Essence Blog

How Medical Cannabis Can Help Veterans Suffering from PTSD

November 11 is Veterans Day – the day we honor the men and women in uniform who put their lives on the line to defend our country and its values.

At Essence, we believe that honoring our veterans means helping them get the medical treatment they need when they return home from war.

Because far too many veterans are becoming a part of these statistics

  • According to a Military Times report, more than 1 out of 5 veterans that receive federal disability assistance suffer from PTSD.
  • The same report found that the number of veterans suffering from PTSD has tripled over the last decade, going from 345,000 cases to over 940,000 cases
  • According to the VA, 20 veterans a day commit suicide.

In light of these numbers, it’s hard to believe that federal cannabis prohibition is still a reality, especially since cannabis has the potential to be a game-changing, life-saving option for veterans suffering from PTSD.

How Veterans are Normally Treated For PTSD

Veterans suffering from PTSD and chronic pain are usually prescribed these types of prescription drugs:

  • Antipsychotics
  • Tranquilizers
  • Antidepressants
  • Opioid painkillers

Unfortunately, these drug cocktails can create a “zombie-like” effect, leaving the patient feeling numb and detached from everyday life.

Opioid painkillers are also potentially dangerous.

  • A TIME report found that veterans are twice as likely to be prescribed opioid painkillers if they are also being treated for PTSD.
  • These same veterans are also more likely to overdose on drugs and alcohol, exhibit violent behavior, and commit suicide – more so than veterans who aren’t given any painkillers at all.

Using Cannabis to Treat Veterans With PTSD

Veterans who suffer from PTSD and/or chronic pain qualify for medical cannabis use in the state of Nevada. Cannabis can offer them the following benefits:

  • Pain reliever
  • Sedative/sleep aid
  • Antidepressant (depending on the strain)
  • Anti-anxiety aid (depending on the strain)

It’s virtually impossible to overdose on cannabis, putting it in stark contrast with opioid painkillers.

In fact, a study found that states with legal cannabis saw a 23% drop in opioid dependence and abuse, while opioid overdose hospitalizations dropped by 13%.

But veterans who use medical cannabis have claimed that it does more than just treat their symptoms; it allows them to be more fully engaged and active in their lives.

The VA’s Stance on Medical Cannabis

Because the VA is regulated by federal law, it can’t legally recommend medical cannabis to its patients or help patients obtain cannabis.

However, the VA has said that it won’t take away the benefits of veterans who are enrolled in state medical cannabis programs.

They also encourage patients to notify the VA if they’re using medical cannabis so that their health and progress can be monitored.

How Essence Cannabis Dispensary is Helping Vets

Essence Cannabis Dispensary offers a special discount — 10% to 40% off on all purchases, depending on the level of disability — to Nevada veterans with a medical cannabis card.

Vets just need to bring in their medical cannabis card, their state ID card, and DD 214 paperwork, and we’ll take care of the rest.

But if you’re a veteran without a medical cannabis card, you can still receive 10% off on your purchase if you bring your ID and DD 214 paperwork.

Finally, we encourage everyone to do their part in persuading their congressional representatives to end the federal prohibition of cannabis, so that all Americans, including our veterans, can have access to the healing powers of this amazing plant.

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