Lesley, my wife, has written amusingly about the time I crushed my thumb in a drawer (lesleyreynolds.com/no-munchies-required…since you ask), but I can say that my self-administration of CBD oil was really effective and it got me thinking about how CBD might help our Beneficiaries, particularly those affected by PTSD.

PTSD is characterised by poor adaptation to a traumatic experience and can affect approximately 10% of people at some point in their lives, with a significantly high proportion of soldiers, who have experienced combat trauma, suffering from this chronic psychiatric condition.

It is an insidious illness which manifests at different levels… symptoms of sleep disturbance, or change in memory and recall, lowering of mood, anxiety, emotional instability and reduced social skills, which can lead to isolation, depression and an increased risk of suicide.

The current medication treatment for PTSD includes the use of antidepressants and anxiolytics, which are generally ineffective and can carry significant side effects. Most sufferers find it difficult to engage with psycho-therapeutic treatments because of these symptoms, all of which are largely due to an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain.

But interestingly, doctors are increasingly looking at alternative treatments, in particular Cannabidiol (CBD) which is one of many active compounds in the Hemp/Cannabis plant. There are over 100 different compounds, known as ‘cannabinoids’. The most well-known compound is THC. This cannabinoid is the “psychoactive” component of cannabis, the one that makes people feel “high”.

CBD is another cannabinoid. It has an effect, but in a very different and potentially beneficial way…because Humans have an Endo Cannabinoid system too, and s ince that discovery, we now know that there are several CBD receptors in the nervous system which can help to improve emotional memory processing, by stimulating the EndoCannabinoid system, which has the effect of creating balance within the central nervous system. This in turn results in the improvement of the symptoms, and better engagement with, and results from, psychotherapy. It’s a win:win all round.

The battlefield is an unforgiving place and doctors need all sorts of tools in their kit to help put the human spirit on the road to recovery, so I have begun offering CBD to veterans too, to see if it helps alleviate their PTSD symptoms. I use the MariPharm brand because their CBD is far and away the purest I have found. It actually tastes nice too which, as Mary Poppins would say ‘makes the medicine go down’.

If you are thinking about using CBD, but don’t know where to start…try MariDrops, which comes with a pipette for ease of use. My wife takes three drops under the tongue to help alleviate day-to-day stress…but ups that to five drops at night, just before bed, to help her sleep better.

The MariPharm website has a lot of very useful, and interesting information about CBD including dosage. It’s worth a visit.