Veterans, Cannabis, CBD & PTSD
We caught up with Kevin after he spoke and asked him about PTSD and how it impacts many of his friends in active duty and those that are retired.
NNB: Kevin, first, thank you for your service. We owe you and all the men and women that serve and have served a debt of gratitude.
KP: Thank you.
NNB: Can you tell us what is PTSD?
KP: PTSD stands for post traumatic stress disorder and it impacts many men and women that have served this country. Technically PTS, as vets call it is a condition of ongoing mental and emotional stress that occurs as result of some type of physical injury or severe trauma. Many people that deal with PTS do so because they are in chronic pain and reminded daily of the cause of that pain.
NNB: How is PTS typically handled in the military?
KP: When a service member is diagnosed with PTSD and is still in the military, they have access to counseling from professionals, as well as certain prescription medications to help alleviate stress or depression. This is handled via medical services available within the military, for example other service members who are doctors, nurses, psychiatrists, etc. In cases where a service member has separated (left) the military and has been diagnosed with PTSD, they will have the same types of assistance available, however this would be through VA medical services which is distinct and separate from Department of Defense military branches.
NNB: How can cannabis help PTS?
KP: PTSD is usually caused either by traumatic experiences that an individual has had, or by injuries they have sustained as a result of their military duties. In fact, it’s often some combination of the two. For example if a soldier has been in combat and received a significant injury resulting in chronic pain – this is where PTSD is a result of mental as well as physical issues. With cannabis, we have seen how successful it can be in both calming one’s mind as well as helping treat chronic pain – which are the key components of PTSD. So as a treatment for PTSD, we’ve already seen how cannabis can directly have a positive impact on a PTSD sufferer’s quality of life.
NNB: Why don’t veterans have access to cannabis, specifically CBD products and medical marijuana where they are legal?
KP: Although cannabis has become legal in a number of states, the Department of Defense (which all military branches fall under) is a federal department, and federally, cannabis remains a controlled substance and therefore illegal to possess or use for any reason. Therefore, the DoD has a zero-tolerance policy on the use of ANY cannabis products, and service members are regularly and randomly tested for use of such products. In the case of CBD, which we know to not be psychoactive, the DoD simply doesn’t have a drug test capable of discerning whether a positive test is the result of high-THC cannabis or low-THC CBD, so they have ruled out the use of any of it. However, once a service member leaves the service, the rules loosen up a little. VA hospitals, being federal institutions, still cannot prescribe or administer cannabis products. BUT, service members cannot lose their VA benefits by virtue of using (or admitting to using) cannabis products. So VA medical personnel CAN advise and counsel an individual on the use of cannabis as part of a treatment protocol; however they simply cannot provide the cannabis. And if a person IS using cannabis as part of their own course of treatment, they are encouraged to discuss it with trained VA medical personnel so they can be sure they’re using the correct product(s) in the best possible way. For service members to have full access and authorization to cannabis products, it will first need to be made legal at the federal level.
While the state of Georgia is still working on the details of access to medical cannabis, hemp derived CBD products are legal. Veterans can purchase CBD online from Nuts ‘n Berries or in store at 20% off every day. In fact, we want to provide access to all healthy options so we give 20% off our entire store to qualifying veterans, every day. Just present you military ID at the time of purchase or email [email protected] for a code to receive 20% online. Thank you to all veterans active and retired for your sacrifice and service to America.
Nuts ‘n Berries Healthy Market
Long live the little guy.