Heard about the benefits of CBD and want to try it for yourself? Out expert guide on using CBD for PTSD will give you all the information you need.
Past trauma has a way of catching up with you.
As much as you might want to move on from difficult and upsetting incidents in your past, it can sometimes feel impossible. If you have post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, even the slightest details can trigger a disturbing memory of an unpleasant event.
Over 8 million Americans are currently struggling with PTSD — and women are twice as likely as men to develop it after a trauma. Further, soldiers returning home from combat in high-conflict areas have a 20% chance of being diagnosed with PTSD after service.
Finally, about 70% of adults have gone through an event that severely traumatized them in some way, making them vulnerable to PTSD.
PTSD can affect anyone, at any time.
If that person is you, you’re likely anxious to learn about new PTSD treatments. Read on to learn more about how using CBD for PTSD can help.
What Is PTSD? Before we get into the specifics of CBD for PTSD, let’s first make sure you understand exactly what the disorder entails.
PTSD comes after a seriously traumatic event in your life. Usually, this is an event like sexual assault, a near-death experience, years of abuse, war, or even a horrible natural disaster.
If you sustained serious injuries (especially brain injuries) during the traumatic event, you may be more likely to develop PTSD. You may also be at a higher risk of PTSD if you have other mental health problems, or even if someone else in your family had PTSD.
While in some cases, you may develop PTSD directly after the event, other times, you may live a happy, normal life for years before you start noticing symptoms.
Symptoms often include nightmares of the event. You may also experience a sudden onslaught of horrific memories, avoidant personality, increased negativity and depression.
You’ll likely also deal with extreme anxiety and paranoia.
If you’ve been through a trauma, your mind and body have specific ways of coping with it.
One of those ways is through the natural chemical in our bodies called anandamide, which is created within our natural endocannabinoid system.
Whenever you feel stressed out, anxious, or are triggered by a memory of a traumatic event? Your body releases these chemicals as a way to help you calm down.
Think of endocannabinoids and anandamide as a different kind of runner’s high — expect instead of getting blissed out after a workout, it’s whenever you have anxiety.
Additionally, the endocannabinoid system in your body is responsible for creating what we commonly refer to as the “fight or flight” response. This means you’ll be on high alert and able to think clearly during a stressful situation.
Unfortunately, if you have been diagnosed with PTSD, the endocannabinoid system in your body isn’t working properly. This means that, instead of being able to move past a traumatic situation or memory, your mind gets “stuck” on it.
Your body simply isn’t creating enough chemicals of the chemicals you need to help you to move past an event.
Additionally, the limbic region of your brain — the part that sends stress signals out to the rest of your body — is much more active than it is in those that don’t have PTSD.
So, not only is your body not producing enough “calming” natural chemicals. The stress responses in your brain are also in overdrive.
Luckily, CBD for PTSD can help with this.
Now, let’s take a closer look at how CBD for PTSD helps to correct the chemical imbalances in your brain.
As you likely already know, one of the main ingredients in cannabis is known as “THC.” This is short for “Tetrahydrocannabinol,” and it contains more of those “cannabinoids” that your body naturally creates on your own.
Think of THC as kind of a “booster shot” for those whose past traumatic experiences have caused a depletion in cannabinoid production.
The cannabinoids in THC naturally “latch on” to the endocannabinoids already in your body. This increases their effectiveness and potency, and also makes them last for a longer period of time.
This means that, not only will you feel less anxious and have fewer re-experiencing memories. You’ll also experience longer periods between each episode.
But it’s not just the endocannabinoids that CBD for PTSD helps to manage. It also helps to rewire the brain signals within your limbic system.
Remember, the limbic system is what is telling your mind/body to think about and respond to those past traumatic memories. CDB for PTSD actually helps to slow down those stress receptors and intercepts those signals within the brain.
Then, it helps your brain to “rewrite” the associations it makes with past traumatic events, meaning you’ll finally be able to move past them.
In addition to stress and anxiety from PTSD, we also know that you likely have serious problems falling asleep at night.
Even if you do manage to finally hit the hay, chances are high that you’ll be woken up by a horrific nightmare of the traumatic event. Often, this will make it impossible to fall back to sleep.
CBD for PTSD can also help to regulate and improve your sleep cycle.
First of all, as we’ve already established, CBD for PTSD can help to reduce or eliminate the amount of anxiety you feel and negative memories you have.
Additionally, it can help to regulate your hormone levels, especially when it comes to stress hormones like cortisol. If your body is producing too much cortisol, you’ll likely feel “keyed up” and wired at night.
Hormonal imbalances may also wreak havoc on your body’s REM cycle. If you can’t get into a REM cycle when you sleep, you’ll be much more likely to wake up in the middle of the night.
You’ll also get low-quality sleep that leaves you feeling groggy in the morning.
CBD for PTSD can help to manage your body’s hormone production level, which helps you to hit your REM cycle and fall asleep faster.
Now that you have a better understanding of how CBD for PTSD works, let’s talk about how you can find the strain of cannabis that’s right for you.
We love Bubba Kush, which is an Indica-based strain that will help you to relax your body. Especially if you’ve noticed that the stress of PTSD is starting to take a physical toll, you’ll love this option.
Bubba Kush also comes with a high THC content of 27%, and will help you to tackle insomnia.
If you’d prefer a hybrid strain, then we suggest Headband, with a THC content of between 17-24%. It has a lower CBD content, which means you’ll get less of a body high and more of a sense of creative euphoria.
Be aware that this strain is a bit stronger than some of the others on this list. So, we suggest using it on a weekend, or a day without concrete plans.
Interested in trying a Sativa strain of CBD for PTSD?
If so, you can’t go wrong with Duran Poison, which has a THC content of between 16-25%. It’s also perfect for pain management, so if you’re dealing with an injury in addition to trauma, this may be right for you.
Durban poison also helps to boost your productivity, so feel free to take a couple of hits before you head to work for the day. You should expect to feel more creative and alert than usual with this strain.
Thanks to this post, you now have a much better understanding of how CBD for PTSD works.
We know that right now, you may be feeling as though relief from your symptoms will forever remain out of reach. Know that you are not alone and that CBD for PTSD may be just what you need to get your old life back.
Interested in learning more about how others in your situation have used cannabis to help them cope?
Would you prefer to comb through more scientific studies regarding the positive effects of cannabis use?
Don’t spend one more day letting PTSD and depression rule over your life. Instead, take back control — starting right now.