photo courtesy of Damian Dominguez, Index-Journal.com
A Greenwood, South Carolina U.S. Army veteran who used to take 40 pills a day to manage pain, claims to have found therapeutic relief in cannabidiol, better known as CBD, which is the non-intoxicating molecule found in the cannabis plant.
Joseph Martin served in Iraq and Operation Desert Storm. According to one of Martin’s hometown local news websites, the Index-Journal Martin served served as the main gunner in an M1A1 tank. While in Iraq, Martin’s legs were injured after a mine exploded, blowing the track off a tank he was in.
As a result of the explosion, Martin faced debilitating pain. But the wounds Martin had to deal with were more than physical. He often experienced anger, and would be eventually diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Order (PTSD).
Martin’s legs were injured during the explosion, leaving him in near-constant pain for several years. Along with his physical disabilities, Martin was coping with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and often dealt with anger issues, including succumbing to road rage, cursing angrily during family dinners.
“Tapping their fingers against a table would often be enough to set him off,” writes Damian Domingues, who profiled Martin in the Index-Journal.
To deal with his pain, Martin took the drugs, trazodone and Ambien, the latter of which would put him to sleep, albeit only for an hour. During this time he was taking dozens of pills a day to cope with pain, anger and restlessness, Martin hints that he felt like a zombie, living in a haze.
“When you’re in that much pain, you’d do just about anything to get out of it,” Martin told the Index-Journal.
A friend of Martin’s introduced him to CBD. The cannabis family of plants includes marijuana and hemp. In 2018, hemp-based CBD was legalized by Congress, so long as it contains no more than 0.3% THC, an amount that does not lead to intoxication.
Because CBD has only been legal for two years, much of the research on it is in the preliminary stages. However, thus far, there have been several promising studies on CBD for pain and anxiety.
According to the Index-Journal, the World Health Organization, in 2017, said there was no evidence of any public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD, and said there was preliminary evidence the chemical might be a useful treatment for many ailments.
Martin told the Index-Journal that after initially trying CBD, he no longer experienced pain in his knees. In addition, his blood sugar levels went down and he felt calmer.
Initially concerned that the benefits of using CBD were merely a placebo effect, Martin realized that after using it continuously the benefits weren’t just the result of beginner’s luck. In fact, Martin claims that his doctor took him off insulin.
Martin’s friend that introduced him to CBD happens to be the owner of a CBD store in Florida. Using his friend as inspiration, Martin launched his own CBD store in Greenwood, S.C., called Your CBD Store.
Although Your CBD Store is a business, Martin suggests his primary purpose is to educate people on the benefits of CBD. And while he acknowledges that not everyone may benefit to the same extent he did, Martin told the Index-Journal that he’s a “firm believer in CBD for pain relief, anxiety and as a sleep aid.”
Realizing that like all other supplements, not all CBD is created equal, Martin claims to pay careful attention to third-party lab tests to verify the purity of the CBD he sells. He also offers a money-back guarantee for customers that claim that his products don’t work.
Martin has also become a CBD educator, speaking at VFW halls to share knowledge with other vets. An employee of Martin’s is a 23-year old Army vet who was stationed in South Korea. Last month, new research shed light on how cannabis helps ease symptoms of PTSD. CBD does not cause users to feel high. But certain psychoactive drugs have also been shown to improve PTSD, under the supervision of a licensed therapist.