As Cannabis Europa London fell on Remembrance Day in the UK, it was a pertinent time to discuss the importance of access to medicinal cannabis for ex-military personnel, as a treatment for both pain and PTSD.
The ‘Cannabis for Veterans’ panel, hosted by author, cannabis educator and Chief Editor of Cannabis Patient Advocacy & Support Services, Mary Biles, discussed what needs to happen to improve access to medical cannabis for currently-serving military personnel and veterans.
Special Forces veteran David Moczulski joined the panel to talk about his personal experiences with CBD, which he turned to having left the Armed Forces with chronic pain injuries and mental health issues.
Speaking about his own introduction to CBD, David said: “I met a guy who made his own CBD oil. He gave it to me and within two days of taking it I felt mentally buoyant, and physically I could do things that I wasn’t previously able to do.”
CBD drastically changed David’s life. Whilst enjoying his better mental and physical wellbeing, David thought about how many other veterans would maybe benefit from CBD – which led him to start his own CBD company, Tier One.
Dr Mayur Bodani also joined the panel, bringing his experience in both General Medicine and Neuropsychiatry. Dr Bodani has a particular interest in cannabinoid treatments for mental health, highlighting the importance of clinically-tested and controlled cannabis medicines, saying: “We can choose doses [of CBD], whether it’s a capsule or ingestible. I feel more empowered by those choices.”
Mary Biles rightfully and importantly drew attention to the need for the industry to focus on patient advocacy, saying: “No patients, no industry”. Countries like Canada, David Moczulski told delegates at Cannabis Europa London, are making great strides to better the health and wellbeing of military personnel and veterans, by providing access to THC and CBD: “In Canada, they are so forward thinking. They have CBD and THC which is subsidised for veterans, but we don’t care in this country [the UK]. We were the last country to report military suicides.”
David also discussed his attempts to get CBD to veterans as part of their transition back into civilian life: “I tried to reach out to Johnny Mercer [MP] and open a dialog, but I could not get past his gatekeepers. It was a categorical ‘no, we will not be talking about this.’”
The panel provided key insight into cannabis-based treatments for veterans suffering from pain and PTSD, their right to medicate, and heal how they see fit. A massive ‘thank you’ to our panellists for joining us and sharing their passion and knowledge.
At Cannabis Europa, we aim to deliver panels that interest and educate you. We currently have an open call for panels you’d like to see at our next event. To find out more, and submit your panel ideas, head to the Cannabis Europa Session Selector here.