HOW DOES CBD HELP PTSD? Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental condition that can occur in anyone who experiences, perceives, or witnesses trauma. While the condition has been mostly connected with war veterans, anyone can develop PTSD. Sexual, physical, and emotional abuse can also cause a person to develop the condition.
Our bodies are built with innate knowledge and procedures to manage traumatic experiences. We shake and tremble, our heart rate changes, and our body readies biochemical potential activities.
When the natural process of releasing the build up of energy, and chemicals, is inhibited it will typically lead to PTSD. As with most mental health disorders, medicine and science has had a hard time understanding how to best treat post-traumatic stress.
Trauma is stored in our memory, and is still a bit of a mystery for neuroscientists. Peter A. Levine, author of “In an Unspoken Voice” makes an excellent case for why medicine and therapy have a hard time in treating PTSD.
The biggest parts of trauma are the memory of sensations and the feelings of the “life-threatening” experience. Levine suggests that traumatic memories are stored in the primitive areas of our brains, below our the higher develop brain regions. From there they manifest into our conscious mind where we then experience the symptoms of PTSD.
Depression, anxiety, and stress are all symptoms associated with PTSD. Those suffering from the condition will typically have problems sleeping and frequent or reoccurring nightmares. They often also experience emotional imbalances, or outbursts of anger.
Various types of therapies and other neurological exercises are the most direct approach to healing post-trauma. The healing process depends on the severity of the trauma, the patient, and of course time.
However, more recently, CBD has been explored as a possible treatment for PTSD. It won’t cure PTSD, but can help manage the symptoms of the condition.
How does it work? CBD has powerful anti-anxiety properties. It has an uplifting effect on mood by altering neurological activity and biochemical signals in the brain. Because of this, scientists are investigating CBD as a serious treatment for many types of anxiety disorders.
In a review of cannabis medicines, researchers discuss their findings surrounding its use to treat PTSD. The study states that: “… Cannabis can dampen the emotional impact of traumatic memories through synergistic mechanisms that might make it easier for people with PTSD to rest or sleep and to feel less anxious and less involved with flashback memories.”
Emotions and memory are complex processes that modern medicine has yet to really fully understand. We store our memories with associated emotions, feelings, sensations, smells, and sensory data. In PTSD, a patient’s bodies and brains act as if in a constant threat to danger, even when they’re not. That’s why they can be easily triggered into emotional imbalance, fear, and anxiety.
Findings published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research suggest that CBD can block the long-lasting behavioral consequences of “threat-stress”. The reason why is thought to stem from CBD ability to bind with the emotional signaling receptor cell 5-HT1A.
The hypothalamus and limbic structures of the brain host stress-sensitive neurons and receptors. The presence of cannabinoid receptors here suggest that CBD affects the regulation of neuroendocrine and behavioral stress responses.
Essentially, cannabis compounds put the brakes on the neurological processes that respond to stress, which reduces anxiety levels.
CBD works with the body’s own innate systems of health and wellness to relieve anxiety and depression. And, it does so safely and effectively without the typical adverse effects associated with traditional pharmaceuticals.
In addition, CBD has been reported to help improve sleep for those suffering from insomnia or nightmares due to PTSD.
It’s always best to consult with a medical professional to determine whether CBD is right for you.
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