We are very supportive of our active military troops and veterans here at The National Marijuana News, so when I had the opportunity to interview Kaine Marzola I knew it was a great opportunity for our readers to hear a very real story about how medical cannabis has helped one of our warriors. Driven by a need to protect our country, Kaine enlisted into the Marine Corps right after the tragic events of September 11th, 2001. He spent the next eight years fighting for our country as a member of the “Blackhearts,” the 2nd Battalion 5th Marines Fox Company.
The Blackhearts are the most decorated Marine Battalion in U.S. history dating all the way back to World War I. They saw some of the fiercest fighting during Operation Iraqi Freedom in Ramadi, Iraq. Like so many of our veterans, Kaine returned home traumatized and has struggled to re-acclimate to life here. He continues his fight to not only regain a normal comfortable life here at home for himself, but other veterans as well. He has found support from his marine brothers, mixed martial arts and from medical cannabis. The profound help that he received from medical marijuana inspired him to start Veterans Vitality.
Unfortunately, many of our veterans looking to treat their PTSD have become addicted to prescription opioid drugs, adding yet another massive hurdle to their recovery. Kaine is no exception. Opioid addiction led him to consider taking his own life. His brother, also a military veteran, stopped him. Many veterans find the challenge of reacclimating to life here at home, and their addiction to opioids, too much to bear. According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, we lose 20 veterans a day to suicide.
Veterans Vitality offers a wide variety of CBD products including CBD tinctures, balms, capsules and even CBD honey sticks. Kaine, and co-founder and CEO Mario Gonzalez, have worked with non-profit groups to spread awareness about the benefits of medical marijuana for veterans struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He gave me the opportunity to ask him a few questions about PTSD and how medical marijuana has helped.
What doesn’t the regular civilian understand about PTSD in terms of functioning normally throughout the day?
“When you are driving down a regular street, sometimes you may see debris in the road and it reminds you of the time in combat or an improvised explosive device. Family shows a lot of empathy but they do not know what it is like to where the boots. They have trouble relating to losing friends or taking somebody’s life. That all takes a toll, but there is hope out there through CBD and the plant.
“One of the biggest problems a lot of veterans face is that they lose their purpose. They are used to people telling them what to do. They can be a jack of all trades. They don’t have a specialization. It’s like we are either overqualified or under qualified for every job out there. I created Veterans Vitality to create a tribe for comradery. It’s not all about the product it’s about lifestyle and the culture.”
Why aren’t prescription opioids a solution to PTSD?
“They are band aids that may mask the symptoms or the pain you are feeling for a while. They change the way you think, the person that you are. It changes your perception of time. They are extremely strong, when a veteran does not have another alternative he will take what the doctor prescribes. I was on opioids, ADD medication, antidepressants, you name it.”
Is ADD associated with PTSD?
“Well, PTSD is often misdiagnosed. We can have a loss of memory, lost focus. We can be hyper vigilant, but it’s hard to focus on one thing. So, sometimes they diagnose you as having ADD.”
What makes CBD different from opioids in treating PTSD?
“When I was on opioids, I didn’t feel like I was in the driver’s seat. I felt like I was not driving. With CBD I could drive the car, not just settle in and not be a victim. I used to believe it was bad for you.” He laughs at the last comment. “When I do feel like I am having an episode or I am angry or upset, I do notice an almost immediate effect after taking CBD. I feel a calming feeling. I might still feel upset but it takes the edge off.”
Now you are also using MMA as an outlet to help with your PTSD. How does CBD help you with fighting in the ring?
“It helps me with recovery after training. I feel like my body is running more efficiently. I am not saying I am not feeling pain in the ring. I am more intune with my body. If I am going through higher intense training, I will increase my dosage. I use the topicals for sprains or bruises. I can use it before, during and after training.”
Now, the nickname they use for your official fights is Kaine Kong. How did you come by that nickname?
“At my first amateur fight, I had a tough weight cut and my mind was not there. So my brother filled out the fighter form as Kaine Kong Marzolla. It stuck.”
I want to thank both Kaine Morales and Mario Gonzalez for taking the time with me to share this story for our readers.
Veterans Vitality has a number of MMA athletes using their CBD products like Marco Simmons, Josh the Renegade Quinlan and Rudy Ruthless Morales. They have an affiliate program with about 60 affiliates at this time.
CBD is short for cannabidiol, which is a cannabinoid found in both the marijuana and hemp plant. CBD has shown the ability to regulate blood flow to the brain, regenerate neurons and regulate serotonin levels. All of which can help people struggling with stress and anxiety caused by conditions like PTSD. Hemp derived CBD became legal after the Hemp Farming Act was included as a part of the 2018 Farm Bill after nearly 80 years.