The world’s veterans support our freedom, help those in crisis, and risk their lives doing it.
Veterans may come back from assignments or engagements with multiple healthcare concerns, including mental and physical issues that must be addressed by physicians and nurses immediately and long-term. Veterans all over the world have become addicted to opioids, used for pain, and antidepressants, used for mental health issues like PTSD. Let’s discuss CBD and how it can help veterans with these issues avoid addiction and other side effects.
What is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound found in the hemp plant that does not make a person “high,” as THC does (another cannabis compound). CBD is safe at high doses, according to scientific research, but you probably don’t need high doses to get the effects you want — such as some relief from:
- Chronic pain
- Substance abuse side effects
CBD can be introduced to the body in food, drink, through a vaporizer, or other methods, and is most often found in the form of CBD oil, which can be purchased from CBDTesters or through other online sources. The laws surrounding CBD change depending on your home country, state, province, or region, but it is generally considered medicinal and therapeutic by most governments because it contains such small amounts of THC that the user will not “get high” from it.
Which Disorders Do Veterans Have?
Veterans in the United States cannot be denied VA benefits because of CBD use, and can discuss this use with their VA providers. However, they cannot prescribe CBD, and patients cannot have it on their persons while on VA medical center grounds. However, veterans can purchase CBD and use it for any medical reason they would like. For veterans, that can mean any of the disorders or issues listed above. PTSD is one of the major concerns of veterans returning from assignment or readjusting to civilian life.
What is PTSD?
Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a mental disorder that can affect people who have experienced a traumatic event, including but not limited to:
- Natural disasters
- Serious accidents
- Terrorist acts
- War or combat
- Rape or personal assault
PTSD used to be called “shell shock” and “combat fatigue” but then we found that it does not just affect veterans. Veterans do have a high rate of PTSD — 11-20 percent in the United States. Symptoms of PTSD include:
- Intense, disturbing thoughts and feelings related to the traumatic event
- Flashbacks or nightmares
- Sadness, fear, or anger
- Avoidance of situations related to the event
- Strong or violent reactions to loud noises or accidental touch
These symptoms can adversely affect the lives and relationships of veterans.
How is PTSD Treated?
PTSD is often treated through psychotherapy that teaches veterans to deal with their reactions to certain situations, often in combination with medication and group therapy. The problem is that medications used to treat the anxiety, fear, and depression that coe with PTSD for many veterans can be addictive, expensive, and cause more side effects than expected.
How Can CBD Help Veterans with PTSD?
Many veterans today don’t want to use addictive medications to combat their PTSD and other health issues, as it can lead to opioid addiction, which killed over 42,000 Americans in 2016. The Veterans Affairs Department found that veterans are two times as likely to be killed by opioid overdose as civilians in a 2011 study. CBD oil can relieve the chronic pain and anxiety caused by combat and PTSD without the addiction risk, debilitating side effects, and with better results in many cases. In the United States, CBD oil made from hemp plants grown under a university or state agricultural department program is legal in most states. In the EU, medical cannabis, including CBD oil, can be used to treat certain medical conditions; check with your country’s government for more information.
Veterans need access to CBD oil because the traditional treatments do not give them a high quality of life. CBD oil can improve veterans lives and should be available everywhere.[Image Credit: Pixabay]
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