CBD has turned into a popular product that people are using for many different conditions ranging from mild to serious. With the legalization of hemp as a result of the 2018 Farm Bill, more and more research has been completed to determine the different therapeutic benefits of CBD. From anxiety to insomnia and even certain skin conditions, CBD seems to be a great choice for many ailments. But what about CBD for PTSD?
While there are many ways to treat PTSD through more traditional methods, people are turning to CBD as an alternative. But is it effective? Keep reading to learn more about CBD oil for PTSD to determine if it’s the right choice for you.
CBD vs THC: Is There a Difference?
If you haven’t used CBD in the past, you may be concerned about its association with its close cousin: THC. THC is still considered an illegal substance in parts of the United States.
The two substances sound similar, even when you look at their scientific terms. CBD is cannabidiol while THC is tetrahydrocannabinol. They both interact with the endocannabinoid receptors in the brain.
That said, the way that they interact is different. THC is a psychoactive compound. This is what can give you the “high” feeling that many people associate with marijuana (and also how it can be used recreationally).
The psychoactive effects of THC are what leave some people concerned about trying CBD (or any kind of medicinal marijuana or hemp product). THC can trigger anxiety or restlessness in people with or without trauma-related conditions.
CBD, on the other hand, doesn’t have psychoactive effects. There is no recreational use for CBD. It’s therapeutic. With this knowledge in mind, CBD seems like a reliable and safe option for people who suffer from PTSD. There’s even veteran grown hemp created by people who use CBD for their condition.
Why Use CBD for PTSD?
So just because CBD is a safer option for PTSD, does that mean that it will be effective?
Research into CBD is still new. That said, in a 2019 study, researchers determined that many people discovered a decrease in PTSD symptoms after taking CBD.
But why would this work? We have to look into the other recorded medical benefits of CBD that could contribute to the overall reduction in PTSD symptoms.
Many people who don’t have PTSD use CBD for their anxiety (as well as their depression). People with treatment-resistant anxiety, or those who don’t have the ability to use heavier anxiety medications throughout the day, may try CBD as a low-risk alternative.
People who use CBD report a “calming” effect or a feeling of overall wellness. It’s not as extreme as the sedating effect of anxiety medications, but it’s effective for mid-day anxiety.
CBD oil and CBD vaporizers seem to be the most effective for sudden-onset anxiety, where CBD capsules and edibles are better for a slow and steady approach to anxiety.
For someone with PTSD, quick-acting CBD options may be great for reducing the impact of triggers or sudden PTSD attacks. While CBD isn’t a solution for PTSD, it might help when a trigger is inevitable or unavoidable.
For someone who is worried about interacting with a PTSD trigger but hasn’t yet encountered it, or someone who is already on edge at the beginning of the day, a slow option might be a better choice.
Many people who suffer from PTSD also manage insomnia. While there are many different causes of insomnia, whirling and uncontrollable thoughts are a common cause for people with PTSD.
CBD is not a sleeping medication, but that means that it won’t come with the standard grogginess that sleeping medications present. Instead, many people have discovered that CBD helps to regulate their sleep cycles (similar to melatonin).
Some people who take CBD have reported that they go to sleep at better and more reasonable hours, sleep with fewer disturbances, and wake up feeling more rested.
That being said, other people have reported the opposite effects. This is a trial and error process.
Are There Side Effects?
One of the top benefits of CBD for PTSD is that CBD doesn’t have extreme side effects. If CBD doesn’t help you, it most likely also won’t do anything bad.
To make sure that you don’t have side effects from PTSD, it’s best to increase your usage over time. Start with a smaller amount of CBD than you think that you need and go up slowly.
The side effects from taking too much CBD are just more powerful versions of the standard effects of CBD. This means that you may feel drowsy, hungry, nauseous, or fatigued.
These side effects are rare.
CBD and Traditional Treatment Methods
CBD can be used in conjunction with traditional treatment methods for PTSD. While most doctors will not recommend CBD for legal reasons, some therapists will mention the benefits of CBD if you ask (especially if they have other patients who have found success through using CBD).
CBD makes a great addition to your therapy regime. It shouldn’t have any ill effects. That said, if you take medications for your PTSD, talk to a pharmacist first to see if you’ll have any potential drug interactions.
Will You Try CBD for PTSD?
CBD has become a popular alternative treatment method for many conditions. CBD for PTSD seems like a reliable choice.
While there is still a lot of research to be done on the benefits of CBD for PTSD and other mental health ailments, there’s no harm in trying it for yourself to see if it results in a reduction of symptoms. Try CBD today.
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