A new category of people is seeking the soothing benefits of CBD for PTSD to improve the quality of their life as they readjust to society – veterans. In this article, we look at the connection between CBD and PTSD and how it can work for veterans.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, PTSD affects approximately 3.5% of US adults every year. The study also estimates that one in every 11 people will be diagnosed with PTSD in their lifetime and that women are twice as likely as men to develop PTSD.
PTSD is a prevalent problem among returning troops and veterans. Can CBD help PTSD?
PTSD in Veterans and the Role of CBD
War has existed as long as humans have, and it has always taken an emotional toll on those involved, including civilians, soldiers, and medics. However, the term “post-traumatic stress disorder” only came into use in the 1970s, primarily because of the diagnosis of Vietnam War veterans. Before that, it was known as “shell shock,” “soldier’s heart,” and “combat neurosis.”
Post-traumatic stress disorder doesn’t affect veterans only. Anyone who has witnessed or been in a terrifying event such as sexual assault, domestic violence, accidents, etc., can develop it. However, more veterans are affected compared to the general public.
PTSD symptoms may include nightmares, flashbacks, disturbing thoughts, mental or physical distress to trauma-related cues, anxiety, heightened fight or flight response, among others. Veterans may also have trouble sleeping.
The problems faced by veterans when they come home may make PTSD and anxiety worse. This can lead to difficulty adjusting to regular life, and in some cases, veterans end up on the street. Some even try using drugs to cope and suffer addiction or commit suicide.
Research shows that the suicide rate for veterans is almost 1.5 times higher than that of the general population. The American Addiction Center points to PTSD, substance abuse, insomnia, and other factors as the primary factors that increase the risk of suicide among veterans.
But how can CBD for PTSD help?
CBD and PTSD – Can It Help?
More veterans report using CBD and other cannabis-based alternatives to lessen anxiety and improve PTSD symptoms. But does CBD help PTSD?
CBD is the primary non-psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis and hemp plants. Unlike the other popular cannabinoid – THC, CBD does not get you high or worsen symptoms of PTSD such as anxiety, paranoia, and insomnia.
But can it help manage veterans’ anxiety and PTSD symptoms? And is CBD oil legal for US veterans?
Research studies have found evidence that cannabidiol may help manage PTSD symptoms, including anxiety and insomnia. Although it doesn’t cure it directly and hasn’t been approved as a treatment, experts think it may be helpful.
CBD works by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS controls many bodily functions, including appetite, pain response, inflammation, memory, immune system, and mood. By influencing the ECS receptors, CBD may help reduce anxiety and PTSD in veterans.
Here is how it works:
How CBD for Veterans’ PTSD and Anxiety Works
As we have mentioned before, CBD doesn’t cure PTSD directly. But can CBD help?
There is much work to be done studying CBD and its potential benefits, but there are studies being conducted to help us understand what it can do.
A 2019 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine investigating the effectiveness of CBD for PTSD treatment examined the effect of cannabidiol in 11 adults with symptoms of PTSD at an outpatient psychiatry clinic.
Researchers found that ten patients (91%) experienced a decrease in PTSD severity. At eight weeks, the baseline score had dropped 28% from a mean PCL score of 51.82 to 37.14. The study also found CBD to be generally well tolerated.
A 2016 study found that drugs that act on the ECS may reduce symptoms in people with PTSD experience after a memory extinction procedure. This suggests that CBD and other cannabinoids that exert their effects by interacting with the endocannabinoid system may play a significant role in managing PTSD.
How cannabidiol works to reduce PTSD is still unclear. However, one 2018 study suggests it may do so by affecting the brain’s amygdala and hippocampus. The study notes that PTSD patients have a hyperactive amygdala which may exacerbate its symptoms. The article suggests that CBD may impact the two brain structures, reducing PTSD symptoms.
Is CBD for PTSD Legal for Veterans?
Although hemp-derived CBD is legal federally and in almost 50 states, government agencies may have a different outlook. So is CBD oil legal for US veterans? Can disabled veterans use CBD oil? And, can veterans lose healthcare for using CBD oil for PTSD?
CBD use is legal federally as long as it’s hemp-derived and contains less than 0.3% THC by dry weight. However, the US Department of Veterans Affairs has not made a statement on CBD use by veterans.
In a 2019 statement, the US Department of Veterans Affairs states that VA clinicians may only prescribe medications that have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for medical use, which doesn’t yet include all CBD products. Currently, only one CBD-based drug, Epidiolex, is approved by the FDA to treat two severe forms of epilepsy, Dravet syndrome, and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. The same statement also indicates that veterans will not be denied VA benefits because of marijuana use.
Therefore, it’s unlikely that VA will recommend or pay for CBD oil for veterans with PTSD and anxiety.
How to Use CBD for PTSD
Now you know that CBD may help alleviate some PTSD symptoms for veterans, how do you use it? And how much CBD should you take a day for PTSD?
CBD products are available in various forms, including CBD gummies, tinctures, topicals, and CBD capsules. The best way to take CBD for PTSD is through ingestion techniques and sublingual application.
Sublingual application means taking CBD drops under the tongue. This delivers effects quicker than edibles such as gummies. Effects kick in about 15 to 30 minutes. For edibles, you will feel the effects in 30 to 60 minutes.
How to take CBD tablets for PTSD? Easy, put one in your mouth, take a swig of water and swallow.
Regarding how much CBD you should take per day for PTSD, there is no one-fits-all dosage for cannabinoids. While the average dose is about 25mg per day, you should start with a lower amount and gradually increase it until you reach the desired effects.
The Best CBD Oil for Veterans
Enjoy the mild and mellow taste of our premium natural hemp tincture and experience its calming benefits. Our potent formula contains 25 mg premium CBD isolate per serving and 1500mg per bottle.
Take tinctures by adding a few drops to your morning coffee, smoothie, or your favorite recipes, or take a few drops under the tongue, hold for up to 60 seconds, then swallow. This tincture is certified vegan and made from non-GMO ingredients.
If you prefer flavored products, there are many CBD tinctures to choose from. Try one today and enjoy the calming benefits of CBD.
First Step to Managing Veterans’ Anxiety and PTSD
Many veterans support using hemp-derived CBD to manage PTSD, anxiety, chronic pain, and other conditions. Although the FDA does not approve it as a treatment, available research suggests that CBD may help reduce stress, insomnia, and other symptoms of PTSD.
At Go Botanicals, we honor the sacrifices made by our troops and veterans. Go Botanicals is dedicated to supporting the brave men and women that protect our freedom. We have partnered with multiple charities, including Wish for Our Heroes and Operation Battle Buddies to support active-duty military and veterans in need. By purchasing any Go Botanicals hemp-derived products, you will be assisting veterans and active-duty military and their families.