Follow us
CBD Health

Ask A Doctor – General CBD/PTSD Discussion

Written by Dr. Leah Zachar

The final instalment from last week’s awesome ‘Ask A Doctor’ session, saw some answers to a range of questions about Vets, and other general PTSD-related issues…

Question: What is the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Administration’s opinion about cannabis? Surely, they must have tremendous experience with this as they treat all the soldiers of the U.S army.

Answer: The V.A. recognizes that in PTSD, there are abnormalities at the CB1 receptors and that the patient has decreased anandamide, our endogenous cannabinoid.
They mention that cannabis (THC) when used, binds to the CB1 receptor and increases the anandamide levels, thus helping to lower anxiety. However, they then add that chronic THC use leads to downgrading of the CB1 receptors resulting in a drug-dependence on THC.
Though there is already clear scientific evidence about the safety of CBD (which does NOT bind to the CB1 receptors, and increases anandamide, and does NOT cause drug dependence), the VA does not want to perform further studies and approve this agent for use in its PTSD population.

Question: Can you give me a peer reviewed scientific study proving that CBD can treat anxiety and anxiety-related disorders?

Answer: Yes, in October 2015, the Journal, Neurotherapeutics an extensive review of 49 studies was performed using the Cochrane Library databases.
The disorders they studied were: generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
They found that CBD at doses ranging from 300 to 600 mg was a safe and effective treatment for all of these forms of anxiety.

In addition, the peer scientific studies, the World Health Organization in October, 2017 states that CBD is safe, non-addictive, and does not result in physical dependence.
We couldn’t get a better multinational endorsement than the seal of approval from the World Health Organization for CBD!

Question: Which is better to treat PTSD – THC (cannabis) or CBD, and why?

Answer: Cannabidiol (CBD) is safer, more effective, and without any risk of dependency.
I’ll explain further: THC (cannabis) binds to the CB1 receptor in the amygdala resulting in increased anandamide and thus decreased anxiety.

However, chronic use of THC down-regulates the CB1 receptors. Paradoxically, the THC user then develops increased anxiety, and in some cases paranoia.
To overcome these effects (increased anxiety and paranoia), the person increases his or her dose of THC, and the result is cannabis dependence.
Cannabis (THC) dependence disorder is real, and affects around 1 in 10 users.
CBD is effective, safe, non-addictive, and without any psychoactive effects.
Nuclear medicine radiologic studies have shown that after CBD is ingested, there is decreased blood flow to the amygdala, which is the “generator” of anxiety, fear, PTSD, and social phobias.

The result is the patient experiences an appreciable decrease in anxiety, fear, PTSD, and social phobias. CBD is works inside the cell and stimulates 5HT1-A and reduces anxiety.
CBD inhibits fatty acid amide hydrolase (which destroys anandamide), therefore, CBD causes and increase in anandamide, the “bliss” hormone.
CBD does not make people feel “stoned” or “high,” and can has been shown to counteract the anxiety/paranoia resulting from chronic THC use.

Question: I never was a soldier, so how can I have PTSD?

Answer: PTSD was finally recognized as a legitimate mental disorder after the Vietnam War. However, it has been known by many other names before. After World War I, it was called “shell shock.” After World War II it was called “combat fatigue.”
PTSD affects approximately 3.5 percent of U.S. adults, and an estimated one in 11 people will experience PTSD in their lifetime.

Though most of the people with PTSD have never been in the military, most of the studies done on PTSD were in this population.
PTSD can occur in anyone. As well, anxiety has, does, or will occur in just about everyone.
Fortunately, CBD can treat both disorders effectively and safely.

As per your request, we are moving the weekly In-house doctor session from Thursday at 1 pm EST, to Thursday at 3 pm EST (That’s UK’s 20:00, NYC’s 15:00 and LA’s 12:00)

[maxbutton id=”10″]

If you liked these questions and answers and want more, why not check out the Q&A from – ‘Ask A Doctor – CBD For Anxiety/PTSD

[Image credit- Pixabay]

Have anything to add? Your voice matters! Join the conversation and contribute your insights and ideas below.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

About the author

Dr. Leah Zachar

Dr. Leah Zachar, M.D. is a physician who worked for nearly thirty years in Internal Medicine.
She currently is a scientific adviser to CBD Testers. Dr. Zachar believes that there is much that medical cannabis, and cannabidiol in particular can offer to traditional medicine.