One reason why cannabinoids, which are derived from the cannabis plant, can help treat certain diseases is the human body’s endocannabinoid system that is involved in maintaining and establishing human health.
Receptors and endocannabinoids are located in the brain, connective tissues, organs, immune cells, and glands. The endocannabinoid system, through homeostasis, maintains a stable environment internally despite the external environment’s fluctuations.
A terrifying event, which can be either witnessed or experienced, usually triggers PTSD. Some of the symptoms include severe anxiety, nightmares, flashbacks, and uncontrollable thoughts regarding the event.
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Symptoms of PTSD, over time, may vary in intensity. A person may experience more symptoms when generally stressed, or when one encounters reminders of what he or she had went through.
Some of the conventional therapies to treat PTSD include psychotherapy (cognitive therapy, exposure therapy, and EMDR or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing). Medications to treat PTSD can include antidepressants, prazosin, and anti-anxiety medications.
However, cannabidiol is currently explored as an alternative PTSD therapy to the conventional medications and psychotherapies. While research is ongoing and products like hemp oil are being used, research on cannabinoids and phyto-cannabinoids are promising.
CBD-Rich Hemp Oil
The basis for plant-based essential oils are terpenes. Cannabinoids are derived from the cannabis plant, which contains terpenes that help regulate overall health, acuity, sleep problems, and mood. The terpenes in cannabis are anti-inflammatory, can help in memory, are anti-bacterial and anti-convulsing, are anti-anxiety and are muscle relaxants, and act as sleep aids.
Thus, CBD-rich hemp oil can aid in PTSD because of the combination of cannabinoids and terpenes, which synergistically work together. Hemp oil, when ingested, can aid in:
- Improving depression symptoms
- Decreasing anxiety feelings
- Improving quality of sleep
- Improving personal interactions
- Minimizing aggressive reactions
- Reducing PTSD sufferers’ hypervigilance
Cannabis oil’s cannabidiol, without marijuana’s psychoactive effects, can reduce experiences like paranoia. Patients who have opted to utilize cannabidiol report symptom improvement, with less crippling depression, fewer anxiety attacks, and improved patterns of sleep.
Moreover, PTSD sufferers who regularly use CBD-rich hemp oil also claim improved social interactions with emotional involvement and greater engagement, instead of the feelings of alienation and numbness that are normally felt with PTSD.
CBD-rich hemp oil can be used to treat many other disorders as well. There is still a long way to go for CBD to be widely accepted. However, research about its medical benefits are quite encouraging.
Cannabidiol Research: PTSD
- The endocannabinoid system provides an avenue for evidence-based treatment development for PTSD
- Reductions in circulating endocannabinoid levels in individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder following exposure to the world trade center attacks
- Enhancing cannabinoid neurotransmission augments the extinction of conditioned fear
- Modulation of Fear Memory by Dietary Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids via Cannabinoid Receptors
- CBD blocks long-lasting behavioral consequences of predator threat stress: Possible involvement of 5HT1A receptors
- Stress switches cannabinoid type-1 (CB1) receptor-dependent plasticity from LTD to LTP in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis
- Mitigation of post-traumatic stress symptoms by Cannabis resin: A review of the clinical and neurobiological evidence
- Cannabinoid modulation of fear extinction brain circuits: A novel target to advance anxiety treatment
- The endocannabinoid system and extinction learning
- A current overview of cannabinoids and glucocorticoids in facilitating extinction of aversive memories: potential extinction enhancers
- Cannabinoids and traumatic stress modulation of contextual fear extinction and GR expression in the amygdala-hippocampal-prefrontal circuit
- Non-antidepressant long-term treatment in post-traumatic stress disorder
- The anxiolytic effect of cannabidiol on chronically stressed mice depends on hippocampal neurogenesis: Involvement of the endocannabinoid system
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