One of the most trying conditions that veterans can face is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In recent studies using CBD (Cannabidiol), a hemp-based drug, is showing promising results with no significant side effects. This is allowing those with PTSD get relief and go on to enjoy their lives. Sadly in the United States, using any type of medical marijuana is not approved by the VA. By Federal laws marijuana is still considered a Schedule I controlled substance just like heroin or cocaine. VA doctors are forbidden to even discuss the use of medical marijuana to their patients as part of a treatment plan.
Veterans in one of 27 States that allow medical marijuana can obtain it, but they will not be covered by their VA insurance for their prescriptions. Those that do must be aware that they could have to undergo drug testing when they visit their VA health care team. While medical care will not be denied, positive drug test results will be put in their records.
The use of CBD Hemp oil is having good results in offering relief of patients disturbing memories from military service. This type of treatment does not contain THC and is not psychoactive. In plain words, CBD Hemp oil does not produce a ‘high’ for users.
There are few completed studies on the effects of CBD and PTSD with human studies. However, there have been very favorable results of CBD as a treatment for clinical anxiety.
Although more states are allowing the use of CBD, it is not legal in others. Because of this many are having to go in ‘blind’ when self-medicating and generally having to obtain products with high THC levels on the street.
Veterans also are not able to fill prescriptions for medical marijuana from VA pharmacies, nor will the VA pay for those prescriptions from outside sources. In addition, those being treated at a VA hospital cannot use or possess marijuana at any VA medical centers, locations and grounds. This is a federal law that supersedes any other state laws.
One study is being led by veteran activist Wesley Clark Jr. The study began in 2017 and is looking to show positive results of veterans who are using CBD to deal with their PTSD. It is hoped that they will uncover scientific breakthroughs on new ways to deliver CBD to patients.
“It is unquestionable that veterans receive comfort and relief from cannabis and CBD,” said Wesley Clark Jr. “We want to demonstrate the effectiveness of cannabis and CBDs, while exploring Alternate Health’s patented delivery systems of sublingual dissolvable tablets and time-release transdermal patches as a method of treatment.”
Another study, Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, has enrolled 76 veterans at two study sites in Phoenix and Baltimore. The study will be looking at what amounts of THC and CBD is best in the treatment of PTSD. The results of this study will be submitted for publication in three years.
Until the federal government approves the use of medical marijuana, veterans will have to rely on outside sources in order to treat their PTSD using CBD. At this time veterans who wish to be treated for their PTSD with CBD have to do so without support from the VA. There are studies being conducted on the use of CBD as a treatment for PTSD, but at this time there are very few completed using human studies. However, there are promising results from testing on anxiety disorders that have been completed.