Individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are often treated with antidepressant medication. However, due to unpleasant side effects, many patients discontinue their antidepressants and seek alternative treatments to relieve their symptoms.
New results from the first clinical study examining CBD for patients with PTSD suggest that complimentary CBD treatment may be beneficial for symptom relief.
For 8 weeks, adult patients previously diagnosed with PTSD were treated with CBD (liquid spray or oral capsule ) in addition to their standard care, including psychotherapy and traditional medication. Patients were instructed to take CBD once or twice per day based on the severity of their symptoms. Dosing varied between patients, but the average starting dose was approximately 35 mg. The dose was adjusted at each 4-week appointment based on the patient’s experience. Symptom severity was assessed every 4 weeks.
After 4 weeks of treatment, symptom severity decreased in more than 90% of the patients. After 8 weeks of treatment, approximately 70% of patients reported a further decrease in PTSD symptoms. CBD also appeared to offer relief in a subset of patients who reported frequent nightmares as a symptom of their PTSD. CBD was generally well tolerated, and no patients discontinued treatment due to side effects.
These results indicate that oral CBD, when given in addition to routine care, may have a beneficial effect for patients with PTSD. Based on the results of this study, further research is warranted to determine the safety and efficacy of long-term treatment with CBD on symptom severity in patients with PTSD.
Elms L, Shannon S, Hughes S, Lewis N. Cannabidiol in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder: A case series. J Altern Complement Med. 2019 Apr; 25(4): 392-397.
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