How to Use CBD Oil to Treat Complex PTSD
Have you ever considered the use of CBD oil for PTSD? The possibilities may surprise and amaze you.
Of course, there is no cure or treatment for a complex mental health issue like PTSD. Still, anecdotal evidence suggests that CBD might just be able to help. In addition, people use CBD to treat a lot of the various side effects that PTSD brings on, like anxiety and fear.
Here are some tips on understanding how CBD oil can be used to treat some complex PTSD symptoms.
Do You Have PTSD?
PTSD stands for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It is a mental illness that usually has a direct cause or source. When people experience an extremely traumatic situation, PTSD may arise. It may not set in for months or years, but it is a very common reaction to significantly stressful events.
For example, one demographic that suffers from PTSD quite a bit is veterans, soldiers, and those who have served in the armed forces. Whether a combat fighter or involved in some other way, the war time setting can be extremely detrimental to a person’s psyche. If they experience something horrific during their time in service, it is all the more likely that they may suffer from PTSD later down the line.
It often pops up once the person is finally out of harm’s way. It’s like the body and the mind finally allow the person to begin to process what they have gone through.
Unfortunately, it can be very hard to deal with. Processing traumatic events, especially without help, can be near impossible. Intrusive thoughts, hallucinations, night terrors, anger, and violence may all arise when a person is suffering a PSTD episode.
Just know that if you are currently living with PTSD, you’re not the only one. Around 7.8 percent of Americans will suffer PTSD at some point in their lives.
Once PTSD develops, it’s more about managing the symptoms than finding a cure. It’s not necessarily that there is a disease or virus or something you can cure when it comes to PTSD. Still, people can make progress as they seek treatment and progress through therapy. But complex PTSD manifests multiple symptoms.
That’s why CBD oil is starting to attract more attention from the medical community. CBD shows signs of managing the many complex symptoms of PTSD.
How does it all work? We’re taking a look below.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD is short for cannabidiol. It’s an extract derived from plants in the marijuana family.
Anything relating to marijuana and cannabis is a loaded subject. For many years, people viewed propaganda around marijuana. The entire industry developed a strong stigma. Even today, these effects linger. Marijuana is illegal in many places, and plenty of people look down upon it or frown upon its use.
So first, let’s explain what CBD is not.
CBD isn’t ‘pot’. It’s not psycho active. That’s another way of saying that it won’t get you stoned. It’s simply an extract from the plants that happen to be in the same family. CBD often comes from hemp. The marijuana that people smoke to get high often comes from the cannabis plant. They are in the same family, but they have very different properties and effects.
The psychoactive component in marijuana is THC. THC exists in high concentrations in the cannabis plant, but low concentrations in other marijuana plants, like hemp.
Growers cultivate hemp plants for a wide range of industrial uses, none of them relating to psychoactive drugs. CBD oil is simply another of these uses.
So what is CBD?
As a compound, CBD is usually produced from plants low in THC. There’s not much overlap with recreational cannabis. In fact, CBD can actually work to counteract the psychoactive effects of THC.
But CBD does have a range of positive effects on the body. It promotes relaxation, regulates mood, and relieves pain. Users of CBD range from people with epilepsy to those with arthritis and anxiety disorders. In short, CBD promotes overall wellness.
How Does It Work?
The science behind the effectiveness of CBD is complex. But let’s dip into the layman’s end of the pool to see why it’s effective for complex PTSD.
It might surprise you to hear your body is tuned to work with cannabinoids. That’s thanks to the endogenous cannabinoid system. Think of it as a communication network your body uses to send and receive chemical signals.
The system is made up of transmitters and receptors. You can find these throughout the human body, including in the brain and spine. Your body uses these to send natural endocannabinoids around the place.
That’s right: you already have something like CBD in your body! Endorphins are the more well-known cousin of these endo cannabinoids. If you know what endorphins do, you already understand a lot about CBD.
CBD is set apart because it doesn’t share the psychoactive properties of THC. In fact, it is less psychoactive than the average cup of coffee! Can you believe that? Many people look down upon THC. But not very many people look down upon the consumption of coffee!
Studies show that CBD appears safe for human consumption. Side effects are very rare to non existent in most patients. In fact, they report a whole host of benefits. The only downsides or side effects are things that some people actually desire, like sleepiness or relaxation.
How to Take CBD
Users can purchase CBD in a number of forms. A lot of users like to vape CBD. This provides that smoking feel but is not actually burning or smoking anything.
By vaping CBD, it can be paired with different flavors and inhaled. This provides the most direct impact on the bloodstream. It can also be taken in the form of a tincture, which is usually applied directly under the tongue.
CBD is also available in the form of topical gels and sprays, which can be more pleasant for people who don’t want to ingest it. However, these are usually less effective than more direct delivery methods.
In addition, you can purchase CBD capsules that you merely have to swallow, CBD lip balms, and CBD muscle rubs. There are all kinds of way to get your CBD dosage!
What method seems right for you? It all depends on your needs, goals, and lifestyle.
What Can CBD Do For Complex PTSD?
You might still be wondering what CBD can do specifically for complex PTSD. Let’s take a look.
As we’ve mentioned, endo cannabinoids like CBD function a lot like endorphins. That means they have an important role as a mood regulator. They can help to boost or bolster up a person’s mood so that they feel more uplifted or at least more capable of handling what life throws at them.
You can think of PTSD like a brain misfire. The brain brings up memories and gives them disproportionate power, forcing sufferers to relive the emotions of painful moments. It’s a spike in brain activity, and like all such spikes, it disturbs the chemical composition of your brain.
In many studies, researchers found that PTSD sufferers have lower levels of the compound anandamide. This is an important mood regulator that works with the body’s endo cannabinoid system. It’s believed that CBD works to plug this deficiency, regulating spikes in mood.
CBD is also well known for its anti anxiety properties. Sufferers of complex PTSD tend to experience massive anxiety spikes. Users of CBD report that it allows the brain to ‘slow down’ and better process intense situations. This takes the edge off panic attacks and high levels of anxiety.
For these reasons, CBD may be able to at least help ease the dramatic sensations that come with PTSD.
People who have trouble sleeping also report success using CBD. Poor sleep has a negative impact on your mood, which can make conditions like PTSD worse. Using CBD to help yourself get some rest can reassert control over your mood.
Getting adequate rest ensures you are in the best frame of mind possible for confronting your day to day life and battles with PTSD. A lack of sleep will not only drag down your mood, it will also worsen your health overall and make you fight an uphill battle.
Working Through PTSD
PTSD is very painful and upsetting for the person suffering through these episodes.
Treating mental illness is hard because it’s not like a scrape or a rash you can see. It’s hard to explain to others and your loved ones may not know how best to care for you since they can’t put a band aid over it.
Be patient with yourself and be patients with those around you, too. You don’t have to feel hopeless if you or someone you know is suffering from PTSD. There is hope.
How Does CBD Compare?
So how does CBD compare to other treatments of complex PTSD?
There are two main routes that people suffering from PTSD can take. Usually the first step is to seek counsel from a medical professional. Doctors and mental health specialists can help guide a person who may be suffering from PTSD to the proper next step.
The first is to seek therapeutic treatments like counseling and cognitive behavioral therapy. Working through therapy is a common way for people with PTSD to seek freedom from their haunting memories. This is an effective way to combat the symptoms of PTSD in most cases, but it does take time.
The second frequent route of treatment is prescription medication like anti depressants. Some people will make use of both on the path to recovery. However, these medications do come with side effects in most cases.
Of course, both routes of PTSD treatment come with their drawbacks.
As we explained earlier, working through therapy requires a long term commitment to personal wellness. This can be difficult for individuals with severe anxiety symptoms or depression. It may also take years to become effective.
Unfortunately, prescription medication often come with intense side effects. Although anti anxiety and anti depression medication can ease symptoms, they may introduce new complications.
For PTSD sufferers who can’t take prescription medication, CBD is a milder, lower impact alternative. Its effects aren’t as potent, but it also comes with a greatly reduced risk of major side effects. This can be a key element that draws people to making use of CBD in their treatment regimen.
CBD can’t cure PTSD. But it seems that it can take the edge off the sharp spikes in mood and reduce extreme anxiety levels. That means CBD can work together with traditional therapies while you work toward a long term cure.
A Tool in the Toolbox
It’s best to think of CBD oil as another tool in the toolbox for battling complex PTSD.
There’s no simple solution for sufferers. Still, CBD can help support victims and manage symptoms as they make further progress. Plus, CBD is a low impact option. It has a low risk of side effects and no major commitments.
Hopefully, CBD oil for PTSD is just the beginning. Ideally, as time goes on, we will be able to address this condition with greater clarity.
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Disclaimer: The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act requires this disclaimer. We collected this information from various sources for the convenience of our customers. The statements made regarding these products were not evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products is not confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information presented here is not meant as a substitute for information from health care practitioners. It is also not meant as an alternative to information from health care practitioners. Before using any product, you should consult your doctor and ask about the risk of interactions or complications.