CBD for PTSD: Understanding the Endocannabinoid System
An estimated 7.7 million people in the United States, or 2.2% of Americans, suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). 7-8% of people in the U.S. will experience PTSD at some point in their lives. Out of these, the majority are war veterans or sexual assault victims. Symptoms of PTSD include anxiety, agitation, irritability, fear, panic attacks, night terrors, insomnia, reliving traumatic experiences, mistrust, hostility, self-destructive behaviors, emotional detachment, hypervigilance, social isolation, and loss of interest in activities.
Sadly, existing pharmacological treatments for PTSD have been largely inefficient – and ridden with negative side effects. However, there is hope, particularly as our understanding of human physiology advances.
PTSD and the Endocannabinoid System
PTSD is believed to occur due to changes in brain chemistry at the time of a major trauma, impacting adrenaline, stress hormones, and – as research is increasingly understanding – the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system plays a vital role in protecting the brain against trauma, particularly as it regulates many physiological functions including fear, stress, and our processing of emotions and memory. To break it down to basics: in a healthy brain, cannabinoid receptors signal the brain to deactivate or forget traumatic memories. When examining people with PTSD, research has found that they have lower serum levels of the endocannabinoid compound known as anandamide, a compound that is present in all mammals.
Anandamide levels differ based on a range of factors, but poor eating habits, heavy drinking, use of artificial sweeteners, chronic stress, and a lack of physical activity have been associated with deficiencies. Emerging research also suggests that these deficits underlie other major health issues besides PTSD, including clinical depression, anxiety, epilepsy, fibromyalgia, IBS, migraines, and some degenerative conditions.
The Good News: CBD Can Help
“Recent studies have confirmed the ability of CBD to alter important aspects of aversive memories in humans and promote significant improvements in the symptomatology of PTSD.”
Scientific research has found that CBD directly activates serotonin receptors, which plays a role in anxiety, mood, and stress. CBD also works by regulating certain enzymes that breakdown anandamide, enzymes that have been found to increase in response to chronic stress.
As science develops a deeper understanding of the endocannabinoid system and functioning within the human body, it comes as no surprise that many people have found relief from PTSD symptoms with high quality CBD supplementation. With virtually no side effects, it has been recognized for its potent effects, powerfully fast-acting in the short-term, and long lasting over time.
Studies and users alike have documented improvements in quality of sleep, stress management, emotional functioning, extinguishing aversive memories, frequency of nightmares, mood, and processing of fear and memory. Though research is ongoing, CBD represents a strong and viable option to people suffering from PTSD, depression, anxiety, and many other health issues.
At Kono Naturals, we are committed to providing high quality, therapeutic grade CBD products to help you manage your health and wellness needs. Visit our shop for more details on our CBD tinctures and topicals.