Veterans are some of the bravest individuals in our society and should be respected after their essential service. Not only did they serve their country, but they also likely endured great mental and physical strain in the progress that isn’t discussed enough after they’re back home.
Recently with changing laws, access to cannabis has given way to new treatment options for the various mental health issues endured by our veterans. This is especially true for those dealing with PTSD or physical pain from their service.
The natural anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety properties of hemp and cannabis products can help veterans manage their symptoms and have an easier time re-integrating into the country they are protected. This article will explore the benefits of cannabis for veterans and the importance of access to those treatments by our country’s heroes.
Cannabis Resources Available
As looser government policy opens up avenues for medicinal cannabis products, more and more veterans will likely seek treatment for their physical and mental health problems. But what options do they have? If someone is looking for a smoke-free alternative with similar benefits, edibles like delta 9 gummies are valuable options.
The most challenging issue in determining available resources is the legal one. In terms of products derived from cannabis, a veteran’s access to medicinal cannabis varies from place to place. Some places outlaw it completely, leaving veterans stranded in this regard. Researching local laws will help, but awareness is not just a one-click task. It’s essential to stay informed. Cannabis is a much better, non-addictive alternative to opioids which are currently abused by those seeking their aid.
What is PTSD and How Does it Affect Veterans?
PTSD is a mental health disorder that can develop when someone experiences a traumatic or dangerous event that triggers overwhelming fear and anxiety. Symptoms can include flashbacks, nightmares, uncontrollable thoughts, extreme vigilance, poor sleep quality, and mood swings.
About 10% of the US population has PTSD. However, the number is much higher for veterans. For example, about 20% of veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan have PTSD, and it is believed that up to 30% of Vietnam veterans have PTSD.
Veterans are disproportionately affected by PTSD due to the nature of their work, their exposure to traumatic events, and their likelihood of experiencing distress during recovery and treatment. However, veterans who seek treatment for PTSD can benefit from a variety of therapy and treatment options, and cannabis appears to be a viable option for many people.
What are the Potential Benefits of Cannabis for veterans with PTSD?
As with other mental health issues, there is no single best treatment option for veterans with PTSD, and different treatment methods work best for different people. However, CBT is increasingly seen as a possible treatment option for various mental health issues, and PTSD is no exception. While there is not enough scientific evidence to fully evaluate the benefits and risks of cannabis for PTSD, there are some promising indications that cannabis can be beneficial for veterans with PTSD. These potential benefits include:
- Reduced anxiety: Anxiety is one of the most common symptoms of PTSD and can significantly impair veterans’ quality of life. CBT is a natural anti-anxiety treatment that can help reduce or eliminate many symptoms of PTSD, including significant anxiety levels and the risk of panic attacks.
- Improved sleep: Sleep is another vital part of PTSD treatment, but it can be difficult for veterans with PTSD to get a good night’s sleep. Cannabis can help improve sleep quality and quantity, significantly reducing stress and anxiety in veterans and improving their ability to function daily.
- Improved physical health: Healthy, happy people tend to live longer and have better overall health. Veterans with PTSD are often more likely to experience poor physical health due to increased stress, anxiety, and reduced sleep quality.
What are the risks associated with cannabis for veterans?
As with all medical treatments, cannabis also has some risks, and these should be carefully considered when evaluating all treatment options for PTSD.
- Psychological dependence: While physical dependence is not concerned with cannabis, psychological dependence is possible. Veterans should be careful to use the treatment appropriately and not rely on it for regular coping and relaxation.
- Regulation and quality control: While cannabis has been decriminalized in many states and is available for medical purposes, it’s not like that everywhere. Government overreach in policy makes access to some life-saving products nearly impossible. Veterans should be careful to choose a safe and legal source of cannabis to avoid harmful contaminants and ensure a consistent quality product.
Though, it’s important to know that veterans are not denied their benefits due to medical marijuana treatments.
What other mental health treatments should veterans consider?
In addition to cannabis, there are a variety of mental health treatments that veterans with PTSD may find helpful. These include therapy, medication, and healthy lifestyle habits.
- Therapy: While PTSD is a mental health disorder, most treatments for PTSD are not based on treating the disorder directly. Instead, most treatments focus on helping veterans address the trauma that caused the disorder in the first place. Therapy has been proven to be highly effective in helping veterans process traumatic experiences and find closure.
- Medication: Many veterans with PTSD also experience depression and anxiety, which they can treat with medication. Several different types of medication can be helpful for veterans with PTSD and can be used in conjunction with other treatment methods.
- Healthy lifestyle habits: Healthy diet, exercise, and sleep habits are essential in treating all mental health disorders, and they can be extremely helpful in managing PTSD symptoms. Veterans who try to incorporate healthy habits into their daily lives will have more energy and mental clarity.
Veterans have served their country with great courage and deserve access to all the help and support they need when they return from service. Unfortunately, the government tends to impede medicinal progress with its regulation of cannabis. However, it’s now more accepted as a viable treatment option for various mental health issues. With the proper treatment, cannabis can be an extremely helpful option to help our nation’s defenders feel like heroes.