How does CBD help?
Most recent statistics indicate that around 18.2 million veterans in the US suffer from some form of mental illness. It’s assessed that almost 37,000 are homeless and countless struggle with anxiety, depression, insomnia, and PTSD.
Unfortunately, due to the stigma attributed to mental health, only 50% of veterans seek out help. Most of the vets opt for “self-medication” that far too often leads to addiction and substance abuse. Furthermore, prescription pills come with their own set of adverse side-effects.
How exactly does CBD help veterans?
Servicemen and women face some of the most gruesome acts of violence that many of us wouldn’t even fancy to imagine. Combat is a horrible, life-threatening experience, which for some, leaves an ever-lasting impression. The exposure to such unpleasant events is responsible for mental anguish among men and women who have served our country and increases the risk of mental illness.
Military service also increases the risk of physical damage during combat. Most of the post-deployment veterans experience lingering pain in their necks, shoulders, backs, and knees. CBD can be a perfect remedy for such physical and mental ailments.
Chronic, Acute, and Difficult to Treat Pain
The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) records indicate that half of the veterans receiving treatment in centers across the country suffer from chronic pain. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), report that 9.1% of veterans, contrasted to 6.4% of civilians endures severe pain regularly.
Veterans who seek treatment for their pain, are mostly given opioid drugs, the most common being codeine, hydrocodone, and oxycodone. Though the number of veterans on opioids medication has decreased, opioids remain one of the most addicting substances, we know of. We all are familiar that the U.S is in the midst of an opioid crisis.
This is where CBD can help. Research proves that cannabinoids and CBD are effective in managing chronic pain. Research also indicates that both THC and CBD can help in managing chronic neuropathic pain, whether used alone or in combination. CBD has also shown concrete results in treating traumatic brain injury, something that is referred to as a “signature injury” of service in Afghanistan and Iraq.
One of the most common conditions that veterans exhibit is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). And sadly, around 50% of veterans suffering from PTSD won’t seek any treatment. Though CBD isn’t treatment either, it does show positive results in managing symptoms, and it is something which the Vets can take without seeking treatment. Research indicates that current therapies for PTSD don’t work as well as expected and leads to adverse side effects.
Research has found that PTSD patients have low anandamide levels. Anandamide is an endocannabinoid responsible for feelings of memory, motivation, wellbeing, and more. This has solidified the theory that PTSD is an outcome of endocannabinoid system deficiency.
CB1 receptors, located in the central nervous system and brain, are known to manage several bodily functions. Some of these include emotional learning, fear eradication, and adapting to stress. Ideal CB1 function assists in turning off traumatic memories and enables us to disregard such distressing situations. While CBD doesn’t attach to CB1 receptors, it does boost anandamide levels.
Clinical studies in animal models reveal that CBD not only eradicates traumatic memories but can also prevent them from returning. Human trials have also shown real promise for CBD in the treatment of PTSD.
In 2016, a 10-year-old girl with PTSD received at least 25mg of CBD daily for five months and affirmed a drop in anxiety and a notable increase in sleep quantity and quality.
A 2018 review that examined at the current human and animal studies of CBD for PTSD inferred that CBD could offer numerous therapeutic benefits for disorders which are related to painful memories. Authors of the study recorded that “the results of CBD on the different stages of aversive memory processing make this compound a candidate pharmacological adjunct to psychological therapies for PTSD.”
There are several clinical trials and tons of anecdotal evidence on the effectiveness of CBD for helping with many of the difficulties our veterans are currently facing. From helping to relieve symptoms of PTSD, anxiety, chronic pain and more, CBD is becoming a popular choice for many veterans.