Veterans bravely put their lives on the line to serve and protect this country. But, a lot of the time, their time on the frontlines can leave lasting scars both physically and mentally. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is prevalent in the veteran community. In fact, about 20% of veterans who fought in the Middle East have been diagnosed with PTSD.
Once veterans return home, it can be difficult to adjust back to normal life. Many may turn to drugs or alcohol. Some may end up on the streets. Depression and, tragically, suicide are also persistent issues for many veterans. According to the Veterans Association, veteran deaths by suicide were at an average of twenty per day in 2017.
CBD can potentially offer relief to veterans dealing with the traumas of combat.
Over-Medication Within the Veteran Community
Mental health issues are often compounded by the over-prescription of opioids or other medications. It’s not uncommon for veterans to return home with combat-related injuries. Chronic pain is a significant issue that can tack on a lot of added stress. To regain their quality of life, veterans are often prescribed potent painkillers like opioids.
Of course, this isn’t an issue for every individual who’s prescribed painkillers. But research from PubMed shows that 21 to 29 percent of patients in the general public prescribed opioids for chronic pain will go on to misuse them. Those with mental illness are at an increased risk of drug misuse making veterans especially vulnerable to potential painkiller addiction.
In 2016 alone, roughly 66,000 veterans received treatment for opioid addiction.
The Potential Benefits of CBD for Veterans
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a natural compound found in the hemp plant. Similar to its well-known cannabinoid counterpart THC, it works with our endocannabinoid system to affect the body in a number of ways. No, CBD doesn’t carry any psychoactive effects -aka it doesn’t intoxicate the user- but it has been seen to carry potential benefits that could be helpful to a veteran struggling with mental health, chronic pain, or both.
CBD and Mental Health
According to preliminary evidence, there’s a strong possibility that CBD could prove to be helpful in easing generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and PTSD. This is promising news for those searching for an alternative to medication that could result in adverse side effects, such as the ones listed above.
Another medical paper from NCBI took a look at an array of individual studies on how anxiety disorders, PTSD, and OCD responded to CBD. One such study recorded that long-lasting stress subsided 1 hour after administering a dose of CBD to their animal subjects. Overall, they concluded that there’s strong evidence to suggest CBD could be a great option to treat stress and other mental health ailments in humans.
With such high rates of mental health struggles in the veteran community, CBD is an emerging option many are turning to. CBD is lauded by many users for its ability to create a sense of relaxation and homeostasis in the body. With mounting evidence that CBD might be effective against a slew of mental health issues, it could prove to be a great addition to a veteran’s mental health care plan.
According to a recent clinical review made in 2020, there is substantial evidence that points to CBD being a potential tool for “alleviating psychotic symptoms and cognitive impairment in patients with a variety of conditions”. Another study on PTSD and CBD showed that 91% of patients saw a decrease in symptoms during 4 weeks while taking CBD routinely.
CBD and Chronic Pain
CBD isn’t just an option for mental health. Many users also report a positive effect on chronic aches and pains.
Chronic pain is defined as persistent pain lasting longer than six months. Unfortunately, veterans are at an increased risk of chronic pain compared to the non-veteran majority. This often manifests as lower back pain, pain associated with a chronic condition such as diabetes, and pain associated with osteoarthritis.
Though there’s still much to study in terms of how effective CBD is on chronic pain (if at all), there is a lot of promising potential. One peer review article suggested that a majority of studies resulted in reduced measures of pain in a variety of different conditions. Dr. Rachna Patel, a lauded expert in the field of cannabis medicine, says a majority of her patients reported significant improvement in pain levels once starting a CBD regimen. And one study shows that CBD was consistent in reducing pain.
According to these studies, in addition to easing discomfort, CBD may potentially help with the comorbidities associated with chronic pain. Oftentimes, insomnia or sleep deprivation can plague those with chronic pain. CBD is seen to have the potential to bring about more restful sleep too.
However, more research will be needed before we can come to conclusions about CBD and chronic pain or even sleep. It’s a very tricky subject since CBD only recently opened up from being a Schedule I drug in 2018 on the federal level in the United States. More studies and clinical trials are underway to prove the range of benefits of CBD. For the time being, everyone has their own story with CBD usage, and you should too!
Finding a CBD Solution
If you’re a veteran considering CBD as an option to address your chronic pain or mental health, you might be curious about how to find the right product for you. Well, first consider what you hope to gain from incorporating CBD into your life. There are a variety of products available, each with varying purposes.
Once extracted, this plant compound can be presented in a variety of forms. From tinctures to capsules to topicals; as the industry grows, so does the list of CBD products to explore. Generally, if you’re looking for near-instant stress-reduction, inhalable CBD would be a good option for you. Those who desire localized relief from aches should reach towards a topical. But if you’re hoping to gain lasting benefits through a sustainable routine, tinctures and capsules are the way to go.
The veteran community could potentially benefit from a regular CBD routine. If you’re currently coping with chronic pain or mental health woes due to your time in service, we suggest trying out a tincture or capsules. From here, you can determine the best dosage for you depending on your needs.
Please, consult your primary care physician first before taking CBD oil. Minor side effects could be present if mixed with other medications.
Reach for Peace River CBD
Peace River CBD would be honored to be your trusted source for high-quality, affordable CBD. With a variety of products such as liposomal CBD to topical creams, we have a little something for everyone.
At the core of what we do is a desire to extend the potential of CBD to all – to make it a practical addition to one’s life rather than a luxury. We hope to carve an avenue towards wellness so people looking for a new way to deal with stress and aches can easily give CBD a try. We’re confident our products could be a great tool for the veteran community!