What is PTSD?
It is quite possible you have heard the term PTSD (or post-traumatic stress disorder) when referring to ex-military personnel returning home only to experience terrorizing flashbacks of unpleasant, and quite frankly, extremely traumatic events during their tour of duty. But, PTSD also affects many other individuals that have witnessed or have directly experienced life or death events. PTSD can occur after a car accident, violent crime, natural disasters, and even the sudden death of a loved one.
The technical definition of PTSD, as defined by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), is the ongoing (chronic) or even short-term (acute) effect of experiencing a shocking, scary, or dangerous event that results in a “fight-or-flight” response. The psychological reactions to such events will vary from person to person, but with many people who develop the mental illness of PTSD, they will often experience recurring feelings of stress or fear – even when they are not in danger.
If you or someone you know has been experiencing tormenting flashbacks or debilitating anxiety resulting from a previous unsettling event, only a qualified medical professional can perform an assessment to arrive at an accurate diagnosis of PTSD. Generally, the symptoms would have to last over a month and be serious enough to hinder one’s work or personal relationships. Common symptoms include:
- physical pain, such as headaches, difficulty breathing, and chest pain
- emotional distress, such as flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety, and depression
- social withdrawal, such as from family, friends, hobbies, or activities
Treatments for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Traditional treatments may consist of medications to reduce stress, exposure therapy to reverse learned fears, and behavioral methods to recognize triggers that arise from negative thinking or unhealthy actions. But more and more, medical evidence is showing that plant-based, medical marijuana or CBD oil can effectively treat the psychological and physical symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. CBD oil is a cannabinoid compound that is derived from the cannabis plant. It is the active ingredient extracted from the least processed form of marijuana, or hemp.
Research published on Science Daily also looked at symptom reduction in patients with PTSD. As a result of taking medical marijuana, participants reported a decrease in re-experiencing the trauma, less avoidance of situations that reminded them of the trauma, and a decline in hyper-arousal.
Marijuana and PTSD – How Marijuana Helps in PTSD Recovery
Most treatments of PTSD seek to control the learned behaviors associated with a trauma including fear, the fight or flight response, and the increased adrenaline and anxiety – all of which is the result of a change in the brain’s chemistry. Marijuana can effectively deactivate or reduce the traumatic memories associated with PTSD, and CBD oil does this without causing a feeling of euphoria or “being high”.
In addition to disrupting the memories of traumatic events, medical marijuana can actually decrease the expression of fear and prevent the debilitating emotions from returning after the traumatic event has ceased to exist. The numerous studies that support the connection between CBD oil or medical marijuana with a reduction of PTSD symptoms has gotten the attention of the Veterans Administration.
Congress has called on the California VA to begin a significant round of clinical trials to study medical marijuana’s efficacy for the treatment of veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress and chronic pain. The hope is that the VA will begin to prescribe cannabis for not only the direct treatment of PTSD, but to also alleviate the epidemic of veterans that are self-medicating through the use of alcohol and street drugs to combat the symptoms of mental trauma and physical distress associated with PTSD.
If Marijuana or THC is not an acceptable choice for you or your loved one, then try CBD in the form of Trill Pills, a safe and effective method of consuming CBD oil that is available in various strengths from 300mg to 1500mg. They are 100% vegan and solvent free with each capsule perfectly blended and balanced with organic coconut oil.
If you have any additional questions about the beneficial effects of cannabis in treating PTSD, contact us today.