Bloom Is Thankful for U.S. Veterans!

In honor of Veterans Day and National Veterans Awareness Week, Bloom would like to take a moment to express how thankful we are for the service and sacrifice of our country’s veterans. To all Bloom patients, employees, and blog readers who have served our country, Thank You!

Thank you for your service, sacrifice, and your patriotism. 

When it comes to the topic of veterans, the military, and cannabis, many are surprised to hear they have a somewhat complementary history that goes back centuries.

Back in 1606, hemp was an important crop for Colonial America. Hemp was used to make things like canvas, paper, cloth, rope, and sails. It played such a key role for the economy that in 1619, Jamestown announced an order requiring all farmers to grow hemp.1 During this time there was no differentiation between the terms hemp and cannabis. It wasn’t until 1753 that the scientific term cannabis was used to describe the hemp plant in the US.2

One of the most famous hemp farmers from that time was George Washington – the Commander of the Continental Army and our First President. 

Did the Commander in Chief, Cheef?

George Washington grew hemp at his Mount Vernon estate. Washington believed that hemp could be more profitable as a crop than tobacco due to its wide range of potential uses. Speaking of possible uses … in a diary entry from August 1765, George Washington wrote, “… began to separate the male from the female hemp …”1

There are some who believe that George Washington writing about separating male and female plants could be evidence that he was interested in the psychoactive properties of cannabis – since this is usually done to boost the levels of cannabinoids like THC in cannabis plants. Of course, this is just speculation.

Learn more about the History of Cannabis in the U.S.A

Hemp’s Role in U.S. War Efforts

Even though Hemp had served as an important crop for our young country, the “Marihuana” Tax Act of 1937 heavily taxed hemp and essentially banned it. However, in 1942 the U.S Government had to soften its stance on hemp.

That’s when the USDA initiated the “Hemp for Victory” program to encourage farmers to grow as much hemp as possible to help make rope for the U.S. Navy during World War II.
But, once the war ended, restrictions on growing and selling hemp, and the heavy taxes, were put back into place. 

Even after having served as a valuable crop for centuries and having helped with the war effort, hemp/cannabis was made illegal once again. 

Learn more about: What Is Cannabis? Is It Different from Hemp & Marijuana?

Legal Longer than It’s Been Illegal

Cannabis/Hemp was legal and accepted as a valuable crop in the US as far back as 1606. It was not made illegal until the 1930s and remained illegal until 1996.

Although cannabis was legal for over 300 years and only illegal for a little over half a century, that illegal status left a lasting stigma.

Veterans and Cannabis

Unfortunately, many U.S military veterans still deal with this stigma if they turn to cannabis to help treat symptoms related to their war injuries. 

Although the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) says that American veterans can discuss cannabis use with their doctors – without fear of repercussions – VA Doctors cannot prescribe cannabis as treatment.3

This is unfortunate considering that cannabis has shown potential to provide relief for many of the issues veterans face after returning home from combat, including:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Pain management 
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Depression 
  • Anxiety

The potential to provide natural relief  for many of the issues they face, makes it easy to understand why so many of our veterans are turning to cannabis as medicine.

Do Many Veterans Use Cannabis?

A recent VA report looking into cannabis use and PTSD among veterans found that cannabis use among veterans is increasing. 

For example, in 2014, 9% of Veterans in the U.S. reported using cannabis in the past year.

About five years later, in 2019-2020, 11.9% of U.S. military veterans had used cannabis during the last 6 months. And for veterans between the ages of 18 and 44, the number was much higher at 20%. It is interesting to note that only 14% of the general population between 18 and 44 had used cannabis within the past six months.3

Does Cannabis Help with PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a condition that can occur after someone has experienced or witnessed a traumatic event like a severe injury, a natural disaster, or war.

PTSD affects about 3.5% of adults in the U.S. Unfortunately, the numbers are higher for our veterans.

It’s estimated that up to 20% of our soldiers who served in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom have experienced PTSD. Of those who served in the Gulf War, about 12% have experienced PTSD and of those who served in the Vietnam War it’s 15%.4

Research on Cannabis as Treatment for PTSD

Although more research is needed, early results seem promising for those looking to treat their PTSD symptoms with cannabis. In September of 2020, research published in The Journal of Affective Disorders indicated that inhaled cannabis was effective in reducing PTSD symptoms by more than 50%.

The study also highlighted emerging evidence that the endocannabinoid system may represent a viable target for treating PTSD.5

Click here to learn how your endocannabinoid system could be the key to unlocking your body’s natural healing powers. 

THC in the Treatment of PTSD Symptoms

The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies conducted a study in December of 2020 that compared participants diagnosed with PTSD who used medicinal cannabis, with those with PTSD who did not use cannabis to treat their symptoms. 

The study determined that those who medicated with cannabis reported significant improvement of their symptoms and were 2.5 times more likely to recover from PTSD than those who did not medicate with cannabis.6

Research Reinforces What Many Veterans Have Known

Although more research is needed, it is promising to see that recent research reinforces what many with PTSD have already known – cannabis may help to provide relief from PTSD symptoms.

Veterans Cannabis Support Groups 

Fortunately, there are many support groups that have been established to help veterans receive access to the medicine they need to treat their medical conditions. 

One such group is the Veterans Cannabis Project – a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating lawmakers and veterans about the meaningful health benefits of cannabis. 

Veterans Cannabis Project is dedicated to improving U.S. military veterans’ quality of life through cannabis. They believe that medical cannabis can save lives and that veterans deserve full and legal access to it.

Learn more about how you can Join the Fight for Veterans’ Cannabis Access.


Bloom Discounts for U.S. Veterans

Bloom is thankful for the service and sacrifice of our country’s veterans.

That is why we are proud to offer U.S. Veterans of the Armed Forces a special discount.

So, if you’re a Veteran, please make sure to mention your Veteran status at checkout to redeem your savings.

Thank You for Your Service!

The Best Way to Medicate with Cannabis Is Different for All

Let Bloom Medicinals Help You Determine Which Way Is Right for You 

Each person’s experience with medicinal cannabis will vary. Instead of focusing on which strain you should medicate with, it’s just as important to strike the right balance of cannabinoids and terpenes that work best with your endocannabinoid system.

Doing so could help to unlock your body’s natural healing power. 

As part of our commitment to cannabis education, Bloom Medicinals would like to offer you the opportunity to schedule a free, one-on-one consultation.

During this consultation, our patient care specialists will get to know you, your qualifying conditions, medications, dietary restrictions, activity level, and any specific effects you’re seeking or looking to avoid.

By doing so, we can help to identify the consumption methods and forms of cannabis that are best for you!

Take the first step toward a better quality of life and schedule your free consultation today.

Consultations are available by phone, in-person, or online.

  1. Hemp and Our Founding Fathers | World History
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/
  3. Cannabis Use and PTSD Among Veterans
  4. How Common is PTSD in Veterans? – PTSD: National Center for PTSD
  5. Short and Long-Term Effects of Cannabis on Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – ScienceDirect
  6. PTSD Sufferers Who Used Cannabis Were 2.5 Times More Likely To Recover In A Recent Study