CBD experiences: PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a chronic psychiatric condition that may develop after experiencing a traumatic event. The disorder manifests itself at different levels, through symptoms such as sleep disturbances, repeated recall of the event, mood variation, depression, anxiety, emotional instability, and reduced social skills. A traumatic event can very dramatically but are quite common ranging from a job loss to death affecting so many.

PTSD affects everyone - either directly or indirectly. How? Through simple math, PTSD casts a wide net. Yourself, a relative, your neighbor or anyone you interact on a daily basis - much like a Venn diagram - will overlap at one point.

After looking at PTSD data, this stood out the most:

  • about 70% of adults in the U.S. (225 million people) have experienced some type of traumatic event at least once in their lives. with mass shootings, horrific weather events, increased traffic accidents and damaging natural fires, this number will increase.

  • approximately 20% or 45 million adults exposed to trauma go on to develop PTSD

  • at anytime, an estimated 10% of Americans (32 million people) have PTSD

  • Studies estimate that 1 in 5 military personnel returning from Iraq & Afghanistan has PTSD.

And what stood out even more:

  • 80% of children exposed to a school shooting go on to develop PTSD

  • more than 35% of urban youth exposed to community violence have PTSD

  • about 50% of children who have survived specific disasters develop PTSD

So, 1 in 3 kids living in ____(insert city name)_____’s poorest neighborhoods will go on to develop PTSD. 1 in 5 military personnel returning from Iraq & Afghanistan develop PTSD (less than the kids). If more kids are affected by PTSD than our military fighting in the worst areas, our society will face many issues in the future.

Current pharmacological therapies for PTSD have been shown to be inefficient and produce considerable side effects. Since the discovery of the involvement of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in emotional memory processing, manipulation of ECS signaling has become a therapeutic possibility for the treatment of PTSD.

Preclinical studies in different rodent behavioral models have shown that CBD can both facilitate the extinction of aversive memories and block their reconsolidation, through the ECS system.

These results, combined with no safe treatments for PTSD, necessitated testing CBD use with the same therapeutic purpose in humans. As observed in rodents, recent studies have confirmed the ability of CBD to alter important aspects of aversive memories in humans and promote significant improvements in the dealings of PTSD.

So, CBD is an effective treatment for PTSD by altering adverse memories. PTSD is a debilitating disease if left untreated. I have lived with PTSD for years and can say that CBD has made a huge improvement in my overall mood by tempering past traumatic experiences. Feel free to stop by Huxhemp at 3714 N. Southport Ave., Chicago to learn more or share your story.

Technical stuff (copied from ncbi):

The two major endogenous ligands for CB1 and CB2 receptors are AEA and 2-AG. These endocannabinoids are synthesized on demand, mainly postsynaptically, and act as retrograde messengers regulating the presynaptic release of various neurotransmitters, as mentioned above. AEA acts as a partial agonist of both CB1 and CB2 receptors, with a higher affinity for the former. In the CNS, 2-AG is the most abundant endocannabinoid, and non-selectively activates CB1 and CB2 receptors. AEA, 2-AG, and Δ9-THC, have been shown to exert their effects mainly through activation of CB1 receptors. In the case of endocannabinoids, the effects are rapidly terminated through carrier-mediated uptake followed by intracellular enzymatic degradation. AEA and 2-AG are metabolized by monoacylglycerol lipase and FAAH, respectively. The endocannabinoids regulate neuronal activity and plasticity by depolarization-induced suppression of inhibition or excitation. Both phenomena are forms of short-term synaptic plasticity that contribute to the regulation of a number of physiological functions, including memory and emotion. Additionally, ECS appear to modulate the memory process by changing synaptic plasticity and mediating more persistent forms of synaptic plasticity (e.g., LTP and depression) in several brain areas.

Two important observations led to the consideration of cannabinoids for the treatment of PTSD: (i) patients with PTSD appear to be more likely to smoke Cannabis; and (ii) patients with PTSD have increased levels of cannabinoid receptors and reduced peripheral levels of AEA, suggesting that the CB1 receptor upregulation may be a result of low receptor occupancy caused in turn by the deficiency of AEA.


Russell Huxhold