Essence Blog

Wellness Wednesday Recap: Cannabis and Veterans

On February 13th, we hosted a special Valentine’s Day Wellness Wednesday for our veterans.

Here’s a recap of the info that our guest speakers shared with us!

Introduction by Nurse Danicka Jackson

Our very own Nurse D kicked things off with a special message to our veterans and veteran-connected families: “Although we weren’t there with you during the war, we’re with you now, and we truly appreciate everything you’ve done in service to our country.”

Here are three questions that every dispensary should ask medical cannabis patients before selling them products:

  1. Have you medicated before? We want to know what your tolerance level is so that we can start you off at the lowest effective dose (microdosing) and then raise the dose as necessary.
  2. What’s the medical condition/ailment that you have? That will help us determine the proper THC:CBD ratio.
  3. What products are best for you? For example, patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) aren’t able to smoke. Others may have digestive tract issues and won’t respond well to edibles. We need to find products best suited for your physiology so that you don’t have a bad reaction. This is particularly true of patients dealing with anxiety, depression, and PTSD.

Many VA doctors are in support of medical cannabis, but because it’s still federally illegal, there’s not much they can say or do to help patients.

Also, some doctors might not want to recommend or provide information about medical cannabis because of (a) the stigma and (b) lack of education about the plant.

Some vets might be worried that if they use cannabis, they’ll lose their benefits.

But according to the VA, vets will not lose their VA benefits if they become medical cannabis patients. In fact, vets are encouraged to tell their healthcare providers about their cannabis use so that the provider can track their progress.

We highly recommend you visit the VA and Marijuana: What Veterans Need to Know page on the VA website to learn more.

Ultimately, we want our veterans to feel comfortable inside of our dispensaries and to know exactly what’s in our products.

We also understand that vets need to feel comfortable medicating with cannabis while still abiding by federal regulations. That’s part of the reason we put together this Wellness Wednesday event – to share as much information with vets as possible.

Veterans Transition Resource Center (VTRC) w. Gobi Moore

The Veterans Transition Resource Center helps veterans transition from military life to civilian life.

But they also assist families as well. This is based on the understanding that when it comes to overcoming the trauma of war, you can’t just heal one member of the family. The entire family unit may need to go through the healing process so that everybody is on the same page.

To be clear, the VTRC is not part of the VA or any other government agency. They’re a non-profit organization that was created partly because the VA is currently overwhelmed and understaffed. The VTRC is essentially a third-party solution designed to step in and pick up some of the slack.

The organization has veteran advocates on staff to help process medical benefits and survivor benefits. They also offer a large variety of programs including SafeTalk (suicide awareness), yoga, meditation, and CBD therapy.

They’ve found that CBD therapy in particular is helpful at treating:

  • PTSD
  • Sleep disorder
  • Anxiety
  • Agent Orange rashes. These are reoccurring, itchy rashes caused by the chemical weapon Agent Orange. Victims can’t get rid of it, and the effects can be passed down to their children as well. But there is a CBD sap that has been effective at quelling it. The VTRC handed out cannabis sap to Agent Orange sufferers, and it immediately took away the itching. Veterans who kept using it also reported that the sap started removing the rash itself.

Because they’re having such great results with CBD, the VTRC wants to generate case studies and work with companies like Essence, Veteran’s Vitality, and The Clean Project to help bring similar types of CBD healing solutions to the public at large.

Gobi Moore, an army veteran himself, suffered from insomnia. After using a CBD tincture, he was able to sleep from midnight to 6am — without getting up in the middle of the night — for the first time in years. Other veterans with insomnia have reported similar effects.

For more information about the VTRC and their services, visit https://veteranstransitionresourcecenter.com

Veteran’s Vitality w. Kaine “Kong” Marzola

Kaine “Kong” Marzola is a combat veteran and founder of Veteran’s Vitality.

Here’s the video of his INCREDIBLE true story:

For more information, visit https://www.veteransvitality.com

U.S. Pain Foundation w. Theresa English

Theresa English runs a local chronic pain support group.

A car accident in the past left her with chronic nerve pain. She was averaging 10 hours of sleep a week for the first two and a half years after the accident because the pain was so intense.

Even cannabis chocolate edibles weren’t helping.

She’d been prescribed Xanax and opioids to help manage the pain, but now she’s working with Nurse Danicka to find a product with a good THC:CBD ratio.

She actually asked the Wellness Wednesday attendees if they could recommend a good CBD product. Most of the attendees strongly recommended Nordic Goddess.

Theresa also joined the U.S. Pain Foundation, which offer free resources for people suffering from chronic disease and chronic pain.

The site offers webinars throughout the day; past webinars have covered topics like CBD, mental health, and the psychology of pain and how it affects your brain. They also have a crisis hotline and an advocacy department.

Back in January 2018, the federal government implemented a rule saying that patients could no longer receive 90-day medical prescriptions. Patients are required to visit the doctor each month in order to get a new prescription.

This creates a huge travel burden for chronic pain patients, not to mention longer waits at the doctor’s office.

Because of the high number of complaints, the government put together a Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force, which is made up of doctors, lawyers, and one chronic pain sufferer.

The task force came up with a new set of guidelines to make things easier for patients and doctors. They finished the draft of the new guidelines on January 31, and it’s now available to view online.

The government is asking patients to visit the website and post comments, opinions and offer input. Here’s the link:

https://www.hhs.gov/ash/advisory-committees/pain/reports/index.html

The draft is about 93 pages long, but you really only need to read the descriptive part, which is 20 pages. Take 15 minutes to look it over and think about how these guidelines will affect you and your visits to the doctor and pharmacy. Then let them know what what you think!

(Please make your comments short and concise. Instead of submitting complaints, offer suggestions so that they’ll be more likely to read your input. And if you’ve benefited from alternative healing therapies such as a yoga, massage, CBD, etc., please share that as well!)

Deadline to comment is April 1.

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Be sure to attend our next Wellness Wednesday event!

How to Properly Store Your Cannabis

March 13 @ 5:00 PM

Wildhorse Golf Club

2100 W Warm Springs Rd.

Henderson, NV 89014

Visit our Events page to RSVP. Hope to see you there!

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