[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a prevalent mental condition that affects many veterans in Canada and around the world. It stems from the intense and traumatic experiences associated with the dangers of war. PTSD is most commonly triggered in veterans after witnessing frightening events in combat exposure. Witnessing events that are emotionally scarring and traumatic, like those experienced by individuals in combat, can have lasting effects on a person’s mental health and stability. In Canada, 15% of veterans suffer from PTSD and can experience immeasurable agony from its symptoms.
Symptoms of PTSD include: re-living memories of the experience repeatedly, having uncontrollable thoughts, suffering from vivid nightmares or night terrors, depression, high anxiety, chronic pain, and suicidal thoughts or tendencies. Researchers at NYU Langone Medical Centre completed a study in 2013 that concluded people suffering from PTSD face neurological damage. This damage prevents anandamide, a neurotransmitter that normally binds to a person’s CB1 receptors (Cannabinoid Receptor 1), from producing at normal levels. This indicates that the affected individual is unable to forget certain events, thus causing constant contact with these traumatic memories.

Social anxiety and depression may also result from the constant sense of fear that is associated with re-living horrifying and traumatic experiences. Jenny Migneault, wife of a Canadian veteran and a CannaConnect client, says, “It is hard for him to deal with strangers.” Anxiety and depression are common side effects of PTSD, and there are ways to help with symptoms of this disorder.

As many as 5.3% of veterans are suffering from PTSD—double the amount from a previous survey held 11 years ago. This spike is attributed to the Canadian military’s mission in Afghanistan. PTSD is becoming a large concern for Veteran Affairs of Canada, as suicide is 45% higher for Canadian veterans compared to the general population of Canada. PTSD is a difficult mental disorder to treat, but there are possible ways to help alleviate the symptoms and help veterans lead happy and fulfilled lives.

Medical cannabis can help ease the symptoms of PTSD, according to Jenny Migneault’s experiences with her husband. Jenny speaks to her husband’s success using medical marijuana, stating that “it helps him with his PTSD on so many levels. Medical cannabis helps him cope with anxiety and depression. It helps him cope with his physical pain, social anxiety, panic attacks, and helps him sleep better at night.”

According to the NYU study, medical cannabis can also help lower the production of the CB1 receptors that cause the affected individual’s inability to prevent memories from constantly being accessed, which in turn helps lower depression and anxiety in people suffering from PTSD. The PTSD medications currently offered as alternatives to medical cannabis are debilitating, causing lethargic behaviours, and often do not help to significantly alleviate symptoms.

CannaConnect provides a compassionate pricing plan for veterans, which can be found on our website. The purpose of this plan is to support our country’s veterans by helping them access a resource that can help them manage their PTSD and its symptoms. As Jenny Migneault says, “Veterans, like my husband, need help getting access to medical cannabis.” CannaConnect helps connect veterans with a network of qualified doctors both in an in-clinic setting and via tele-medicine. It also supports veterans by walking them through all of the required documentation in advance of their assessment while working closely with Licensed Producer’s to facilitate coverage through VAC in a timely and efficient manner.

Additionally, CannaConnect offers veterans education surrounding the safe methods of using medical cannabis. As Jenny Migneault discusses in her video, “veterans need to have someone available to answer their questions,” and we pledge to do just that. Obtaining medical cannabis can be a complex process to navigate, and we aim to make that process less intimidating by providing Canadian veterans with education and guidance.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]