As you may know, all too acutely, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can severely damage your quality of life. If you experience recurring nightmares, anxiety attacks triggered by unwanted memories, and feelings of detachment or hopelessness, you may benefit from products containing cannabidiol (CBD).
Before you leap into a CBD product purchase, it only makes sense to learn some basic facts about what CBD does, how it might help you, and your options for purchasing and using it. Check out the answers to these frequently asked questions about CBD for PTSD.
How Do CBD and Other Cannabinoids Interact With the Brain and Body?
CBD qualifies as a cannabinoid, a substance derived from plants in the Cannabis genus of the Cannabaceae family. (Most commercially available CBD comes from hemp.) Cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid system, which has receptors throughout the brain and body.
CBD and its cousin THC (the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana) both appear to activate CB1 and CB2 receptors. This activation can help promote feelings of calm, well-being, and happiness. It also has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties that can help control some forms of chronic pain.
Why Does CBD Improve PTSD Symptoms?
People who suffer from PTSD tend to have low levels of anandamide, a cannabinoid naturally produced in the body. CBD may help compensate for that insufficiency, improving everything from sleep quality to overall mood.
CBD seems to help the brain emphasize pleasant memories over unpleasant ones. Anandamide helps to prevent the mind from recovering traumatic memories. By interacting CBD1 receptors, CBD can help restore this function if you have low anandamide levels, enabling your brain to switch off those upsetting memories.
What Makes CBD Preferable to Other Options for PTSD Sufferers?
PTSD sufferers have traditionally turned to a variety of drugs that might relieve their symptoms, including marijuana and opiates. The high levels of THC in marijuana can cause paranoia and anxiety, while opiate addiction has gained notoriety as a killer of millions throughout the U.S.
By contrast, CBD doesn't seem to present any dangers to human health. Additionally, its minimal THC content prevents it from either causing addiction or creating unwanted negative feelings.
Many of the same veterans and first responders who experience PTSD from their past experiences also struggle with chronic pain that already requires strong pain-killing medication. CBD's analgesic effects can ease discomfort, possibly enabling some veterans to rely less heavily on opiates for their pain management needs.