Veterans and Cannabis: Empowering Recovery from PTSD and Chronic Pain

For veterans returning from service, the transition to civilian life can often be accompanied by physical and psychological challenges, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and chronic pain. Traditional treatments for these conditions may provide limited relief or come with unwanted side effects. However, an increasing number of veterans are turning to cannabis as a complementary or alternative therapy to manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life. In this blog, we’ll explore how cannabis can be a valuable part of a treatment plan for veterans dealing with PTSD and chronic pain, featuring patient stories and resources.

Understanding PTSD and Chronic Pain:

PTSD is a mental health condition that can develop after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, and uncontrollable thoughts about the event. Chronic pain, often stemming from injuries sustained during military service, can also have a significant impact on veterans’ physical and emotional well-being, leading to decreased mobility, sleep disturbances, and reduced quality of life.

The Role of Cannabis in Treatment:

Cannabis has shown promise as a therapeutic option for veterans dealing with PTSD and chronic pain, offering relief from symptoms without the side effects associated with traditional medications. The cannabinoids found in cannabis, particularly THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol), interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system to modulate pain perception, reduce anxiety, and promote relaxation.

Patient Stories:

  • *John, a Marine Corps veteran who served in Iraq, struggled with debilitating PTSD symptoms for years after returning home. Traditional therapies provided little relief, and he was hesitant to try cannabis due to stigma and legal concerns. However, after learning about the potential benefits of medical cannabis, John decided to give it a try. With the help of a healthcare provider knowledgeable about cannabis, John found a strain that helped alleviate his anxiety and improve his sleep quality. Today, John is thriving, actively involved in his community, and advocating for other veterans to explore cannabis as a treatment option.
  • *Sarah, an Army veteran who sustained multiple injuries during her service, experienced chronic pain that made it difficult to perform daily activities. She tried various medications and therapies without success until she discovered cannabis. With the guidance of a healthcare provider, Sarah found that using a combination of THC and CBD products helped manage her pain and improve her mobility. Now, Sarah is able to enjoy a better quality of life, participating in activities she once thought were impossible.

Resources for Veterans:

For veterans interested in exploring cannabis as a treatment option, there are resources available to provide guidance and support:

  1. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA): While cannabis remains federally illegal and classified as a Schedule I substance by the DEA, the VA acknowledges that some veterans may benefit from cannabis use and allows its healthcare providers to discuss cannabis use with patients in states where it is legal. Veterans should consult with their VA healthcare provider to discuss their options and access resources.
  2. Veterans Cannabis Project: The Veterans Cannabis Project is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving veterans’ quality of life through access to medical cannabis. They provide education, advocacy, and support services for veterans seeking information about medical cannabis.
  3. Local Cannabis Dispensaries: Many cannabis dispensaries offer discounts or special programs for veterans. Veterans can inquire about these programs and seek guidance from knowledgeable staff about selecting the right products for their needs.


For veterans grappling with PTSD and chronic pain, cannabis can offer a ray of hope and a path to healing. By providing relief from symptoms and improving overall well-being, cannabis has the potential to empower veterans on their journey to recovery. Through education, advocacy, and support, we can ensure that veterans have access to the resources they need to explore cannabis as a complementary or alternative therapy. At The New Amsterdam, we’re proud to support our veterans and provide them with the tools and knowledge to make informed decisions about their health and well-being.

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