CBD: PTSD Benefits

This is a scientific guide.

Based on the latest medical studies.

  • know CBD’s exact benefits for 91% of patients in a new study
  • understand how CBD affects the root causes of PTSD
  • learn the optimal CBD dosage tested and adverse effects

Let’s get started.  

Table of Contents

What is PTSD?cbd ptsd insomnia Chapter 1

CBD For PTSDcbd benefits ptsdChapter 2

CBD Treatment PTSD: 2019 Studymyrcene terpene cbd hempChapter 3

Why CBD Treatment For PTSD?pinene terpene cbd hempChapter 4

How Does CBD Effect PTSD?Linalool terpene cbd hempChapter 5

Cannabidiol For PTSD
cbd treatment for ptsd research nih

View Study Results

PTSD Definition

PTSD is short for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

PTSD definition: a psychiatric disorder resulting from experiencing or witnessing shocking or horrifying events.

cannabidiol ptsd study

The DSM 5 (a textbook of psychiatric conditions) says PTSD is a trauma and stress-related disorder.

The DSM 5 says serious symptoms must persist for over 1 month to be considered PTSD.


PTSD Causes


Examples of events that cause PTSD:

  • experiencing a natural disaster
  • combat or war
  • rape
  • personal physical attack

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a common condition.

Whether you struggle with PTSD or someone in your family does, you’re not alone.

PTSD affects 3.5% of the US population right now.

1 in 11 Americans will be diagnosed with PTSD at some point over their lifetime.

cannabidiol ptsd research

Yes, PTSD can be debilitating but that’s not the whole story.

You can take control of your PTSD symptoms by seeking effective treatment.

Does CBD treat PTSD?

This CBD guide for PTSD will show you current NIH research and highlight new breakthrough results.

With every study, CBD becomes a more promising new treatment for PTSD.

That’s exciting news!

Let’s discover a little more about PTSD symptoms and specifically how CBD can help you.

PTSD Symptoms


PTSD symptoms can include:

  • severe anxiety
  • depression
  • insomnia
  • nightmares
  • hyperarousal
  • brain fog
  • anger
  • flashbacks

If you need a refresher on the breadth of PTSD symptoms check out this quick and informative video.

While there are pharmaceutical treatments for PTSD, each conventional treatment option has varying degrees of success and side effects can sometimes be overwhelming.

In an effort to find better PTSD treatments, researchers and doctors have turned to CBD as a promising new treatment for PTSD.

cannabidiol ptsd study

If you struggle with PTSD, there’s hope that some high CBD hemp strains can help PTSD symptoms.

In the next section, let’s look at new CBD research that may be a breakthrough for treating the underlying causes of PTSD, n0t just the symptoms.

Coming up, you’ll learn exactly what the studies say about CBD benefits for PTSD.


The 2018 Farm Bill made hemp legal in all 50 states.

cbd legal status

Once hemp became legal, CBD products derived from hemp also became legal.

Today you can find CBD products for PTSD on sale online and throughout the U.S.

Do they really work?

New peer-reviewed studies say they do.

So, let’s take a look at what types of CBD you’ll find online for treating PTSD.


CBD Oil for PTSD

cbd oil treats ptsd

High CBD hemp strains are grown for their health benefits and relaxing effects.

CBD oil for PTSD is what you’re most likely available online and in your local CBD shop.

CBD oil is extracted from the flower and body of hemp plants.

  • It’s not intoxicating.  
  • It won’t get you high.
  • It’s also not habit-forming.


CBD Oil Health Benefits

CBD oil and CBD isolate have relaxing effects and plenty of health benefits.

cannabidiol ptsd benefits

Another type of CBD for PTSD is CBD tincture.

When looking for a CBD tincture, try looking for a full-spectrum CBD product.

Full Spectrum CBD tinctures get you the benefits of all cannabinoids found in hemp, not just CBD.

There are over 100 cannabinoids in high CBD hemp strains.

Many have benefits that surpass CBD alone.

The benefits of most cannabinoids are still poorly understood.

cannabidiol ptsd benefits

If you want the most out of your CBD treatment for PTSD, full-spectrum is probably the way to go.

CBD Research: PTSD

A brief history of research into cannabidiol as a treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Starting with animal trials and progressing to confirmation in human studies.

cannabidiol ptsd benefits

Studies into CBD treatments for PTSD have moved into high gear since hemp legalization in 2018.


New CBD research for PTSD is being published near-monthly by respected sources like the National Institutes for Health (NIH).

cannabidiol ptsd nih study

CBD has shown results benefitting both PTSD and its symptoms such as depression and anxiety.

cbd rapid effects depression

In the next section, I’ll share with you a particularly promising new CBD study for PTSD.

In the April 2019 study, 91% of participants received substantial benefits by adding CBD to their PTSD treatment.

CBD For PTSD (2019)


In April of 2019, a small but important study showed CBD had substantial benefits for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

cannabidiol treats ptsd nih

CBD/PTSD Study Conclusions:

  • 91% experienced a decrease in PTSD symptom severity
  • 28% decrease (on average) in the severity of PTSD symptoms
  • some participants reported fewer nightmares
  • cannabidiol was tolerated well by participants
  • no participants stopped taking CBD because of side effects

cannabidiol ptsd benefits

CBD for PTSD Study Method


Participants in the study were given varying doses of oral CBD.

cannabidiol ptsd study

Participants in the study also received routine psychiatric care.

This care was provided by medical doctors which included psychiatric medication and psychotherapy.

The study is clear that it likely wasn’t CBD alone that helped these patients.

cannabidiol ptsd benefits

Rather, it appears CBD as part of a full psychotherapy program for PTSD is what led to these impressive results.

It’s obvious that CBD is not a stand-alone cure for PTSD.

That said, the addition of CBD to these patients’ PTSD treatment did result in a 28% decrease in symptom severity and benefits experienced across the vast majority of the patients (91%).

cannabidiol ptsd study

Why Choose CBD?


Unlike the psychiatric drugs for treating PTSD, CBD has very few side effects.

cbd adverse effects ptsd

The NIH study above says pharmaceutical drugs have questionable efficacy and often carry significant undesirable side-effect profiles.”

CBD is not habit-forming and does not make you intoxicated.

Minimal side effects is just one reason CBD treatment for PTSD is so promising.

Additionally, CBD benefits sleep, anxiety, depression, and aggression. 

These are symptoms frequently associated with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

CBD “entourage effect”

In total, there are more than a hundred cannabinoids in high CBD hemp strains.

Cannabidiol is the best known but many cannabinoids have health benefits.

hemp cannabinoid benefits

Most have yet to researched because hemp was only legalized in 2018.


Another group of beneficial and tasty compounds called terpenes is found in hemp.

Terpenes give hemp strains their unique smell and flavor.

Terpenes are also found in common fruits and vegetables.

When you take CBD with terpenes, the effects of both compounds are strengthened.

cbd ptsd study

This is referred to as the “entourage effect.” 

If you want to boost the benefit you receive from CBD, it’s suggested that you take full-spectrum CBD products.

ptsd cannabidiol entourage effect

Full-spectrum CBD products contain the full cannabinoid profile of a particular hemp strain.

If you feel like you aren’t receiving the benefits you want from a CBD oil or CBD isolate, consider adding terpenes as another way to boost your CBD effects.

How does CBD work?

CBD works by effecting your endocannabinoid system (ECS).

Your ECS helps regulate mood, appetite, pain, inflammation, memory and many important systems in your body.

cbd ptsd treatment

It’s truly amazing how many functions of this poorly understood system keep in good order.

But sometimes, your ECS needs a little help.

CBD works by mimicking the chemical compounds in your ECS that keep it balanced.

cbd ptsd benefits

CBD mimics the cannabinoids in your endo-cannabinoid system.

So, CBD helps PTSD symptoms by boosting your natural regulatory system that affects fear response and memory reconsolidation.

cannabidiol ptsd treatment

CBD boosts the system that balances your mood, memory and some emotional functions.

For an in-depth understanding of the relationship between this amazing system and CBD, check our Guide to Simplifying CBD.

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