Cannabis and Veterans: The Battle After Combat
Avoiding any information about CBD is almost impossible these days. Yet, while most people around the country have started to obtain access, Veterans around the U.S who have sacrificed their lives for our liberties are struggling to get basic policies passed that would provide a much-needed voice for the veteran community to get access to safe and reliable medicine.
Since the VA cannot speak with its Veterans about cannabis, let alone certify them for a card, many are turning to civilian doctors for help, and to CBD as an alternative remedy.
If you don’t know, cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the compounds found in the cannabis plant.
It’s derived primarily from the flowers of the plant and is popular because it contains a wide range of benefits, without the dangerous side effects typically associated with common medicines administered to veterans.
Why does this matter?
THC is the predominant psychoactive compound in marijuana, or better known as cannabis. It’s the chemical responsible for giving people the euphoric sensation of being “high.” Products with THC are not ideal for individuals whose jobs or eligibility in sports requires a drug screening.
A lack of THC product availability due to arbitrary federal laws is one of the reasons CBD has become so popular since it does not create the euphoric feeling associated with tetrahydrocannabinol.
CBD has been proven to help people manage the maintenance of several conditions like stress, migraines, and chronic pain.
In fact, one of the organizations designed to empower veterans, VA.gov, stated CBD is a possible alternative for vets who use opioids to manage depression and PTSD. Unfortunately, the issues around cannabis and the VA are more complex. The VA official site states that any substance that is illegal on the federal level is NOT permitted to be used, recommended, prescribed, or endorsed by the Department of Veteran Affairs, even for medical purposes.
Thus, by incorporating CBD products into their regimen to help maintain a state free of PTSD, veterans are given an all-natural approach that is non-habit forming, and more accessible than traditional cannabinoid products that contain more than the federally allowed amount of .3% THC.
But there are some things to think about before embarking on a regimen that incorporates CBD.
Considerations When Starting with CBD
After consulting your primary care physician, if you decide to incorporate CBD into your health care regime, strongly consider beginning with a lower dose. This is especially true if you have never used a CBD product before. You may find you don’t need to start with a high dosage. One with a lower strength may address your needs perfectly.
The consumption of cannabidiol is most effective when consumed through methods that do not require combustion. With this in mind, consider using CBD tinctures which are sublingual drops of oil placed under the tongue. This method of delivery gets CBD in the bloodstream the fastest and provides reliable and long-lasting maintenance from pain and discomfort.
For the best results, you may want to consider journaling your experience. CBD doesn’t affect everyone in the same way. There are many variables involved such as a person’s weight, their sensitivity to foreign substances, the time of day the CBD is taken, the form of the CBD (tincture, edible, salve, etc.), and the strain of cannabis used when the CBD was manufactured.
As a result, it’s a good idea to take notes documenting your experience making sure you don’t neglect small details.
Another consideration is the company from which the CBD is purchased. As alluded to earlier, there are several unscrupulous businesses out to make a profit with very little regard for the consumer. These organizations face minimal prosecution because the cannabis and hemp industry regulations by the federal government have only recently started to act, but are very quickly catching up to provide regulation.
The sheer volume of capital generated by industry has created a flood of retailers in the market. Just like wine, CBD comes in varying degrees of quality and companies that make false claims are not in short supply.
So, make sure that when you buy your CBD, you do so from reputable companies. Ideally, those companies will have their products tested by a third party and those results are available to the public. The reality is that there are many companies that sell untested products and/or make claims that aren’t true.
Though CBD is great for helping veterans manage a lifestyle that is aimed to be free of post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD isn’t the only condition that can benefit from the use of CBD.
Other Ways CBD Can Help Veterans
Soldiers returning from combat have a myriad of health concerns that need attention. Those concerns could be psychological, psychosocial or physical in nature.
As a result of prolonged stress, ailments can manifest themselves physically. More than 50% of all veterans who return home have chronic pain that lingers in their neck, shoulders, knees, and back.
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health produced a report that stated veterans are 30% more likely to consistently experience severe pain.
Fortunately, in addition to PTSD, CBD has been proven to help people with:
- Learned fear
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Chronic pain
- Social anxiety disorder
- Opioid Addiction
There are countless clinic trials and a mountain of anecdotal evidence that touts the effectiveness of CBD when used to help people with certain health conditions.
From helping people maintain a state free of chronic pain to potentially aiding people in bringing balance to their mindset, many veterans are turning to CBD.
It’s no secret that many of our brave veterans struggle with PTSD and other conditions.
Even though there are no significant negative side effects to using CBD, everyone should still speak with their primary care physician before incorporating CBD into their regimen.
Because Veterans Affairs is an office operated by the government and cannabis is not yet federally regulated, its clinicians may not recommend, certify or prescribe the medicine directly to veterans. For this reason, veterans may find themselves being hesitant to speak with their VA doctors out of fear or concern. Fortunately, the VA official site did in fact issue reassurances to veterans which include points like:
- Vets will not be denied benefits sole due to cannabis use
- Vets are encouraged to discuss with their VA providers
- VA health care providers will record information for treatment planning and will remain protected under patient privacy and confidentiality laws.
So, while vets must pay for CBD or cannabis out of pocket if they choose it as an option, they can find a bit more peace knowing they do not have to keep their VA doctors in the dark. Our hope is that together we continue to raise awareness and advocate for veterans’ rights in order to provide them with the liberties they fought for with their lives.
At Evexia CBD, we are a local community-oriented company owned by veterans who are here to help. We provide tinctures, edibles, full-spectrum bath salts, and a line of skincare products that allow people to rediscover the sensations of peace, calming relief and relaxation.
For all sales generated through the holiday season, we will be donating a portion of proceeds to a charity focused on empowering veterans in our community.
Eager to learn more about our campaign or our products? Feel free to contact us if you have any questions!