Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is something most everyone has heard of by now. However, that does not mean that it’s a well-understood disorder. In fact, it’s often misunderstood. Most people relate it to veterans or first responders. The reality is though, that it encompasses so much more people and situations.
Anyone who has lasting emotional trauma from any incident can fall into this category. Fortunately, there are a few available treatments for PTSD to help a person suffering from the many problematic symptoms. One of those treatments gaining in popularity is medical cannabis oil.
Cannabis is also another term society is hearing about more often now. And lately, cannabis oil and PTSD are used in tandem. To understand how cannabis oil can help with PTSD, we should first understand each element separately.
2019 Clinic Trial Confirms Effectiveness of CBD for PTSD
A clinic trial in the United States involving military veterans suffering from PTSD found 91% of participants experienced “a decrease in PTSD symptom severity”. No patients discontinued treatment because of side effects and CBD was “well tolerated” by all patients, over an eight week period. (Cannabidiol in the Treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: A Case Series; Journal of alternative and complementary medicine, 2019)
CBD Oil Used to Treat PTSD in Frontline COVID-19 Medical Worker in 2020
An ER nurse in New York developed PTSD due to the emotional and physical stresses of COVID-19 deaths. She was prescribed a broad-spectrum CBD, without any THC. Her therapist noted a marked decrease in anxiety, improved quality of sleep, improved mood and more lucid thinking in the first month of treatment itself.
As mentioned above, PTSD is a disorder that stems from trauma, and it’s described as repetitive re-experiencing of the trauma. What happens is that the portion of the brain that controls fear is triggered, causing the person to relive the event repeatedly, especially in response to certain similar stimuli or events occurring around them.
Some PTSD reactions include the following:
- Emotionally numb
- Exaggerated startle
- Inability to control emotions, including sadness or anger
- Recurring nightmares
- Inability to sleep
- Substance abuse
Most PTSD patients are not able to free themselves from the fear when something triggers a reaction, such as fireworks for a veteran, or speeding car for an auto accident survivor. In fact, the fears and reactions can be so overwhelming that functioning in normal daily activities is impossible, and even have a negative impact on a person’s physical health.
Unfortunately, a few patients never find relief and end up committing suicide, because the conventional treatments known to them did not work.
PTSD does not discriminate. It can happen to any gender, race, or age, after someone experiences or witnesses a traumatic event. In addition to being a veteran of the war, the following events have also been known to result in PTSD in some people who have experienced:
- Violent crime
- Bad accident
- Severe weather such as hurricanes or tornadoes
- Death of someone close
Now that the causes and symptoms have been discussed, what about treatments for PTSD?
Cannabis Oil as a Treatment for PTSD
One question often asked is, “Is there such a thing as getting over post-traumatic stress disorder?” That is a question that is very difficult to answer. Treatments are available to certainly help diminish the effects of PTSD. But, some people will argue if it ever goes away completely.
One treatment making headway in the fight against PTSD is the use of cannabis oil. Some patients feel as though it helped significantly in reducing the agonizing symptoms. However, official studies have been difficult to come by, due to fighting the endless red tape and bureaucracy. Studies have been promising though, with military personnel claiming relief with the use of cannabis oil when other treatments have failed.
Other medical issues that cannabis oil treats include the following:
Anecdotal evidence in the use of cannabis oil and PTSD, while not official studies, has been overwhelmingly encouraging for those who suffer from PTSD. In fact, it has been so encouraging, that the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in the US has given the approval for a study to be conducted on the use of cannabis as medicine.
CBD Studies in Canada, Europe, Australia and the U.S.
In recent years large scale studies in the U.S., Canada, Australia and Europe have been started to assess the effectiveness of CBD for treating PTSD.
A clinical trial in Australia, initiated in 2019, is testing the treatment potential of CBD on military veterans suffering from PTSD returning from warzones.
United States of America
The University of Texas started a study in 2020 to assess the clinical efficacy of CBD in the treatment of PTSD. It involves more than 100 participants in the project.
Europe is home to one of the most ambitious CBD studies anywhere in the world. As of 2020, the study is recruiting 20,000 patients for trials to begin in 2021. The study aims to assess the medical potential of CBD and THC compounds for a variety of medical conditions, including PTSD.
This is very promising, as it will open the door to even more studies in the future, resulting in a way to provide relief to many patients who suffer from PTSD with the use of cannabis oil.
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