People who suffer from harrowing nightmares and a fear of things that go bump in the night are turning to cannabis oil as an alternative treatment.
A new study claims it could help prevent traumatic dreams, especially for those who suffer some form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
And now research suggests it could chase away night horrors too.
“CBD appeared to offer relief in a subset of patients who reported frequent nightmares as a symptom of their PTSD,” says study lead author Lucas Elms.
“This effect is believed to be due to the action of CBD on the endocannabinoid system (ECS),” says Lucas who conducted the study at Rocky Vista University in Parker, Colorado, USA.
The Endocannabinoid System is a complex network of cannabinoid receptors found in both the central and periperhal nervous system. While ECS is active in everyone, in some cases it’s not functioning perfectly, which results in hormone imbalances and the exacerbation of fears.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is an anxiety disorder caused by a distressing, frightening or extremely stressful event. According to the NHS website, someone with PTSD often relives the traumatic event through nightmares and flashbacks.
“CBD has seen a recent surge in research regarding its potential value in a number of neuropsychiatric conditions,” adds Lucas. A total of 11 participants took part in his study over an eight-week period.
“CBD was given on an open-label, flexible dosing regimen to patients diagnosed with PTSD by a mental health professional.”
Lucas adds that patients also received routine psychiatric care which included medication and psychotherapy.
“CBD was generally well tolerated and no patients discontinued treatment due to side effects. “Administration of oral CBD in addition to routine psychiatric care was associated with PTSD symptom reduction.
“CBD also appeared to offer relief in a subset of patients who reported frequent nightmares as a symptom of their PTSD.” CBD oil specialist and UK supplier David Barcly, founder of CBD Armour, says he’s not surprised by the findings as he claims CBD oil has helped people deal with stress and anxiety, and led to better sleep quality overall.
“We have lots of customers who say they take CBD Armour to get a better night’s sleep and generally feel more relaxed when they do. “If CBD oil can contribute to staving off PTSD and nightmares then here’s to a better nights sleep all round. “And other studies have shown how cannabidiol can improve symptoms of anxiety while also promoting better sleep.”
A recent study to determine whether CBD helps improve sleep and/or anxiety was conducted at the University of Colorado’s Department of Psychiatry in Denver. Within the first month 57 patients out of 72 noticed decreased anxiety after taking CBD and sleep quality improved with the same time period for 48 of the subjects.
“CBD appears to be better tolerated that routine psychiatric medications,” says Dr Scott Shannon, sleep and anxiety study author.
“Furthermore, CBD displays promise as a tool for reducing anxiety in clinical populations.”
Cannabidiol is entirely legal in the UK and sold as a food supplement as well as in skin and hair products. It’s extracted from cannabis plants but contains only trace amounts if the high-giving tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) chemical.