcare provider and your regular physician. Both of these medical professionals will take into full account your symptoms, medical history, and current medications to help you come up with a plan.
When it comes to using CBD for this purpose, it’s advised that you take it daily. This allows proper support of the endocannabinoid system which sends CBD to receptors in the brain. The delivery method and milligram strength are up to you, and should be determined based on your specific needs, goals and severity of your symptoms.
Choose a CBD product that comes from a legitimate company such as CBD LUXE by looking for third-party lab reports which indicate that the CBD has been properly analyzed by an unbiased laboratory facility.
CBD is a widely available and perfectly legal option for someone who wants to explore a natural approach to managing their PTSD-related anxiety. If you wanna give cannabidiol a try, speak to your doctor, and continue with your other treatments as prescribed.