3 Reasons Medical Cannabis May Be Beneficial for Veterans

Over 15% of Canna Care Docs patients are U.S. military veterans, and there’s a reason for that. Veterans are unable to access medical cannabis through the VA, a federal agency, since cannabis has not been federally legalized for medical or recreational use. 

But many who live in states where marijuana is legal have decided it’s worth seeking for treatment. And this makes the subject of veterans and cannabis one of much debate. 

In honor of Veterans Day, Canna Care Docs would like to express our gratitude to all those who have served our country. Our belief is that veterans deserve the best possible care—whatever that may be. 

Here are three reasons why medical marijuana may be beneficial for veterans.

1. Chronic pain

It’s true that studies on medical marijuana and chronic pain are limited, and those that have been completed show mixed results. But this contrasts with anecdotal evidence from veterans themselves, who state that medical marijuana has helped ease the pain of various injuries caused by years of active duty service. 

In fact, chronic pain is the top reason why most people (not just veterans) use medical marijuana.

One of many examples is U.S. Army veteran Ricardo Pereyda. Pereyda was quoted by Healthline about his use of cannabis to treat symptoms of PTSD, traumatic brain injury, and chronic pain from back and shoulder injuries. 

“‘The only thing that’s really helped me with all these symptoms is cannabis [marijuana],’ Pereyda said. ‘The pain, anger, mood swings, appetite, my sleep, all have been addressed by this one plant. I got my life back.’”


Research shows that medical marijuana may improve the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

Studies indicate that cannabinoids like THC and CBD interact with the hippocampus in the brain to reduce hyperactivity of the amygdala, which occurs in people experiencing the symptoms of PTSD.

A study published earlier this year in the Journal of Basic and Clinical Physiology and Pharmacology states: 

“Cannabinoids were shown to improve overall PTSD symptoms, including sleep quality and quantity, hyperarousal, and treatment-resistant nightmares. Summary and outlook: Cannabinoids have been shown to be an effective treatment option for patients with PTSD. Besides aiding to relieve the symptoms and enhance extinction training, they also are relatively well tolerated.”

3. An alternative to traditional painkillers

Veterans who suffer from chronic pain are typically prescribed opioids, which often lead to addiction issues. This also contributes to the ongoing opioid epidemic. 

The Department of Veterans Affairs states that the 65% of veterans who suffer from chronic pain are twice as likely as non-veterans to die from accidental prescription opioid overdose. As a result, veterans are searching for safer alternatives to traditional painkillers, and many turn to medical cannabis for pain relief. 

A 2018 study in the Journal of Health Economics found that in states where medical cannabis was legal, opioid-related mortality had fallen significantly: 

“[M]edical marijuana laws reduce the misuse of prescription opioids, as reflected in treatment admissions and overdose deaths, primarily through the allowance and opening of dispensaries.”

Interested in getting a medical marijuana card?

To obtain your medical cannabis card, first review your state laws to determine whether you have a qualifying condition. Once you know you’re eligible, take the next step with us by scheduling a virtual appointment

Note: veterans discounts are available for new cards in several states, including: 

  • Massachusetts
  • Rhode Island
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Pennsylvania
  • New Jersey


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