After the high levels of anxiety-provoking events in Colorado, also known as the “Summer of Violence,” Dr. Sris saw the number of clinical patients with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) increase dramatically. This prompted her to consider using medical cannabis to treat this disorder that affects an estimated 7.7 million Americans annually.
PTSD is formally defined as:
“an anxiety disorder that some people get after seeing or living through a seriously upsetting event.”
It differs from normal reactions to shocking, scary, or dangerous events and is not due to psychological factors alone. It can develop after you have been through a traumatic event that involved actual or threatened death, serious injury, or sexual violence. PTSD symptoms may start immediately after the trauma occurred or appear days, weeks, months, or even years later.
Medical Marijuana as a Treatment for PTSD
Dr. Sris’ research has revealed that the symptoms are essentially due to an overactive sympathetic nervous system. This “fight or flight” brain response can involve neurohormones such as adrenaline & cortisol. They increase energy and alertness while suppressing other processes controlled by the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). These include digestion, repair, and mood.
Sris has found that medical marijuana can help patients with this disorder overcome their symptoms. One early study involving ten military veterans suggests that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in marijuana alleviates some physical and emotional reactions to reminders of traumatic events. And a 2015 study published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs found that marijuana significantly reduced anxiety, irritability, and insomnia in patients with PTSD. (4)
The 2013 publication from the “Journal of Drug Testing and Analysis” suggests that cannabis compounds, including Cannabidiol (CBD), THCV, CBG, and others, maybe a promising treatment.
There are faint glimmers of hope that cannabis may be the answer to preventing and treating PTSD; it is too soon, however, to tell if these early studies will bear fruit. In terms of conventional treatment, a type of talk therapy called Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE) is one of the most promising treatments.
PE involves repeated exposure to traumatic memories in a safe environment. This allows the patient to confront those memories that cause distress without being overwhelmed by them. The goal is not to eliminate the scary feelings associated with past trauma. It’s to work through and reduce the impact of these disturbing memories on one’s day-to-day life. (5)
Another form of therapy called Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) is also a good treatment option.
This approach helps people with PTSD learn how to cope with their intense emotions. The goal is to help patients find healthy ways to deal with disturbing thoughts, feelings, memories, and reactions so that these no longer interfere with their lives.
Another treatment option is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). This helps people with this disorder to reduce negative thoughts or feelings by focusing on specific aspects of their traumatic memories. The therapist asks the patient to recall the traumatic event while following a moving object like the therapist’s finger. This may sound unusual, but it appears to be quite effective.
CBD May Be The Best Treatment For Those Suffering From PTSD
Of course, this is just a shortlist of conventional approaches currently being used to treat patients. But what if a non-toxic, all-natural treatment was available that could help combat the symptoms without any adverse side effects?
According to a growing body of research, this may be the case. But what if there was a natural treatment that could help those with PTSD right now? You can imagine how desperate some people must feel when they hear about medical cannabis knowing that it remains illegal where they are.
Long-Term Pot Use May Have A Protective Effect Against Stress, Anxiety, Depression & Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Written by Sayer Ji, Founder The human brain has its share of cannabinoids already. These endogenous ones are produced mainly in the so-called “pleasure center” of the brain, the nucleus accumbens, and enzymatic ones made outside the body. They are responsible for such bodily functions as appetite, pain response, mood, and memory.
The endocannabinoid system is a significant player in ensuring our moods, emotions, and memories stay within healthy limits. Endocannabinoids are responsible for controlling the release of neurotransmitters (chemical signals from one nerve cell to another).
This works by modulating neuronal activity and altering the sensitivity to neurotransmitters. A well-known example is 2-AG, a cannabinoid that dampens pain sensitivity.
Cannabinoid receptors exist throughout the body in the brain, organs, connective tissues, glands, and immune cells.
They exist not only in humans but other mammals (albeit in different forms) and some fish species. There is evidence that the endocannabinoid system may explain how exercise, diet, or drugs help stabilize mood, helping to fight depression and anxiety.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is the main psychoactive component of marijuana. An antagonist that binds to CB-1 receptors in the central nervous system (CNS). This produces its characteristic “high.” Cannabidiol, or CBD, is another primary cannabinoid of the plant. It does not have psychoactive properties and is considered more medicinal than recreational.
The endocannabinoid system has been found to play a crucial role in many physiological processes.
This includes hunger, sleep, pain, inflammation, and even recovery from traumatic stress.
Notably, the endocannabinoid system has also been shown to influence psychiatric disorders. This is mainly through its ability to induce changes in various neurotransmitter systems (e.g., dopamine, GABA) involved in mood control.
However, one significant difference exists between how cannabinoids like CBD and THC affect the brain to produce therapeutic effects. While THC directly activates CB-1 receptors, it does not bind to these receptors. Instead, it works with them by increasing the effectiveness of neurotransmitters while decreasing overstimulation and reducing oxidative/nitrosative stress in nerve cells. This is particularly effective for those suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, PTSD, and epilepsy.
Sufficient evidence suggests that CBD has notable anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) properties.
It is believed to work on the limbic system – the part of the brain associated with memory, learning, and emotion. This could help explain its usefulness in treating those who suffer from intrusive thoughts and mood and sleep disorders.
A survey study of military veterans found that marijuana helped relieve insomnia, nightmares, and even bad memories from traumatic experiences. This may occur by helping to regulate the endocannabinoid system, which is thought overly active in PTSD.
CBD has also been shown to have antipsychotic properties, suggesting that it may help treat schizophrenia.
Notably, it does not produce the potentially lethal side effects caused by dopamine replacement therapies like antipsychotics. Cannabinoid therapy may thus represent a safer alternative or addition to existing pharmacological treatments.
It has also shown notable anti-inflammatory and analgesic (painkilling) properties. This could explain why it is so effective in treating those with neurodegenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Similarly, it shows promising results for treating epilepsy, a neurological disorder that causes seizures and convulsions.
It is believed that CBD suppresses the excessive firing of neurons in the brain while at the same time increasing their neuroprotective antioxidant properties, allowing for more significant neuronal signaling. Given its effects on pain and inflammation, it may also prove beneficial in treating certain types of chronic pain, such as fibromyalgia.
In addition, it is thought that it may treat or prevent various types of cancer – including breast and lung cancer – by reducing the growth of tumors and their ability to spread (metastasize). Ongoing studies using CBD in conjunction with chemotherapy treatments for advanced-stage cancers with encouraging results thus far.
CBD may also help reduce the risk of developing diabetes and high blood pressure.
Thus it has been studied for its use in treating metabolic syndrome and obesity, allowing individuals to lose weight without losing lean muscle mass. Moreover, CBD may benefit those suffering from liver disease or conditions such as alcoholism by reducing cravings and smoothing out some of the damaging effects alcohol can have on brain function.
CBD has also been shown to help reduce anxiety, insomnia, and nausea while improving mood and social behavior. It may be particularly effective as an add-on therapy for schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. And because CBD is a powerful antioxidant, it makes sense that it may help slow down the aging process and reduce some of the symptoms associated with neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s.
Whatever your particular ailment or condition, CBD is a naturally safe and non-toxic compound to take advantage of.
It has been used in medical studies without any reported side effects. You can find CBD in any natural foods store and many online retailers, including ours.
All Natural Ingredients with No Preservatives or Artificial Colors Added.
*The Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated these statements. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.