CBD For Veterans
What are the Benefits of CBD for Veterans?
Returning veterans often face a list of issues that can become overwhelming. PTSD, anxiety, chronic pain from injuries, sleep disorders and brain injuries are just some of the problems that many veterans deal with after returning home from war. In the search for answers for these and other health problems, one product that is showing promise is cannabidiol (CBD). This non-psychoactive cannabinoid is currently the subject of a great deal of attention for its health benefits. Let’s explore the effects of CBD and what CBD can do to help veterans.
How Can CBD Help Veterans?
When you look at the research that's being done on what symptoms CBD may treat, there's quite a bit of overlap with the many health problems veterans are facing. Cannabidiol appears to positively affect the limbic and paralimbic centers of the brain, which has shown to help reduce anxiety. In addition to having anti-anxiety benefits, CBD is antipsychotic and contains neuroprotective qualities, which is why it has been linked to helping other mental disorders such as substance abuse, depression, sleep disorders, and most importantly for veterans, PTSD.
Exploring the Benefits of CBD For Veterans
CBD has demonstrated through several research studies to help with a number of aliments and health problems including:
- Brain Injuries
- Chronic Pain and Inflammation
It's easy to see how CBD addresses the many health problems facing veterans today. With around 20 million U.S. veterans reported in 2016, it's clear why there is so much buzz around CBD in the veteran communities. However, many people associate CBD with cannabis or marijuana, and so question its legality. Is CBD legal? Let's take a look at the current laws.
Is CBD Legal?
First, let’s understand the difference between hemp and marijuana, and where CBD comes from. Hemp and marijuana are both part of the cannabis family. However, hemp and specifically industrial hemp is part of the cannabis plant family that contains high levels of cannabidiol (CBD), a naturally occurring cannabinoid. Hemp-derived CBD does not contain THC, and therefore is not psychoactive and doesn’t get you high. Marijuana on the other hand comes from the cannabis sativa plant and contains high levels of THC, the psychoactive substance that makes people feel high.
Until recently, all parts of the cannabis plant were considered Schedule I drugs under the Controlled Substances Act. The 2018 Farm Bill addressed that misclassification of hemp, removing it from the Controlled Substances Act and making it legal to grow and sell in the United States. CBD that is derived from industrial hemp must contain less than 0.3% THC and is federally legal. CBD derived from marijuana is legal in states that have legalized marijuana, but is still considered illegal on the federal level, no matter how much THC it contains.
Because of the very low amounts of THC found in hemp, hemp-derived CBD should not cause anyone to fail a drug test. Therefore, it is important to use a quality hemp-based CBD manufacturer to be confident that what is listed on the label is accurate.
What is the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs' Stance on CBD?
Although CBD is legal, it has not been approved by the FDA for medical use. Because of that technicality, VA clinicians cannot prescribe or recommend CBD products. In general, the policy seems to treat all cannabinoids the same, despite hemp's legal status.
However, this doesn't mean that CBD is out of reach as a solution for retired or separated military members. You can still discuss your CBD use with a VA doctor, and the privacy of that information is maintained as a part of your medical record. It's important to have these conversations with your doctor, so they can decide if they want to adjust the serving or product usage of CBD. Most importantly, using CBD will not cause you to lose your benefits. No cannabinoid use, including marijuana, can disqualify you from receiving benefits.
The future for CBD with the VA seems hopeful. In San Diego, researchers at the VA are looking into CBD as a treatment for PTSD. The tide seems to be turning around CBD and the public’s perception of cannabinoids. Given the promise CBD is showing for treating health issues that veterans face, the continual research and the growing acceptance as an alternative solution, CBD is gaining traction in the medical community.
How Has CBD Helped You?
If you're a veteran who has benefited from CBD, we'd love to hear about your experience. Leave a comment below and tell us how CBD has helped you. If you enjoyed this article please share on social media and with your family and friends!