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Healing from Injury: Using CBD to Promote Recovery

Healing from Injury: Using CBD to Promote Recovery

 

Contributed by Kris Baydalla-Galasso

 

Science is continually improving – and those scientific improvements bring about better treatment methods and plans for everyone, including our injured soldiers and veterans. As the saying goes, “knowledge is power,” and there have been significant advances in pain management and treatment knowledge over the past two decades.Some of those advancements have proved life-changing for some. While science has led us down a promising path in pain management, more needs to happen before possibly catastrophic injuries can be treated without the risk of a possible opioid addiction during the healing process. 

 

It’s hard to miss the medicinal marijuana debates. Long viewed as a “gateway drug,” medicinal marijana is distributed through dispensaries to qualified applicants who are under the care of a doctor. These patients are often seeking relief from medicinal marijuana for other treatments – such as chemotherapy. However, it can also provide benefits to those with chronic pain illnesses, such as ME/CFS (myalgic encephalomyelitis). These dispensaries and treatment plans that include controlled and regulated medicinal marijuana are certainly changing the face of pain management. However, there is another option with similar benefits: CBD oils. 

 

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is the oil derived from the Hemp plant. Hemp and marijuana plants are genetically similar. However, Hemp, and subsequently CBD oils, lack the same levels of THC. (Some CBD oils do sport trace amounts of THC, but minute in comparison to the THC levels found in medicinal marijuana). Why is this important? THC – or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol – is the ingredient in marijuana that causes the user to feel “high.” It’s fair to note that not all patients with chronic pain or injuries enjoy the feeling of being altered or “high.” For those patients, CBD oils and products can provide a safe and successful alternative.

 

In 2005 I fractured my ankle in three different sports. I broke the fibula, tibia and talus in such a fashion that surgery was required to put my right ankle back together again. A small plate with six screws and three pins were all surgically inserted.  I had a second surgery almost four months later to remove the plate and screws that were rejected from the bone and then a third surgery in 2013 to remove one of the small pins that was also in the process of rejecting. Fourteen years later and I was still living with daily pain and discomfort. Though I had no abnormal build up of arthritis in the joint, walking down the stairs in the morning was a task that I handled one little step at a time…and sideways, since my right ankle would not bend enough to accomodate the steps. Pain was constant and pain management was ibuprofen each morning and an ibuprofen with a sleep aid at night. Until two months ago when I met Steve Raack and he introduced me to Vitalibis. 

 

Steve reached out to us at MilitaryConnection.com because of the potential healing power that CBD oils could hold for veterans. My first phone call with Steve lasted nearly an hour. He offered to send me some samples, as I had never tried CBD oils and he felt that the best way to learn about and then promote the product line was to actually feel the results. As I hung up the phone that day, I found myself skeptically hopeful. When you live in pain, you learn to get used to the pain. It had been so long since I walked down the steps in the morning like a normal person, I nearly forgot what it was like to be able to have mobility. 

 

I have a tendency to make light of my injury. I refer to my right ankle as “Frankenankle” and joke about the things that are difficult or nearly impossible for me to do – like steps and squats. Mornings are the toughest time of day for me and the stiffness fades as the day wears on (and as the weather warms), but it is still a daily discomfort. 

 

It is just my ankle. It is still there. I can still use it. What are the levels of pain and discomfort for those who have had serious injury or lost a part of themselves? When the box of Vitalibis products arrived, I found myself hoping that this little package contained a minor miracle for me – and perhaps a more major one for many.

 

I tore open the box and dug through my new goodies and pulled out the Soothing Body Cream first. That night, I rubbed a dime-sized amount into Frankenankle and instead of taking my normal ibuprofen with sleep aid, I let the warming/cooling tingling on my ankle do its magic. The weight of my blankets didn’t bother my ankle that night. I didn’t wake up uncomfortable through the course of the night. The next morning, bleary-eyed and barely awake, I stumbled down the steps in my normal fashion. It wasn’t until I was in my kitchen that I questioned my trip down the steps and if I would have been able to walk down normally had I tried. 

 

I got my answer about a week later. I had hit snooze on my alarm, so when my eyes actually fluttered open, I was late and needed to get downstairs in a hurry. I raced down the steps. I didn’t go down sideways and I didn’t hesitate. I ran down the steps like a normal person without injury. Being in a hurry to get downstairs, I did what my body could do, not what my brain allowed. 

 

After just eight nights of using the Vitalibis Soothing Body Cream, I had regained more mobility than I had achieved in the past fifteen years! Say no more, Vitalibis and scientific data! My own personal research has me convinced! It was at this point I reopened that little magical cardboard box and explored the rest of its contents. Signature 300 was my next planned experiment – but not on me. I decided to try it on my anxiety-riddled and skittish pit mix dog who still acts like a puppy and gets so nervous and excited that she is prone to hurting herself when she runs across the hardwood floors and faceplants into the wall! Our little rescue – formerly in abusive situations – will panic whenever we leave and will eat things she shouldn’t (like wood and dirty diapers). 

 

I started giving her about ¼ of a dropper per day. While she isn’t going to hold it under her tongue as suggested, she does happily eat it when mixed with some whipped cream! We started to see a difference in her in just two weeks. Crated for her own safety when we leave, we no longer needed to zip tie the crate door closed. Her calmer demeanor means I don’t fear her safety. It means she walks – not attempts to run – across the hardwood and arrives safely every time. 

 

The scientific jury is technically still out regarding the broad benefits of CBD oil use. There haven’t been enough studies to prove the effectiveness of CBD oil or to say for sure that it is a reliable alternative to opioid medications.The personal jury, however, is in. I can attest to the benefits that I have personally received from using CBD oil product and I recommend that anyone facing chronic pain issues give it a try. 

 

I have tried and love Vitalibis – more than just their products. I appreciate their corporate transparency and third-party research and testing. It is important to have that when trying any new product. It’s also important to keep your medical professional who has been charged with your care in the loop that you are trying something new. 

 

The possibilities for CBD oils are endless – and will certainly bring positives changes to many as the research catches up to the practical use.

 

As Vitalibis and Steve Raack say – “be well.”

 

VA Allows Doctors to Discuss Medical Marijuana with Patients

medical mj

By Debbie Gregory.

Advocates of medicinal marijuana use for veterans believe in its effectiveness in treating chronic pain. Now the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has authorizes its physicians and care teams to speak openly with veteran patients about their marijuana use.

Currently, VA doctors cannot prescribe medical cannabis, but thanks to VHA Directive 1315, in states where medical marijuana is legal, VA providers can discuss marijuana use with veterans as part of comprehensive care planning, and adjust treatment plans as necessary.

Veterans enrolled in a state-approved medical cannabis program can discuss their marijuana use so that their doctor can make adjustments to the treatment plan.

The new policy is likened to the VA removing its proverbial head from the sand.

“It not only encourages, but really mandates that their physicians and primary care teams have healthy and in-depth knowledge-based conversations with veterans about cannabis use for whatever ailment their suffering from,” said Lou Celli, the director of national veterans affairs and rehabilitation division at American Legion.

Marijuana remains a Schedule 1 substance — “drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse,” according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Veterans groups say the fastest and most effective way to help veterans get access to treatment is to simply reschedule the drug. That would automatically lift the most onerous barriers to research and allow VA health care providers to immediately prescribe marijuana in states where it is legal.

“We’ve got young men and women with PTSD and traumatic brain injuries coming to us and saying that cannabis works,” said Joe Plenzler, a spokesman for the American Legion.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

Alaska Groups Give Away Cannabis to Veterans in Need

medmari

By Debbie Gregory.

While Alaskans technically gained the right to use medical marijuana 18 years ago, there are no state-licensed dispensaries, and only six qualifying illnesses for medical marijuana use, according to NORML. In a bold move to help the state’s veterans, private residents in Alaska are providing cannabis to veterans, free of charge.

Alaska Green Angels has been giving away cannabis for the past year. While they may appear to be a disconnected, non-cohesive group, the Angels all share a common thread- pain, and the treatment of their pain with cannabis.

Researchers in the United States and several other countries have found evidence that medical marijuana can help treat post-traumatic stress disorder, pain and anxiety.

After Alaska voted to commercialize recreational marijuana use in 2014, numerous businesses claimed that they were giving away marijuana, but they asked people to make a “donation” for the product. The Green Angels began, partially in response to what co-founder Don “DC” McKenzie called “predatory” practices against medical marijuana users, on Facebook.

The premise is a simple request/fulfillment arrangement. Post your need for cannabis and one of the members with marijuana will respond. Alaska state law says that one can legally give one ounce of marijuana to another person over the age of 21. However, under federal law it remains a crime.

The Green Angels have roughly 10 people growing cannabis, while others provide the equipment or raw materials for edibles.

Also providing cannabis products to veterans is the Alaska Veterans Cannabis Relief Organization. It began as a chapter of the national group Weed for Warriors Project, and has since become its own organization.

In addition to supplying cannabis to a couple hundred veterans, the group also helps veterans set up their own home growing operation.

CannaCare joins the Green Angels an Alaska Veterans Cannabis Relief Organization in supplying the state’s veterans with free cannabis.

Going forward, Alaska Green Angels hopes to become a non-profit organization. The plan is to continue providing free cannabis in whatever capacity possible.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.