This piece first appeared in Cannabis Now.
There’s been a lot of buzz surrounding cannabis throughout the nation, with many hot button issues. One group in particular that has been making major headlines lately are veterans, who have been struggling to find a legal way to treat their post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Luckily, there has been some traction in this area — from the Cannaball multi-state run to bring awareness to veterans’ medical issues to the historical vote passed by the Senate that will allow veterans more access to legal medical marijuana [without jeopardizing their benefits].
To further the veterans’ cause, national non-profit Grow For Vets [which provides free medical marijuana to vets] and California-based company Care By Design [which manufactures high quality CBD-based products] have teamed up to contribute another building block on the road to fair and consistent access to medical cannabis. The two organizations hope to shed more light on how cannabis has been helping veterans manage their PTSD symptoms with a “Survey on Cannabis in the Treatment for PTSD,” which serves as a precursor to a study on the issue. To this end, Grow For Vets and Care By Design are currently in the process of recruiting qualifying patients for a 6-month research project that intends to demystify the healing connection between veterans, PTSD, and cannabis.
Both organizations have been making major moves in the industry in their own regard through the grace of their generosity. Care By Design made national headlines when the company gave away free cannabis products to victims of the Valley fire and Butte fire that took place in September. According to reports, Care By Design along with AbsoluteXtracts, donated $20,000 worth of cannabis oil, vaporizer cartridges, and sprays to patients from Cobb, Kelseyville, Middletown, and Hidden Valley Lake at dispensaries in Santa Rosa, Sebastopol, and San Francisco.
Colorado-based Grow For Vets has been supplying veterans with free cannabis, giving away hundreds of thousands of dollars to more than 2,500 individuals. Earlier this month, they hosted a Save a Million Vets Tour in Oregon for veterans and civilians, where they passed out bags full of cannabis products (with some worth hundreds of dollars!) at a rally.
The socially conscious collaboration between these two companies on the veterans’ survey seeks to further contribute to the national conversation surrounding the efficacy of cannabis as an alternative to prescription opiates. According to a survey from The American Legion, many veterans have reported that traditional treatment is ineffective. The data revealed that up to 59 percent of veterans undergoing traditional treatment had not experienced any improvement and 30 percent of veterans opted to not even complete their program due to its ineffectiveness at relieving PTSD and TBI [traumatic brain injury] symptoms.
The effects of PTSD varies from person to person, but typically includes chronic anxiety, severe emotional distress, and recurring, unwanted flashbacks or nightmares. Previous studies have tried to make the correlation between cannabis and PTSD relief but have been blocked. For example, Dr. Sue Sisley was pushed to do her research independently after being asked to leave her position as a member of the faculty at the University of Arizona due to the controversial nature of cannabis research. In hopes of growing the body of research surrounding cannabis and PTSD, Care By Design and Grow For Vets hope to gather and share information that will shape the future of the veteran medical care system.
If you are a veteran that would like to participate in this groundbreaking study, click here.
Are you a veteran that treats PTSD with cannabis? Share your experience with us here.
K. Astre is a quirky, eclectic California flower child with an affinity for books, contemporary art, and cannabis culture. She lives in the Bay Area with her wife and kids, where she works as a writer and associate editor for Cannabis Now Magazine.