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With new products and legislation flooding the market, CBD oil is fast becoming one of the most popular items in the health and beauty industries. Many studies suggest CBD oil may be an immense help to wounded veterans. From managing inflammation to a profound calming effect on the nervous system, CBD may help veterans navigate chronic aches and pains, post-combat mental health struggles, and sleep interruption.
The science of CBD
Cannabidiol is a phytocannabinoid or a naturally-occurring chemical compound extracted from the Cannabis sativa plant.
There are over 120 cannabinoids associated with Cannabis sativa. Most people are familiar with CBD’s high-inducing cannabinoid cousin, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. However, CBD doesn’t induce a high. High-quality CBD oils and salves contain 0.3% or less of THC, which does not cause the hypnotropic effects associated with cannabis. When used properly and in recommended doses, this minimal level of THC should not appear in drug screenings or build up in the system.
With CBD, you won’t feel the psychoactive effects associated with THC or experience euphoria. CBD activates the CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system, whereas THC is believed to activate the CB1 receptors.
Your endocannabinoid system and CBD
Your endocannabinoid system, or ECS, helps to regulate sleep, mood, pain, emotion, and immunological responses. Additionally, your ECS receives, translates, and acts on messages from cannabinoids it produces or from external cannabinoids.
According to recent clinical trials, CBD can help with establishing a sense of calm, improving sleep, and may assist with reducing the symptoms of arthritis and inflammation. Scientific research has led to global conferences and expos for further study and promotion of CBD.
However, it’s essential to understand that not all CBD oil suppliers are created equal. The FDA is only beginning to understand the implications and applications of CBD, which means there is limited federal regulation around what can and can’t be put into a CBD bottle. Wounded veterans should look for suppliers who understand the science of CBD and are transparent about their growing process, and who work hard to put forth educational information to the public.
CBD, inflammation, and wounded veterans
Given the complexities of the ECS, it’s no surprise that CBD shows potential in helping veterans manage inflammation. As inflammation is associated with chronic pain, this may prove beneficial to wounded veterans dealing with pain from old injuries. Several studies have suggested ways in which the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD might be used.
One study concluded that cannabinoids act directly on the immunological system and the body’s inflammatory response. By decreasing the stress hormones that are associated with immunological responses, the inflammation was reduced or eliminated.
CBD Salve, when applied topically, may help people who are struggling with inflammation. Inflammation can cause chronic pain, especially for veterans suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
Coping with daily pain can be exhausting. Reducing inflammation may help veterans significantly minimize the pain felt from injuries. This can help wounded veterans become more active, energetic, and engaged in daily life.
CBD, pain, and PTSD
With CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties, CBD may prove helpful to wounded veterans as they work through injuries with a physical therapist. Reducing inflammation is key to recovering from an injury and regaining mobility. Physical therapy and CBD may prove to be complementary treatments. CBD may assist with pain and inflammation in injured limbs and joints, allowing for more flexibility and motion during physical therapy sessions. This can accelerate the healing process, as more blood flow is drawn to the injured sites to repair tissue and restore mobility much more quickly.
Veterans should consider applying CBD oil or CBD Salve before and after undergoing physical therapy. The anti-inflammatory properties may help prepare the body to move and work through scar tissue, and afterward, CBD can help speed up the healing process and reduce soreness the next day.
Studies have shown that 66.6% of veterans live with chronic pain due to injuries and physical activity from training exercises and combat. They are more likely to experience pain in their joints much younger than the average American, and 49.3% are living with back and neck pain, which can be debilitating at times. Veterans who endure chronic pain often experience a loss of enjoyment of their normal daily activities, which can exacerbate symptoms associated with PTSD including depression, anxiety, and sleep disruptions.
Insomnia is a common complaint among wounded veterans, which can complicate or enhance PTSD symptoms. Veterans who cannot focus or concentrate because they are tired may also have difficulty regulating their emotional responses. In particular, many people who have insomnia have trouble controlling their anger responses, and in this study, lack of sleep is directly correlated with more episodes of anger and aggression due to dysfunction in the limbic system.
Additionally, insomnia can lead to an increase in several health issues, including high blood pressure, the risk of heart attack or stroke, and the potential for developing diabetes. Obesity and early mortality are also potential consequences of sleep deprivation.
Insomnia also causes a slowed response time and has been proven to take a toll on perception and judgment. Wounded veterans may experience poor performance at work while driving, or during interactions with friends and family if they are extremely sleep-deprived. Because studies indicate that CBD attaches to the CB2 receptors, which help regulate sleep, CBD can be an effective, non-addictive approach for veterans who want to feel calmer at night.
CBD and psychological pain
Combat veterans sometimes struggle with mental health issues or psychological pain as a result of their military experience. Untreated psychological distress may lead to emotional outbursts, substance abuse, employment issues, and relational instability.
Evidence points toward CBD’s calming effect on the nervous system. It is neuroprotective, meaning that CBD acts to protect the health of the brain.
PTSD is, unfortunately, a common disorder among veterans, which can encompass depression, severe anxiety, nightmares, and even feelings of guilt.
Although scientists are still researching the relationship between CBD and PTSD, CBD is shown to have calming effects similar to antidepressants. One encouraging study concluded that CBD was associated with a reduction in PTSD symptoms. This is a promising development for many veterans who are seeking psychiatric care and looking for a non-opioid alternative for their PTSD symptoms.
Scientists also believe CBD may block memory reconsolidation, which can reduce or eliminate flashbacks, which can trigger PTSD symptoms. Some patients even reported that CBD helped relieve them of nightmares associated with PTSD. However, CBD, on its own, isn’t proven to be a substitute for guidance from a mental health professional.
CBD and substance dependency
Memories of war, chronic physical pain, and untreated mental health problems are difficult for many veterans to deal with once they return home. This can prompt wounded veterans to turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms.
In this scenario, a pharmaceutical opioid for pain management can lead to substance dependence or addiction. In 2017, there were 70,237 drug overdose deaths in the United States. While many doctors prescribe these dangerous pharmaceutical opioids, the addictive properties of these pills can happen after just five days of use. If the cause of chronic pain and inflammation is not being addressed, many patients also begin to rely on painkillers to just get through the day.
Many of those who become addicted to harder substances such as heroin begin with prescription opioids. In fact, those who use prescription opioids first are 19 times more likely to end up using heroin. With statistics like these, more veterans are reluctant to use prescription opioids and other pharmaceutical medications to manage their pain or PTSD symptoms. The risk of developing an addiction is very high, along with the potential side-effects associated with the chemicals in these drugs.
Alcohol and opioids may reduce pain and PTSD symptoms in the short term, but over time, these substances can become life-threatening and difficult to overcome. CBD has the potential to help individuals reclaim their lives without dangerous addictive and chemical properties.
Legislation and CBD
The surge of CBD on the market has a lot to do with recent legislation. It’s essential to understand the legal situation surrounding cannabis products to know how they’re produced, if they’re regulated, and where they’re legalized.
The Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 legalized the production of hemp products across the U.S. According to U.S. legislation, hemp is any cannabis sativa plant with less than 0.3% THC. Marijuana is anything with more than 0.3% THC content.
This difference between these two plants is important. Because the CBD market is so young, the FDA struggles to keep up with regulations. This means that, although CBD oil is supposed to contain less than 0.3% THC, there is a chance that unregulated CBD oil might contain more.
Because so many veterans have experienced the positive effects of CBD first-hand, 83% of veterans support medical marijuana programs and centers. Veterans in almost every state are actively lobbying their lawmakers and the VA hospitals to expand research on CBD for pain and PTSD treatment.
CBD: are there any adverse effects?
With all the studies and all the potential applications of CBD, it’s natural to wonder if CBD is habit-forming or has side effects, most high-quality CBD brands are entirely safe to use.
According to this 2018 study, CBD is well-tolerated and has a high safety profile in humans. Participants did not abuse or become dependent on CBD, despite long-term use.
CBD and veterans: the wrap-up
While the science and legislation are in their infancy, studies are promising. Studies indicate that CBD may prove beneficial for veterans throughout the stages of post-combat recovery because it may help with inflammation, produce calmer nights, and improve overall wellness.
Even though conclusive scientific evidence is needed to solidify CBD’s place in the mainstream medical community, many doctors are paying attention to recent CBD studies. CBD can help bolster the effects of more traditional treatment methods, such as physical therapy or counseling. As more studies are done on these potential benefits, CBD will likely become a mainstream medical therapy.
As a reputable purveyor of CBD products, we can help answer your questions, address any concerns and find the right CBD product to improve your overall well-being.
We work with farmers in the Colorado Rocky Mountains who grow the hemp using only organic nutrients. Each flower is processed at a lab on an organic farm, ensuring our CBD contains additional cannabinoids for optimal results. We guarantee that every batch is tested by a third-party, state-certified lab to ensure quality.
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