04 Feb Cannabis – A Herbalist’s Perspective
Information You Need to Know
Since Terri is a chartered herbalist, she has taken a keen interest in cannabis to be used for medicinal purposes. She has spent several weeks taking a course about medicinal cannabis that was designed for doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals. She excelled at the course and is now sharing the information to your benefit. Please enjoy this, the first article.
One of the longest standing approaches to treating sicknesses on this planet has been through plant medicines. For tens of thousands of years, plants, in their various preparations, have been administered to keep people alive and well. Whether the herbal system has been Ayurvedic, Traditional Chinese Medicine or Western Medicine, plant medicines have a long history of effective and generally safe cures. Known by many names – herbology or herbalism, plant medicine, green medicine, or phytomedicine – the use of Nature’s plants has provided an abundance of the fundamentals we require to stay healthy.
Naturally occurring within each herb is the exact balance of minerals, chemically active synergistic ingredients and energy, that allows the herb to heal our bodies. When left intact, the effect of each plant within our systems will be balanced because the plant itself is balanced. Allopathic medicine has attempted to replicate Mother Nature’s formulas by synthetically reproducing only the active ingredients. This is why there are so many side effects with medication: the formula is altered and imbalanced. Thankfully the teachings from the great herbalists of the past have shown us how to avoid this pitfall. From their knowledge we know how to prepare and administer plants for maximum benefit.
Cannabis – The Plant
As with all herbs, Cannabis has active ingredients and nutrients. As a plant, Cannabis is a mega food. It contains all the amino acids (making it a complete protein), has hundreds of flavonoids, around two hundred terpenes, and more than one hundred cannabinoids. It is a green food, full of vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and antioxidants. This load of nutrients will feed our bodies while we are sick, giving it vital energy for the actual healing of tissues. As a herb, specific compounds of Cannabis bind to receptor sites in our brains and most of our internal organs. When those molecules bind to the receptor sites, like a key fitting into a lock, the effects on our health can be felt quite quickly. Every part of our body, healthy and unhealthy alike, can benefit from this amazing plant when we ingest it.
Cannabis – What It Can Do For You
There are many ways to prepare and use Cannabis for all the challenges of health. Some methods will make you high, others will not. Many people prefer not to have the psychoactive effect when using Cannabis for health concerns. For others, embracing the altering effect in small amounts may be of actual help as in the case of severely painful processes. Let’s be clear about the psychoactive aspects of cannabis and the therapeutic benefits. There are two well-known cannabinoids (disease fighting compounds): THC and CBD. THC, when heated, makes you high. CBD does not. When using Cannabis medicinally/therapeutically, we need both of these cannabinoids (and other compounds) present to modulate the intoxicating effect. For those not wanting to be high to get well, this is an important point.
Smoking, vaping, oils, edibles in any form, and juicing are all viable intake methods. They all have their place in the therapeutic spectrum, each with its specific application. For specific conditions and treatments, different preparations and intake methods may be preferable. For over all general health, eating cannabis in raw preparations and juicing is an excellent way to get cannabinoids into the body. Keeping our cannabinoid levels up makes our bodies happy and functioning well.
Raw juice advocate Dr. William Courtney, says in his article that ingesting cannabis in its raw form is one of the better ways to gain a therapeutic dose and affect without getting high.
The range of conditions that cannabis has potential for treating is extensive, including:
- Mental illness – anxiety, depression, PTSD, stress
- Sleep disorders
- Brain injuries
- Cerebral Palsy
- Inflammatory conditions– Arthritis, Crohn’s disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Colitis, MS, Eczema and Psoriasis
- Emphysema, Asthma
- Hepatitis C, HIV, Lyme’s Disease
- Seizures disorders, spinal cord injury and disorders
- Headaches and migraines
- Chemotherapy, radiation therapy and resulting nausea and side effects
- Substance addiction and withdrawal
There are not many plants that can cover that range of symptoms. Every herb works with body systems to regain healthy function. Cannabis works through the Endocannabinoid System. This system is throughout our bodies and has receptor sites that are just waiting to receive cannabinoids to maintain homeostasis – a constant internal state . Our bodies actually produces their own cannabinoids. The use of Cannabis is valuable when our body is not producing enough of its own cannabinoids. For further understanding, please visit Entourage Effect and Endocannabinoid System .
Root Causes – Always Look For Them
In the many years of practicing natural health, there is one truth that keeps repeating itself: until we address the root cause of whatever is ailing our bodies, we can not heal them. Whether the cause is emotional (in many cases this is the culprit), improper nutrition, toxins and infections, dehydration or lack of proper exercise, we must always look to that core need that needs discovering. Cannabis plays an important role in the process of helping the body to function while we find the root cause or causes. There will likely be other therapies needed to heal the body. Proper nutrition, emotional exploration, changes in lifestyle and relationships may all become part of the healing journey.
Cannabis consultations are offered by Terri at the NRG Wellness Group. Terri can help you to access the plant legally and safely, provide general information on the plant and how the body responds to it, as well as its many potential benefits/risks. Please call to set up appointment.
Be well and happy,
Terri and Michael