Using CBD for Veterans
As a result of their service in wartime, many American military veterans suffer from disabilities. These afflictions often “rise to the surface” as these individuals finish their military careers and reassimilate with society. From psychological disorders to physical injuries, there is hope that using CBD for veterans can help them overcome their struggles.
According to the New Direction for Veterans website, “Life after the military can pose many challenges to veterans and family members. For some, returning to civilian life may feel like another battle that poses a variety of challenges that must not only be fought, but also understood and accepted in order to be successfully overcome.”
As veterans end active military careers, they generally fall into the care of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). As a large government agency, the VA has standardized procedures that they follow in caring for veterans.
As standard VA protocol, CBD is currently not prescribed to veterans. This is likely because we are waiting for FDA approval on CBD to treat afflictions other than seizures. Nonetheless, as CBD continues to gain mainstream acceptance and our veterans continue to suffer, many people feel we should take a closer look at the cannabinoid.
Veteran Afflictions and Treatments
The stressors that veterans experience during wartime are unimaginable for most normal citizens. To this end, while you may not be able to directly relate to our veteran’s struggles, it’s essential that you are sensitive to their needs.
There are several afflictions that plague our military veterans. While an expansive study of these is beyond the scope of this work, we can get a good idea of how CBD can help veterans by looking at the disorders which afflict them.
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is one of the most widely known disorders suffered by U.S. military veterans. To this end, of the veterans who served in the wars of Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan, 10-15% suffer from some form of PTSD.
Most commonly, PTSD arises in people who experience a life-threatening event or some other traumatic experience. PTSD manifests when people cannot overcome the feelings of stress and unease that come with such events. For our veterans, wartime traumas offer the perfect breeding grounds for PTSD.
Currently, the VA follows several standard routes in treating PTSD. For starters, to help quell harmful symptoms, the VA prescribes veterans with pharmaceutical drugs such as Zoloft, Paxil, and Prozac. Secondly, veterans undergo extensive therapy to treat their PTSD symptoms.
Looking to the future, there is hope that CBD for veterans will also be more widely accepted in treating PTSD.
Anxiety is a widespread mental disorder that affects veterans and normal citizens alike. However, due to the challenges of wartime, veterans face higher percentages of anxiety cases than seen with other citizens.
Most of us can identify with the feeling of worrying – this is a normal mental state which is experienced by everyone. However, feelings of worry result in an anxiety disorder when they become habitual. Many of our veterans suffer from anxiety, including social anxiety, phobias, and panic attacks.
As seen with PTSD, anxiety is treated with both pharmaceutical drugs and therapy. On the pharmaceutical side of things, addictive drugs like Xanax are often used by veterans to quell their symptoms. Needless to say, CBD for veterans can potentially offer a healthy alternative to such invasive drugs.
Chronic pain is a terrible physical ailment that plagues a large population of the globe. For our veterans, injuries sustained during wartime can lead to debilitating chronic pain disorders that last for life.
Chronic pain differs from regular pain in how it manifests and sustains itself. In the simplest terms, regular pain is experienced in real-time as the direct result of an injury. Quite differently, chronic pain occurs when your “body continues to send pain signals to your brain” long after it is healed from an original injury.
According to the U.S. Library of Medicine website, “traumatic brain injuries” and “polytraumas” are leading causes of chronic pain in veterans. While traumatic brain injuries are self-explanatory, polytraumas are defined on the website as “injury to more than one body system or organ.”
Nature’s Therapy is hopeful that CBD will help veterans overcome these terrible injuries.
How can CBD for Veterans Help?
As we continue to learn more about the potential medical applications for CBD, we see many ways to help veterans with the cannabinoid. However, as the FDA has yet to officially sanction CBD for most ailments, and the VA does not yet back CBD for veterans.
Let us take a brief look at the aforementioned afflictions in the context of using CBD for veterans.
PTSD is an underlying psychological disorder that manifests itself in both mental and physical afflictions. To this end, CBD can potentially help veterans by quelling feelings of anxiousness and nervousness that come with PTSD.
In today’s world, millions of people treat their anxiety with CBD. This notion lends some serious credibility to investigating CBD as a legitimate anxiety alternative for veterans.
Many athletes and elderly people report CBD to be excellent help in treating chronic pain. In like fashion, it is hopeful that the VA will use CBD for veterans in treating chronic pain that results from wartime injuries.
Many U.S. veterans suffer incapacitating disabilities from their service in wartime. Unfortunately, many of these afflictions stay with our veterans well beyond their service. In looking more closely at CBD for veterans, Nature’s Therapy hopes that the VA will consider the cannabinoid in treating such things as PTSD, anxiety, and chronic pain.
As CBD has already gained mainstream acceptance in modern society, it’s hopeful that our military will soon follow suit. To illustrate, countless professional athletes endorse CBD for its pain-relieving qualities, these include NFL players, Olympians, hockey players, and professional golfers. In like fashion, Major League Baseball (MLB) recently removed cannabis from its “list of Drugs of Abuse.”
Looking to the future, Nature’s Therapy is excited to see a world where the FDA and VA work together in offering the best treatments for veterans – including CBD.