What is PTSD?
Post-traumatic stress disorder, often referred to as PTSD, is an anxiety disorder. It can be caused by stressful, distressing and frightening events and can result in people living with nightmares, flashbacks and anxiety. People from all walks of life can suffer PTSD, including veterans who have served in the armed forces and mothers who have experienced traumatic childbirth.
Who lives with the impact of PTSD in the UK?
The most recent surveys indicate that around 4% of people in the UK have a PTSD diagnosis and 1 in 25 women develop PTSD after birth.
Many people have used a variety of treatments for their PTSD over the years and are often keen to consider medical cannabis treatments as an alternative to traditional medications, which can have significant side-effects and for some people, provide little relief from their PTSD.
How do we know medical cannabis and CBD treatments work on PTSD?
By activation of the cannabis receptors CB1 and CB2 receptors it is suggested can help promote happiness, pleasure, and memory. Cannabinoids play a critical role in PTSD cases by potentially acting to reduce traumatic memories and nightmares.
Sleep can often be affected by PTSD symptoms and we know that the endocannabinoid system in the human body is involved in promoting sleep. It also has an effect on the circadian rhythm, the system that makes you sleepy and wakeful at different times over a 24 hour period. A 2017 review of sleep studies in the US demonstrated that medical cannabis can result in improved overnight sleep patterns.
The endocannabinoid system regulates anxiety behaviour and as anxiety is usually a dominant feature of PTSD, many individuals can experience relief from medical cannabis strains high in CBD. It can be used in combination with existing anti-anxiety medication and can, sometimes, even replace it. Researchers from Brazilian universities South Santa Catarina and Santa Catarina found evidence in 2018 that people were using cannabis to achieve PTSD symptom relief to good effect.
A study conducted by the NYU Langone Medical Center showed that people suffering from PTSD have much lower levels of a neurotransmitter called anandamide than others. Anandamide is one of the body’s natural cannabinoids and seems to act as a natural antidepressant, impairing traumatic memories and reducing fear.
Meet Dr Rebecca Moore, psychiatrist and PTSD expert
Dr Rebecca Moore is consultant psychiatrist for The Medical Cannabis Clinics. She has twenty years of experience and a special interest in trauma and PTSD along with anxiety and mood disorders. Dr Moore uses CBD and cannabis with patients:
Many of my patients already using CBD in different forms, or are buying street cannabis to manage their symptoms. These are products that might not be safe, and are not quality approved. I want to ensure everyone who could benefit from medical cannabis has the ability to access it safely.
PTSD treatments at The Medical Cannabis Clinics
To make an appointment with a medical cannabis expert to discuss your experience of PTSD, treatment options and further information, please get in touch. Contact our expert team today.