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  • by Nicola Boulton August 30, 2022 4 min read

    Can CBD Oil Be Useful for PTSD?

    Cannabidiol oil is often used to manage posttraumatic disorder symptoms. There are various treatments for PTSD, and CBD oil is the best option. This article discusses how CBD is useful in treating PTSD.

    Physical assaults, sexual assaults, natural disasters, the sudden death of a loved one, hospitalization, or witnessing a disturbing event are some major traumas people deal with daily. Psychologists recommend various solutions for PTSD. Unfortunately, some patients complain about negative side effects from the recommended treatments. CBD oil helps decrease these unpleasant effects and improve the overall health of anyone with this mental condition. This blog explores PTSD and how an option like CBD oil is useful in reducing the symptoms of PTSD.

    Can CBD Oil Be Useful for PTSD?

    PTSD, What Is It?

    According to Bisson et al.  (2013), PTSD is a stress-induced mental condition resulting from overwhelming changes in one’s life, affecting the brain’s functionality. Individuals with PTSD are often anxious and experience intense fear anytime the same scenario they have ever experienced occurs. Sometimes, a different scenario can still trigger their brain to re-encounter the original event that had left them traumatized. Re-experiencing traumatic events pull the victim into a cycle of fear, panic, and anxiety, which heavily impacts the individual’s health and wellness.

    How Do You Know You Have PTSD?

    Not everyone stressed has PTSD; however, this mental disorder presents as anxiety, powerful memories, and hyper-arousal that cause sleep disturbances, insomnia, nightmares, panic attacks, and daytime sleepiness. These symptoms can occur suddenly, leading to unexpected behaviors. PTSD causes changes in emotional and physical reactions like;

    • Overwhelming shame or guilt
    • Self-destructive behavior like driving carelessly or drinking too much
    • Always feeling you’re in danger and need protection
    • Anger outbursts/irritability
    • Withdrawal from family and friends
    • Becoming too violent

    Often, those with PTSD are unaware of what triggers or causes their socially unacceptable responses. The mental and emotional attacks they experience make the person uncomfortable when around others, and participating in their daily activities also becomes difficult. PTSD and its main symptoms like insomnia, depression, and anxiety greatly impact one’s quality of life.

    Can CBD Oil Help PTSD Patients?

    Shannon & Opila (2016)explained that the Endocannabinoid system regulates anxiety, mood, and fear response. PTSD stems from poorly operating internal endocannabinoids known as Anandamide. Taking care of the body’s internal cannabinoids is the first step to reducing PTSD severity. Anandamide is a ‘’happy ‘’molecule that promotes positive emotions.

    Lee et al.  (2017) showed that CBD oil boosts the effectiveness of receptors like Anandamide and eventually reduces fear and anxiety. PTSD patients receive relief from intrusive memories, hyper-stimulation, and hyper-arousal effects. When all this happens, their mood and overall health get better.

    CBD oil exerts its PTSD-health benefits by interacting with CBD receptors, especially serotonin and dopamine. It does not necessarily increase the levels of dopamine or serotonin. Instead, it makes the body utilize these chemicals more efficiently by breaking them down effectively and ensuring they’re well distributed and used as they should. CBD oil enhances the body's ability to respond to traumatic experiences by ensuring proper production and regulation of important receptors in the body.

    Can THC Help With PTSD?

    Rubin (2019) proves that THC and CBD are well-known to improve individuals’ health in multiple ways. Cannabis experts have overly emphasized that THC is equally important as CBD. It has stronger effects and is often added to CBD products to maximize the therapeutic. As mentioned earlier, Anandamide influences memory, coordination, and concentration functions. THC is structured as Anandamide; it offers the same outcomes as Anandamide. It acts on the cannabinoid receptors to increase relaxation, lower anxiety, and improve sleep. Moreover, it improves emotional and physical responses to unpleasant situations and helps people deal with flashback memories more healthily.

    Is It Entirely Safe to Use CBD Oil To Treat PTSD?

    CBD oil can help manage PTSD symptoms because its interaction with endocannabinoid receptors explains it. It’s safe to use CBD oil for PTSD. However, like most supplements, CBD, too, may have side effects. These side effects include;

    • Drowsiness
    • Fever
    • Fatigue
    • Diarrhea
    • Vomiting

    These side effects are rare and do not affect only those with PTSD. Anyone, including healthy individuals, can experience these symptoms after taking CBD oil. These side effects are intense during the first month of using it, however, as the body gets used, some of them disappear, and one will likely not experience them again.

    Why CBD Oil Is Better Than Conventional PTSD Treatments

    Pharmacological treatments and therapies are the main solutions for PTSD. Jeffreys et al. (2012) listed the commonly prescribed medications for PTSD as TCAs (Tricyclic Antidepressants), MAOIs (Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors), SSRIs (Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors), and SNRIs (Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors). Most of these medications worsen depression and other PTSD symptoms. CBD oil is preferred because it has mild side effects and not life-threatening effects like most PTSD pharmacological treatments.


    CBD oil can help manage PTSD symptoms. The information about CBD oil’s abilities is encouraging and gives hope to those with mental illnesses. However, using it before the doctor’s assessment is not safe. Ensure the physician confirms CBD oil is effective in improving PTSD symptoms. If CBD oil doesn’t work for you, try relaxation techniques like yoga and other natural ways like changing your diet.


    Bisson, J. I., Roberts, N. P., Andrew, M., Cooper, R., & Lewis, C. (2013). Psychological therapies for chronic posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in adults. Cochrane database of systematic reviews, (12).

    Thanacoody, R. (2020). Antidepressant and antipsychotic poisoning. Medicine, 48(3), 194-196.

    Jeffreys, M., Bruce Capehart MD, M. B. A., & Friedman, M. J. (2012). Pharmacotherapy for posttraumatic stress disorder: review with clinical applications. Journal of rehabilitation research and development, 49(5), 703.

    Lee, J. L., Bertoglio, L. J., Guimarães, F. S., & Stevenson, C. W. (2017). Cannabidiol regulation of emotion and emotional memory processing: relevance for treating anxiety‐related and substance abuse disorders. British journal of pharmacology, 174(19), 3242-3256.

    Rubin, R. (2019). Cannabidiol products are everywhere, but should people be using them?. Jama, 322(22), 2156-2158.

    Shannon, S., & Opila-Lehman, J. (2016). Effectiveness of cannabidiol oil for pediatric anxiety and insomnia as part of posttraumatic stress disorder: a case report. The Permanente Journal, 20(4).




    Nicola Boulton
    Nicola Boulton

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