Veteran Suicide is an epidemic that is plaguing our nations veterans at an alarming rate. On average, more than veterans commit suicide every day and dozens more are lost to accidental drug overdoses. Sadly, many of these overdoses occur using pharmaceutical medication prescribed by the Department of Veteran Affairs to prevent pain and suffering in the first place.
Cannabis for Veterans – Physical and Mental Pain
Amid all of this pain and confusion, a growing number of veterans are turning to cannabis as a safer alternative to treating the injuries occurred during war. While veteran suicide is an elusive enemy, there are cannabis products available that may help heal the wounds of the mind and body.
Oftentimes the most difficult to treat when it comes to veteran suicide, the mind is in an ever-changing state that makes it difficult to identify the proper cannabis treatment for PTSD or stress. Suicidal thoughts and actions can be triggered by either a racing mind (up), which requires a mental downshift, or by a depressed mind (down) that requires a mental upshift.
CBD and/or THC For Anxiety and Depression
For the racing mind, veterans turn to a combination of THC and CBD for the best therapeutic benefit. THC-dominant, Indica-rich products, especially those that are inhaled, can slow the tide of thoughts from an overwhelming tsunami to a relatively benign summer stream. In addition,CBD can act “as an anti-anxiety agent, as an anti-psychotic and doing all this without producing intoxication, if you will, that can happen with too much THC,” said Dr. Ethan Russo, neurologist and cannabis researcher.
For the depressed mind, veterans typically turn to sativa-rich THC products as research has indicated an increase in positive outlook, according to Dr. Stacy Kerr. However, veterans should know that while THC can alleviate depression, too much THC could trigger their anxiety and PTSD. Thus, it’s always wise to have CBD only products on hand to counteract any negative side effects of too much THC.
Unfortunately, staying on top of mental suffering is only half the story for veterans. Never ending physical discomfort and pain, both internal and external, can weigh heavily upon the veterans’ psyche until death again seems like the only escape. Since veterans typically deal with a shifting combination of internal and external pain, there are multiple cannabis solutions to consider.
CBD Topical Products
Topicals are a lotion, balm or salve that contain cannabis and have shown to work well for external discomfort such as psoriasis or eczema in addition to arthritis, muscle and joint pain. Topicals also have the added benefit of being non-intoxicating.
Indica Strain THC
Elevated levels of pain, to include internal pain, can benefit from inhalation of an Indica-dominant cannabis product with significant amounts of THC. While intoxicating, it is the best approach for extreme pain and some of the high can be mitigated by simultaneously taking a CBD cannabis product.
Medical Cannabis Reducing Veteran Suicide?
Veterans that reside in medical or recreational medical cannabis states no longer have to resign to the fact that one day, they too, may become another suicide statistic. Cannabis products and the cannabinoids contained within are showing great promise in alleviating the mental and physical symptoms that lead to veteran suicide. Combined with proper nutrition, exercise, and a dosing journal, many veterans have successfully found a path out of the darkness.
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