5 Ways Veterans Can Use Cannabis to Improve Quality of Life
Taking care of our war veterans should remain top priority.
When the youth of a nation are trained for survival and shown how to properly slay an enemy, it changes their perspective of humanity, politics, and their overall world. For many, this can be a good thing - it can increase confidence, advance physical health, and leave those who have completed training in a better position to make improved life choices.
However, to be stationed in a war zone change one's perspective in far more negative ways either physically or mentally. Men and women who once believed they could tolerate battle discover how traumatizing it can be. They can be exposed to chemical warfare, diminishing their respiratory system or damaging their skin. Simple acts of moving supplies and wearing heavy equipment while engaging in special operations can cause pain and impair the musculo-skeletal system. Loud noises such as explosions can damage hearing or eyesight (shrap metal).
Luckily, cannabis offers solutions to veterans suffering from conditions such as these, without the trails of addiction or overdosing that other medications can lead to.
"The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him." - G. K. Chesterton
1. Safe pain relief.
Often, soldiers come home with some form of battle wound, often resulting in chronic pain of the muscles, bones, or joints among other, more serious conditions. Opioids are often prescribed to them, and many veterans become addicted. Cannabis offers a safer solution to pain management for anyone suffering chronic pain.
2. PTSD control.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a condition that produces continuous mental and emotional stress. It involves the recurrence of experiencing a past trauma, often resulting in dulled responses to people and the outside world as the mind submerges itself in memories. Pharmaceuticals have been crafted in attempts at controlling such episodes since it was first diagnosed in 1980 (Zoloft & Paxil), but they create their own side-effects that can result in increased stress for the veteran.
It's been found that PTSD victims can find solace with cannabis, as it calms the mind down and keeps it focused on current reality - without the chances of having horrible side-effects.
Learn More: Treating PTSD with Cannabis
3. Noise & Vibration Exposure - Tinnitus
Tinnitus is the ringing we sometimes "hear" in our ears that blocks out other, actual noises. When damage is caused to the ear, or an underlying condition (such as PTSD) leads to the progression of tinnitus, it can result in reducing one's quality of life by causing hearing loss, difficulty focusing, insomnia, anxiety, irritability, and hyperacusis (sensitivity to sound). Anecdotal evidence suggests cannabis can help reduce the symptoms of tinnitus by acting on the underlying cause, meaning veterans can use it to help calm any ringing in the ears. More research is underway linking the reduction of tinnitus using cannabis by Dr. Thanos Tzounopoulos - an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburg and member of its auditory research group.
4. Depression & Drug/Alcohol Abuse
Fighting in a war away from family and friends is never a happy situation we look forward to. Soldiers often come home with some form of depression, leading to drug or alcohol abuse in order to escape the trials and memories of reality. While no placebo-controlled double-blind studies have been done studying cannabis as a successful substitute for alcoholism, there's been a plethora of anecdotal evidence supporting this notion. It's being found that cannabis is not a gateway drug, but the opposite, providing safe relief to those suffering depression and dependence on deadly mood-enhancing drugs and alcohol.
5. Chemical Exposure
CBD oil has been sparking various studies surrounding its uses pertaining to skin conditions, and the findings continue bear positive results. While more studies need to be conducted on those suffering from exposure to various chemicals and toxins, this cannabinoid may offer a solution to forms of inflammation and calming either the symptoms of a toxin or targeting the source of the problem to help heal it. Veterans that have suffered through chemical exposure may want to look into CBD oil used either as a topical or an edible to calm pain and/or inflammation while improving their skins' condition.
Learn More: How Hemp Oil Heals Our Largest Organ