November 11 may be Veterans Day, but at CULTA, we strive to honor those who served in the armed forces each and every day. In recent years, more and more veterans have been turning to medical cannabis to treat a spectrum of issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression. We aim to be a prominent voice in the movement to improve veteran access to medical cannabis and work closely with various social programs and veteran’s initiatives to make our voice heard.
In this blog, we’ll cover how cannabis can provide relief from some of the most common issues that plague veterans and touch on some of the social programs and advocacy groups we work with. If you’re a veteran or a member of the active-duty military, we thank you for your service today and every day.
Medical Cannabis & PTSD
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), over 20% of the 2.7 million military veterans who have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan will experience post-traumatic stress or depression. In one major study of 60,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, 13.5% of veterans screened positive for PTSD, while other studies show the rate to be as high as 30%. Per the American Psychiatric Association, PTSD affects approximately 3.5% of the U.S. population, so it’s clear that veterans have PTSD at a much higher rate than the general population.
PTSD patients have been saying for years that cannabis helps with their PTSD, and there’s plenty of scientific data to support those claims. One study showed that those who took low doses of THC showed measurable signs of reduced fear and anxiety in situations designed to trigger fear; even those diagnosed with PTSD experienced less fear with THC in their system. Another study showed that low doses of THC or THC combined with CBD enhanced the extinction rate for challenging memories - and reduced overall anxiety as a result. You can find more information about these two studies here.
And those are just two recent studies. A simple Google search will return pages and pages of studies and results that correlate medical cannabis to a reduction in the severity or frequency of PTSD. And that’s just PTSD. Medical cannabis has also been proven to help those with anxiety, depression, and pain relief, all of which are common issues among veterans of all ages. Click the links above to access the studies.
Veterans Social Programs We Support
We’re proud to employ veterans at our dispensary, lab, and grow facility. We encourage all veterans who may be looking for employment to keep an eye on our job listings page. We’re frequently hiring for various positions at our corporate office, flagship store, and grow facilities. Here are some tips for getting a job in the cannabis industry.
Two of the veterans employed by CULTA, James Pilchard and Candre Meekins
At CULTA, we understand that affordability is a primary concern for many veterans, some of which are on fixed incomes for disability. Although doctors at the Department of Veteran Affairs can supply free or low-cost opiates to veterans, they aren’t allowed to recommend cannabis to patients even in states where the plant is medically legal, effectively pushing the cost burden onto the veterans themselves.
Fortunately, CULTA is proud to support the Veterans Initiative 22, which honors all veterans with a 22% discount on purchases with a valid photo ID*. Founded in 2018, this initiative supports the education and awareness of cannabis, advocacy, resources, and employment of veterans and their family by offering a 22% incentive on medicine, thereby shedding light on the estimated 22 veterans who commit suicide daily due to PTSD, anxiety, depression, and battle scars from combat.
*Visit our FAQ page for more information on this discount.
CULTA Veteran Employee Highlight: James Pilchard
James Pilchard is one of our veteran employees, and served in the United States Marine Corps from 1987-1992. He worked in communications (electronics repair), and was Honorably discharged at the rank of Sergeant (E-5). While in the service, he was assigned to 1st Marine Division (3rd Bn./7th Regt. & 2nd Bn./9th Regt.) and 1st FSSG (Force Service Support Group), both at Camp Pendleton, and 3rd FSSG, Okinawa, Japan. He served two overseas tours during his five year enlistment. At CULTA, James is the Vice President of Operations, and we’re proud to have him as part of our team!
In an effort to end cannabis prohibition and drive the research and development of cannabis-based treatments for veterans across the country, CULTA applauds the meaningful work of cannabis advocacy groups, including the Veterans Cannabis Coalition, the Veterans Cannabis Group, and the Veterans Cannabis Project.
America’s prolonged military conflicts have exposed an aging and ineffective health care system, ill-prepared for the type and severity of the latest round of war-related injuries. The VA is not equipped to effectively or comprehensively treat the complexity of every veteran’s mental and physical wounds, leaving former service members to cope with limited and inadequate treatment options. CULTA supports closing the gaps in the community understanding of medical cannabis while ensuring accessibility and affordability for veterans and all patients.
To join the fight, support the Veterans Cannabis Coalition by sending an email to your elected officials.