- Jennifer Betz
Can Missouri Veterans Take Medical Marijuana for PTSD and Chronic Pain?
This Memorial Day, Missouri Marijuana Card is tackling two of the most prevalent conditions veterans face: Chronic pain and PTSD
For many Missouri residents, Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer. And after the year we had in 2020, lemonade, ice cream, barbeque, and family gatherings are back with a vengeance. For most of our veterans and their families, however, Memorial Day is also a day of solemn remembrance of those who were lost in service to our country.
At Missouri Marijuana Card, we want to thank all who have served, and we mourn those who died so that we may live in relative peace and freedom.
We are proud to serve our veterans by providing guidance and care through developing treatment plans that work for two of the most prevalent conditions that former service members face: Chronic Pain and PTSD.
In this article, we’ll take a look at how medical marijuana can help alleviate symptoms related to both, then examine the recent progress being made for veterans seeking natural relief in the Show Me State and all over the country.
Veterans Experience More Chronic Pain Than Civilians
When compared to civilians, a higher percentage of veterans report experiencing chronic pain, and that pain is more severe. This is likely due to more overuse/wear and tear on the body, as well as a greater number of injuries common among those who serve.
Chronic pain treatments generally include training in new pain management techniques, NSAIDs, and opioids. NSAIDs can lead to heart disease and stroke, among other complications, when taken long term. And before COVID, opioid addiction was gaining attention as a national epidemic.
Veterans deserve better than what they have been handed through traditional medicine. They are already at a heightened risk of developing substance use disorders, and any sort of treatment plan that includes drugs as addictive as opioids should be preceded by a search for more natural alternatives.
Veterans Have an Increased Prevalence of PTSD
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, somewhere between 11 and 30 percent of veterans who have seen active duty have been or will be diagnosed with PTSD. These numbers are affected by where and when they served, and women service members may experience a higher instance of PTSD due to the prevalence of sexual violence in the military.
Treatments mostly include therapeutic medications that often come with side effects that are unbearable, or talk therapy that has limited efficacy.
Medical Marijuana May be an Effective Treatment for Veterans With Chronic Pain and PTSD
75% of veterans are interested in using medical marijuana to treat their symptoms—and with good reason. There is a growing body of research indicating that medical marijuana is effective at treating chronic pain and PTSD with fewer risks than opioids, and fewer unpleasant side effects than standard psychiatric medications.
One study revealed that nearly half of all participants completely stopped using opioids for pain 12 months after beginning treatment with medical marijuana. Even if medical marijuana cannot completely replace traditional treatments, it can drastically reduce the dosage and frequency of certain medications.
This means fewer opioid addictions, fewer overdoses, and treatment methods for PTSD that encourage a greater level of compliance with the therapeutic plan.
Missouri Veterans Can Now Access Medical Marijuana
The good news is that both post traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain are both on Missouri’s list of conditions that qualify for treatment with cannabis. When you have a Missouri marijuana card, you can legally purchase an expanding variety of medical marijuana products from dispensaries, and you can grow your own cannabis plants by adding on a home cultivation permit.
Medical Marijuana is Complicated for Veterans
Marijuana is still federally illegal, because it is recognized by the DEA as a Schedule I controlled substance. People actively serving in the military and employees of the VA are prohibited from using marijuana, even under the guidance and recommendation of a physician.
Veterans’ benefits come from the Federal Government, which raises the concern that a veteran may lose their retirement check and their healthcare if they are found using marijuana. However, the US Department of Veteran’s Affairs clarified its position on marijuana use among veterans in 2017.
The VA has specifically stated that veterans who use marijuana will not be penalized for their therapeutic choices. They will still have full access to healthcare and their financial compensation.
Doctors employed by the VA cannot recommend medical marijuana, but they are required to discuss therapeutic risks and benefits with their patients. If a patient is known to use medical marijuana, the VA doctor may make alterations to their traditional treatment plan in order to adjust for the effects of cannabis.
Future Legislation to Make Medical Marijuana More Accessible for Veterans
The VA Medical Cannabis Research Act has been introduced in every legislative session since 2019. It would require the VA to conduct research into the efficacy of cannabis for veterans, and allow for progress to be made with new treatment options. Every year, the bill has strong bipartisan support, but it is never high enough on the priority list to get passed.
Another bipartisan bill aims to make it legal for VA doctors to recommend medical marijuana in states that have adopted legal programs. This means that veterans would be able to get a recommendation for medical marijuana—and guidance in how to use it—from their regular VA practitioner.
Get a Marijuana Card for Natural Relief
While we wait for more comprehensive legislation surrounding medical marijuana for veterans, you can still access natural relief through a Missouri marijuana card. When you have one, you can visit dispensaries in Missouri and get cannabis products vape cartridges and pens, flower, and edibles in varying strains and concentrations.
Missouri Marijuana Card is here to help guide you through the process of getting medical marijuana that can get you back to yourself again. We are experienced at working with veterans, and we want to set you on the right track to better health and wellbeing. Legally.
Give us a call at (888) 633-5808, or schedule an appointment to talk to one of our compassionate marijuana doctors today.
Doctors Who Care. Relief You Can Trust.
At Missouri Marijuana Card, our mission is helping everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
Call us at (877) 303-3117, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!
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