Unpacking Cannabis for PTSD Management

PTSD is a debilitating condition affecting individuals who have experienced past traumatic events. There has been a growing interest in the use of cannabis as a potential treatment option for those suffering with PTSD. In aid of International PTSD Awareness Day, we thought we would shed some light on the use of Cannabis for PTSD management. If you or someone you care about suffers with PTSD, this blog is a must-read! Let’s start unpacking. 

What is PTSD?

PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is a condition that affects those who have witnessed or experienced traumatic events and chronic stress. The condition can last for months or years and triggers intense emotional and physical reactions. Symptoms may include: nightmares, avoidance of situations that bring back memories of the trauma, lack of sleep, hypervigilance, mood swings, difficulty concentrating, feeling panicky, jumpy, or easily startled. 

Once PTSD sets in, sufferers find it difficult to function normally and their concentration levels deteriorate. It is an “all consuming fire” that usually requires counseling / psychotherapy or medication to manage symptoms. This is why exploring the potential benefit of cannabis for managing the symptoms of PTSD is great for those looking for a more holistic approach to PTSD management. 

The Science Behind Cannabis and PTSD

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a super important system in the human body that plays a huge role in regulating stress responses and emotional well-being. This system is made up of endocannabinoids, receptors and enzymes. There are two primary receptors namely, CB1 and CB2, which are found in the central nervous system and immune system. 

The cannabinoids in cannabis, such as THC and CBD, interact with the ECS, binding these two receptors, producing psychoactive effects and modulating fear-related memory processes. CBD indirectly modulates the activity of the CB1 and CB2 receptors and influences other receptors and ion channels. 

Scientific research done on cannabis and PTSD suggest that THC helps to alleviate the symptoms of PTSD by reducing hyperarousal, while CBD shows promising results in stress response and reducing anxiety. 

How Cannabis Helps with PTSD Management

Let’s take a closer look at how cannabis helps with the management of the debilitating symptoms of PTSD:

Alleviating anxiety and hyperarousal symptoms

THC can help to modulate fear-related memory processes, reducing the emotional response to traumatic memories. CBD has anxiolytic properties and can interact with receptors, reducing anxiety symptoms. Strains with higher levels of CBD and lower levels of THC, are known for their calming effects.

Managing sleep disturbances / nightmares

Cannabis has proven huge potential in improving sleep quality and reducing nightmares in individuals suffering with PTSD. THC has been known to have sedative effects, which promotes better sleep. There are a number of THC and CBD products on the market such as THC or CBD edibles, or tinctures, THC or CBD sleep oils, etc. 

Addressing intrusive thoughts and flashbacks

THC may influence memory processes and aid in cognitive and emotional regulation. It also modulates fear-related processes, including reducing traumatic memories. By dampening the severity of the memories, cannabis helps to control the frequency and severity of the distressing memories. 

Mood enhancement and overall well-being

Cannabis helps improve mood, emotional regulation and overall well-being for patients with PTSD. The cannabinoids influence the neurotransmitter systems associated with mood and stress response such as dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins. Cannabis then helps create a sense of relaxation, euphoria, and well-being. 

Last Words

Cannabis has shown huge potential as a treatment option for those with PTSD, by interacting with the endocannabinoid system. Both THC and CBD have shown benefits in reducing symptoms of PTSD, therefore using cannabis for PTSD management is exploring a holistic approach to better quality of life. Check out the range of Anxiety and Depression CBD products available at Cannacopia that can improve the lives of those with PTSD.

The Writer's Cabin
The Writer's Cabin
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