CBD For Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
CBD's efficacy in treating different illnesses is now beyond question. Cancer, inflammation, neurological disorders, and pain are four of the medical conditions which have been treated successfully by CBD. However, CBD's usefulness does not end there.
What Is PTSD?
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder which can occur in people who have experienced or seen a traumatic event. This may be an accident, war, violence or a sexual assault.
There is a broad spectrum of symptoms associated with PTSD which can vary widely between individuals. The emotional symptoms of PTSD may include severe anxiety, depression, and anger caused by uncontrollable memories of the event. Physical symptoms may include back pain, stomach pain, tiredness, and migraines. These symptoms can make life extremely difficult for sufferers.
How PTSD Affects The Brain
Researchers believe that PTSD affects two areas of the brain: the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex (PFC).
The amygdala is a part of the brain which plays a key role in processing emotions and fear. Researchers believe that PTSD causes the amygdala to shrink. When it shrinks it becomes less effective in processing trauma-related anxiety.
The PFC is implicated in planning complex cognitive behavior, personality expression, decision making, and moderating behavior. In sufferers of PTSD, the PFC has been observed as being less active.
PTSD can be difficult to treat. There is no single treatment or medication which works for everyone. Traditionally, Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), Benzodiazepines and antipsychotic medication have been used to treat PTSD. However, many patients have reported significant side effects when using these drugs.
How Can CBD Treat PTSD?
The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) is one of the organizations at the forefront of research into CBD's efficacy in treating PTSD.
MAPS has explored the relationship between PTSD, our endogenous cannabinoid system and the role played by cannabis.
Anandamide is an endocannabinoid, a cannabinoid which is produced by the human body and is responsible for activating the CB-1 brain receptors. These receptors are located in the brain and nervous system and are responsible for managing physiological functions. These functions deal with things like memory, mood and pain sensations. Healthy CB-1 receptors enable us to forget traumatic memories.
Researchers have discovered that anandamide is present at lower levels in PTSD sufferers than those with no symptoms of PTSD. Consequently, they are unable to forget traumatic memories.
The cannabis plant contains cannabinoids, including CBD, which activates the same receptors as anandamide. As a result, cannabis may help PTSD sufferers by replacing missing endocannabinoids.
Access To CBD
Today, veterans are some of the people most affected by PTSD. Despite CBD's effectiveness in treating PTSD, veterans who wish to use it face significant obstacles. In the US, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) manages healthcare for veterans. Despite legislation seeking to improve access to medical cannabis for veterans, the VA continues to oppose any bill which would promote the use of cannabis.
Tags: PTSD, CBD, Cannabis, Cannabidiol, Veterans