According to the Veterans Cannabis Project, over 80% of American veterans support Medical Cannabis, including hemp. Medical cannabis products range from CBD lotion for pain to hemp oils that promote better sleep and reduce stress.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is, unfortunately, a disorder all too common among American veterans. PTSD can encompass everything from feelings of guilt or vivid nightmares to progressed depression and anxiety disorders.
Although scientists and medical professionals are still researching the relationship between hemp-based products and PTSD, research is pointing to a positive connection. CBD products have been proven to have similar calming effects to those of anti-depressants, reduce anxiety, and decrease cortisol levels, our body’s internal stress hormone.
In addition to these proven medical benefits, scientists also believe that CBD products may be able to block memory reconsolidation. This process pertains to re-calling and experiencing memories stored in the long-term memory that serves to stabilize our memory and its callback after it is no longer fresh in our mind. For veterans, these are generally flashbacks, which can trigger further stress and severe PTSD symptoms. This reduction of flashbacks experienced could result in better rest for service members, further decreasing the amount of cortisol in their systems.
Tackle the opioid crisis
Generally, one drug will treat one PTSD symptom. So, a mixture of drugs is often necessary. Not only does this opioid cocktail not work, but it can render a horrible compilation of harmful side-effects.
Due to the opioid nature of many of the drugs that the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) supports, veterans have a much higher risk of addiction and overdose compared to the general population. In 2005, our soldiers were nearly twice as likely to die due to an accidental opioid poisoning.
If the VHA were to support such hemp as a natural medication, we could expect a decrease in drug-related deaths and addiction within the US veteran community.
Pain relief and management
CBD lotion for pain could be an effective treatment option for veterans wounded during service. CBD oils for pain management are proven to get pain levels under control and can even eliminate it completely.
Hemp ≠ Marijuana
Hemp products will not cause any brain-fog, lethargy, or other out-of-body experiences that have been tied to marijuana. Because hemp-based CBD oils and creams only contain a minuscule amount of THC at the very maximum, it does not cause any mind-altering or psychoactive effects. This absence of a “high” greatly reduces the risk of addiction among users.
Promote Better Sleep
When we are tired, the amount of cortisol in our system increased, therefore inducing high-stress levels, and we will also have more difficulty carrying out our daily tasks.
Soldiers have a particularly pronounced risk of developing insomnia or other sleep-related disorders due to PTSD.
Although research is still in its infancy, CBD oils and similar products could be a viable treatment option to promote healthy REM sleep and depress nightmares caused by PTSD.
All in all, our service members are fighting to have their voices heard about their needs and what treatment works for them. When will we finally listen and take action to provide them with effective care? Hemp products could potentially eliminate the debilitating pain and many PTSD symptoms our former soldiers experience daily.
Before research can be conducted, hemp and medical cannabis products must be legalized. Once this hurdle is out of the way, the VA can conduct its own research and start prescribing CBD pain relief rubs and other oils to fight PTSD symptoms.
This Purple Heart Day (August 7) share your support for medical cannabis products as a treatment for PTSD to thank veterans for their service.