Changing legislation enabled many individuals suffering from varying conditions to obtain Cannabinoid products. One of the largest groups capable of benefiting from Cannabinoid use are Veteran’s. However, many veterans have refrained from attaining any of these products, even those that do not contain THC. This is largely due to escalating worries of benefit restrictions. Fortunately, our team at Healthy Hempies conducted some sleuthing to bring you bonafide facts about Veteran Cannabinoid Use.
Veterans Health Administration Respects Veterans Rights to Cannabinoid Use
Many Veterans fear of losing benefits through the Veterans Health Administration. For many this is the reason for not utilizing cannabinoid products. However, the VHA has already expressed their position of the matter of Veteran Cannabinoid Use. In the 2017 VHA Directive-1315 the administration states that VHA providers should in fact discuss Cannabis use and possible benefits to any veteran requesting information.
It is Veteran’s Health Administration policy that:
A.) VHA providers and/or pharmacists discuss with the Veteran marijuana use, due to its clinical relevance to patient care, and discuss marijuana use with any Veterans requesting information about marijuana;
B.) To comply with Federal laws such as the Controlled Substances Act (Title 21 United States Code (U.S.C.) 801 et. al.), VHA providers are prohibited from completing forms or registering Veterans for participation in a State-approved marijuana program;
C.) VHA providers and/or pharmacists should discuss with patients how their use of State-approved medical marijuana to treat medical or psychiatric symptoms or conditions may relate to the Veterans participation in other clinical activities…
The VHA in no way indicates that Veterans can or will lose VHA benefits due to legal Cannabinoid use. Additionally, Cannabinoid extract used in Healthy Hempies Products doesn’t contain THC levels that register on chromatography testing. Veterans interested in using Medical Cannabis must proceed with state registration, required by law and respected by the VHA.
Cannabinoid Use for Common Service Related Conditions
Many Veterans gave far more than their time in service. According to the ADA National Network, “Nearly a third (29.6%, 3.5 million) of the 12 million veterans ages 21-64 report having a disability”. This number only accounts for Veterans considered legally disbaled. It does not include veterans who have injuries or conditions not considered disabling. Veterans commonly reported symptoms of Anxiety, PTSD, Insomnia, Arthritis, Headaches, Neurodegenerative Diseases, and even Cancers.
Cannabinoid Use for Anxiety Related Conditions
According to the RAND Center for Military Health Policy Research, 20 percent of the vets who served in either Iraq or Afghanistan suffer from either major depression or post-traumatic stress disorder. 19.5 percent of vets in these two categories have experienced a traumatic brain injury. Several Cannabinoids from the Cannabis/Hemp plant have been shown to aid certain symptoms of Stress Related conditions such as Anxiety, PTSD, and Insomnia. For example, CBD has a broad pharmacological profile, including interactions with several receptors known to regulate fear and anxiety-related behaviors. Preclinical evidence demonstrates CBD’s effectiveness in producing the desired effect of reducing anxiety behaviors relevant to multiple disorders. Additionally, GW Pharma patented CBC (Cannabichromene) as a treatment for mood disorders. A separate company patented Cannabinol (CBN) as a primary constituent of a general anesthetic formulation for sedation.
Cannabinoid Use for Arthritic and Inflammatory Conditions
Several Veterans suffer from Arthritic conditions. Commonly, veterans with combat experience will develop post-traumatic Osteo-arthritis. CBD has been reported to cause modulation of TNF , IL-1, and IFN-γ production by human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. This is promising considering that high levels of these cytokines can cause inflammation and damage cells and tissues. Cannabidiol also suppresses chemokine production by a human B cell line. Anti-inflammatory properties of CBD, and lack of toxicity or psychotropic effects, prompted testing of CBD as a therapeutic agent arthritis. Researchers administered CBD after the onset of clinical symptoms. In both models of arthritis, the treatment blocked progression of the disease.
Cannabinoid Use for Neurodegenerative Disorders
Commonly, Veterans will develop Neurodegenerative Disorders. Some Veteran cases of Neurodegeneration are caused by a traumatic brain injury which causes glutamate excitotoxicity, while other cases may be related to nervous responses that took place prior. Fortunately, studies showed pure preparations of the cannabinoids Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or Cannabidiol (CBD) prevented glutamate toxicity to some extent. Researchers tested the cannabinoids in vitro on neuronal cultures exposed to glutamate.
Cannabidiol (CBD) exhibits neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. Researchers tested CBD in models of neurotoxicity and neurodegeneration. They achieved promising results with CBD in the control of toxicity induced by B-amyloid peptide. (responsible for neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s patients) The Cannabinoids Cannabichromene (CBC) and Cannabidivarin (CBDV) are now being studied as possible medications for preventing or treating neurodegenerative diseases or disorders. Studies administered to a subject in need thereof a therapeutically effective amount of one or more of the phytocannabinoids: cannabichromene (CBC), cannabidivarin (CBDV).
We are Here to Help
Finally, once a Veteran has become comfortable with the idea of Cannabinoid Use for relief, it can be overwhelming for them to find the right method. Unfortunately, many of today’s doctors remain highly under-educated about Cannabinoid use for management of certain conditions and symptoms. This may be partially due to the lack of support from the FDA and AMA and lack of clinical trialing. Fortunately, your local Healthy Hempies team is happy to help any veterans find the right Cannabinoid products or supply resources for Florida’s Medical Cannabis program. Additionally, ALL Healthy Hempies physical store locations offer a 15% Veterans Discount on all Veteran’s purchases (this discount applies to emergency service providers: Fire Rescue, EMT, and law enforcement). If you or a loved one would like to learn more, visit us!