Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is a long-lasting mental condition that stems from recurring memories of a traumatic event. Although it is still widely misunderstood, roughly 10% of the population experiences PTSD during their lifetime. You probably have heard about PTSD in war veterans, as this group of people is extremely vulnerable to it. Firefighters, policemen, soldiers, and many others who work public service jobs such as these are also at higher risk, but PTSD can affect anyone. People who experience PTSD typically have symptoms such as:
- Depression and anxiety
- Trouble sleeping
- Relieving the traumatic event
- High sensory sensitivity
- Trouble with focus
- Panic attacks
- Mood swings
PTSD can be completely debilitating, but there is continuous research on the benefits of CBD to treat it. Scientists are even suggesting that taking CBD immediately after a traumatic event can make it more difficult for the brain to form memories from it, thus reducing the recurring memories that could occur.
How CBD interacts with the brain
To understand how CBD helps with PTSD, we must first understand how it interacts with our receptors. We have CB1 receptors throughout our entire body that send signals to our brains. CBD can activate these receptors to instill positive effects like stabilize mood and reduce anxiety. It reacts with receptors in the immune system to release stress hormones and block traumatizing mood receptors. One of our body’s mood regulators, serotonin, is also affected by CBD, as it is shown to help better process the brain’s existing levels of serotonin.
CBD for fear and memories
As PTSD is rooted in its fear of past memories, the fact that CBD has an effect on both of these brain functions is a huge reason why it is becoming more widely popular to treat it. Scientists who believed that CBD could treat phobias tested it on rats who has been exposed to extreme fear. Without CBD, the rats had a “freeze response” to the fear trigger, but when exposed to the same stimuli after CBD, their fear levels dropped considerably.
CBD is also being explored on how it affects the amygdala and the hippocampus in the brain. The hippocampus is the part of the brain that controls memory, mood, and emotional processing. A hyperactive amygdala exacerbates PTSD, but because CBD can stimulate the plasticity of the hippocampus and cause it to grow, it reduces the hyperactivity of the amygdala.
Benefits of treating PTSD with CBD
As CBD is a holistic medicinal Jack of all Trades, there are several different functions that it improves that are linked to PTSD. Some benefits of using CBD that have positive effects on PTSD symptoms are:
- Prevents traumatic memories from forming in the brain – Especially if it is taken soon after the traumatic event, CBD can stop long-term fear memory processing. This includes less flashbacks and nightmares, which many PTSD patients suffer from.
- Reduces stress, anxiety and depression – CBD’s calming effects are known to alleviate these common symptoms of PTSD and can also reduce panic attacks.
- Improves sleep – CBD reduces the symptoms of insomnia by providing better quality and quantity of sleep. It can also help patients to avoid night sweats. Full Spectrum Zen’s Sleep Strips also include melatonin for a quicker, deeper, more restful sleep.
How to use CBD to treat PTSD
Everyone’s PTSD journey and treatment is different, so it takes time to find your own sweet spot with CBD. As always, we recommend consulting your doctor on your usage of CBD for general advice and to avoid any medication interactions. It’s always encouraged to start with a smaller dosage, and work your way up, feeling out your tolerance level along the way. Other factors such as weight, age, and metabolism rate can affect the levels of CBD that your body will respond to. Keep a log of your usage and dosage to track the results until you find what works for you.
There are different forms of CBD that you can take to treat PTSD – oils, tinctures, topicals and edibles all have positive effects on the disorder’s symptoms. Tinctures and oils are the most popular and are simple to use – squeeze the dropper and place your dose under the tongue. Keep it there for roughly a minute so the blood vessels can absorb it, then swallow the remaining liquid. You’ll typically experience the benefits about 1-2 hours after dosing. Naturally-flavored with peppermint, Full Spectrum Zen’s tincture is also a great addition to recipes or shakes.
Third party tested for purity and efficacy, Our All Natural CBD Tincture can help minimize many of your PTSD symptoms, and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
As always, if you have any questions on using PTSD, you can consult our experts to learn more.