We’re exploring hemp vs marijuanas along with the impacts of each variety of cannabis plant as it relates to PTSD, and what the research tells us about how it can improve quality of life.
Before we get into exploring hemp vs marijuanas, their differences and what the science tells us, let’s cover a bit on PTSD and how it affects those who suffer from it.
PTSD is a debilitating condition that affects anywhere between 60 and 80 percent of people worldwide who experience a severe trauma.
Approximately 70 percent of adults in the US have experienced trauma. 20 percent of those will develop PTSD. People with PTSD may display agitation, hypervigilance, isolation, and self-destructive behavior.
Severe anxiety, insomnia, night terrors, emotional detachment, and lack of interest in activities are other symptoms of this disorder. These symptoms can make living a normal life extremely difficult, as they can impact the one one interacts with others at work or in the home.
Normal life experiences (and challenges) can quickly become overwhelming for those suffering from PTSD, resulting in withdrawing and self isolating. This can make seeking help more difficult as it can be challenging for the sufferer to acknowledge or accept there is an issue, or reach out when life already seems so difficult. Kindness and compassion is our best practice around those we care about suffering from PTSD.
People suffering from PTSD are often given prescription medications such as antidepressants, anti-anxiolytics, or anti-psychotics. Unfortunately, these medications come with a host of adverse side effects.
Hemp vs marijuanas provides cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD), which are a safe, healthy alternatives to consider. As always, prior to making any changes to your lifestyle or treatment plan, consult with a licenced medical professional.
If you haven’t heard of the endocannabinoid system (ECS), it is now seen as the most important system of physiology inside the body because it regulates all the other integral systems of the body.
What could be more important than a system in the body whose sole purpose is to bring order and balance to other systems that are under stress and falling into conditions of dis-ease? This is what makes the ECS such a powerful ally in the fight against aging, disease and degeneration.
The ECS relies on a healthy supply of cannabinoids to remain active and at work. It both uses these cannabinoids to remain active alongside working with cannabinoids directly to assist with specific conditions in the body that are failing or out of order (leading to chronic states of illness in people).
Using cannabinoids like CBD replenishes the brain with cannabinoids, and someone with PTSD has a deficiency of cannabinoids in their system.
The endocannabinoid system helps with memory consolidation and emotional homeostasis. Memory consolidation happens when memories go from short term to long term over time, stabilizing and archiving in the brain.
Long-term memories can cause “flashbacks,” and such a consolidated memory is harder to erase. When both of these symptoms are stabilized, a traumatic memory becomes a normal, nonintrusive one.
Stimulating the CB-1 receptor helps to erase traumatic memories, allowing the individual to forget.
CBD can reduce flashbacks by blocking the brain from constantly retrieving the memory and causing the person to relive the experience.
By reducing anxiety and promoting calmness, people experiencing hypervigilance and easily triggered emotional responses may see a reduction in these symptoms.
Serotonin is also increased with the use of CBD, which can help alleviate states of depression. CBD also works within the endocannabinoid system to treat insomnia by promoting restful sleep and regulating sleep patterns.
Cannabinoids such as CBD and THC can be supportive in alleviating the symptoms of those suffering from PTSD. Due to the current legal climate, marijuana is still illegal in many countries, which prevents many people from accessing it, however that climate is quickly changing as more and more countries are legalizing the cannabis plant worldwide.
Hemp vs marijuanas is a common question that gets asked when people start searching for hemp products online. They may have heard of either hemp or marijuanas and wanted to gather information that would better help them make a more informed decision.
Hemp vs Marijuanas is broken down simply using the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) question; how much THC is present in the plant product? If the answer is less than 0.3% THC, then it’s considered hemp. If it’s above 0.3%, it’s considered marijuana, at least in New Zealand legislation anyway.
Hemp vs marijuana can be a difficult question to ask your general practitioner if s/he hasn’t been updated on the benefits of cannabis use by organisations such as the Hemp Foundation.
If you’ve found yourself wondering whether hemp vs marijuana would be best. It can be easier to start with hemp which when grown in NZ, requires canterbury hemp farms and other locations across the country to keep THC levels below the 0.3% threshold.
The reason we break hemp vs marijuanas down into the THC equation, is because hemp is much like the original cannabis plant has always been when it was grown out in the wild. To demonstrate this, when you put hemp vs marijuanas plants together in the same field, the marijuana plant will eventually turn into hemp.
This is because low THC levels are native to the cannabis plant, not “high” levels. The reason the THC levels are high in marijuana, is because man cultivated the cannabis plant that way.
Some of the research surrounding cannabinoids and PTSD involve hemp, medical marijuana, synthetic cannabinoids and cannabidiol (CBD). It's difficult to say which remedy would be best suited, as researchers are still investigating the potential therapeutic effects of cannabinoids on PTSD.
A study published in 2019 called Use of Medicinal Cannabis and Synthetic Cannabinoids in the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) where researchers reviewed the available literature, they found cannabinoids acting on the endocannabinoid system just may have therapeutic use for improving symptoms of PTSD symptoms such as anxiety, modulating memory-related processes, and improving sleep.
Another study from 2018 involving military personnel found a positive 70 percent of participants were considered much improved by the study criteria. These types of excellent results indicate how helpful cannabinoids can be in the treatment of PTSD.
A recent 2019 report by the Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience found that of the current available studies there is sufficient supportive evidence in using cannabis products such as in the case of hemp vs marijuanas in the treatment of PTSD.
As with all emerging remedies for clinical conditions, further research is required to fully illuminate the safety and efficacy of such treatments. In saying that, progress can be slow to reach the market with barriers such as funding and red tape. As always consult your doctor prior to making any changes to your treatment plan.
We hope this article about hemp vs marijuanas for PTSD was insightful for you to read and that it provided you with insights into the effectiveness of cannabis products in relation to such conditions.
If you would like to read more of the latest research around hemp vs marijuanas, cannabinoids, and the endocannabinoid system, please visit our blog.