The use of marijuana has been around in America since the 1840s. It was known that George Washington himself used to grow hemp. In 1937 cannabis oil was available over the counter and heavily used to treat a whole variety of ailments. That same year, the Marijuana Tax Act was passed and the anti-marijuana propaganda known as Reefer Madness shifted Americans’ perspective on the sacred plant, demonizing it and making people believe it’s the ‘gateway drug.’
This is not to say that recreational marijuana may not be used as a gateway drug- people with addictive personalities may become addicted to marijuana as they may become addicted to any other substance like sugar or alcohol. The purpose of this article is not to convince you to smoke marijuana. The purpose is to give you the facts based on the Sacred Plant docu-series that has recently been aired. With the massive opioid crisis that Americans are facing, it is important to explore and be aware of all natural options available today.
By 1942 cannabis was out of the pharmacopeia. The reason why American people today continue to believe that marijuana is a ‘bad’ drug is because of this propaganda. While the rest of the world, like Israel and Germany continued advancing their research on the benefits of cannabis and its effect on the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
Cannabis contains over one hundred different cannabinoids, THC and CBD being the most commonly studied, as well as terpenes, flavonoids, and fatty acids. The ECS is comprised of endocannabinoids- fat-soluble neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors and their proteins that are expressed throughout the mammalian central nervous system, including the brain. These endocannabinoids neurotransmitters mediate brain plasticity. The endocannabinoid anandamide (AEA), meaning “bliss” in Sanskrit, plays a role in pain, depression, appetite, memory and fertility.
The cannabinoid receptors, like CB1 and CB2, are widely distributed around the body in the brain, liver, fat and immune cells, bone tissue, and skeletal muscles. They are involved in a variety of physiological processes including appetite, pain sensation (especially chronic pain), mood, memory, sleep, stress regulation, immune function, energy metabolism, and reproductive function.
Today, legal marijuana products on the pharmaceutical market include Marinol and Cesamet, used for a compromised immune system due to chemotherapy, and Epidiolex, an FDA approved cannabidiol (CBD) for epileptic children. These two drugs have been allowed to use a patented version of cannabis to treat the immune system in such serious conditions.
However, the following conditions would also benefit from the use of medical cannabis…
In naturopathic medical school we were taught that for every ailment there is a natural remedy in our immediate environment. Now with the opioid crisis we need safer alternatives. Did you know that every fifteen minutes an American dies from an opioid overdose? That’s nearly one hundred deaths a day! Cannabinoids have an opioid sparing property, which means that adding cannabinoids to your protocol will lead to needing significantly less opioids to achieve the same effect. Opioids aside, cancer is taking more lives today than ever before. Current statistics state that one in three women and one in two men will get cancer in their lifetimes. Nature is our best ally.
Unfortunately, not all CBD and THC are created equally. The last thing you want is to use products sprayed with herbicides, pesticides, fungacides and other impurities. Make sure your CBD/THC has a toxicology report. Also, be mindful of the entourage effect, using the whole plant because it interacts synergistically together. We are not made to take single isolated compounds because our bodies need a full spectrum of molecules to be consumed together. This is why using medicines of just CBD or THC may not be sufficient in treating many medical conditions. Each person will respond differently to the different strains and dosages. One size does not fit all, nor will it ever. We still have so much to learn about this sacred plant, especially when it comes to dosing and titration.
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