If you have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), several treatment options are available to reduce your symptoms. Therapy and medication are common PTSD treatments, and using CBD with them may provide relief from anxiety, stress, and other troubling emotions that accompany PTSD.
Explore CBD for PTSD, including how it can help you manage your symptoms and which strains are best for your specific symptoms.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound found in the Cannabis sativa plant. Cannabis sativa, also referred to as hemp or cannabis, contains hundreds of cannabinoids. The two most common compounds are CBD and THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol).
CBD differs from THC because it does not deliver psychotropic effects when used. Instead, CBD works with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) to produce a gentle, calming, pain-reducing effect. CBD’s ability to connect with endogenous cannabinoid receptors in the ECS helps your body regulate central and peripheral nervous system function.
What is PTSD?
According to the American Psychiatric Association, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric condition that occurs in people who have experienced severe trauma. In many cases, people develop PTSD after witnessing or living through experiences such as:
- Natural disasters
- Combat or war
- Terrorist attacks
- Serious accidents or injuries
- Sexual assault
Approximately 3.5% of Americans currently live with PTSD, with 36.6% experiencing severe impairment due to the disorder. PTSD manifests in a variety of ways. Typically, people with PTSD suffer from disturbing and intrusive thoughts or feelings related to their traumatic experiences. They may also experience other symptoms such as:
- Distorted thinking
- Mood swings
- Memory issues
Can CBD Help People Suffering From PTSD?
For people living with PTSD, CBD may reduce symptoms of the condition. In general, CBD has been shown to help relieve physical pain, reduce anxiety, and improve sleep and appetite issues.
A 2020 review looked at 194 studies regarding CBD’s effect on brain function. Several of the cases reviewed dealt with the use of CBD to treat psychiatric disorders. The review found that CBD positively affected brain activity, specifically in areas related to verbal memory, emotional processing, and response inhibition.
CBD increased connectivity and enhanced the performance of cognitive tasks, highlighting its usefulness in helping those with psychiatric disorders like PTSD.
Strains that are most effective at managing PTSD include those with a higher THC content. Full-spectrum CBD may also help with PTSD due to its broad-ranging combination of terpenes, cannabinoids, and THC content. Many full spectrum products contain trace amounts of THC. The use of cannabis for PTSD, including CBD and THC, may help reduce symptoms of PTSD.
What Does the Research Say About CBD for PTSD?
Research on CBD strains for PTSD shows promising results. A 2016 case study relayed the use of CBD for a young girl with PTSD. She was given 25 mg of CBD before bed and 6 mg to 12 mg during the day as needed. With this treatment, the girl experienced decreased PTSD anxiety. She also experienced improved sleep quality and could sleep on her own.
A 2019 case review discussed a study in which a mental health worker gave 11 adults living with PTSD various amounts of open-label CBD. After 8 weeks of CBD administration and therapy, 91% of participants experienced fewer PTSD symptoms. Specifically, patients reported a decrease in PTSD-related nightmares during the study.
Research on cannabinoids and dopamine pathways also indicates that CBD could be used therapeutically to treat PTSD. Dopamine metabolism is closely linked with fear and anxiety responses. People with hypodopaminergic (whether due to genetics or environment) have a higher risk of developing PTSD.
CBD is a known dopamine modulator, helping to regulate the release and metabolism of the neurotransmitter to minimize extreme anxiety responses. It has shown to be an effective treatment for other psychological disorders including schizophrenia.
What are the Best Forms of CBD for PTSD
The two strains of cannabis are Indica and Sativa. Both of these strains contain CBD and THC in them, but Indica as an example has much lower THC levels.
So which strain should you research more and test for PTSD? To help with anxiety treatment, the Indica strain is said to be better because of the high CBD content and lower THC levels.
Sativa strain has more intoxicating and energizing effects due to higher THC level, and lower CBD content. So people who need help dealing with depression, find it helpful to use the Sativa strain. At NaiaCBD, we recommend full-spectrum or broad-spectrum products, so that you can benefit from the Entourage Effect, which augments CBD’s effects on your endocannabinoid system.
You can opt for tinctures or capsules formulated to ease your mind and put you in a relaxed state. For example, some CBD products contain melatonin, which can help you gain a restful night’s sleep. However, most people with PTSD prefer the convenience and quick-action of vape products or tinctures, as well as smoking cured and dried flowers.
NaiaCBD carries a wide range of CBD products to help you manage symptoms of PTSD. Our recommended products include:
NuLeaf Multicannabinoid tincture is a full-spectrum product with high levels of CBC in addition to CBD. CDC is a non-psychotropic cannabinoid that has been shown to have high anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties and potentiates THC to augment its effects.
If you prefer a THC-free alternative, try our Sow Eden Balance Elixir. This broad-spectrum tincture is high in CBD that activates serotonin receptors, providing a deeply calming effect and has been known to prevent depression and minimize stress responses.
The inhalation method is an excellent way to experience the therapeutic effects of CBD quickly. At Naia CBD, we offer numerous vape options, including one of our most popular vape juices for PTSD: CBDFX Wedding Cake Vape. Wedding Cake vape is formulated with both Sativa and Indica strains to calm and relax your nervous system while providing an uplifting sensation to manage depressive symptoms of PTSD.
You can also try any of our high-quality Canna Hemp vape pens. Canna Hemp vape pens are formulated to address specific symptoms, making them ideal for managing PTSD. Canna Hemp Relief is an excellent option for managing stress, while Canna Hemp Sleep can reduce insomnia and help you get a peaceful night’s rest.
How to Use CBD for PTSD?
CBD can effectively treat PTSD when used with psychological therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). However, it is critical to understand how to take CBD. You need to find the correct dosage to reap the benefits of this incredible botanical compound.
Methods for taking CBD for PTSD
There are several ways to consume CBD. How you take it may impact its biocompatibility, how long it takes for you to feel the effects, and how long it takes for the effects to wear off. Common methods for taking CBD include:
- Sublingual. This involves placing CBD oil or tincture drops under your tongue and holding it there for at least 60 seconds. The dense network of blood vessels under your tongue rapidly absorbs the CBD, so you feel the effects faster.
- Oral. Oral products, including edibles and CBD-infused drinks, are a discreet way to get your daily CBD dose. Due to the digestive process and the First Pass Effect, it can take around 2 hours for the effects to kick in, and you often absorb about 20% of the total product.
- Inhalation. Taking CBD via smoking or vaping is one of the fastest and most bioavailable ways to enjoy CBD for PTSD, allowing your body to absorb around 31% of the product.
- Topical. Topical applications of CBD, such as balms, creams, and soaking in CBD-infused water, increase the bioavailability of the CBD because they bypass the First Pass Effect.
How to find the right dose
If you are using CBD to treat PTSD for the first time, it is critical to find the correct dose. Finding the right dose for your body takes some trial and error. The key is to start with a low dose, approximately 2 mg, and gradually increase the quantity by 2-5 mg over several days to determine the amount that elicits your desired effects.
Keeping a journal of your physical, emotional, and mental state after taking a dose of CBD can help you determine the ideal amount for your body.
Risks and Side Effects of CBD
CBD is generally well-tolerated and has minimal side effects compared to other cannabinoids like THC. However, there is still a small risk of mild adverse effects for users of CBD for PTSD who take unusually high doses, including:
- Increased daytime fatigue and sleepiness
- Potential for allergic reactions
- Abnormal results on liver function tests
- Digestive distress, such as diarrhea and vomiting
- Depressive episodes
- Low blood pressure
- Appetite suppression
In most cases, any side effects are temporary and can be resolved by recalibrating your dosage.
In addition to mild side effects, taking CBD for PTSD can have several risks, especially for people taking other medications. CBD has been shown to have several drug interactions, including blood thinners such as Warfarin. It is crucial to consult a licensed physician before taking CBD for PTSD.
Find High-Quality CBD Products for PTSD
If you live with PTSD, CBD may offer you relief from anxiety, insomnia, or other symptoms. By taking a high-quality CBD supplement combined with conventional treatments like therapy, you may improve your quality of life.
Naia CBD offers premium CBD products from top brands like NuLeaf, Social CBD, and Charlotte’s Web. We have gummies, tinctures, bath bombs, capsules, and patches so you can find the type of CBD product you need.
Browse our selection of CBD products to find the right options to help you manage your PTSD symptoms.