You might have heard a lot about cannabidiol or CBD lately. It’s the compound found in cannabis plants that provides incredible health benefits. With so many benefits being touted, people are asking whether CBD can treat PTSD in veterans. But first, what exactly is CBD?
CBD is mostly derived from the flowers of hemp and contains less than 0.3% of tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC). You won’t get stoned or high from CBD and there are virtually no side affects from using it.
CBD is becoming more popular thanks to its potential link to medical benefits including relief from pain and anxiety, reduction in inflammation and sleeplessness, and easing symptoms related to cancer and epilepsy. Due to the long prohibition of cannabis, scientific research has been limited. Yet recent studies and anecdotal evidence strongly support the many benefits of CBD for health issues.
What does this mean to veterans battling PTSD?
Using CBD products allows veterans to pursue a natural, non-addictive approach to treatment. Traditional PTSD treatments include expensive, pharmaceutical drugs which carry the risk of dangerous side effects. Drowsiness, agitation, insomnia, sexual dysfunction, and headache are common with opioids. Not to mention the increased chance of drug addiction!
Sadly, veterans are twice as likely to die from opioids than non-veterans due to the over-prescribing of these opioid medications. Thankfully these medications are no longer the only option for veterans struggling with the symptoms of PTSD.
CBD presents veterans with an alternate treatment option, as it can act on the brain’s neurotransmitters regulating moods and social behavior. Cannabidiol enters the body’s endocannabinoid system, which maintains emotional stability and regulates memory consolidation, retrieval, and extension. It then attaches itself to CB1 and CB2 receptors, restoring balance to mind and body. This alone can improve conditions common in PTSD.
Treating PTSD with cannabidiol is a great option for veterans.
It won’t get you high and there are no dangerous side effects. Not only is CBD safe to use, it has been effective for treating the symptoms of PTSD without causing addiction. CBD is a natural tool veterans can use to increase their overall wellness and quality of life.
Using CBD to Treat PTSD in Veterans
Military veterans struggling with PTSD should consider talking to their physician or health provider before using CBD. While there are no dangerous side effects to cannabidiol, it can interfere with certain medications.
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 Veterans Affairs cannot prescribe CBD or cannabis, leaving veterans to pay for their own medicine.
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 for wellness.
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 have 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.