Military veterans often have to deal with various physiological and psychological issues when they assimilate back into society. After all, what they may have been exposed to while on duty can commonly lead to chronic health issues such as PTSD, pain and inflammation, insomnia, anxiety...the list goes on.
Unfortunately, many products that purport to help often come with a long list of undesirable side effects and can even contribute to other issues such as addiction or dependency. In a country that has over 20 million veterans, we are looking at a significant percentage of the population being drawn to these types of treatments, with very limited options for natural alternatives.
Those wondering what the VA prescribes for PTSD would undoubtedly be disappointed, as the VA is unable to prescribe or suggest treatments that are not approved by the FDA. Furthermore, the federal illegality of cannabis has also created an aversion to cannabis products with government entities.
However, if you're willing to look outside the box, there is a beacon of hope out there known as CBD. More specifically, CBD oil for veterans is a promising therapy that can provide relief and make it easier to cope with the symptoms that come along with PTSD, stress, anxiety, and other issues that are common in Veterans. Additionally, many brands offer various financial assistance programs, making it cheaper and easier than ever to try CBD.
What Is CBD?
Short for cannabidiol, CBD is one of more than 100 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. It's a close cousin to THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive ingredient that makes you feel high. However, CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning that it won't make you feel high or loopy. It’s a great option for those that want the medicinal benefits of cannabis without the high, and many veterans are turning to CBD to help them battle PTSD, stress, anxiety, insomnia, chronic pain, and inflammation.
Extracted from the hemp plant, CBD products can take form in many ways. Some prefer CBD oil, which allows CBD to be taken sublingually under the tongue, while others may elect for a salve or cream that can be rubbed into the skin. CBD has also found its way into foods and gummies, drinks, shampoos, soaps and lotions, as well as bath bombs and just about anything else you can think of. If you can use it or consume it, there's likely a product out there with CBD in it -- it's even available as a smokable flower, though veterans may prefer a CBD oil because it's easier to consume and it doesn't require any extra paraphernalia.
The way it works is that the CBD is extracted from the hemp plant and then mixed into a carrier oil, such as MCT oil, that can be ingested directly, added to foods or added into other products for later consumption. Using carbon dioxide, ethanol, or other methods to separate the CBD from the plant matter, CBD oil typically contains less than 0.3% THC by volume, which makes it legal to purchase or use anywhere in the U.S. While the VA won't necessarily prescribe it due to various prohibitions in place, you can obtain CBD oil online or in many retail stores nationwide.
How To Treat Veterans With PTSD With CBD Oil
For veterans, CBD oil is a great product that can be consumed easily and conveniently. If an oil or tincture is the selected method of use, simply use the dropper to dispense the desired dose under the tongue, allowing the CBD oil to dissolve into the bloodstream by holding it under the tongue for about 30 to 60 seconds. Swallow any residual product, as needed. CBD pills or capsules are also an available form of use, which makes dosing super easy, though (like CBD-infused foods) it takes much longer to activate since it must pass through the digestive system before ending up in the bloodstream. Other CBD products for veterans include topicals, which can be applied and massaged directly into the skin at target areas.
For the majority of ailments that drive veterans to consider the use of CBD products, they will most likely elect for an ingestible product - either an oil, a capsule form or a vape - which are the best options for more immediate and prolonged relief. However, those with chronic pain may want to explore CBD topicals since these types of products are target-specific and provide central relief to the desired area. If you want, you can even use topicals and another delivery method to get both localized and general relief from pain or inflammation.
How CBD Can Help Veterans
When it comes to PTSD, veterans typically suffer more than the general population. In fact, somewhere between 10 and 20 percent of all veterans suffer from some sort of PTSD, which is several times higher than the prevalence of PTSD in non-veterans. While awareness and acknowledgement of PTSD may have been minimized in the past, our knowledge of how PTSD affects veterans has only grown in recent years, and it's true
that it can be accompanied by debilitating side effects such as flashbacks, nightmares, and stress where the trauma is revisited time and again. Over time, this can cause the development of depression, anxiety and insomnia.
Commonly, PTSD is treated with psychotherapy ("talk therapy") and heavy medications such as SSRIs and antidepressants. Unfortunately, these types of medications often cause serious side effects of their own, such as nausea, insomnia, brain fogginess, lethargy, dizziness, etc. They have also proven to not be fully effective and only a small percentage of users report full remission of their PTSD symptoms. Additionally, users are more likely to develop life-long problems with addiction after long term use of these types of pharmaceuticals.
On the other hand, CBD is nonaddictive and carries none of the common cognition effects, making it ideal for veterans that don't want to stack problems on top of problems. Not only is CBD tolerated well even in very high doses, but it also rarely produces side effects, which is why it's often used in children that suffer debilitating seizures.
For veterans, studies on CBD and PTSD are overwhelmingly positive. In fact, CBD can help alter memories, minimize negative emotions and block the ability of the brain to retrieve traumatic memories. That can help reduce the likelihood of experiencing a harrowing flashback, as well as helping to lift the mood like antidepressants. Instead of negative reactions, more positive feelings can be tapped into during a flashback.
CBD has also shown promise in helping to fight anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain; as well as helping with addiction recovery for those that have developed a substance abuse disorder while trying to cope with PTSD and other stressors. And since veterans are twice as likely to die from an opioid overdose than the general population, CBD can provide a real way forward as it is kinder to the mind and the body.
If you're a veteran and you're ready to give CBD a try, check out our CBD oils and other CBD products. As a thank you, Naternal offers a special lifetime discount on all of our products to all military personnel and veterans - click here to register your account and save.