Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can be caused by a wide range of upsetting or distressing events. It’s a form of anxiety and symptoms include flashbacks and nightmares. Some people find talking therapy like cognitive behavioural therapy can help them reduce their symptoms whereas others benefit from medication like antidepressants. Studies have suggested that CBD may be able to help relieve some of the symptoms of PTSD.
CBD for PTSD
Research has been taking place to understand how CBD can help with PTSD. In April 2019 scientists investigated the effect of CBD alongside psychiatric care which included medication and psychotherapy. They found that 91% of patients experienced a decrease in PTSD symptom severity. This included a reduction in nightmares. None of the patients discontinued treatment due to side effects.
A review of studies in 2018 concluded that CBD may be able to help with responses to traumatic memories. They found that CBD has fewer side effects than the medication traditionally used to help treat PTSD. A 2009 study was conducted with 47 patients who suffer from PTSD. They all experienced continuing nightmares despite taking antidepressants and undergoing hypnotherapy.
They took the cannabinoid medicine nabilone and 72% of them reported that their nightmares had stopped, or they had been significantly reduced. They also reported improvements in sleep time and the quality of sleep. More research needs to take place to fully understand the effects of CBD on PTSD but at this stage, it looks promising.
CBD and Insomnia
Nightmares can be one of the worst symptoms of PTSD. They can wake you up in the night and fearing they might happen can make it difficult for you to get to sleep in the first place. Aside from the studies mentioned above that specifically dealt with PTSD, CBD has been used for many years by people to help them get to sleep at night. CBD is known for its ability to improve the quality of sleep.
This is potentially due to the involvement of the endocannabinoid system in regulating your circadian rhythm. This is your internal sleep/wake cycle. When your cycle is disrupted you might feel sleepy during the day but then very awake during the night. A few drops of Mee CBD in your evening herbal tea can help you get to sleep easier and stay asleep longer.
CBD and Anxiety
PTSD is a form of anxiety disorder and can have similar symptoms to panic attacks. There have been a lot of different studies investigating whether CBD can help reduce anxiety. Most of them have shown the great effects of CBD on anxiety. A study in 2019 concluded that “CBD has a promising role as an alternative therapy in the management of anxiety disorders”.
A 2015 study similarly concluded, “current evidence indicates CBD has considerable potential as a treatment for multiple anxiety disorders”. More research is taking place to understand how CBD can help with anxiety. PTSD is closely linked to anxiety so these results will be significant for people who suffer from PTSD.
Does CBD have any Side Effects?
CBD doesn’t have many side effects. The World Health Organisation has declared it to be safe to take. In the UK, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) recommends taking no more than 70mg a day for adults. This is a large amount of CBD, equivalent to taking three and a half sachets of Mee Daily.
The side effects most often mentioned about CBD are a dry mouth and a change of appetite but these are not usually severe and pass quickly. It’s important to take organic, high-quality CBD so you know exactly what you’re taking. If you are considering taking CBD, you should consult with your doctor if you are taking any prescription medications. CBD can interfere with some prescription medication because they are both broken down by the same enzymes in the liver.
Summary: CBD and PTSD
CBD shows promise for helping with the symptoms of PTSD. Science suggests that it can help with traumatic memories and nightmares. It can also help with general insomnia and anxiety caused by PTSD. CBD has minimal side effects and can be incorporated into your daily routine as a plant-based supplement.
A reminder - What is CBD?
CBD is one of the many cannabinoids within cannabis plants. There are lots of other cannabinoids like Cannabigerol (CBG), Cannabichromene (CBC) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD doesn’t give you a high like the one associated with cannabis. That comes from the cannabinoid THC.
If CBD contains no THC, it is legal in the UK. You can buy lots of different types of CBD products including CBD coffee, creams and oils. CBD interacts with the Endocannabinoid System within our bodies. This system is involved in lots of different processes like digestion, pain management and appetite.