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Can CBD help with PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a life-altering psychological condition characterised by symptoms such as major emotional change and an altered perception of the world. Typically developed in the aftermath of a traumatic event such as an assault or natural disaster, PTSD can affect almost anyone and can lead to further issues such as substance abuse.

How is PTSD treated?

Traditionally, PTSD is treated with a combination of medication and psychotherapy. Recently, however, CBD has entered the scene as a possible new treatment for PTSD. As well as offering a natural alternative to prescription medications, CBD may also cause far fewer side effects than traditional treatments.

How could CBD help with PTSD?

According to recent studies, CBD may help to encourage a person’s endocannabinoid system to carry out essential functions more efficiently, particularly those connected to memory retrieval. Indeed, CBD has the potential to activate the brain CB1 and CB2 receptors, thereby prompting the endocannabinoid system to generate neurotransmitters associated with building positive memories and feelings of pleasure and happiness. 

In this way, it is thought that CBD may be able to alleviate symptoms of PTSD by halting the retrieval of underlying traumatic memories and encouraging feelings of emotional wellbeing. 

A recent academic study has provided further insight into the link between CBD and PTSD by demonstrating that people with the disorder possess considerably lower levels of a neurotransmitter known as anandamide. This is one of the body’s most important endocannabinoids and is responsible for encouraging a positive mood. Indeed, anandamides are a kind of natural antidepressant and can help to alleviate the effects of traumatic memories. 

Essentially, anyone that lacks anandamides is likely to suffer from negative psychological effects such as depression and anxiety. As such, the fact that CBD could potentially help to generate vital anandamides could represent an important breakthrough in the treatment of PTSD.

Finally, it is also important to note that CBD has the potential to minimise the nightmares that PTSD sufferers often experience. It does this by reducing the occurrence of REM sleep and, by extension, intense dreams. 

Indeed, CBD may be able to promote quality sleep by improving a person’s ability to drift off and by refining the body’s endocannabinoid system. The positive feelings that this generates may be able to help sufferers of CBD take control over their lives and start to regain their old sense of self.