Cannabidiol (CBD), a compound extract, comes from the cannabis sativa plant. CBD has been making news as a wonderful recovery aid. It's being used to help with aches, pains, inflammation, and muscle spasms. CBD oil is also known for assisting with mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and insomnia.
With military veterans often suffering from lingering injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to this study by the US National Library of Medicine, CBD can both facilitate the extinction of aversive memories and block their reconsolidation.
What is PTSD?
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), the psychological “manual” for all clinical professionals, PTSD diagnosis requires the following criteria:
- Stressor (Direct or Indirect): Patient exposure to death, threats, injury, violence, etc.
- Intrusion: Re-experience or recurrence of the circumstances via memories, nightmares, flashbacks, etc.
- Avoidance: Intentional avoidance of trauma-related thoughts, feelings, or external conditions.
- Negative Cognition / Mood: Exaggerated blame, isolation, negative thoughts, and difficulty recalling features of the trauma.
- Negative Arousal: Irritable, aggressive, risky, hyper-vigilant moods and behavior.
- Duration: Symptoms must last for at least one month or longer.
- Function: Symptoms cause social or work-related issues.
- Exclusion: Symptoms must not be due to substance abuse, medications, or other involved illnesses.
How can CBD help PTSD?
According to this 2016 study, CBD oil was used to treat a young girl with PTSD. The results were supportive of CBD being a safe treatment option in reducing the young girl's PTSD symptoms such as issues with insomnia and anxiety.
The University of Birmingham (UK) did a study and was able to determine that CBD, when tested on rats, was able to inhibit the rats from fear expression. In that same study, CBD also produced a longer-lasting decrease in overall fear.
A study from the National Health Institute in 2012, they found that CBD helped prevent long-lasting anxiety effects in patients that were being targeted by a predator.
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