“I don’t know any veteran really who hasn’t had a close friend leave from suicide. I know I’ve had my fair share,” says Afghan war vet Colin Wells in the compelling new documentary CBD Nation.
Like many veterans Colin paid a steep price for his service, returning home with chronic pain and PTSD: “I mean I was as low as it got. Homeless. Drug addict. Burned all my bridges. Addicted to opiates and on antidepressants that made me want to kill myself. Wellbutrin in particular really gave me suicidal ideations.”
But Colin got lucky. A friend introduced him to medical cannabis (MC) and it turned his life around. Every week now he makes CBD oil in his kitchen; “this beautiful, beautiful oil,” as he describes it, which he gives free of charge to veterans who need it. For example, the men and women he sees in a support group he founded called Veterans Walk and Talk, who use MC to help manage their PTSD symptoms: “We hike three times a week around SoCal,” Colin says. “We get out in nature. Those barriers we have built up where like we don’t talk about certain things – all of a sudden those barriers begin to break down. We start sharing really important things we’ve probably needed to share for a long time.”
Physician Sue Sisley who’s also in the documentary says it’s not just Colin who has benefited from MC:
I had this huge faction of patients in my internal medicine practice who were claiming they were getting benefit from this plant and I was very skeptical, basically dismissive of these claims because I thought they were drug-seeking stoners – that’s what I’d been taught in medical school.
And then I began losing a lot of veterans in my practice to suicide and that was when I had this real epiphany that all these lousy pharmaceuticals that I’m writing for patients everyday are not helping them and often they were causing more toxicity than this natural plant.
The military veterans in my practice who were using the plant were actually describing this as life saving for them and I started to finally examine the scientific literature and I regretted how judgmental I was for these past many years because I probably could have saved more lives.
And how is Colin doing now:
I love living so much. I used to really hate it. I used to want to be numb, away from the world and I didn’t care about anyone or anything. I just can’t imagine ever being that again. This plant has given me my life back. … It’s all because of this plant.
Colin can be seen in this trailer for CBD Nation at the beginning and end. He has the red beard: