Science is continually improving – and those scientific improvements bring about better treatment methods and plans for everyone, including our injured soldiers and veterans. As the saying goes, “knowledge is power,” and there have been significant advances in pain management and treatment knowledge over the past two decades.Some of those advancements have proved life-changing for some. While science has led us down a promising path in pain management, more needs to happen before possibly catastrophic injuries can be treated without the risk of a possible opioid addiction during the healing process.
It’s hard to miss the medicinal marijuana debates. Long viewed as a “gateway drug,” medicinal marijana is distributed through dispensaries to qualified applicants who are under the care of a doctor. These patients are often seeking relief from medicinal marijuana for other treatments – such as chemotherapy. However, it can also provide benefits to those with chronic pain illnesses, such as ME/CFS (myalgic encephalomyelitis). These dispensaries and treatment plans that include controlled and regulated medicinal marijuana are certainly changing the face of pain management. However, there is another option with similar benefits: CBD oils.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is the oil derived from the Hemp plant. Hemp and marijuana plants are genetically similar. However, Hemp, and subsequently CBD oils, lack the same levels of THC. (Some CBD oils do sport trace amounts of THC, but minute in comparison to the THC levels found in medicinal marijuana). Why is this important? THC – or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol – is the ingredient in marijuana that causes the user to feel “high.” It’s fair to note that not all patients with chronic pain or injuries enjoy the feeling of being altered or “high.” For those patients, CBD oils and products can provide a safe and successful alternative.
In 2005 I fractured my ankle in three different sports. I broke the fibula, tibia and talus in such a fashion that surgery was required to put my right ankle back together again. A small plate with six screws and three pins were all surgically inserted. I had a second surgery almost four months later to remove the plate and screws that were rejected from the bone and then a third surgery in 2013 to remove one of the small pins that was also in the process of rejecting. Fourteen years later and I was still living with daily pain and discomfort. Though I had no abnormal build up of arthritis in the joint, walking down the stairs in the morning was a task that I handled one little step at a time…and sideways, since my right ankle would not bend enough to accomodate the steps. Pain was constant and pain management was ibuprofen each morning and an ibuprofen with a sleep aid at night. Until two months ago when I met Steve Raack and he introduced me to Vitalibis.
Steve reached out to us at MilitaryConnection.com because of the potential healing power that CBD oils could hold for veterans. My first phone call with Steve lasted nearly an hour. He offered to send me some samples, as I had never tried CBD oils and he felt that the best way to learn about and then promote the product line was to actually feel the results. As I hung up the phone that day, I found myself skeptically hopeful. When you live in pain, you learn to get used to the pain. It had been so long since I walked down the steps in the morning like a normal person, I nearly forgot what it was like to be able to have mobility.
I have a tendency to make light of my injury. I refer to my right ankle as “Frankenankle” and joke about the things that are difficult or nearly impossible for me to do – like steps and squats. Mornings are the toughest time of day for me and the stiffness fades as the day wears on (and as the weather warms), but it is still a daily discomfort.
It is just my ankle. It is still there. I can still use it. What are the levels of pain and discomfort for those who have had serious injury or lost a part of themselves? When the box of Vitalibis products arrived, I found myself hoping that this little package contained a minor miracle for me – and perhaps a more major one for many.
I tore open the box and dug through my new goodies and pulled out the Soothing Body Cream first. That night, I rubbed a dime-sized amount into Frankenankle and instead of taking my normal ibuprofen with sleep aid, I let the warming/cooling tingling on my ankle do its magic. The weight of my blankets didn’t bother my ankle that night. I didn’t wake up uncomfortable through the course of the night. The next morning, bleary-eyed and barely awake, I stumbled down the steps in my normal fashion. It wasn’t until I was in my kitchen that I questioned my trip down the steps and if I would have been able to walk down normally had I tried.
I got my answer about a week later. I had hit snooze on my alarm, so when my eyes actually fluttered open, I was late and needed to get downstairs in a hurry. I raced down the steps. I didn’t go down sideways and I didn’t hesitate. I ran down the steps like a normal person without injury. Being in a hurry to get downstairs, I did what my body could do, not what my brain allowed.
After just eight nights of using the Vitalibis Soothing Body Cream, I had regained more mobility than I had achieved in the past fifteen years! Say no more, Vitalibis and scientific data! My own personal research has me convinced! It was at this point I reopened that little magical cardboard box and explored the rest of its contents. Signature 300 was my next planned experiment – but not on me. I decided to try it on my anxiety-riddled and skittish pit mix dog who still acts like a puppy and gets so nervous and excited that she is prone to hurting herself when she runs across the hardwood floors and faceplants into the wall! Our little rescue – formerly in abusive situations – will panic whenever we leave and will eat things she shouldn’t (like wood and dirty diapers).
I started giving her about ¼ of a dropper per day. While she isn’t going to hold it under her tongue as suggested, she does happily eat it when mixed with some whipped cream! We started to see a difference in her in just two weeks. Crated for her own safety when we leave, we no longer needed to zip tie the crate door closed. Her calmer demeanor means I don’t fear her safety. It means she walks – not attempts to run – across the hardwood and arrives safely every time.
The scientific jury is technically still out regarding the broad benefits of CBD oil use. There haven’t been enough studies to prove the effectiveness of CBD oil or to say for sure that it is a reliable alternative to opioid medications.The personal jury, however, is in. I can attest to the benefits that I have personally received from using CBD oil product and I recommend that anyone facing chronic pain issues give it a try.
I have tried and love Vitalibis – more than just their products. I appreciate their corporate transparency and third-party research and testing. It is important to have that when trying any new product. It’s also important to keep your medical professional who has been charged with your care in the loop that you are trying something new.
The possibilities for CBD oils are endless – and will certainly bring positives changes to many as the research catches up to the practical use.
As Vitalibis and Steve Raack say – “be well.”
Contributed by Kris Baydalla-Galasso