The Veterans Affairs Healthcare System in San Diego, CA, is researching the effects of cannabidiol, or CBD, on post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. Studies have shown CBD rub can be used to relieve pain and stiffness associated with arthritis, joint pain, and inflammation, as well as make the lives of people with epilepsy, anxiety, chronic pain, diabetes, or substance addiction easier as well.
There is also some evidence that supports the idea of CBD’s ability to act in a similar way to an antidepressant, meaning CBD treatments could become a part of a routine to combat depression, and potentially other mental issues, such as PTSD.
What is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a non-addictive, safe substance closely related to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a psychoactive component of the cannabis plant, which is where both ingredients can be found. Both substances have therapeutic properties, but the lack of psychoactivity in CBD and the way it reacts with the receptors in the body differently than THC means CBD will not give a user the high commonly associated with THC.
Many pharmaceutical products that treat similar ailments have unpleasant side effects. CBD is on the rise partly because of its lack of these harsh side effects. You can buy CBD oil online or in stores, but always make sure you are purchasing from a reputable vendor.
What is PTSD?
Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a psychiatric disorder that can be caused by a person experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event, such as an act of war, a natural disaster, a serious accident, a violent personal assault, and many others.
Symptoms of PTSD can include violent or disturbing feelings and thoughts connected to what they have experienced or witnessed long after the trauma has passed. These thoughts and feelings can take the form of nightmares or feelings of sadness, anger, fear, estrangement, and distance. People with PTSD may also experience adverse reactions to something which reminds them of the trauma they experienced or witnessed.
Although this disorder is not only present in veterans (it affects people of any nationality, any culture, and any age; it is estimated that 3.5% of Americans have a form of PTSD), the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System is studying the effects that CBD rub may have on subjects with PTSD.
San Diego VA study
There is already evidence from studies that show that the use of CBD treatment on people who have PTSD can increase extinction learning, a process through which the patient “unlearns” behaviors or events that are traumatizing them. This new study, conducted in San Diego, will use CBD pills in addition to prolonged exposure therapy, another more prominent treatment method for PTSD.
The researchers are hopeful that this experiment will shed more light on whether CBD can help with other symptoms of PTSD, such as insomnia and over-arousal. However, they are very aware of the potential to over-hype CBD’s abilities and the importance of keeping their trials consistent.
Consistency is difficult to measure when people are self-treating themselves with CBD for pain management, because different forms of CBD are often mixed with substances that make them easier to ingest or inhale, and the FDA technically classifies those products differently.
In a scientific study such as this one, consistency is key. To that end, they developed their own form of CBD in a lab, meaning it is not derived from cannabis. This consistency of product should help keep the results of the experiment as transparent as possible to analyze.
There are 136 participants in the study, all veterans, from different service eras. This means the study is not representative of the population as a whole in terms of race, gender, age, and other demographic categories, but once completed, it can give a better picture of the uses of CBD when treating PTSD patients.
With more research, CBD oil for pain management and management of mental health issues will most likely become more popular and widely used. This research can help bring CBD and its therapeutic properties further into the mainstream.