CBD Benefits for the Armed Forces
CBD is being widely used throughout the world, especially in the United States, where it’s enjoying a recent change in legal status thanks to the Farm Bill of 2018. This bill has effectively legalized hemp usage in all 50 states, and so many of us take for granted the fact that we can take it daily for aches and pains, stress and more. But just because it’s federally legal doesn’t mean that everyone in the country gets to experience what CBD is all about. This is particularly true of our men and women in the armed services, who remain banned from using CBD, or any other hemp-based product.
However, a new bill exists that’s hoping to change all of that. Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii has introduced a new amendment that would allow service members to get in on the CBD action without fear of consequence. The history of cannabis use being banned in the military is nothing new, but as federal laws have changed, the military has failed to get caught up.
For those who may not know, CBD is cannabidiol, the leading compound in the hemp plant. The hemp plant has many cannabinoids like cannabidiol, and it also has a trace amount of THC, the psychoactive compound for which marijuana, hemp’s sister plant, is known. In hemp, there is only about 0.3 percent THC. In marijuana, there is at least 15 percent. Hemp cannot get you high, but marijuana, of course, can.
Still, the military doesn’t recognize the difference between these two plants, and has outlawed cannabis use entirely, much to the detriment, Gabbard argues, of service members who are struggling with various ailments including pain and anxiety. Her hope is that this new bill will be passed by the Senate in the coming weeks so that we can put an end to this controversial ban.
History of Cannabis in the United States and the Military
So, what is it about hemp that makes it so controversial in both the United States and the U.S. Military?
Well, cannabis has been villainized since the 1930s, when it was subjected to a massive tax that eventually led to its full criminalization several years later. The problem though, is that legislators never made the differentiation between hemp and marijuana, despite them being two different plants with one being psychoactive and one not.
Marijuana remains illegal on a federal level, and because it can get you high, it makes sense that it would be outlawed in the military. But, hemp, as we know, is different. Besides the fact that it doesn’t get you high, it’s also not really taken for recreational purposes. It’s taken for wellness purposes, thanks to its unique properties that have the potential to help with a wide variety of issues – issues that disproportionately affect members of service. Therefore, it would make sense that it would become decriminalized in this environment, as Gabbard is hoping to accomplish. It would allow members to finally have access to something that is helping thousands of Americans daily.
Of course, when service members need treatment, it is available. But, it’s all too common for them to be prescribed strong drugs like benzodiazepines for anxiety, and opioids for pain. These drugs are known for being addictive, and many members leave their duties still hooked on them. Further, they are known for being at high risk of causing an overdose which can be fatal.
Hemp was illegal in the United States up until 2018, when the Farm Bill passed at the urging of Senator McConnell of Kentucky. This has allowed us to use hemp freely without fear of repercussion. Gabbard believes that it’s time that the military joins in.
This act would allow service members to have access to CBD. She has been quite outspoken about CBD for a long time, going so far as to urge the FDA to test it so that it can be used in the pharmaceutical industry as a natural alternative to drugs. Further, she is a veteran herself, and has unique insight into the difficulties that service members face.
Why the CBD Industry Could Benefit
The CBD industry is growing like never before, mainly thanks to the fact that it’s legal now. CBD is, however, missing support from the military, which makes up a large part of our country’s population. Military members could benefit from taking CBD regularly, and our industry wants to reach out to them so that they may be able to try this holistic approach to wellness.
Furthermore, the military accepting CBD would allow the industry to enjoy a new sense of legitimacy. If it’s good enough for service members, it’s good enough for the general public, or at least that is how many major CBD companies feel.
How CBD Could Benefit Members of Service
CBD is a cannabinoid, as we said earlier. This means that it regulates bodily processes through the endocannabinoid system, which sends cannabinoids to cannabinoid receptors located throughout the body. These receptors trigger chemical reactions that regulate bodily processes when they bind with cannabinoids. This allows us to enjoy an enhanced sense of wellbeing in a totally holistic way.
Improved Physical Stamina
We all know that service members undergo intensive physical training, and combat isn’t exactly a picnic either. They therefore require a lot of physical stamina in order to maintain the right energy levels to finish their tasks. We know from studies that CBD may regulate energy levels in a way that boosts physical stamina and overall abilities.
Injuries are common in the military, as is pain caused by overuse of the muscles and joints. Of course, pain inhibits one’s ability to serve, and so members are often prescribed heavy drugs to fight pain. But, CBD may be a gentler option, as research has found it to aid in pain management through analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, which work together to alleviate pain by reducing inflammation and disrupting pain signals sent from the nervous system.
Help with PTSD
PTSD is all too common among veterans who have experienced combat. While men and women can be trained to be effective soldiers, that doesn’t mean that they don’t feel the emotional strain of being engaged in war. PTSD is a clinical anxiety condition standing for post-traumatic stress disorder, and we’re finding out just how prevalent it is among service members. Symptoms include general feelings of anxiety, fear of loud noises, and agoraphobia, as well as frightening flashbacks of past events.
CBD has been studied for its effects on PTSD, and the results are promising. It seems to regulate the function of the brain in terms of how it relates to past events, and how it maintains stress levels.
You can learn more about how CBD can help PTSD in our article on Anxiety Disorders.
Muscle Mx Stands Behind Our Troops
CBD has the potential to be particularly useful to members in service, and we hope that the Senate feels the same way. As of now, we’re waiting to find out whether or not servicemen will finally be able to utilize CBD just like the rest of us. In the meantime, you can contact your senators to encourage them to approve the bill.
If you are a military veteran, you can apply for a Muscle MX veteran discount by clicking below.