Around 20% of veterans who fought in the middle east are troubled by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). As per VA (Veterans Association), veteran deaths by suicide was at an average of twenty per day in 2017. Veterans suffering from PTSD and other mental health issues face difficulty in adjusting to regular life and in many cases, end up on the street, addicted to drugs, or even end up committing suicide. Studies suggest that many deaths are a result of over-prescription of opioids and other medications which are prescribed to veterans when they are injured. Most of the vets deal with combat-related chronic pain, making their life extremely difficult. Doctors tend to prescribe opioids to deal with chronic pain, which gives way to side effects like stress, anxiety, mood swings, and sleep disorders.
CBD for PTSD and Anxiety for Veterans
The VA published in 2016 that 66,000 veterans received treatment for opioid addiction. Cannabidiol (CBD) alleviates pain, diminishes inflammation, enhances mood, and is an effective remedy for a variety of other ailments, both physical and mental.
CBD can probably be an alternative for opioids for military veterans with PTSD and related depressive symptoms. CBD has already shown positive results for these symptoms.
How does CBD Work for PTSD & Anxiety?
A study in 2011 investigating the effects that CBD has on anxiety mentioned that “a single dose of 600 mg (CBD) reduced anxiety” – However evidence indicated that the CBD lessens anxiety best “in subjects where stress had been caused before CBD administration.” This means that CBD is ideal for those who get anxious from experiences, situations, or in random moments. Therefore, veterans currently suffering from PTSD who get random episodes of significant anxiety could get relief using CBD oils after each traumatic incident.
A medical paper from 2015 titled ‘Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders’ studied the possibility of CBD assisting with erratic and unstable moments of PTSD. The study recorded that “in a sub chronic study, CBD administered daily 1 hour after predator stress (a proposed model of PTSD) reduced the long-lasting anxiogenic effects of chronic predator stress, partially via 5-HT1AR activation.” In an additional study of chronic anxiety, systemic CBD “prevented increased anxiety produced by chronic unpredictable stress, in addition to increasing hippocampal AEA.”
The study found the use of CBD to be the most effective in helping people deal with traumatic events. What this means is that Veterans, combat soldiers, or other people alike can probably use CBD within an hour of their experience, and significantly decrease the adverse effects of the disorder. This is extremely important because if this is, in fact, the case, CBD oil products can be revolutionary for the military and VA in terms of managing such issues. This is not a ‘solution’ or a “remedy” because CBD won’t make the symptoms go away. However, with regular CBD use, managing the issues of PTSD and post-war anxiety will be more comfortable.
There is also a possibility that CBD may be even more beneficial for active members of the military in combat. No evidence explicitly affirms this; however, it is likely that using CBD while on active duty could probably decrease the development of PTSD and severe anxiety before it is too late. In other words, the immediate use of CBD oils or other products when active duty soldiers feel anxious, or PTSD may help reduce their anxiety symptoms and put them in a less depressive or anxious state overall. Using CBD products early enough could prevent severe PTSD or anxiety from entirely developing.
There are several clinical trials and tons of anecdotal evidence on the effectiveness of CBD for helping with many of the difficulties our veterans are currently facing. From helping to relieve symptoms of PTSD, anxiety, chronic pain and more, CBD is becoming a popular choice for many veterans.
Are you a veteran using CBD? We would love to know about your experience in the comments below.