I recently caught up with my good friend Todd Scattini, aka The Hemp Colonol, to take advantage of his knowledge regarding cannabis and the military. During my time as a cannabis industry professional, I consider Todd’s journey to be one of the most impressive. Having possessed a glowing military career spanning well over two decades, he later became aware of cannabis’s healing potential. A dedicated military professional, who witnessed first hand the trials of war, felt a change was needed. That change is the global stance and opinion of cannabis.
Despite being a dedicated member of the US military, Lieutenant Colonel Todd Scattini was unfazed by the potential backlash. During his youth, Todd resisted the advice of relatives to join the military. His mother and stepfather were employed by the local Sheriff’s department and his father worked a ranch as a cowboy. After quitting community college and trialing various jobs, the road for the Lieutenant Colonel eventually begin.
It was a traffic accident that set Todd on his path. After losing his car, the traveling to and from both work and college made things more difficult than they perhaps should have been. It was then that he took the decision to follow the advice of relatives to join the Army.
A Professional Career
After walking into the local army career office, Todd enlisted as a Slovak and Czech linguist. His leadership skills were immediately recognized, and he was appointed the desired role to the United States Military Academy at West Point. Having graduated in 1996, the year his native California legalized medical cannabis marks him with pride.
Scattini served in a variety of combat roles, including Cavalry troop commander, as well as tank and scout platoon leader. Soon after, his skills were utilized for the militaries presence overseas. Being a skillful linguist led to his deployment to the US Embassies in Slovenia and Bosnia & Herzegovina. When assigned as a senior advisor to the commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, the potential for the cannabis plant to be used as medicine became apparent to him.
Afghani hashish’s black market sales were used to fund explosives that were intended to target western military forces. Todd recommended hemp as a strategy to redirect the local’s natural resources into new markets. However, the idea didn’t come to fruition, but still, this piqued his interest in the plant.
The Birth of the Hemp Colonel
When one of his former platoon leaders suffered a traumatic brain injury, Todd’s belief in cannabis was truly reinforced. It was back in the new year of 2018 that Todd had told me, his former colleague had died as they could not stop the inflammation in his brain, and “with what we know about the cannabis plant, it could have maybe saved his life”.
Todd recently retired from the US military to focus on his budding cannabis career. After extensive research, he learned that the components of the cannabis plant could be used as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and a neuroprotectant.
With a new found fondness and respect towards cannabis and its cannabinoids, he formed his company Harvest 360 and has taken on the role of CEO; and later launched Cavalry Cannabis. Todd formed Cavalry Cannabis with the “intention to bring cannabis medicine primarily to our nation’s veteran population in order to address chronic pain, symptoms of post-traumatic stress, and the effects of traumatic brain injury”. The brands primary objective is to assist the medical cannabis distribution throughout Missouri. Todd and his team intend for Cavalry Cannabis to become a global brand.
What is PTSD?
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychological disease that is brought on by a life-threatening, violent, or disturbing event. Not only are military personnel subject to the life-changing disorder, but also anyone who’s experienced sexual assault, domestic abuse, or natural disasters may be prone to PTSD. Generally, there are three manifestations that come with PTSD:
- An effect on sleeping, an experienced height of arousal, and frequent mood swings.
- Forced to relive the trauma via frequent flashbacks or nightmare.
- Avoiding situations that could potentially have you re-live the situation. Anything that could be associated with the disturbing, life-threatening or violent event. Whether emotional or physical.
Furthermore, many individuals around the globe suffer from PTSD without being aware. Often mistaken for stress or grief. Due to the trials that military personnel is forced to go through, it only appears natural that if cannabis is a viable treatment, that it should be an available option.
Can cannabis treat PTSD?
Using cannabis to cope with several conditions has been well documented over recent years. In particular, post-traumatic stress disorder. Military veterans were once seen as a problem to society for smoking cannabis, pretty much in the same light as alcoholics. Troubled by their past, a future of dependency, and unfortunately, left to cope alone, with little help from society. However, due to recent scientific studies and a steady shift of opinion towards cannabis, public opinion is changing.
Due to the changing of opinion, veterans are no longer viewed as “stoners” that are hiding from their problems. Today, society understands that they are in fact helping the solution with medical cannabis. Now seen as an excellent alternative to previous medical prescriptions that often worsened the experience due to the drug’s side effects. Many PTSD patients have often stated that pharmaceutical options had never eased their disorder.
Because of this, medical cannabis appears to be the best available option. This is due to its effectiveness in:
A reduction in anxiety and prevention of nightmares
As PTSD is often manifested through anxiety, it’s only natural that built up angst, combined with a traumatic experience may induce nightmares. Fortunately, CBD or cannabidiol can suppress feelings of anxiety as it can improve one’s mood. One of the ways in which cannabis can help prevent nightmares is because THC can lead to lower REM sleep, effectively stopping the nightmares.
Helping you get a good nights sleep
Cannabinoids such as THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBN (Cannabinol), are known to aid with sleep. Particularly when accompanied by a cannabis indica strain. With that, cannabis single handily combats insomnia.
Conclusion with Todd Scattini
Evidently, by Todd’s extensive research and dedication to what he describes the once emerging cannabis industry – as the now explosive cannabis industry, global legalization should happen. Having witnessed the effects of combat and losing dear friends when cannabis could have saved them, it appears with Todd that logic prevails. Not only is he an advocate of medical cannabis, but he also approves of recreational cannabis. Having once told me, it’s good that military personnel have the option to wind down with a few beers; why not have the option to partake in a social smoke, to help unwind. After all, where would a good nation be without its dedicated servicemen, putting it all at risk for themselves, their family, and fellow patriots that they’ll never meet?