CBD and PTSD: Is there a connection?

Updated 2/23/2018 New Studies


There is this concept that the only people who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are combat veterans, and while many vets do (and their sacrifices are greatly appreciated), it’s estimated that 70% of American adults have experienced an extremely stressful event at least once in their lives.

Where this doesn’t always result in PTSD, it does go to show how our lives have become much more stressful over the years. Whether it's a car accident, a natural disaster or, sadly, a shooting, tragic and stressful events are occurring every day.

While we can generally process these life events, sometimes the impact is so great that they manifest in ways we never expected. The stress levels never seem to go away – and they definitely don’t ingratiate themselves into everyday life.

It can be a world of hourly panic attacks…

A world of anxiety, alarm, and hyper-vigilance; a mind constantly searching for threats that don’t necessarily exist.

A world without sleep, or at least peaceful sleep; waking up unexpectedly in the middle of the night feeling like you’re being strangled by an invisible foe.

A world of irregular appetite and indigestion.

Sounds enjoyable, doesn’t it?

If you deal with anxiety or PTSD, it’s high time you did some research into hemp-based cannabidiol (CBD) extracts. Marijuana is getting all the press in this department, but the hemp plant, the original lineage of the cannabis family, deserves some attention too.

In both animal and placebo-controlled human studies, CBD has shown to be effective in helping the psyche release stored mental trauma, not create or embellish it. This phenomenon is known as fear extinction. The endocannabinoid system (ECS), using phytocannabinoids like CBD, essentially “subdues” or “dilutes” traumatic memories on the cellular level so that they no longer impair us.

The idea, first theorized by one of the godfathers of cannabis research, Dr. Mechoulam, in the mid-60s, suggests that our cannabinoid receptor-filled brains, when helped with supplements, can adequately repair neural connections (memories) that excessively and irregularly trigger our fight or flight responses.

Normally, a traumatic experience creates a set of imprinted memories that have a tremendous influence on us. In an ideal world, they help us survive – knowing how to react to an already experienced situation – but when these mechanisms go haywire, completely throwing our brain chemistry out of balance and paralyzing us, it’s a different story.

With too much stress or anxiety it overwhelms the natural system. For most of us, without supplemental help, we eventually lose homeostasis.

CBD is all about restoring homeostasis to our brain chemistry. In a safe and effective way, no less. All without many of the negative side effects of standard pharmaceuticals – and, unlike its counterpart THC, CBD is completely non-psychoactive.

Currently there are no specialized, effective medications available for PTSD patients. With continued discoveries into our body’s endocannabinoid system, however, research is beginning to pave new ways of understanding and treating PTSD.

A study conducted in 2013 shows that 19.8 million individuals reported the use of CBD in the last month. The study also showed that 8.1 million people reported using cannabidiol on a daily basis. The main factors linked to the increased use of marijuana compounds include social anxiety disorders, relief from PTSD symptoms, seizures, chronic pain, and many other illnesses.

No VA studies have been conducted on the direct use of marijuana or CBD by the veteran population. However, by looking at the information on veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder who use VA health care, the most diagnosed substance abuse disorder since 2009 has been that of cannabis.

The most recent study done on Cannabinoids and PTSD, was in Israel in February of 2018. The study links the PTSD condition to people who have high anxiety and depression. Your endocannabinoid system greatly effects long term depression and anxiety symptoms induced by exposure to shock according to this recent finding. The study ends with “Furthermore, significant correlations were found between depressive-like behaviors and BDNF levels in the brain. The findings suggest that cannabinoids may prevent both depressive- and PTSD-like symptoms following exposure to severe stress and that alterations in BDNF levels in the brains' fear circuit are involved in these effects.” Think you are depressed and wondering if CBD can help you? Check out this link on “CBD and Depression”.

Now, with the passing of the Industrial Hemp Farming Act, and the recent go-ahead moves by Congress and the VA, CBD is becoming much more accessible to both veterans and citizens alike.

If you feel like CBD may be a viable supplement for you, whether to combat anxiety, PTSD or a slew of other ailments, consider some of DiscoverCBD’s fully-legal, hemp-derived products. Whether it’s a daily supplement to regulate homeostasis internally or even some “dabs” for a quick spot treatment, DiscoverCBD has got you covered.

Have a personal success story to share? Questions about CBD or PTSD? Let us know and we’ll do our best to respond right away. In the meantime, sign up for our newsletters and visit our website, DiscoverCBD.com, regularly for the latest updates, research, legislation and other news about cannabidiol.

Thank you for taking the time to read our blog! To get your very own Active CBD products, come into any one of our Discover CBD stores, on the web at discovercbd.com, facebook, or by simply calling us at, 719-358-7553 to place an order!

We currently have 4 locations, 3 in Colorado Springs and 1 in Denver:
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