Every day, our brave service members selflessly dedicate their lives to protect our freedom and way of life. However, their battle doesn't end when they return home from their service. In fact, it is just the beginning of a whole new set of challenges that they have to face. Many veterans struggle with physical and mental health issues as a result of their time in the military. The toll that war takes on their bodies and minds is immense, and it is heartbreaking to see these brave individuals deal with the consequences.
Physical health issues can range from chronic pain due to injuries sustained in combat to more serious conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Veterans often have to deal with the physical scars of war, both visible and invisible. They may require ongoing medical care, rehabilitation, and therapy to manage their conditions. On the other hand, the mental health issues that veterans face can be equally daunting. The trauma they experience during their service can have long-lasting effects on their mental well-being. PTSD, depression, anxiety, and substance abuse are just a few of the many mental health disorders that veterans may battle with.Veterans often face daily stressors that are not encountered by other individuals.
It has been reported that 44% of veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan have difficulty readjusting after returning home, and 23% say that deployment had a negative impact on their wellness. Furthermore, nearly a third of veterans have expressed that they endured traumatic events.
Veterans struggling with chronic pain due to combat, PTSD, and difficulty sleeping find that Doctors usually prescribe pharmaceuticals which have detrimental side effects and can be addictive. Seeking alternatives that have no side effects and clinical and scientific backing, many Vets are looking into CBD as a potential treatment for their symptoms. There are numerous clinical trials in addition to anecdotal accounts of the efficacy of CBD for Veterans.
Many veterans have discussed the potential benefits of using medicinal cannabis and CBD products in order to help improve their well-being. To that end, IAVA (Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America) has advocated for the support of veterans who wish to use medical cannabis and CBD. It may be possible that combining cannabinoid products with traditional treatments could help veterans manage and improve their wellness.
What are the benefits of CBD for veterans?
Many veterans can struggle when transitioning back to normal life after a traumatic period. They may continually recall past events, have a shift in their emotions and feelings, or become easily provoked. This could also affect their concentration and sleep patterns. CBD, CBG, and CBN could help navigate occasional anxiety and may help improve sleep, among other benefits, by influencing the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in our bodies. Kine's easy-to-take sublingual lozenges make absorption fast and effective.
The ECS is thought to be one of the most vital and vast receptor systems for sustaining good health. It affects many of our biological processes including things like regulating stress, controlling our mental and emotional responses, and therefore may help people in letting go of, or forgetting, unpleasant memories.
Receptors in the brain that are linked to emotions and memory can be impacted by CBD, which might be beneficial to veterans who have experienced trauma and are having trouble transitioning. A great research study on this topic can be found here and further studies are being conducted by the San Diego VA.
The research behind CBD for veterans.
A study published in 2013 showed that the use of CBD could assist persons who experience unpleasant memories of a situation. The researchers refer to ‘aversive memory extinction’ – where disturbing memories become less frequent.
In a paper written in 2018, researchers Bitencourt and Takahashi mention that this benefit could be seen when CBD is used in conjunction with other treatment options like exposure-based therapy. There are various theories on exactly how CBD may assist in lessening the occurrence of unpleasant memories with no conclusive findings yet. However, there have been some interesting findings that CBD could support the body in forming new neurons in the hippocampus. This area of the brain plays an essential part in processing memories.
A scientific review in 2015 concluded that CBD also has considerable potential to help with every day or occasional anxiety. The amygdala is an area of the brain known to be crucial in processing intense experiences that trigger our fight or flight response. Sometimes we’re not able to fully process frightening experiences that happened in the past, and we may become more vulnerable to having anxious feelings in the future even in the absence of any obvious trigger. One study demonstrated that increasing anandamide (an endocannabinoid produced in the body) levels in the amygdala of mice helped them to forget frightening events.
Can active-duty members of the armed forces use CBD?
As per Army Regulation 600-85, dated July 23, 2020, active duty service members are prohibited from using or consuming any product derived from hemp, including CBD, regardless of the product’s THC content. The regulation specifically mentions any CBD products that are ‘introduced into the human body.’ This includes food products, lotions and oils, soaps and shampoos, and cosmetic products used directly on one’s skin. The Air force, Navy and Marine Corps, and Coast Guard all issued similar statements. Cannabidiol (CBD) is listed as a prohibited ingredient by the Department of Defence, despite the House of Representatives approving an amendment relating to the use of hemp products by members of the military in July 2020.