How Can CBD Help Veterans?
4th Jan 2022
There are over 20 million veterans in the United States, representing just under 10% of the country’s total population.
Many veterans live with health concerns, including PTSD, anxiety, sleep issues, and pain.
CBD oil may be an option to provide some natural relief to these veterans and make it easier for them to cope with daily life. In appreciation of our active and retired military personnel, Receptra offers servicemembers a lifetime 50% discount on all products. Here is why natural CBD for veterans could be important.
What is CBD?
CBD is the abbreviation for the word “cannabidiol” and it is one of over 100 cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. This cannabinoid is known for its positive effects on both the body and mind but does not include the psychoactive effects commonly associated with its cousin, THC. The various other cannabinoids naturally produced by hemp plants also have unique and beneficial interactions with the body. Many of these are dependent on each other, as well as additional compounds found in hemp for efficient use by the body. This concept of cannabinoids and plant compounds working together is called the "entourage effect" and it is most prevalent in full spectrum CBD.
Receptra's full spectrum CBD oil is made from organically grown hemp from our farm in Colorado. CBD is also produced by marijuana plants, but these products often have different cannabinoid profiles and regularly contain more than the legal amount of 0.3% THC. Receptra uses only hemp-derived CBD. CBD hemp oil is not to be confused with hemp seed oil. Hemp seed oil is a product used in food and beauty items similar to how you would use olive oil or avocado oil.
The Endocannabinoid System
All vertebrates have an endocannabinoid system (ECS) which serves the purpose of helping the body establish and maintain balance (homeostasis) in the body. “Endo” means inside and “cannabinoids” are cannabis compounds. Endocannabinoids are cannabinoids already inside of us that the body naturally produces.
CBD interacts with the body’s ECS by responding to cannabinoid receptors. The primary cannabinoid receptors in the body are CB1 and CB2. They are found in virtually every organ in the body and throughout all bodily systems including the brain.
Why People Use CBD?
According to a 2020 survey by SingleCare, there are a number of reasons why people use CBD with the top being pain, stress and sleep.
- - 64% of CBD users take CBD for pain
- - 49% of CBD users take CBD for anxiety and stress
- - 42% of CBD users take CBD for sleep and insomnia
- - 26% of CBD users take CBD for depression
- - 8% of CBD users give CBD to their pets
- - 8% of CBD users take CBD for other mental health conditions (i.e., PTSD, ADHD)
- - 5% of CBD users take CBD for general health benefits
- - 2% of CBD users take CBD for other reasons
"My father, a three-tour Vietnam Veteran was in my home for end of life hospice care. He had an aggravating toothache but I could do nothing to ease his pain. My son suggested Receptra CBD drops. Amazingly, his discomfort subsided and even his spirits picked up. After his passing, I tried taking CBD oil myself to assist in my joint aches from military service. My early years were in lifesaving and law enforcement. My knees got pounded by the rough seas. The pain has subsided and my overall mood has improved from less daily discomfort. Receptra is now my morning ritual!" - Frank Roberts (Veteran, U.S. Coast Guard)
How does CBD help Veterans with Pain?
CBD has known antioxidant properties. The U.S. Government patented CBD as an antioxidant and neuroprotectant over 20 years ago, though hemp general cannabis use has existed for centuries. Antioxidants help to reduce inflammation by fighting off free-radicals in the body.
Free radicals are a natural response that promotes inflammation, which is helpful in moderation. If left unchecked, it can have serious consequences in the body. CBD can help keep inflammation under control using its antioxidant properties to combat free-radicals. Veterans who have injuries from service may experience inflammation which causes those injuries to continually and painfully flare back up. Antioxidants, like those present in CBD, may help.
CBD may also help reduce the sensation of pain. Anandamide is an endocannabinoid that helps to reduce the feeling of discomfort. CBD allows more anandamide to exist in the body at one time by holding back enzymes that reduce the amount of anandamide in the body. This can reduce the perception of pain and also boost your mood.
"The two things that can sideline me are pain and sleep. When it comes to pain, I have a bad habit of pushing through. But I tried Receptra Naturals to help and I completely forgot about my back pain. . . as far as sleep, I need to be at my best each day for school, work, my daughter. I do not mess around with my sleep. But, like most adults, I have suffered with sleep issues for years. Now, I use Receptra Rest capsules." -Gigi Good (Veteran, U.S. Army)
How does CBD help Veterans with Sleep?
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, in a sample of more than 9.7 million U.S. veterans, the age-adjusted prevalence of sleep disorders increased from less than 1 percent in 2000 to nearly 6 percent in 2010. In other research, veterans have reported sleep issue rates as high as 50 percent. If you have or think you have a sleep disorder, you should consult your doctor.
CBD for sleep may be a function of two different concepts. One revolves around the ability to calm the body, thus allowing for less restlessness and wandering thoughts which are a notable concern for veterans who struggle to sleep.
When you consume CBD, it inhibits the FAAH enzyme your body naturally produces to minimize the amount of anandamide in the body. As a result of less FAAH, the breakdown of anandamide occurs slower. This increases the levels of endocannabinoids in the body, allowing the body to relax. When the body is calm, without any feeling of worry and stress, a person can get to sleep more easily and stay there.
CBD also has the ability to regulate circadian rhythms, also known as the body’s sleep cycle. Circadian rhythm is a function of maintaining homeostasis.
Researchers also know that if a person has a deficiency of endocannabinoids in the body, it has an adverse effect on the person’s sleep and circadian rhythm. When your sleep schedule is off, it can be hard to get back on track. CBD can help.
I started using Receptra CBD based on a recommendation from a friend. I use it mainly for mood stability, better sleep and back pain. That's a lot of things, but it works for all of them. I used to have a lot of back pain from my military service, but not anymore." -Erik Hanno (Disabled Veteran, U.S. Army - Purple Heart Recipient)
How does CBD help Veterans with Stress?
PTSD is one of the most prevalent issues facing the veteran population. Between 10 to 20% of veterans experience PTSD. For reference, that’s about 3 to 6 times higher than the rates of PTSD among the civilian population. CBD is not approved to treat PTSD, but it can help with stress.
Unlike other receptors in the body, endocannabinoid receptors allow for two-way (retrograde) communication. The ECS is basically a bridge between the mind and body. When the brain is overwhelmed by stress, the two-way communication system that is unique to endocannabinoid receptors allows for cells to talk to each other and find a way to quiet the mind and achieve balance or a baseline stress level, in an attempt to mitigate stress.
Increased stress also has a tendency to create free radicals, which have been linked to anxiety disorders as well as numerous other health concerns, and we know CBD is an antioxidant and can help with free radicals.
As previously mentioned, CBD also promotes the retention of the endocannabinoid Anandamide in the body. This “bliss molecule” is known to promote happiness. Anandamide is also found in chocolate, which could explain why chocolate is a traditional go-to when you are feeling sad. When veterans take a dropper of CBD, it could be the difference between a glass half full, or a glass half empty kind of day.
CBD Will Not Get You High
Receptra’s CBD oil is made from organically farmed hemp, not from marijuana. Aside from their method of growth, the big difference is that to be considered hemp, the plant must contain no more than 0.3% THC. In Colorado, where Receptra’s organic hemp is grown, the Department of Agriculture does not allow hemp with more than that percentage to be used for the creation of CBD products. In fact, a crop that tests higher than 0.3% THC is required to be destroyed.
CBD and THC molecules respond very differently in the body. CBD does not cause the stereotypical effects associated with marijuana, despite the fact that full-spectrum CBD may contain trace amounts of THC.
Can Active Military Service Members Use CBD?
The safe answer to this question is “no.” Receptra does have 0% THC (broad-spectrum) products for those concerned about THC in their system, but some tests do not differentiate between THC and other cannabinoids. That being said, the families of active military personnel may also benefit from CBD.
The U.S. House of Representatives approved an amendment earlier this year stating, “Secretary of Defense may not prohibit, on the basis of a product containing hemp or any ingredient derived from hemp, the possession, use, or consumption of such product by a member of the Armed Forces” as long as the crop meets the federal definition of hemp and that “such possession, use, or consumption is in compliance with applicable Federal, State, and local law.” Sadly, the bill has yet to pass the senate. Retired military personnel are permitted to use CBD.
CBD is Non-Addictive for Veterans
The World Health Organization (WHO) reported several CBD facts in a 2017 report including the statement that, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential.” The statement that CBD is non-addictive is generally echoed across scientific and medical studies. Over-stimulation of the brain’s dopamine reward system is the primary reason for addiction. The system then becomes reliant on the substance for dopamine production. CBD does not stimulate dopamine production in the same way that commonly abused substances do, despite mood-boosting benefits that some users may feel.
What it Feels Like to Take CBD
Some veterans may be concerned about how their bodies will react to CBD. Just as each body responds differently to foods, supplements and medications so is the case for CBD. In general, the focus when discussing what it feels like when you take CBD is more about what you don’t feel rather than what you do.
You may notice that you are not feeling as stressed or perhaps you do not feel as much physical and mental irritation. Though you may be hyper-aware of restlessness, a lack of restlessness may be what you feel when taking CBD. Potent CBD topicals may have more immediate effects on things like pain, as they are meant to. Tinctures, capsules, and edibles work from the inside out to optimize wellness.
Is CBD Safe for Veterans?
Another of the statements made in the World Health Organization report found no side-effects with the use of CBD, and it is safe for both people and animals. That being said, we always recommend checking with your doctor before starting any new supplement. This is especially important if you are taking doctor-prescribed medications.
Receptra’s Military Appreciation Program
Through this program, both active and retired service members receive 50% off all Receptra Naturals pure hemp CBD products, including topicals, tinctures, 0% THC products, and pet products. Every Receptra product is included in the program – there are no exclusions to the Veterans Appreciation discount.
This discount will never expire, since we believe that every service person who could experience a benefit from CBD has earned the right to have safe and affordable access to high-quality, consistent, efficacious hemp CBD products.
Click HERE to learn more about Receptra's Military Appreciation Program.