Last week, Congress approved a measure to allow the military to use marijuana products and derivatives. The measure states that the Secretary of defense shall not prohibit members of the "armed forces" from "owning, using or consuming" marijuana or marijuana derived products as long as the crop meets federal standards. In addition, the possession, use and consumption of such products must "comply with applicable federal, state, and local laws.".
Finally, the house of Representatives passed the amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) by 336 to 71 votes, including dozens of other non cannabis amendments in addition to the above measures. The bill also includes a measure passed earlier this month to allow military personnel who admit to using marijuana or have been convicted of marijuana offences to rejoin the army.
01. Why was the bill passed?
CBD helps to improve soldiers' physical and mental health
The high suicide rate of American veterans is related to their long-term physical and mental fatigue tasks during their service. Because of war or high-intensity tasks, they are easy to suffer from "military disease", that is, "post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
PTSD refers to the mental illness that people experience after experiencing emotional, war, traffic accident and other traumatic events. Its symptoms include unpleasant thoughts, feelings or dreams, mental or physical discomfort and tension when touching related things, attempts to avoid contact or even destroy related things, sudden changes in cognition and feelings, and frequent stress states. These symptoms often appear after the occurrence of traumatic events and last for more than one month. The risk of suicide is particularly high in patients with PTSD.
Before the decree, the only option for military personnel was to use synthetic antidepressants to improve their physical and mental health, but many of them had adverse side effects on PTSD. So the U.S. hopes to pass the law so that U.S. soldiers can use non addictive health care drugs like CBD to keep healthy.
02. Cases of PTSD treated by CBD
In April 2019, the Journal of alternative medicine published a treatment experiment of CBD for PTSD. This study investigated the effect of oral administration of CBD on PTSD symptoms in 11 adult patients with PTSD in an outpatient psychiatric clinic.
Patients with PTSD were given CBD by mental health professionals with open label and flexible drug delivery scheme. Patients also received routine psychiatric care, including both psychotropic drugs and psychotherapy. The study lasted for 8 weeks. The severity of PTSD symptoms was assessed every 4 weeks using the PTSD checklist of dsm-5 (pcl-5) questionnaire.
The results showed that the severity of PTSD symptoms decreased in 91% of the total sample of 11 patients. After eight consecutive weeks of CBD treatment, the average total pcl-5 score decreased by 28%. Moreover, CBD was generally well tolerated during the experiment, and no patient interrupted the treatment due to side effects.
Therefore, the experiment proved that CBD can effectively reduce the symptoms of PTSD, and can also alleviate the symptoms of some patients with nightmares.
03. Allow athletes to use
CBD has said goodbye to Wada drug list
In fact, in addition to being approved for military use, as early as 2018, the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) officially removed cannabinol (CBD), or cannabinoid, from the list of prohibited substances. "Marijuana itself is still prohibited, but the CBD rich cannabis and its extracts will not be banned because it contains less than 0.3% THC, fully in line with Wada regulations and U.S. federal law," Wada explained In October 2019, the latest list of prohibited substances and methods in 2020 released by Wada allows the use of CBD (cannabinol), a chemical substance in cannabis plants.
Wada's Anti Doping regulations have always been regarded as the most stringent in the world's competitive sports. The International Olympic Committee and FIFA use this set of regulations. The adoption of this regulation means that the use of CBD products by professional athletes will not be regarded as prohibited either on or off the competition.
In fact, at present, many athletes in the United States are using CBD products, mainly for pain relief, anti-inflammatory, anxiety relief, sleep aid and so on.
04. Great potential of CBD
CBD, or cannabinol, is a chemical component of industrial hemp. Unlike THC, CBD does not induce hallucination and addiction.
There are two kinds of receptors in human body, CB1 and CB2.
CB1 receptor mainly exists in the brain, which can regulate the release of neurotransmitters, thus preventing excessive neuronal activity (such as reducing anxiety), reducing pain, anti-inflammatory, controlling posture, and regulating perception, memory and cognitive functions.
There is an endogenous cannabinoid in human body, which binds to CB1 receptor through G protein coupling system. CBD can prevent the enzymatic decomposition of endogenous cannabinoid, thus indirectly affect CB1 receptor, so that it can stay in the human body for a longer time and provide more medical benefits.
CB2 receptor was mainly located around the lymphoid tissue. The interaction between CBD and CB2 receptor is weak, but it can mediate the release of cytokines by immune cells, which helps to reduce inflammation and pain. When the concentration of CBD is high, 5-HT1A serotonin receptor can be activated, which plays an antidepressant role.
Athletes and soldiers are indeed the two groups with the most obvious symptoms of pain or anxiety, and the two groups with the most strict organizational regulations and discipline. CBD has been approved for athletes and soldiers, which shows that CBD has important value and great potential market value in alternative medicine. Of course, CBD has been approved by more and more organizations, ultimately due to its powerful therapeutic effect. With the gradual popularization of CBD products, the prospect of global CBD market is expected.