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Veteran’s Day: How Cannabis Offers Hope for PTSD, Plus a Discount for Vets

PTSD—short for “Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder”—is one of the most common psychiatric disorders in the United States. 

While PTSD affects some 7 – 8% of the general population at any given time, veterans are much more prone to suffer from it.

We’ll share what we know about the intersection of PTSD and cannabis and the ways in which this safe and effective plant-based-medicine can help alleviate symptoms related to PTSD.

In addition, veterans have played an important role in inspiring Vireo Health’s mission.  

Vireo Happy Veterans Day

PTSD and Cannabis: The Background on a Debilitating Disorder

PTSD symptoms include intrusive thoughts after someone has witnessed or been exposed to a traumatizing event, sleep disturbances, and anxiety.. As we mentioned, veterans are especially susceptible to PTSD: current estimates of PTSD in vets range from 11 – 20%. 

Of all the challenges facing America’s veterans when they return to civilian life, PTSD ranks among the deadliest. For vets, untreated PTSD often ends in suicide- on average, 22 individuals a day. It’s a shocking number, far outpacing deaths in actual combat

Building on anecdotal evidence, a growing number of studies suggest that cannabis can help address the symptoms of PTSD and dramatically improve veterans’ quality of life.

One such study published this year by University College London suggests that certain cannabinoids—the “active ingredients” in cannabis—can improve quality of life by improving sleep in patients suffering from PTSD.  

Another 10-year study sponsored by the nonprofit MAPS and funded by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has just concluded; researchers plan to publish their findings later this year.

PTSD and Cannabis: Helping Veterans Manage

Cannabis can help manage the symptoms of PTSD in several ways. In addition to the anxiolytic (or anxiety-reducing) effects of the cannabinoid CBD, one study suggests that in stimulating the body’s own endocannabinoid system, cannabis can aid in the regulation of memory function. Because those suffering from PTSD often feel as though they’re reliving their trauma over and over, this regulatory process might have profound and lasting effects on the cycle of retraumatization.

If you follow the state of cannabis research at all, you’re probably familiar by now with the phrase “more research is needed.” Unfortunately, that’s very much the case when it comes to PTSD and cannabis. Because cannabis research in the United States has been hampered by multiple factors, including the federal government’s recent refusal to approve suppliers of cannabis for research purposes, much of the evidence we have to go on is anecdotal. 

While we’re crystal clear on the importance of validated, science-based studies to provide a solid grounding for cannabis medicine, the urgency of the healthcare crisis affecting veterans is equally pressing. Because PTSD is a qualifying condition in many states, including New York, we feel it’s important to share this information with veterans now in the hopes that—pending more definitive evidence—medical cannabis can offer immediate relief to those suffering from PTSD.   

PTSD and Cannabis: A Special Offer for Veterans

As Veterans Day 2019 approaches—Monday, November 11—we want to make it easier for those who have served their country to access the benefits of medical cannabis.

We offer Veteran’s discounts to veterans, active military, and their immediate families. Please inquire with your local dispensary for specific details.

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