In the healthcare sector, only a few subjects have stirred up emotions and debates as much as the use of medical marijuana. But, amidst all the controversies, a group of individuals have been using marijuana to self-medicate for years: the veterans.
According to Veterans Affairs Canada, the government shelled out around $200 million last year to meet the growing demands of former service members for medical cannabis. It’s like an unofficial ally they turn to, seeking relief from their post-service challenges.
However, veterans living in states with medical cannabis programs may wonder if it’s worth it. So, let’s explore how medical marijuana is transforming veteran healthcare.
Veterans Affairs Policy On Medical Marijuana
Like veterans affairs in other nations, Veterans Affairs Canada has established policies concerning the use of cannabis for veterans. Under this policy, eligible veterans of the Canadian Armed Forces can access medical marijuana if prescribed by a healthcare professional. The government might even pay for them when it’s deemed necessary.
Moreover, the government now acknowledges the benefits of cannabis for treating PTSD. As of now, at least 13 states have allowed the medical use of cannabis to treat the condition.
Nevertheless, veterans must stick to the detailed rules and steps provided by Veterans Affairs Canada to gain access to it. So, before considering medical marijuana as a treatment option for PTSD, they should follow the specific guidelines outlined by the government.
Pro tip: If you’re unaware of state laws, turning to a reliable cannabis insurance broker might help you stay on track.
Why Do Veterans Turn to Medical Marijuana?
Military services come with multiple physical and emotional challenges. Even if you take all the necessary precautions, you might still grapple with one condition or another. And quite often, it’s not just one, but several at once.
Let’s talk about the most common health concerns among veterans that medical marijuana can potentially help with:
1. PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder)
To truly understand how marijuana can aid in PTSD, knowing what this health condition looks like is crucial. It’s an anxiety disorder triggered by distressing events, like traumatic military experiences.
Patients suffering from it may experience sudden anger outbursts, a loss of interest in life, and terrifying flashbacks, often tied to places.
Studies suggest nearly 10% of deployed Canadian military personnel may experience PTSD. Veterans may get diagnosed during service or even struggle with it silently for years.
Remember, it’s not something that would naturally fade away; it requires medical treatment to improve. It’s a tough battle linked to a high suicide rate, which makes seeking medical help even more crucial.
2. Chronic Pain
Serving in the military takes a toll on your mind and body. This is why many veterans end up struggling with chronic pain.
So, what causes this pain? Sometimes, it stems from an injury; other times, there’s no clear explanation. This complexity makes treating the pain a real puzzle to solve. Ultimately, patients have to go with the symptoms for long periods.
However, the Veterans Action League 2.0 gathers data to facilitate veterans. While legislation is in process, the VA temporarily allowed medical marijuana to provide relief.
Perhaps the most dangerous aftermath for veterans is dealing with the risk of developing cancer.
It’s no secret that military personnel encounter various carcinogens during their service. This exposure can lead to lung cancer, prostate cancer, amyloidosis, bladder cancer, and other chronic forms of the disease.
It’s a tough journey, with other painful symptoms accompanying cancer. Fortunately, medical marijuana can offer relief from many of these symptoms. Plus, exploring options like cannabis insurance can provide additional support to veterans during their journey.
The Bottom Line
Researchers are digging deeper into how medical marijuana can help improve veteran healthcare, which could be a game-changer for those dealing with military-related issues.
Who knows, they might find better ways to use medical marijuana to ease PTSD and other health issues veterans face. All in all, the future of cannabis for helping veterans looks bright!