Can CBD Heal Your Childhood Trauma? Let’s Find Out!
While cannabidiol was discovered about 80 years ago, scientists and healthcare professionals didn’t know most of its benefits to human wellness until recently. The compound, which is primarily extracted from the hemp plant, has numerous uses for humans and animals. Some of them are already proven and many others are still under research.
Perhaps one of the most talked-about topics on CBD is its relation to traumas. Here you’ll learn everything you need to know about the link between the CBD and childhood trauma as well as the best CBD products you can buy on the market today.
What is Defined as Childhood Trauma?
Childhood trauma is defined as the experience of an event by a child that inflicts emotional pain or distress, which often leads to negative long-lasting mental and physical impacts. Many people who experience severe negative experiences during their formative years suffer from childhood trauma later in life.
As a child, witnessing or experiencing sexual or physical abuse, war, accidents, natural calamities, abandonment, among other stressful events, can lead to permanent effects on overall health and wellness. Sadly, childhood trauma is relatively common. According to BBC News, a recent study of 2,000 people aged 18 in Wales and England discovered that almost a third of the participants went through trauma in childhood.
Like other severe psychological disorders, childhood trauma does have significant effects on a person’s life in adulthood. It can affect everything from emotional, mental, and physical health to relationships.
Researchers conclude that exposure to trauma may result in severe mental illness. Also, according to CNBC, people who went through trauma in childhood are at a higher risk of developing mental health problems. This type of trauma has been linked to sleep difficulties, depression, anxiety, self-harm, alcohol/ drug abuse, grief, hopelessness, PTSD, among others.
How is Childhood Trauma Treated?
There are several ways this trauma is treated. The first is through therapy.
In this case, you visit a therapist, and they devise a treatment plan for you. According to Forbes, the most common therapy for trauma is known as behavior/ exposure therapy, which involves re-exposing a person to traumatic stimuli in a controlled setting.
Others include cognitive behavioral therapy, hypnotherapy, group therapy, etc. Therapy can help a person to overcome or manage various types of trauma. However, recovery depends on a variety of factors, including one’s support system and consistency.
The second method is the prescription of medications. Meds don’t usually make the trauma fade away. In most cases, healthcare professionals give trauma patients drugs to help manage and lessen the effects of childhood trauma.
CBD as a Treatment Option for Childhood Trauma
Despite the extensive use of the common forms of therapy and medication in treatment, childhood trauma is still challenging to treat. That is because it can stem from almost any adverse event, and people experience it in their own way. With such complexities, treatment is more of a matter of trials and errors until the right balance of approach is found.
But CBD is threatening to change how post-traumatic stress disorder is approached and treated. CBD’s therapeutic abilities have been long known. However, the use of CBD as a possible treatment for trauma is relatively recent.
So how does it work? Everybody has an endocannabinoid system, which produces cannabidiol naturally. Known simply as ECS, it is a complex neuro-transmitting/ cell-signaling system that regulates a variety of biological functions in the human body.
Though not fully understood yet, ECS has been linked to the human body’s internal stability, i.e., homeostasis. It does that by supporting different organs and functions including:
· Skin and nerves
· Appetite and metabolism
How do CBD and ECS relate? Well, cannabidiol helps in activating the ECS system, which in turn releases the needed neurotransmitters. When CBD is administered to a trauma patient, it goes to supplement the ECS in the body.
Many researchers believe that CBD works by minimizing ECS receptors responsible for anxiety in places within the brain where the memories of a traumatic experience are stored. When used to supplement ECS, cannabidiol prevents anandamide, a fatty acid neurotransmitter that regulates anxiety and mood, from deteriorating.
Often, childhood trauma victims end up developing PTSD as adults. That said, the same way CBD is used in treating PTSD; it can also prove to be just as useful in the treatment of childhood trauma. Moreover, it can be used as a supplement to other forms of treatment like therapy and prescription meds.
You can find CBD in various forms on the market. Perhaps, the best type is CBD tinctures and oils as they provide a purer form of cannabidiol. However, you can also find CBD as topicals, capsules, vaping, and edibles.
Best CBD Products to Buy
The good thing about using CBD in the treatment of childhood trauma is that cannabidiol is quite safe to use and doesn’t really require a prescription. It has very few non-serious side effects, and you get to experience additional benefits.
When buying CBD, it is crucial to consider the quality of what you settle on. The reason is it will determine how effective the CBD will be on your body and also whether the manufacturer delivers everything they claim to in their product.
As seen on CoolThingsChicago, this list of best CBD oils provides the best compilation of high-quality products you can purchase. All brands mentioned on it are reputable, and they used top-notch hemp to produce their CBD oils. Furthermore, the CBD products you’ll find on the list have been used by several people and reviewed favorably.
Wrapping It Up
If you are finding it hard to adapt to your current environment because of a horrific event you experienced during your early years, you most likely have childhood trauma. And while overcoming childhood trauma can be challenging, it all starts will acceptance and selecting the right treatment. CBD offers a viable solution to dealing with trauma, and regularly taking it can help to fight symptoms and effects.
Explore the CBD oils suggested here and start with a small dosage to see how it goes. If you are already o a treatment plan for your trauma, consult with your doctor to know how you can supplement it with CBD.
CBD: What Parents Need to Know
Parents are giving it to kids to combat anxiety and other problems. But there are risks, and little research to support it.
What You’ll Learn
- Is CBD safe for kids?
- What are the risks of giving kids CBD?
- Can CBD help kids who have mental health disorders?
- Quick Read
- Full Article
- What do we know about CBD?
- Concerns about CBD
- Is CBD safe?
- CBD oil for anxiety
- CBD and autism
- Research boom
These days, you can find CBD everywhere. Some people believe that it can treat everything from chronic pain and cancer to anxiety and ADHD. But is it safe for kids?
CBD is still pretty new, so there’s very little research about its safety or how well it works, especially for children. So far, there’s only one marijuana-derived medication that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. It’s called Epidiolex, and it’s used to treat a rare form of epilepsy in patients who are at least two years old.
Because CBD is so new, there also aren’t a lot of rules about what can and cannot be included in CBD products. So, there’s a huge variety in the quality of products. You may even find different amounts of CBD in different packages of the same product.
Since there isn’t a lot of research about CBD, doctors say there are some risks with using CBD for kids. For example, CBD products may contain things other than CBD, and those things could be harmful. Plus, we don’t yet know if CBD works well with other medications or how much you should give your child.
Although a few studies have found that CBD oil might work for anxiety, they only looked at healthy people who were put in situations that made them anxious. There are no studies yet on people with chronic anxiety. Researchers are also exploring CBD for kids with autism spectrum disorder. The results are good so far, but more research needs to be done before we can know if it’s safe and effective.
CBD is everywhere. From corner stores and bars to medical marijuana dispensaries, it’s being offered for its reputed ability to relieve pain and make people feel better.
Though CBD — full name cannabidiol — is extracted from marijuana or hemp, it doesn’t contain THC, the chemical in marijuana that has psychoactive effects, so it doesn’t make you feel high.
Available in the form of vaping, oils, lotions, cocktails, coffee, gummies — you name it — CBD has been touted as a treatment for complaints as far-reaching as chronic pain, cancer, migraines, anxiety and ADHD. You know it’s gone mainstream when even Consumer Reports has issued guides on how to shop for CBD and tips for safe CBD use.
Not only are adults experimenting with CBD for whatever is bothering them, increasingly parents are turning to CBD to help their kids focus, sleep, calm down and more.
But popular use of CBD is blowing up with very little research into its safety or its efficacy, especially in children. The first and only marijuana-derived drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration, Epidiolex, is used to treat a rare, severe form of epilepsy in patients two years of age and older. And since cannabis is in the early stages of legalization and regulation, there is a huge variety in the quality and dosage of products — risks associated with using products that have not been vetted by the FDA.
What do we know about CBD?
For millennia, hemp plants have been used for medicinal purposes around the world. In 1851 marijuana was classified by the United States Pharmocopeia as a viable medical compound used to treat conditions like epilepsy, migraines and pain. But since marijuana and cannabis-related products were made illegal in the US in 1970, there has been a dearth of research about either marijuana or CBD. Its classification as a Schedule 1 drug made it nearly impossible to get federal funding to study cannabis.
“The biggest problem is there’s a lot that we still need to know, especially in kids,” says Paul Mitrani, MD, a clinical psychiatrist at the Child Mind Institute. “In regards to treating mental health disorders in children and adolescents, there’s a lack of evidence to support its use.”
Dr. Mitrani, who is a pediatrician and child and adolescent psychiatrist, says it’s an area worthy of investigation but recommends that parents wait until further research is done before giving a child CBD.
Concerns about CBD
While anecdotal evidence of the benefits of CBD is common, there are risks associated with using these products, especially in children. Some of the concerns:
- Products are unreliable in delivering a consistent amount of CBD. They could have less, or more, than advertised, and most do not offer independent verification of active contents. Analysis of products for sale show that many do not have the amount of CBD that they advertise. “So you can’t depend on the quality of what you’re getting,” notes Dr. Mitrani.
- How much is absorbed? Very little is known about how much CBD is actually delivered to the brain in a given product. Various delivery systems — vaping, taking it orally, eating it in baked goods, etc. — have different rates of delivery. Even the oils that the CBD is dissolved in can result in varying effects. “Effects can vary a lot based on the delivery system used and the amount people are exposed to can be inconsistent,” Dr. Mitrani says.
- Products may contain things other than CBD, and they could be harmful. Lab testing — which provides information about CBD levels, THC levels (if any), and contaminants in the product — isn’t mandatory for CBD products in every state. Without a CoA (Certificate of Analysis) it’s that much harder to verify the safety of the product. Bootleg CBD may be connected to recent lung illnesses and deaths that have been attributed to vaping. The CDC and the American Medical Association recommend avoiding vaping entirely while the cause of these illnesses is determined.
- CBD may be safe itself, but it may interact with other medications a child is taking, that are also metabolized in the liver.
- If it’s used for sleep, Dr. Mitrani worries that while it may potentially help with sleep, “your child may become tolerant to it and possibly experience worsening sleep problems if stopped.”
- Since CBD use — especially for kids — is a still so new, few people are familiar with dosing for children, so determining how much to give your child would be tricky. Clinical doses versus what you might find at a coffeehouse could vary dramatically.
- The legality of cannabis products and CBD is still murky. CBD derived from hemp is federally legal, while CBD derived from marijuana plants is subject to the legal status in each state — and remains federally illegal. Meanwhile, the FDA issued a statement making clear that products that contain CBD — even if they are derived from legal, commercial hemp — cannot claim to have therapeutic benefits or be sold as dietary supplements unless they have been approved by the FDA for that use.
Is CBD safe?
Last year the World Health Organization, acknowledging the explosion in “unsanctioned” medical uses of CBD, reviewed the evidence for its safety and effectiveness. The WHO report concluded that “CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile.” Any adverse effects could be a result of interactions between CBD and a patient’s existing medications, the WHO noted.
The report found no indication of potential abuse or dependence. “To date there is no evidence of recreational use of CBD or any public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”
As for effectiveness, the WHO noted that several clinical trials had shown effectiveness for epilepsy, adding: “There is also preliminary evidence that CBD may be a useful treatment for a number of other medical conditions.”
CBD oil for anxiety
In 2015 a group of researchers led by Esther Blessing, PhD, of New York University, investigated the potential of CBD for treating anxiety. In a review of 49 studies, they found promising results and the need for more study.
The “preclinical” evidence (ie from animal studies) “conclusively demonstrates CBD’s efficacy in reducing anxiety behaviors relevant to multiple disorders,” Dr. Blessing wrote. Those include generalized anxiety disorder, PTSD, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder and OCD.
The review notes that the promising preclinical results are also supported by human experimental findings, which also suggest “minimal sedative effects, and an excellent safety profile.” But these findings are based on putting healthy subjects in anxiety-producing situations and measuring the impact of CBD on the anxiety response. Further studies are required to establish treatment with CBD would have similar effects for those who struggle with chronic anxiety, as well as what the impact of extended CBD use may be.
“Overall, current evidence indicates CBD has considerable potential as a treatment for multiple anxiety disorders,” Dr. Blessing concludes, “with need for further study of chronic and therapeutic effects in relevant clinical populations.”
CBD and autism
A group of Israeli researchers have been exploring the use of CBD to reduce problem behaviors in children on the autism spectrum. A feasibility study involving 60 children found substantial improvement in behavioral outbreaks, anxiety and communication problems, as well as stress levels reported by parents.
The researchers, led by Adi Aran, MD, director of the pediatric neurology unit at Shaare Tzedek Medical Center, went on to do a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial with 150 participants with autism. In this trial, just completed but not yet analyzed, patients were treated CBD for three months.
In the US, research has been given a boost by changing guidelines and laws. In 2015 the DEA eased some of the regulatory requirements that have made CBD, as a Schedule 1 substance, difficult to study. “Because CBD contains less than 1 percent THC and has shown some potential medicinal value, there is great interest in studying it for medical applications,” the DEA said in announcing the change.
And in approving the first CBD-based drug, Epidiolex, last year the FDA expressed enthusiasm for the research boom that is sure to come, paired with stern words for the flood of marketers of products claiming unsubstantiated health benefits.
“We’ll continue to support rigorous scientific research on the potential medical uses of marijuana-derived products and work with product developers who are interested in bringing patients safe and effective, high quality products,” the FDA pledged. “But, at the same time, we are prepared to take action when we see the illegal marketing of CBD-containing products with serious, unproven medical claims.”