The United States is currently suffering through a pair of separate, but some would say, interrelated, crises. The length of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the repeated deployments of the troops involved has led to a marked increase in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as returning soldiers try to cope with the civilian world and find themselves prone to panic attacks, mood disorders, suicidal thoughts and other potentially life-threatening problems.
At the same time, the rise in prescriptions for opioid medications and a more aggressive approach to treating pain has created an epidemic of addiction. Men and women, many of them returning service members, are becoming addicted to the powerful opioid painkillers their doctors have been prescribing. When those prescriptions dry up, many of those people are turning to heroin and other street drugs, putting their freedom, and their very lives at risk.
Now some researchers are wondering if medical cannabis and CBD could help the U.S. and other countries solve both of these serious problems. Some former service members are already seeing results with CBD, using these powerful compounds to relieve their stress and anxiety. At the same time, researchers have been experimenting with medical cannabis and CBD to treat pain. They have been looking into the pain-killing properties of medical cannabis and looking for ways to replace addictive opioid painkillers with much safer CBD.
There is serious research into the use of CBD and medical cannabis to treat both PTSD and chronic pain, and that could be good news for returning veterans, crime victims, and anyone else who suffers from high levels of stress, anxiety and physical pain. The experiences of veterans and others in states where marijuana has been legalized are quite instructive, and researchers from other states have been flooding into Colorado to study the effects of CBD and medical cannabis.
Even in states where access to medical cannabis is far more restrictive, returning military veterans, advocates for chronic pain sufferers and others have been rallying, asking their state legislatures to loosen the rules and allow more people access to the healing properties of CBD. Even as we speak, petitions are being delivered to governors and state houses around the country, urging lawmakers to take a more aggressive approach to the use of medical cannabis and CBD.
This expansion is sorely needed, as is further research into the use of CBD and medical cannabis to treat debilitating chronic pain and the mental pain and anguish of PTSD. In many states where medical marijuana is legal, its use is restricted to epileptic patients and children with certain physical ailments.
By expanding the use of CBD compounds to patients with PTSD and chronic pain, advocates hope to demonstrate the effectiveness of this new approach. They also hope to use CBD compounds to fight back against the crisis of opioid addiction and the increasing use of street drugs, something that everyone in the medical and legal communities can get behind. If this move is successful, it could lead to a whole new wave of medical cannabis use, giving new hope to patients who may have otherwise given up hope.
The twin crises of opioid abuse and addiction and issues with PTSD are not slowing down. If anything, the abuse of street drugs like heroin is picking up steam, taking lives and filling up emergency rooms from coast to coast. At the same time, the rise in PTSD and the relatively ineffective ways of treating it have created a marked increase in suicides among returning veterans. Until researchers, scientists and medical professionals can get a handle on these problems, these twin crises are likely to get worse before they get better. By embracing the use of CBD for chronic pain and PTSD, experts hope to turn the tide and improve the lives of men and women around the country and throughout the world.