• Outch Poet

Veterans, CBD, and PTSD.

Our team at Outch does not mess around with Veterans Day. We recognize those who have served and made the ultimate sacrifice. We also realize that Veteran’s deserve more than just a day dedicated to them. Veterans deserve services and practices that support and represent them, just as they have for so many of us. It is estimated by Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) that 1 in 5 service members deployed to recent conflicts, and 1 in 3 that saw combat battle, suffer PTSD and its symptoms. WWP has also reported that 22 service men and women take their own lives every day. These are frightening and saddening statistics that should motivate us not only as Americans, but as human beings, to confront PTSD head-on. Often times, those suffering from PTSD and its side effects, especially service members/veterans, do not seek treatment for their disorders. While these reasons are less clear, access to care and stigmatization often severely influence one’s decision.

Earlier this year, the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) released a report that outlined the intersections between PTSD and trauma stating, “not every traumatized person develops ongoing (chronic) or even short-term (acute) PTSD. Not everyone with PTSD has been through a dangerous event. Some experiences, like the sudden, unexpected death of a loved one, can also cause PTSD.” The NIMH makes it very clear that trauma and PTSD are intertwined yet vary on a case by case basis. Trauma in many different forms can trigger the eventual onset of PTSD; the disorder doesn’t discriminate against sex, race, or age. As we begin to develop a deeper understanding of this disruptive disorder and its treatment, it’s becoming increasingly clear that traditional treatments aren’t effective for all people.

Treatment of PTSD has historically relied on a combination of psychotherapy and mood-altering medicines. Anti-anxiety medications and antidepressants can provide short-term relief for these individuals suffering from PTSD, but patients often find it difficult to keep taking the medicine for an extended amount of time. Unfortunately, pharmaceuticals have multiple challenging side effects, and are often abused. Fortunately, forward thinking research is being done! Earlier this past year, the academic journal, "Current Opinion in Psychology," published an article titled "Cannabinoids as Therapeutic for PTSD." The piece highlights the benefits to treating PTSD with more natural and holistic medications, rather than psychotics. The neurobiological research found, "cannabis as a possible pharmacological intervention for PTSD." The researchers noted that there is limited efficacy for current pharmacotherapy for PTSD which indicates a need for improved treatments. Their data from the study suggests that CBD and THC+CBD modulate fear memory, which helps reduce nightmares as well as insomnia.

This CBD research is grown breaking and has the potential of helping countless veterans who suffer from PTSD. If you would like to check out the journal article it can be accessed here, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352250X16302342?via%3Dihub.