Experiencing trauma is not rare. About 6 of every 10 men and 5 of every 10 women in the US experience at least one traumatic event in their lives. A lasting result of traumatic events sometimes takes the form of post-traumatic stress disorder, a psychatric disorder that persists well after the event has occurred.
Given the growing interest in CBD’s therapeutic uses, PTSD has become one of the major topics of focus. Below we describe:
- What full spectrum CBD oil is
- What PTSD is and common symptoms
- How CBD may positively PTSD and traumatic brain injury
- Where you can find full spectrum CBD oil and related CBD products
What Is CBD?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is the most abundant compound in hemp plants, and is found primarily in the flower and leaves of the plant. It’s one of more than 100 cannabinoids which can be extracted from the plant, and is used to make a wide variety of products, such as CBD oil, lotions and creams, edibles, and capsules.
CBD has grown in popularity as people are discovering its therapeutic benefits, especially as a natural anti-inflammatory.
What Is Full Spectrum CBD Oil?
Full spectrum CBD oil means the product contains many cannabinoids beyond CBD, such as CBN, CBDV, THCV, CBG, CBC, THCA, CBDA. Full spectrum CBD oil also contains other compounds from the hemp plant, including naturally-occurring terpenes, essential vitamins, fatty acids, protein, and more.
The alternative to full spectrum CBD is CBD isolate. In isolates, the CBD molecule is chemically isolated from all other compounds in the hemp plant, resulting in a powder substance which is then mixed with a carrier.
CBD isolates have no identifiable amount of THC and they’re stripped of the other beneficial and nutritional compounds, such as terpenes, flavonoids, vitamins, and protein mentioned above.
Is Full Spectrum CBD Oil Better Than CBD Isolate?
Researchers in a 2015 study conducted at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Hadassah School concluded full spectrum CBD extract was more effective at treating inflammation than CBD isolate.
They based this conclusion on the view that other cannabinoids and compounds in the full spectrum hemp extract synergized with CBD to relieve inflammation at a greater amount than CBD isolate. The researchers dubbed this phenomenon “The Entourage Effect.”
We liken CBD isolate to be a bit like selling bread that’s been stripped of much of its nutritional value.
What Is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can occur in people who have experienced a traumatic event, such as a natural disaster, a terrorist act, rape or other violent personal assault, and war or combat.
Individuals with PTSD experience intense thoughts and feelings related to their experience that last long after the event has ended. According to the American Psychiatric Association:
They may relive the event through flashbacks or nightmares. They may feel periods of unexplained sadness, fear, or anger and they may feel detached from others. People with PTSD may avoid situations or people that remind them of the traumatic event, and they may have strong negative reactions to something as ordinary as a loud noise or an accidental touch.
About 7-8% of Americans will experience PTSD at some point in their lives, and roughly 8 million Americans live with PTSD in any given year, according to the US Department of Veterans Affairs.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is one condition that is more common among veterans than among other members of society, with some experts estimating that up to 30% of military veterans may experience PTSD.
Common Symptoms of PTSD
Symptoms of PTSD tend to fall into four broad categories.
- Intrusive Thoughts: repeated, involuntary memories, disturbing dreams, or flashbacks of the traumatic event.
- Avoiding Reminders: avoiding people, places, activities, objects and situations that bring on memories of the event.
- Negative Thoughts and Feelings: ongoing and distorted beliefs about oneself or others (e.g. “No one can be trusted”). ongoing fear, horror, anger, guilt or shame; much less interest in activities previously enjoyed; or feeling detached or estranged from others.
- Reactive Symptoms: may include irritable and angry outbursts, behaving in self-destructive ways, or having problems concentrating.
How Can CBD Help With PTSD?
PTSD is usually addressed pharmacologically with anticonvulsants and with what are known as atypical antipsychotics, but many patients do not respond to these drugs. Many others experience adverse side effects that limit their ability to use the drugs at sufficient doses or over long periods of time.
Perhaps because of the lack of effective therapies, patients with PTSD are more likely to use cannabis than those who do not suffer from PTSD.
Research has shown that the more severe the symptoms of PTSD, the more motivated individuals are to use cannabis for the sake of coping.
Cannabis has been reported to improve PTSD symptoms such as:
The therapeutic properties that have been observed for CBD are widespread and involve, for instance, neuroprotective, analgesic, antipsychotic, anticonvulsant, and antioxidant effects.
The specific way in which CBD may achieve its benefits for those suffering from PTSD may therefore take a long time to delineate, but scientists have started to paint a picture of how the process may work.
Through its effects on the endocannabinoid system, CBD has been shown to help destroy bad memories and to help block reconsolidation, which is a process that is required for cementing them into long-term memory.
A potential benefit of CBD over other agents that target the endocannabinoid system is that CBD does not tend to cause anxiety, whereas other agents typically used to treat PTSD can increase or decrease anxiety depending on their dosage.
This biphasic effect of other agents can complicate treatment regimens.
CBD’s Impact on Memory
Normally, when a memory trace is activated, it undergoes processes in the brain that determine whether the memory will become more strongly remembered or more easily forgotten.
In the case of aversive memories like those involved in PTSD, the goal of therapy is often to weaken the memory and its psychological power over the patient.
Luckily, the processes involved in the evolution of the memory can be influenced pharmacologically, and CBD appears to be a promising candidate for helping to disrupt the instantiation of bad memories linked to PTSD.
Not only has CBD been shown to disrupt bad memories themselves, but it has also been shown to reduce some of the associated physiological signs of stress that are hallmarks of PTSD, such as those related to the cardiovascular system.
These positive effects of PTSD on anxiety symptoms may occur through CBD’s action on serotonin receptors in the brain. Indeed, serotonin is a chemical that is well known to be involved in anxiety processes.
How Can CBD Help With Traumatic Brain Injuries?
On the topic of military veterans, those who serve in combat are at an increased risk for traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBI is destructive to the brain and is associated with a host of conditions, including psychiatric disorders and dementia.
Unfortunately, traumatic brain injury does not have a cure, and most available interventions are not highly effective in overcoming symptoms of TBI or in combating the underlying brain processes that occur following TBI.
Though the initial insult can be damaging, the body’s response to TBI tends to be more destructive, as the immune system attempts to recover.
During this time, cells of the immune system rush to the site of injury, causing inflammation that can suffocate and kill the surrounding tissue. Many of the symptoms associated with TBI are a result of this inflammatory process rather than of the initial blow to the head.
The Endocannabinoid System and Traumatic Brain Injury
The modulation of the endocannabinoid system, which can be achieved with CBD, is thought to be potentially protective in the case of TBI.
Specifically, by influencing the endocannabinoid system, we may be able to halt some of the inflammation and cell death that occurs in the brain following TBI.
There is evidence that CBD not only has physiological effects but also behavioral ones. Indeed, learning and memory deficits, motor impairments, and seizures may be ameliorated by CBD.
Interestingly, TBI patients have been shown to have lower mortality rates when their urine contains THC – a major component of cannabis, and preclinical research has shown that even extremely low doses of THC can protect the brain from cognitive deficits associated with TBI.
CBD’s Neuroprotective Qualities
CBD has also been implicated as a potential neuroprotective cannabinoid for patients with TBI. The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD have made it a promising candidate for therapies for other conditions and diseases, and may explain how it could help TBI patients.
While the anti-inflammatory influence of CBD has not yet been investigated in TBI patients, CBD has been shown to reduce the expression of FosB, a gene product that has been found at higher levels in TBI patients.
How To Use CBD Oil for PTSD
We recommend starting with a full spectrum CBD extract (CBD oil) taken sublingually or orally one to two times per day. Sublingually means placing the oil under your tongue using the dropper and holding it there for 60-90 seconds, or until the oil has been absorbed.
CBD extracts tend to have the highest bioavailability among CBD products, meaning they are absorbed into your bloodstream at a higher percentage than CBD foods or beverages.
How To Take CBD for PTSD: Sublingual and Oral Applications
It’s important to understand the pros and cons of each application method, especially regarding CBD bioavailability — the rate at which CBD enters your bloodstream.
1) Sublingual Application. This involves using a dropper to place the oil under your tongue. Sublingual administration works by exposing the sublingual gland, a vein found under the tongue, to the CBD. Leave the CBD oil under your tongue for 60-90 seconds until it’s absorbed. This allows CBD to enter the bloodstream more directly than if it were swallowed and subjected to the digestive system.
CBD edibles, like caramels, chocolates, or other candies, also work by way of sublingual application. When the candy is sucked on or allowed to melt in your mouth, CBD makes its way into the bloodstream through the sublingual gland.
2) Oral Application: CBD can be taken orally by way of CBD capsules, much like your standard medication. CBD capsules are a convenient way to monitor dosage and avoid the taste and texture of CBD oils, which some people find unfavorable.
However, like all substances ingested orally, CBD capsules will not take effect as quickly, because they have to travel through our digestive systems before entering our blood circulation.
In addition, because capsules are subject to our metabolisms and digestive systems, they will be broken down in a way that lowers their bioavailability compared to sublingual application.
Research into the bioavailability of CBD suggests that products taken orally are associated with a bioavailability of less than 20%. What this means is, in order to attain the same level of relief, the concentration or dose of CBD products taken orally needs to be higher than what would be required if you took your CBD sublingually, for example.
How Much CBD Oil Should I Take?
Regarding the proper dose of CBD, the best practice is to identify the lowest dose necessary to realize your desired benefits.
Starting with 25mg of CBD per day (equivalent to one dropper of our 750mg extract), then gradually increasing or decreasing your dosage until you reach your desired state, is a reliable approach.
What Are The Risks or Side Effects Associated with CBD oil?
If you have concerns or are taking other medication, we advise that you speak to a physician before adding CBD oil to your healthcare regimen.
Is CBD Oil Safe?
While no major health or safety concerns have been associated with the use of CBD oil alone, some drug interactions have been identified, particularly with blood thinners and glaucoma medications. If you’re currently taking other medications, we highly suggest speaking with your physician before adding CBD.
Other side effects that have been reported are:
- diarrhea (this is often due to the coconut oil in many CBD products)
Is CBD Oil Legal?
The simple answer is yes, buying CBD oil is federally legal and it can be shipped to all 50 states. The 2018 Farm Bill legalized the production and sale of hemp and its extracts, provided the hemp from which the CBD is extracted contains no more than 0.3% THC.
The USDA confirmed in its memo that states cannot interfere with the interstate commerce of hemp or its derivatives.
Where Can I Buy Full Spectrum CBD Oil for PTSD?
You can purchase Laura’s Homestead Alternatives Full Spectrum CBD oil, lotions and creams, edibles, softgel capsules, and more through our online store.
Our CBD is extracted from USDA-certified organic hemp grown at Laura’s Mt. Folly Farm. We source 100% of our hemp from Laura’s farm, work closely with a local extractor to create our full spectrum extract, and partner with third-party labs to ensure our products meet label accuracy.
This guarantees that we maintain full control of the product from field to finished good.
Our Top Full Spectrum CBD Products for PTSD
We carry a range of full spectrum CBD products including:
- Full spectrum CBD oil
- Full spectrum CBD lotions and creams
- Full spectrum CBD edibles (candy and honey)
- Full spectrum CBD softgel capsules
For relief from PTSD in particular, we recommend trying our Extra Strength CBD Extract.
We are committed to education and strive to provide you with the most reliable research and information about CBD’s benefits. We recommend that you read our 5 Key Considerations When Buying CBD Oil article before purchasing CBD, and please contact us with any questions.