Please note: This post was originally published February 2019.
You might have heard a lot about CBD and how it helps people with wellness issues.
It became very popular years ago due to its potential link to medical benefits including pain relief, reduction in inflammation, easing anxiety, and helping symptoms related to cancer and epilepsy.
And even though scientific research has been limited due to prohibition, many studies and anecdotal evidence strongly support the health claims for CBD.
It has since become a favorite alternative medicine for military veterans.
What exactly is cannibidiol?
CBD is a cannabinoid mostly derived from the flowers (buds) of hemp, but sometimes you can also get it made from the flowers of marijuana. Research has show it to have many medicinal properties.
When you use CBD from federally legal hemp, you won't get high because it contains less than 0.3% of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). There are no psychoactive effects.
However, in states where marijuana is legal, you can purchase CBD products made from cannabis flowers with higher THC content. Therefore it's certainly possible you will feel high after using it.
Both versions have virtually no side effects either. It is safe to use as long as you purchased from a reputable company (see below).
Since there have been so many alleged benefits from CBD, it has become a favorite alternative medicine choice for veterans.
The Dangers of Opioids
Traditional PTSD treatments usually include expensive, pharmaceutical drugs which carry the risk of dangerous side effects. Drowsiness, agitation, insomnia, sexual dysfunction, and headache are common with opioids. They can be ineffective but highly addictive.
Additionally, veterans are twice as likely to die from opioids than non-veterans due to the over-prescribing of these opioid medications.
Thankfully these medications aren no longer the only option for veterans struggling with the symptoms of PTSD.
The Promises of CBD
Using CBD products has allowed veterans to pursue a natural, non-addictive approach to PTSD treatment with promising results.
CBD can act on the brain’s neurotransmitters, regulating moods and social behavior. It can work with the body to help maintain emotional stability and regulate memory consolidation, retrieval, and extension. As cannabidiol enters the body’s endocannabinoid system, it ultimately attaches itself to CB1 and CB2 receptors, restoring balance to mind and body.
These things alone can improve conditions common in PTSD but definitive research is still not available.
Finally, CBD is safe to use and has been effective for treating the symptoms of PTSD without causing addiction. This makes it a natural tool veterans can use to increase their overall wellness and quality of life.
Should Veterans Use CBD for PTSD?
While we cannot claim any medical benefits for using CBD, we encourage veterans to evaluate its effectiveness.
We also recommend they talk to their health care provider before using CBD or cannabis as it can interfere with certain medications.
The good news is veterans who receive medical care from the VA no longer have to worry about discussing this option with their doctor.
The VA cannot cancel or reduce your medical benefits for inquiring about or using cannabis products. The downside is they can't prescribe CBD or cannabis, so veterans will have to pay out of pocket.
HAPPY JOE can say we've heard hundreds of anecdotal evidence from the veterans themselves stating these alternative medicines have helped their situation.
And I can personally say it changed my life.
Helpful Tips for Getting Started with CBD
While CBD might treat PTSD in veterans, it’s important to know a few things before you consider this option for well being.
Start slow. Any cannabis product – including CBD – is a different experience for each person. Start with lower doses and increase it over time to find your proper dosage. While it’s tempting to go for higher doses, a little can go a long way.
Choose tinctures. CBD oil is the most effective method for consuming cannabidiol. Placing the tincture oil under your tongue allows for fast delivery and longer lasting relief. If you don’t like tinctures, smoking CBD flower is also an excellent option.
Keep notes or a journal. Because CBD affects everyone differently based on factors including weight, time of day taken, sensitivity, or type of strain, it’s critical to keep a journal of your progress. Paying attention to the small details will serve you well.
Purchase from credible companies. The explosion of interest in CBD and the legalization of hemp exponentially increased sellers in the marketplace. All CBD is NOT created equal. Some companies are making false claims or selling products that are not tested. Avoid them at all costs.
Ask questions or do research. Happy Joe encourages everyone to ask questions or learn more about CBD and its benefits. The internet is filled with great resources. We highly recommend reading CBD: A Patient’s Guide to Medical Cannabis.