The Best Cannabis Products for Military Veterans, According to Veterans
With Memorial Day right around the corner, we spoke to the vets behind Weed For Warriors to find what products help them handle service injuries like PTSD.
Published on May 25, 2017

Lead photo via iStock Photo

When it comes to celebrating Memorial Day, warm, selfish thoughts of alcohol and burnt cheeseburgers tend to eclipse the gravity of honoring those who lost their lives serving our country. For veterans lucky enough to return home, severe PTSD, depression, and pain can make assimilating to the calm folds of society difficult. Desperate for relief, opiate abuse among soldiers has become a huge problem. Many develop dependencies on painkillers at the hands of pharmaceutical corporations, often spiraling into abuse and even leading to heroin addiction. Studies have even shown that accidental overdose deaths from painkillers occur at a rate 50% greater in the veteran community.

Cannabis has been championed as the perfect medicine to curb symptoms of combat and the resulting opioid crisis. However, weed isn’t federally legal, and many veterans live in states where lawmakers still somehow identify with Reefer Madness. Our legal columnist explored the limited access vets have to medical marijuana in her column earlier this week.

The American Legion, an organization responsible for defending the interests of veterans, only recently began pushing for Trump to remove cannabis as a Schedule I drug. Considering medical marijuana has been helping people for over ten years, and around 15,000 veterans die each year from suicide and overdoses, this geriatric, out of touch institution clearly has other motives, if any at all.

The Weed for Warriors Project provides veterans with medical marijuana information, a safe place to share experiences, and free medicine for all with proof of service. We sat down with Sean Kiernan, president of WFW, Mark Carrillo, the organization's chief operating officer, and Kevin Richardson, founder of WFW, to discuss products they consider life changing for veterans.

Kali Caps Cannabis Capsules ​

Owned by the son of a Vietnam Marine Corps veteran now struggling with multiple sclerosis, Kali Caps has a line of cannabis infused coconut oil capsules tailored for vets. Offering high doses of total broad spectrum cannabinoids, each capsule is packed with 21mg THC, 7mg THCA, 1mg CBD and 1mg CBN.

Kevin Richardson of Weed for Warriors explains, “As a veteran suffering from severe PTSD, depression, and pain, Kali Caps’ broad spectrum capsules have worked wonders in my life. A broad spectrum of cannabinoids is going to work best, as it balances the body out, with a combination of cannabinoids working to take specific pressures off my body and mind.”

He continues, “I’m able to enjoy time with my family, integrate back into the community, and sleep more soundly. I take 1-2 caps in the morning to start my day, keeping me calm and slow to react, then a second dose in the afternoon, and another one a few hours before bedtime.”

To learn more about Kali Caps, visit the company’s website here.

Xternal Mud

Xternal Mud is a bentonite clay salve utilizing an extract made from two non-psychoactive acidic cannabinoids, THCa and CBDa. Drawing out toxins, melting away pain, this strong anti-inflammatory is capable of muting excruciating trauma.

“I’ve have had seven wrist surgeries, my ulnar bone sawed in half and shortened, a titanium implant with seven screws. I’m in extreme pain 24/7,” said Richardson. “I received a sample of Xternal Mud in a Weed For Warriors Project gift bag and gave it a try. To my surprise, it instantly took away the pain, and lasted for hours.”

Xternal Mud goes for $19.99 and you can find more information about it here.

Cousin Andy's Tinctures

Available in 500 mg, 1000 mg, and 4000 mg, Cousin Andy’s Tinctures are for those who rely on extremely high doses of THC to get through the day. They’ve been partnered with Weed for Warriors for close to three years now, helping thousands of vets deal with high levels of stress and chronic pain.

Sean Kiernan, president of WFW, explains, “The issues we all have with low dose edibles, the 5 mg chocolates, the mints, is that they’re way too weak. For me, to do a 500 mg edible is really not that big a deal. I would be able to function, I would be able to work, I wouldn’t be incapacitated. The problem is, say even if it’s a 100 mg edible, I would have to take five. Now, you’re driving the cost up five fold for medication, and you’re also driving up the caloric intake five fold, which could lead to issues like diabetes.”

Mark Carrillo adds, “The real patients, guys like me and Sean who are so high strung, cancer patients, high pain patients, it takes some serious medicine to get us down. Their high dose tinctures help me feel relaxed, uplifted, and at ease.”

Cousin Andy’s currently doesn’t have a website, but you can follow the company on Instagram here.

Beard Bros Pharms' Vegan Kushy Cocoa

The Beard Bros Pharms Vegan Kushy Cocoa is a popular vegan cocoa mix made with bubble hash, boasting 100 mg of THC infused into artisan chocolate. Beard Bros Pharms are known for using a multitude of strains in each serving of coca (and their other edibles) to fight the development of tolerance, a huge problem vets experience when consistently medicating with cannabis.

“Because they use multiple strains, I receive the most effective and consistent result from Beard Bros Pharms edibles,” says Sean. “A clean and pleasant high, I use it in my morning coffee. Given the difficulty in obtaining it, I don't think I’m alone in this preference."

Follow Beard Bros Pharms on Instagram.

For more on marijuana and vets, watch our video "Curing with Cannabis":

The products the Weed for Warriors Project supports are not simply based on cannabinoid diversity, analgesic effects, and high dose formats. They care about the companies who are passionate about their work. The cannabis industry has experienced a stark divide in recent years between the “little guys,” lifers concerned with integrity who believe in the myriad ways this plant can help people, and the “big guys,” newcomers with new money who care about nothing else.

The people who really want to help are the small mom and pop operations, the little guys winning all the awards, putting love into what this medicine is really about,” says Richardson. “I know it sounds funny, but very few big companies win awards like the little guys do. The mom and pops have been helping us behind the scenes with no recognition. The corporate industry, not so much. This is our chance to give back.”

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Lindsay MaHarry
Lindsay MaHarry is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in Vice, The Observer, Bullett, Gawker, Fanzine, and others. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.
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