CBD for Veterans may offer potential relief. Veterans returning from active duty to a civilian role often face a new kind of battle: adjusting back to normal life. The emotional and physical scars from their time in the service frequently follow them home.
A large proportion of military members report difficulty reintegrating into society and coping with the toll that service took on their bodies. Several therapies and medications might help ease the adjustment.
Given the startling statistics on veterans’ mental and physical health struggles that persist long after coming home, there’s significant work to be done to help America’s real-life heroes.
CBD may offer much-needed relief to veterans. Let’s discuss how CBD may provide benefits.
The unique challenges of adjusting to civilian life
Coming home can be the hardest part of military service. The grim reality, according to Pew Research polling, is that:
- “44% of post-9/11 veterans say their readjustment to civilian life was difficult.”
- “Nearly four-in-ten (37%) post-9/11 veterans say that, whether or not they were formally diagnosed, they believe they have suffered from post-traumatic stress (PTS).”
- “One-third (32%) say there have been times where they felt they didn’t care about anything.”
Given that only roughly one-half of one percent of Americans have served in the military in the last decade, the psychological and physical stresses of military service are unfamiliar to the wider public. 84% of veterans in the survey reported they did not believe that the general population understands their struggles.
Over the last twenty years, suicide rates among US veterans have trended upwards relative to the general population.
Obviously, these statistics paint a bleak picture: we have failed to treat our returning soldiers with the proper care they need to recover their well-being and thrive in their post-military lives.
Our military members and their families deserve better. Learn more about what you can do to support veterans in your local community.
CBD may be an important, powerful component of an overall therapeutic strategy for veterans battling physical and mental health issues related to their service.
Veterans’ groups support medicinal cannabis for therapeutic use
Support and advocacy nonprofit group Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) vocally supports the use of medical cannabis to help veterans manage their mental and physical health:
“The use of medical cannabis has been of great concern to the veteran population for quite some time. For years, IAVA members have sounded off in support of researching medical cannabis for the wounds of war. Veterans consistently and passionately have communicated that cannabis offers effective help in tackling some of the most pressing injuries we face when returning from war.”
IAVA’s embrace of cannabis as a soothing salve for struggling soldiers isn’t surprising in light of the plethora of research studies examining CBD’s many potential health benefits.
Let’s survey a handful of the ways CBD might help address veterans’ unique set of mental and physical health challenges.
CBD as a potential treatment for PTSD in veterans
As cited previously, one of the most common issues that veterans face when returning home is a condition called posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Trauma in various forms, including wartime experiences, creates lingering psychological disturbances:
“People with PTSD have intense, disturbing thoughts and feelings related to their experience that last long after the traumatic event has ended. They may relive the event through flashbacks or nightmares; they may feel sadness, fear or anger; and they may feel detached or estranged from other people.”
Participation in warfare is one of the most common triggers of PTSD. In previous times, in fact, PTSD was called “shell shock” – a reference to combat.
In clinical research, CBD has been proven effective to reduce PTSD symptoms:
“Administration of oral CBD in addition to routine psychiatric care was associated with PTSD symptom reduction in adults with PTSD.”
Other studies bear out the same prescriptive application of CBD for combatting PTSD: it may alter “aversive memories” and significantly reduce PTSD symptoms.
Statistics show that a large proportion of military veterans utilize CBD to treat PTSD.
CBD as a potential treatment for chronic pain in veterans
Chronic pain, which often goes hand-in-hand with PTSD, is widespread among veterans:
“Among U.S. war veterans, up to 50% of men and 78% of women reported chronic pain.”
Unfortunately, the most commonly prescribed medications for chronic pain, such as opioids, carry a high risk of dependency, addiction, reduced efficacy over time, potentially severe side effects, and even fatal overdose.
CBD may be a viable alternative to conventional painkillers. In fact, CBD’s analgesic (painkilling) properties are well-researched:
When taken for chronic pain, CBD is generally well-tolerated and produces relief without unwanted side effects.
In addition to the CBD itself, the aromatic compounds that occur naturally in cannabis called terpenes also exert analgesic (painkilling) effects.
CBD for potential cancer prevention in veterans
Roughly 50,000 veterans are diagnosed with cancer each year. Veterans have a greater risk of developing multiple types of cancer than the general population, including, particularly, melanoma (skin cancer) and lung cancer due to chemical, ionizing radiation, and hazardous material exposure.
CBD exerts anti-cancer effects through numerous mechanisms:
“Particularly, CBD is able to interfere with different stages of the tumor process, it can inhibit cancer cell migrations and adhesions, and exerts anti-proliferative, pro-apoptotic, and anti-invasive effects.”
CBD as a potential anti-inflammatory agent for veterans
Chronic inflammation – which drives virtually all chronic diseases – occurs frequently in post-9/11 veterans due to the lingering effects of blast exposure.
Chronic inflammation in returning veterans following deployment is well-documented.
Inflammation, which is directed by a complex set of mechanisms in the immune system, can be effectively checked by CBD supplementation:
“Clinical studies have confirmed that CBD reduces the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, inhibits T cell proliferation, induces T cell apoptosis and reduces migration and adhesion of immune cells.”
Sympleaf’s wide array of CBD products for veterans
We’ve got a variety of CBD products available for veterans interested in harnessing the potentially transformative health benefits of CBD supplementation.
Head over to our online shop, where you can browse through our selection of oils, tinctures, gummies and other edibles, capsules, vaping products, pure CBD flower, and more.
No matter how you want to take your CBD, — vaping, smoking, ingesting, or topically — we’ve got you covered. All of our products are third-party tested for quality and purity, so you know exactly what you’re getting.
Contact Sympleaf to learn more about CBD and how to support veterans
We honor our neighbors who have put their bodies and lives on the line in service of our country. If our CBD products can provide some benefits for veterans, that’s the least that we can give back to the soldiers among us.