Why Veterans are Choosing Cannabis

Cover why veterans are choosing cannabis over pharmaceuticals and how it’s helping them. Briefly touch on the work of Dr. Sue Sisley and other veteran’s organizations advocating for cannabis legalization. 

On average, 22 veterans commit suicide every day. This is a staggering statistic, that sadly, is much higher in reality due to underreporting of veteran suicides. This is why veteran suicide is something we all need to talk about more, rather than not discuss because the conversations can be uncomfortable or painful. The good news is, cannabis is showing promise in being able to help veterans who are suffering from painful injuries. 

Some have physical injuries that are obvious to see, while others have wounds no one can see. Trauma can present itself in many forms, including PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD is sometimes also referred to as PTS, or just Post Traumatic Stress. No matter what it’s called, it’s not easy to live with. A great deal of our nation’s soldiers return home from duty and PTSD and other injuries can make it difficult to assimilate back into life as a civilian.

Luckily, the pain relieving effects of cannabis have helped many veterans suffering from physical pain. This also helps reduce or eliminate their need for pharmaceutical opioids that are commonly prescribed to veterans for pain management. Cannabis has also been shown to help improve mood, promote healthier sleep cycles, and improve immune response. All of these, your mood, your sleep, your health, they can all be affected by stress, which are more reasons veterans are turning to cannabis as medicine. 

So who is it that’s telling us all so much about veterans and cannabis? There are lots of veterans organizations that advocate for cannabis legalization, but Dr. Sue Sisley, an Arizona based physician, is one of the world’s top researchers on cannabis and veterans. She served as the primary investigator for the only FDA approved randomized controlled trial in the world, examining the safety and efficacy of cannabis in combat veterans with treatment resistant PTSD. 

She believes cannabis can be a great tool for veterans who are suffering. She is currently suing the DEA to hold a hearing on the reconsideration of cannabis as a Schedule I substance, and the lawsuit is still pending. If the DEA does remove or change the classification of cannabis, it will open up opportunities for doctors and researchers like Sue to conduct more scientific studies regarding how cannabis can help veterans. Hopefully, we will soon have the science to back up the anecdotal evidence so many veterans have reported about cannabis helping them live better quality lives.

Family members and friends of veterans with PTSD often find it difficult to see their loved one struggle through physical and/or emotional pain. It can be hard to watch those you love be in pain without being able to help much. One of the best things you can do is be there to listen and support them through their challenges. Don’t let uncomfortable situations stop you from having difficult conversations. You might be able to save the life of a veteran. If you are a veteran struggling with PTSD or any other ailment, talk to your physician about whether or not you could be a good candidate for medical cannabis. 

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