5 Cannabis Benefits for Veterans
For as long as people can remember cannabis has been used for so many different things and has helped so many so many different kinds of people. One group of people who have reported seeing benefits from the use of cannabis has been Veterans.
Veterans have made so many sacrifices and have honorably served their country but some experience chronic medical conditions as a result of that service.
There have been many veterans who have reported that marijuana has helped to ease the symptoms of some of their conditions and we would like to share just some of the ways they have been able to do that.
Quick note before we get started! Cannabis, both medical and recreational, has not been legalized federally, therefore the Veterans Association (VA) is not permitted to recommend marijuana to patients. Additionally, they “may not complete paperwork/forms required for Veteran patients to participate in state-approved marijuana programs”.
However, according to the VA, Veterans will not be denied benefits because of cannabis usage.
With that taken care of, let’s get into it! Here are five ways that cannabis could help benefit veterans.
1. Treatment for PTSD
One of the most common and more documented uses of cannabis for veterans is as a treatment for PTSD. While there has not been an official trial recognized by the VA there have been credible, FDA-regulated studies that show a link between cannabis usage and the improvement of PTSD symptoms.
Additionally, there have been quite a few personal accounts from veterans who have used cannabis as a way to manage the symptoms of PTSD.
2. Treat symptoms of anxiety and depression
According to the National Library of Medicine 14% to 16% of service members have reported being affected by depression. Additionally, about 20% of veterans report that they experience some form of anxiety
Certain strains of cannabis have been used to help lessen the symptoms of depression and anxiety. There isn’t one particular stain or type of cannabis that will work best and given that everyone’s body reacts to cannabis differently we recommend talking to your budtender about what could help best for your specific symptoms.
3. Treat Chronic Pain
Many veterans report experiencing some kind of chronic pain, oftentimes stemming from their service. This kind of pain can range from mildly uncomfortable to debilitating and can affect every aspect of a person’s life.
Cannabis, in many different forms, has long been used for help with all different types of pain. Marijuana has been known to treat all types of pain, from migraines to joint pain and even pain associated with nerve damage.
4. Help with Loss of Appetite
An increase in appetite while using cannabis is very common and is often referred to as “getting the munchies”. This is usually considered a harmless side effect of smoking, however, those who are experiencing a chronic loss of appetite will sometimes use cannabis as an appetite stimulant to help treat the problem.
A loss of appetite can stem from a number of things, but for veterans in particular it can be a result of depression and even PTSD.
5. Help with Insomnia
Another common use for cannabis is as a sleep aid. Certain strains are known to be extremely relaxing and there are even specific products that are designed with sleep in mind.
Insomnia, fitful rest and even nightmares are commonly reported issues in veterans. Cannabis can be a more natural way to treat those symptoms. Keep in mind that different strains have different effects so it may be a good idea to speak to your budtender for recommendations for sleep aids.
Bonus! An alternative to opioids
With the recent opioid epidemic, there have been a number of people, veterans included, looking for alternatives to opioids and some have used cannabis as that alternative.
There have been a few studies done showing that the use of cannabis can decrease the need for opioid painkillers. One study showed “64% reduction in opioid use amongst chronic pain patients who used medical marijuana.”
Just as a reminder: these are simply alternative treatments for people to consider. At the end of the day, patients should listen to their doctors and medical professionals when it comes to medical conditions and always be truthful when disclosing any alternative treatments they may be using.
Everyone here at Nature Med salutes our veterans and is appreciative everyday for the sacrifices that they made. We hope that all veterans know that they are more than welcome here and we will do everything in our power to take care of them!
If you’re interested in checking out what we have to offer, here’s a link to our online menu and our specials page to see the ways you can save. Please stop by NatureMed on Veterans Day to take advantage of all of our Veterans Day discounts.