CBD and PTSD

There’s a lot of news about PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder. Often it goes hand-in-hand with having seen the ravages of war or being ravaged physically or emotionally. A bunch of research has showed that cannabis was being abused because of PTSD, until it wasn’t. New research shows that maybe users aren’t abusing cannabis but instead, it actually helps those with PTSD cope.

A group of U.S. and Canadian scientists studied 46 individuals who had been near the World Trade Center during the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Of those individuals, 24 had PTSD, 22 did not. What the scientists noticed was that the folks with PTSD “had lower serum levels of anandamide, an endogenous cannabinoid compound, compared to those who did not show signs of PTSD after 9/11. Innate to all mammals, anandamide (our inner cannabis, so to speak) triggers the same brain receptors that are activated by THC (tetrahydrocannabinol: The High Causer) and other components of the marijuana plant.”

Right, so what does that mean? Well, we all have CBD receptors inherently in our bodies. But, if the CB-1 receptors (mostly found in the brain) don’t fire for people who find themselves in a traumatic situation—PTSD. That’s not a given, of course, but you get my drift.

In most instances, PTSD sufferers are given medication, which may or may not work, but often sedates rather than assists in recovery. Another body of evidence is emerging that indicates CBD may be a more effective form of treatment. One reason is the CB-1 receptors present in every body respond to CBD by smoothing out the lack of adequate CB-1 receptors. As a result, “cannabinoid receptor regulation has been found directly linked to extinction of fear responses following traumatic experiences.”

 Although CBD may not be a panacea for all PTSD sufferers, it could be a means to dilute the symptoms long enough to help them work through the trauma and come out on the other side. According to Martin Lee, a Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies affiliate and director of Project CBD, who has studied PTSD and cannabinoids in depth, “Despite a strong need for development of more effective medication without adverse side effects, the promising pharmaceutical possibilities in cannabis are continually dismissed by government-backed research organizations.”

This emerging evidence is just one more reason we should really try to tap into the value of CBD instead of demonize it. Just sayin’.