How CBD Is Helping Police Officers and First Responders

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With the popularity of CBD products only continuing to increase, more people than ever before are interested in the therapeutic potential CBD contains.

Commonly used to relieve stress, soothe away aches and pains, and inspire a good night’s sleep, CBD is used by all kinds of people nationwide…including some police officers and many first responders. 

The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp and hemp-derived products in the US, removing it from the Controlled Substances Act, essentially changing the history of hemp forever. According to federal law, CBD products are legal and can be used freely as long as they contain less than 0.3% THC. 

Can Police Officers Really Use CBD?

While government positions in law enforcement have a zero tolerance policy for illegal drug use, several agencies across the country are beginning to change their stance on CBD. 

Why? 

It’s simple. 

There’s a rise in the number of police officers who are finding it beneficial, including both seasoned officers and potential police candidates alike. 

While the FDA hasn’t yet set regulation standards when it comes to CBD, the 2018 Farm Bill made CBD products derived from hemp legal at the federal level. States still have the final say, but CBD is legal in the majority of the US. 

Historically, CBD has been treated the same as THC when it comes to its use by law enforcement. Even though its not a controlled substance, it has become somewhat of a standard in screening questions for individuals interested in becoming police officers in several states. 

This is something that’s starting to change. 

Take Arizona, for example. In June 2019, the Arizona Peace Officers Standards and Training Board (AZPOST) changed their stance on screening potential officers for the use of CBD products. A statement was issued that ensured AZPOST “does not view the use or possession of over-the-counter products containing CBD as constituting the illegal use or possession of marijuana, a dangerous drug, or a narcotic drug.”

AZPOST executive director, Matt Giordano, maintains that potential police officers aren’t using CBD to get high. They’re using it for its therapeutic promise. 

“Police agencies have seen an increase in the number of applicants that have disclosed the use of products containing CBD during their backgrounds,” said Giordano. “What we are finding is someone who might rub a product containing CBD oil on their elbow or knee before going out for a run.” 

Even potential police officer candidates in Utah, a state historically know for its strict marijuana laws, can now divulge if they have used medical marijuana or CBD in the past and not immediately be rejected for hire. According to Utah officials, any applicant who admits to medical cannabis or CBD use will be considered on a case-by-case basis. 

As it stands, the legality of CBD use by police officers varies from state to state and each individual department. Some police officers are given the go-ahead to use CBD products, while others are forbidden. 

What stands clear for cops when it comes to using CBD, however, is just how beneficial it can be. When you consider the stress levels and physical toll being a police officer can take, it’s no wonder that many are turning to CBD for the relief they need. 

The same holds true for first responders like EMTs, paramedics, and firemen. 

There’s serious benefit to be found in CBD products, especially for those who put their lives on the line to help the lives of others. 

Check it out. 

How CBD Can Benefits Police and First Responders

For some, CBD is a godsend. With its ability to relieve everything from stress and depression to chronic pain and sleepless nights, there’s nothing else that quite compares. While by no means a miracle, CBD still contain impressive benefits that make it ideal for countless different demographics…including police officers and first responders. 

Taking on the role of a police officer or first responder is a serious commitment. It can be dangerous work and lead to significant stress levels. Research shows that the demands of being in law enforcement can put police officers at an increased risk for increased levels of stress, insomnia, high blood pressure, PTSD, depression, and even suicide. 

Here’s how CBD could help. 

  • Stress Relief

Some jobs are undoubtedly more stressful than others. Being a police officer or first responder are definitely jobs where individuals experience their fair share of stress. The things that stress most of us out on a regular basis are vastly different from the stress police officers and first responders experience. 

Think about it. When police officers respond to a call, even for something as simple as shoplifting, they have no idea what they’re getting into. Take the two Dallas, TX police officers who were shot at a routine shoplifting call at Home Depot in 2018. As they attempted to arrest the shoplifter, he shot them both of them and the store’s loss prevention officer. Two were critically wounded, and one of the police officers died. 

Environmental stress is also a big part of these jobs. Death of a co-worker or citizen isn’t uncommon and is an unfortunate reality many police officers and first responders experience on a regular basis. Add on occupational stressors such as increased fatigue, negative commentary from the public, working overtime, dealing with court proceedings and arrests, and it’s easy to see why stress affects these individuals the way it does. 

While CBD won’t make the demands of these types of positions any less, it can help with the stress they entail. Numerous studies have shown CBD could be a potential treatment for anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, PTSD, social anxiety disorder, and more. 

  • Better Sleep

Lack of sleep has been likened to an epidemic in the US, and police officers and first responders certainly aren’t exempt. Research indicates that 40% of police officers have symptoms of some type of sleep disorder. Insomnia and sleep apnea tend to be the most common. 

Think about it. 

Many police officers and first responders have irregular sleep schedules. Taking into consideration how much stress effects sleep and vice-versa, there are countless officers and first responders that aren’t getting the sleep they need. 

Here’s where CBD might help. It’s known to regulate the sleep/wake cycle, and depending on how much is taken, CBD can promote either wakefulness or sleepiness. In low doses, it’s known to work as a wake-promoting agent. When taken in higher doses CBD shows to contain more of a sedative-like effect. 

According to Consumer Reports, about 10% of the people that take CBD do so for better sleep. For police officers and first responders that need to sleep well and be well rested and alert to perform to the best of their ability, CBD could be the answer. Especially for those that don’t want to take over-the-counter or prescription sleeping pills. 

While these options might work for short-term sleep relief, they’re not designed to be used night after sleepless night. Sleeping pills can also be addictive and come with some serious negative side effects. CBD offers a natural alternative to help police officers and first responders not only get better sleep but relieve the stress that’s likely led to their sleep issues. Sounds like a win-win to us. 

  • Pain Relief

According to Police Chief Magazine, police officers are “almost guaranteed to events that can be physically traumatizing.” There’s no doubt that field operations can lead to serious injury, but there are also more common everyday things that can lead to pain that jobs like being a police officer or first responder entail. 

Research shows that due to the unpredictability and physical nature of such positions, they are at a higher risk of work-related physical injury. The most common sites of injury amongst police officers are soft tissue sprains, but more serious injuries are also a part of the job. 

Lower back pain is extremely common, with 62% of police officers experiencing back pain on a regular basis. Sitting or standing for long periods of time, wearing heavy duty belts, and even working late nights are all known to contribute to lower back pain amongst police officers. 

With its numerous studies and countless anecdotal accounts of the efficacy of CBD to manage both chronic and acute pain, it provides an OTC and opioid-free alternative for officers and first responders for pain relief. Whether taken orally as or used topically to target sore areas, CBD can be a serious help to police officers and first responders looking to naturally relieve the pain they experience on a daily basis. 

Final Thoughts on CBD for Police Officers and First Responders

While not every jurisdiction permits police officers and first responders to use CBD products, there are certainly those who use it with great results. 

Many companies understand how important it is for people in such positions to be able to confidently use CBD product without the risk of THC showing up in a urinalysis. 

WKND! Wellness, for example, formulates all of their CBD products without THC specifically so police officers and first responders have the option to safely use CBD that is THC-free. 

There’s no doubt that CBD can help police officers and first responders with the demands of their duties. We truly look forward to the day when all active duty personnel can freely use the non-psychoactive cannabinoid without having to worry about the repercussions of doing so. 

Featured image by BodyWorn by Utility from Pixabay 

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