Being a soldier is hard, but being a veteran may be even harder. It’s difficult for vets to get used to life back at home – and many return with difficult to manage injuries, both physical and mental.
“The hardest part about coming home from active duty is acclimating to this environment after we’ve had to literally fight to survive in a foreign country. Civilians have no clue how to help us, the VA has all but abandoned us, and a lot of us feel mistreated and misunderstood on so many levels,” says Tanganyika, or “Tangy,” a veteran who was deployed to Iraq twice as a Corporal in the U.S.M.C. and as part of the 2nd Supply Battalion. She served in several combat missions as a pallet rider with supply shipments during her service.
Tangy’s mission since returning home to the “civilian world” is to help other vets find peace, comfort, and relief in cannabis. She’s started an organization called Marine Qweenz, which empowers vets with cannabis knowledge. Marine Qweenz even hosted an event last year called the Cannabis, Me, and PTSD Summit.
“We had panels teaching them [vets] how to handle pain management with CBD. We taught them what their legal rights were with the Pot Brothers At Law, and we showed them how their military skills transferred over into this industry,” says Tangy. “It was the most amazing experience meeting new veterans and finally being able to offer them real solutions instead of pills.”
Unfortunately, the VA doesn’t support cannabis, even though countless vets have asked them to. Whether for PTSD or pain from an injury or amputation, the VA only offers vets pills and is a driving force in America’s opioid epidemic.
When it comes to pain management, many vets are turning to cannabis concentrates, like rosin.
“I think that cannabis concentrates can absolutely help veterans and I’ve seen it happen too many times to have any doubt,” says Tangy. “I know veterans who are in so much immense pain that a regular 1-gram joint will never be enough for them again. These are multiple amputee veterans who told me they had suicidal thoughts all the time before they found cannabis.”
As far as PTSD, cannabis can also work wonders and help vets live normal, productive lives.
“Cannabis can help veterans by helping them live in the now and not the past,” says Tangy. “Veteran’s PTSD thoughts get trapped in their brain on repeat, and it’s the worst thing in the world desperately trying to forget a trauma only to relive it every single day. What cannabis does is alleviate anxiety, reduce anger and frustration, and it helps them deal with emotional scars that the military taught us to suppress.”
Part of Tangy’s mission is to help vets navigate the nuances of cannabis. She doesn’t want vets using products that are not right for them and that will make their anxiety worse – scaring them away from cannabis as an option.
“Knowing which cannabis extracts work for you is key because the wrong dab can have veterans experiencing negative effects as well,” says Tangy. “CBD dabs have worked wonders as far as mental clarity, body pain, and if veterans prefer the non-psychoactive effects.”
Remember, CBD is one of over 80 cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, like THC. But unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoactive and so won’t get users “high.” It’s basically all the medical benefits of cannabis without the head high. Vets can even make their own cannabis concentrates from high-CBD strains (or any of their favorite strains) with products like the Rosin Tech Twist™, Smash™, or Go™.
To Tangy, and so many other vets, access to cannabis is a fundamental right they almost lost their lives for.
“It seems simple to us. Provide for us like we did for you by giving us access to cannabis since we fought for the country, and actually earned the right to do so,” says Tangy.