hemp culture expo entrance

Veterans, PTSD, CBD & Service Animals Highlighted at Hemp Culture Expo San Diego

NTC Park: Liberty Station, San Diego – The Hemp Culture San Diego, presented by Dr. Bronners was a historical moment for many reasons to the local San Diego community.

If you’re a Veteran, have a Veteran in your family or know a Veteran, then you’ve most likely seen firsthand what the effects of PTSD look like. Understanding it? That’s another story…

With over 2.7 million Veterans of the Gulf Wars (as of 2014) returning home (10-20% returning with PTSD), we have a very large population of America dealing with the effects of PTSD. Combat Veteran, Dan Schmink, and USAF Veteran, Ian Quinn, shared their stories and techniques for dealing with PTSD at this weekend’s Hemp Culture Expo.

How Does PTSD Affect Veterans?

It’s very much like a dormant mindset waiting to pop up when the time is right. During Dan Schmink’s presentation, he explored several key components to understanding the Veteran experience with PTSD.

During both Dan Schmink and Ian Quinn’s presentations, they discussed the relationship between the corticolimbic system, neural pathways, hemp, and lifestyle changes to deal with the effects of PTSD.

Combat to Cannabis

What we see vs what we perceive

A soda can on the side of the road to most Americans is just a soda can. However, to the Veteran with PTSD, that soda can represents the consequences in a combat zone. Like what? Destroyed vehicles, lost lives, friends lost, mistakes made, things like this.

Mental Activity is Reinforcement

Like lifting weights in the gym, the energies and mental/physical efforts exerted will reinforce, or grow, the mental, chemical, and hormonal pathways activated.

During Dan Schmink’s presentation, he explored the changes to the Veteran mind and body after combat. We learned that “What wires together fires together” and when a person is put through extreme trauma, we store everything that’s firing together into a memory. This memory is stored as a “perfect response” to threats since, during combat, it kept that person alive.

Control is safety. Safety is survival.

Exploring the daily life as a soldier where bullets, bombs, and threats to survival were a regular thing, Dan’s presentation translated the experience into an understanding of HOW we become rewired and WHAT we can do to begin unwinding these stored memories (as a response to trauma).

Veterans, Service Animals, and CBD

PTSD affects every aspect of the Veteran’s life

Ian Quinn, resident pet and animal expert for the WOW Organics team, presented on his own journey with hemp, PTSD, and anger management. In the past, he was pararescue in the USAF reserves. After this, he competed in boxing and taught martial arts in his community.

One day, a car accident left him with 18% less of the frontal lobe of his limbic system. This region of the brain contributes to sociability, emotional IQ, and executive function (logic and decision making). With a reduction in that structure, a person loses some ability to regulate and differentiate external stimuli such as regular conversation, workplace discussions, and relationships.

Stop. Breathe. Leave

As a core technique of his presentation, he recommends using a breathing exercise for control. He led the audience through a real-world example and you could see shoulders lowering back to a restful position as attendees were able to release tension and stress with just a few breath cycles.

Using this breathing exercise, he recommends a 3-step protocol to manage anger when it presents – STOP. BREATHE. LEAVE. It’s as simple as that. Stop, or disengage, from the situation and focus on your breathing. If you need to, physically leave the area or focus your attention somewhere in the room if you’re in an office setting, and then let the breathing relax you.

Safe. Connected. Loved.

The end goal for anyone, not just Veterans, suffering from PTSD or drastic changes from trauma is to feel safe. When you feel safe, you can more easily connect with the life that surrounds you in people, animals, and the world around you. Through love, a person will find the peace they seek.

We’re Veterans Helping Veterans

WOW Organics is a company consisting of Veterans and Women. As a team, we empower our local teams to build local change in their community and across the globe. We’re doing this by building a coalition consisting of Veterans, Veteran-supporting companies, and Veterans that want to help us to build a wave of support across the nation.

We can’t do this alone. If you’d like to help us, please contact us by emailing our team.

Hemp Helps Veterans

Our Veteran team members use hemp daily in their personal care routine. When combined with exercise, proper nutrition, and meditative practices, Veterans are finding relief where before they only found distress.

As part of our company mission, we make it a point to help our brothers and sisters where we can, when we can, and every way that we can.

Try our Hemp CBD products now or reach out to our team for recommendations to set up your daily CBD regimen.