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How cannabis helps some Ukrainians survive the wa

How cannabis helps some Ukrainians survive the war

As Russia's war with Ukraine continues, Ukrainians still believe in the power of cannabis and its role in healing the country.
Tia Moskalenko, 28-year-old Ukrainian cannabis professional, lives in Kyiv, Ukraine, where she works as a communications manager for the AskGrowers platform.

Tia Moskalenko
Moskalenko, like many people in the cannabis industry, works to provide accurate and reliable information about the plant she believes in. conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
Since February 24, 2022, Ukraine has been on the defensive against Russia, its neighbor to the north and east, and, unfortunately, the intensity has only increased in the following months. And while nearly eight million Ukrainians immigrated elsewhere in search of a greater sense of security, some, like Moskalenko, chose to stay and witness the realities of the war as it unfolded.

Perception of cannabis in Ukraine
“The popularity of cannabis in Ukraine arose long before the start of the war,” says Moskalenko. “But I think war is one of the reasons people turn to cannabis…we all believe that cannabis helps with PTSD as well as some other mental [health] disorders.”

Although Moskalenko carefully explains that cannabis may not help with all disorders, she is confident in her knowledge of how cannabis can bring relief to herself and those around her.

“It helps to relax, to forget about all the bad things that happen,” she said.

And when it comes to life in wartime, rest is important. Moskalenko recounts how just hours before the interview began, the sound of artillery fire that morning startled and woke her and her partner.

“For a moment I thought these were the last seconds of my life,” Moskalenko said with a joyless laugh. “We really heard a rocket explode near our house, and we thought that now it could hit our house, our building. Even my cats were shocked.”

She continued, “So at that moment, you think, Jesus, you need to relax a bit. It really ruins the whole day. It really ruins all your work because you can't think about work when something like this happens."

Fight instincts or flee during the Russian invasion!
Moskalenko spoke about how Ukrainians now live in a constant state of fight or flight and how this affects the nervous system. She believes that cannabis "is now playing one of the [most] important roles in human life"
Ukrainians, both soldiers and civilians, are a nation of people at risk of developing PTSD on a daily basis as they cope with the invasion of their country. Combat exposure is one of the main causes of post-traumatic stress disorder, and left untreated, the condition can severely impair a person's quality of life.

In many studies, cannabis has been effective in relieving symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. And when combined with the right treatment plans, cannabis can help some people regain a sense of control and a normal life.

Proud country in the spotlight!
“As a nation, we are really talented people. I am very sad that the world knew little about Ukraine before the invasion,” Moskalenko continues seriously. “People have started realizing that we have great IT here and we have a chance in the future to show that we can grow cannabis because many [in Ukraine] know how to grow it properly.”
Moskalenko believes that legalization in Ukraine will take place in the near future. In fact, Ukraine has been actively promoting this idea for some time, and high-ranking political figures support it. However, Moskalenko explains the obstacles that have delayed the movement.

First COVID-19 and now war and power outages have caused major disruptions across the country.

In June, Ukrainian Minister of Health Viktor Lyashko announced the approval of a bill regulating the circulation of cannabis for the treatment of diseases, in particular, "expanding patients' access to the necessary treatment ... for post-traumatic stress disorder resulting from the war."

Moskalenko says that between this and recent polls showing a majority in Ukraine wants legalization, the results confirm that "something is really changing."

“We are a nation that loves to grow, and it doesn’t matter if it’s grain or weeds,” says Moskalenko. “We really like to experiment and get into something new, get into everything new.”

Proclaiming a free and prosperous future
“After the war and the restoration of our country, the whole world will see that we are not only fighting for our freedom, but that we are really talented in many ways; and we will have more friends,” Moskalenko says proudly about the global position and future of Ukraine.

Her optimism is invigorating and is just a small example of Ukraine's overall perseverance and determination. It is easy to imagine how Ukraine can use this energy to become one of the world leaders in cannabis production in the future.

Despite the difficulties caused by the ongoing Ukrainian-Russian (Katsab) conflict, Moskalenko remains hopeful that in the future, cannabis will play a decisive role in Ukraine's recovery from the effects of the war.

  • How cannabis helps some Ukrainians survive the wa