Combat veterans to the VA: Research CBD!

Combat veterans to the VA: Research CBD!

WASHINGTON – The groundbreaking effects of last month’s farm bill passage, which redefined hemp as an agricultural product, are still being felt throughout the industry.

CBD is now legal in all 50 U.S. states as a result, but all levels of federal bureaucracy fought to keep that from happening, including mixed signals from the FDA even after the passage of the bill. [1]

The FDA isn’t the only hesitant party. For another interested group, American veterans of the country’s foreign wars, the very source of their guaranteed treatment for physical and mental health seems to be keeping them from treatments they desire.

According to an editorial in The Hill, written by veterans Lt. Col Steve Danyluk (retired) and Sgt. Boone Cutler (retired) of Warfighter Hemp based in Georgia, a bill they helped author was denied a floor hearing before the passage of the farm bill in December. [2]

The bill, entitled the “VA Medical Cannabis Research Act of 2018” would have called for VA resources to be placed into a huge study on the effects of cannabis products like CBD oils and other hemp products on veterans for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms and depression symptoms.

Currently, veterans have a heightened rate of both suicide and drug overdose risks. According to a 2016 Veteran Affairs study, American vets are 22 percent more likely to commit suicide than the rest of the American population. When broken down by other factors, like gender and age range, this probability increases. [3]

Even without the help of the VA or Danyluk and Cutler’s bill, the private sector has researched the question of CBD and veterans’ mental health, but with a far more limited scope. One such study was launched by General Wesley Clark, Jr. in June of 2017 for the Alternate Health Corporation in Canada. [4]

These results have yet to be aggregated, but in the meantime the fight in Washington, DC is far from over. In their editorial, Danyluk and Cutler made clear their determination to reintroduce a new version of their bill to get CBD doses into the hands of VA-treated veterans to gather one of the most comprehensive and useful datasets on the substance and its properties ever.

The new version of the bill is called “The VA Medicinal Hemp Research Act of 2019,” and the veterans who support it hope it will gain bipartisan support.

The two veterans stress in their piece that veterans use cannabis and CBD to wean themselves from the opiates like fentanyl that are as popularly prescribed for veterans as they are deadly.

Ultimately, Danyluk and Cutler argue, “The VA Medicinal Hemp Research Act of 2019 is a pragmatic and bipartisan piece of legislation that would improve, and in many cases save the lives of veterans across the country.”