Approximately 7-8% of people will develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) at some point in their lives. The rates are even higher among military veterans. The most common symptoms of PTSD, including anxiety, depression, irritability and difficulty sleeping, can be tremendously detrimental to daily living.
An increasing number of veterans groups nationwide have begun advocating for CBD as an effective treatment of symptoms for PTSD. But since the claims from many of these respected organizations come from member testimonials, is there also scientific evidence to back this up?
Because of hemp’s classification as a Schedule I substance due to the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, there are limited research studies on using CBD as a treatment on PTSD. However, the limited research studies, surveys and anecdotal evidence available do show encouraging initial signs.
A 2016 case study on a 10-year-old girl with PTSD, published in The Permanente Journal, found using CBD oil “resulted in a maintained decrease in anxiety and a steady improvement in the quality and quantity of the patient’s sleep.” A separate research project, published in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience, concluded that “CBD may offer therapeutic benefits for disorders related to inappropriate responses to traumatic memories.” However, the project also noted that “much remains to be discovered” and “more studies are needed to develop a better understanding of the neurobiological mechanisms involved in CBD responses.”
A recent survey from Care By Design of 300 cannabis-using patients noted that “half of the respondents reported using CBD-rich [items] to treat their PTSD symptoms.”
The VA San Diego Healthcare System will soon begin a $1.3 million study to test whether CBD, in conjunction with prolonged exposure therapy, can ease symptoms of PTSD. The study will enroll 136 veterans and is led by Dr. Mallory Loflin, a research scientist with VA and assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego.
Loflin added that New York University is preparing to launch a double-blind clinical trial that examines CBD as a potential treatment for CBD and alcohol abuse. Two other crossover trials in British Columbia and Arizona will compare the effects of CBD and THC on PTSD symptoms.
Talk With Your Doctor
We always recommend speaking with your doctor or physician before incorporating CBD into your daily routine. Let them know about any medications you are taking so they can accurately discuss the possibility of any interactions or side effects.
*FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION (FDA) DISCLOSURE: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease. Always check with your physician before starting a new dietary supplement program.