PTSD is a psychiatric condition that can develop in people who have experienced traumatic life events including those of violence, injury or conflict.
It is said that PTSD can affect 10% of people at some point in their lifetime and increases the risk of depression and suicide. Some people with PTSD make use of cannabis to alleviate their symptoms such as depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, sleep deprivation and more.
CBD for PTSD
A recent study by the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada indicated that CBD could aid in the treatment of depression in sufferers of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
The BC Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU) that conducted the study found that many PTSD patients were already self-medicating with cannabis, and that, on the whole, these individuals were far less likely to suffer from the major depressive episodes or suicidal thoughts of those who did not consume cannabis.
Researchers found that non-cannabis users with PTSD were about seven times more likely to have experienced a recent major depressive episode, and about 4.7 percent more likely to have thoughts of suicide than regular non-cannabis users without PTSD. Among those patients that did use cannabis, PTSD was not associated with a recent depressive episode or suicidal ideation.
Researchers are still trying to understand the endocannabinoid system that exists in our bodies to bring homeostasis (balance) by regulating our internal functions. This includes our cognitive functionalities that affect our mood, memory, fear, sleep and more.
Another study suggests that there may be large volumes of dormant cannabinoid receptors (CB1) in PTSD sufferers but a lack of active “endogenous cannabinoids”. This could mean that supplementing patients with cannabinoids such as THC or CBD can regulate their brain processes.
Anecdotal evidence from another recent study has shown that patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) who consume cannabis showed a reduction in symptoms over time compared to those who didn’t.
For the study, researchers from John Hopkins University, University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine and the University of Colorado School of Medicine recruited 150 people who suffer from PTSD.
These participants were separated into two groups - those who consumed cannabis (sourced from state-licensed dispensaries) and those who did not.
During the year-long study, the two groups were monitored at 3-month intervals and a statistical analysis was conducted on how the trajectories of their PTSD symptoms differed.
“Participants who used primarily THC-dominant cannabis reported a greater reduction in PTSD symptom severity over time compared to controls (i.e. those who did not use cannabis),” the team of researchers wrote.
“Cannabis users also showed a greater than two-fold rate of remission from their PTSD diagnosis compared to controls by the 1-year follow-up assessment.”
Although more research needs to be conducted to further explore and confirm this subject, the current research proves to be promising for cannabis in the treatment of depression in PTSD sufferers.