In the 1920’s hemp was a regular component of U.S. farmers’ crop rotations. When heavily-bred THC varieties entered pockets of American culture from South of the border, this became known as ‘marijuana’ and began a decades-long stigma that grew out of racial and xenophobic undertones contributing to the government’s campaign for a War on Drugs.
Today, as forms of medical and recreational marijuana become systematically legalized state-by-state, yet retain an illegal Federal status, there is a hangover of historic sentiments at multiple levels of business: banks and credit lenders charge unusually high rates, ecommerce platforms restrict sales of any products that contain hemp and insurers refuse coverage for businesses in the Cannabis industry, altogether. Despite the public’s overall acceptance of the use of this remedy, and the mainstreaming of ‘CBD’ and its origins, there is still very little understanding of the plant’s history and its fascinating and entwined relationship with our biology.
Given hemp has been part of both human and animal diets for millennia, we have a deep biological association with this plant and its particularly unique class of compounds. In fact, we have a system of receptors that are primed by the alkaloids in hemp, and work better when regularly exposed to them. Known as the ‘endocannabinoid’ system, humans have developed a very deep relationship through this chemical communication system with hemp, in that we can actually produce Cannabis-like molecules in our own bodies. Likewise, we have significant benefits when we ingest the molecules from the plants. Particularly the bones and the nervous system. So much for the ‘This is your brain on drugs’ propaganda.
If we can drop the dogma, and explore this relationship through our own bodies, we find varying levels of sensitivity and tolerance. For the wholistic practitioner, this can pose a bit of difficulty in knowing how to recommend hemp extracts that are re-emerging from a period of severe suppression. Some people feel the effects of CBD products almost immediately, while others don't feel them at all. Some respond great to the THC cannabinoids, whilst others feel nauseated or ill. So many humans, so much variety! And so much to glean based on these responses and ‘reactions’. Every individual’s unique response can be another clue to the epigenetic signature, the health of the nervous system, the damage to the gut microbiome, and more. The bottom line is that Hemp, Cannabis, POT(!) and marijuana are what I would call Earth remedies and should be utilized more and more as we all reconnect to Mother Earth and learn how to re-engage our nervous systems, endocannabinoid systems, and our total biology to be integrated with a healthy planet.
So, where to begin? Rather than follow any particular protocol or pre-set schedule, the average person can experiment with small-to-increasing quantities to prime their receptors. Starting with 5-10 mg of a full- or broad-spectrum CBD, one can increase the quantity by another 5-10mg each day, awaiting the awareness of the effects. I prefer the Full-spectrum hemp, as these are plants that are not particularly stressed (to stimulate higher THC content), but grown in simple, natural conditions, mimicking perhaps the typical historical exposure.
The effects can be subtle, wherein the individual may feel simply more relaxed, to feeling more in a ‘flow’ state. In general, individuals who imbibe THC-laden products on a daily basis will require much higher quantities of CBD to notice it since they have become accustomed to the stronger psychoactive impact of that cannabinoid, yet the benefits to the biology from high quantities of CBD will still be had. Benefits are ideally gained from only ingesting organically grown hemp, as toxicants found in non-organic sources may contribute to blocking the beneficial impacts of this sacred plant. There’s nothing like a fine neurotoxic pesticide or herbicide to cancel the benefit of your CBD for your brain!
Untold physiological benefits are only now being revealed by various research outfits. Some of the benefits of hemp extracts that have been coming to light cover a broad range, from anti-inflammatory effects to improving bone density to reducing nausea, and so much more. Research suggests that CBD may help cancer patients in the management of the disease as well as ease the side effects of treatment. The wide spectrum of physical applications only serves as even more reason to add hemp extracts to your routine. Not only do they help relieve stress and allow us to enter this ‘flow’ state, they also work to calm the body as a whole.
What is so powerful is the ability of this remedy to allow me to listen to my inner Being. I take better care of myself when using it, and instead of a frenetic neurosis, I find a heart-centered, loving openness that makes me a better doctor, co-worker, wife, parent and friend.
- Written by Dr. Erin Holston Singh, Founder & Visionary of Options Naturopathic Clinic https://optionsnaturopathic.com/
- Options Naturopathic is a holistic clinic that has been serving patients all across the world for the past 20 years. With a thorough review of your healthcare history and bloodwork, we help you to identify and address the root causes of your issues. We work with any ailment or medical condition, but our core competency is in preventing and supporting cancer diagnoses.Our approach enables us to consistently avoid suppressive therapies that all too often contribute to the progressive worsening of a chronic illness. Our work CORRECTS previous symptom-reducing pharmaceuticals as we address underlying root causes. It is our job to help you understand the healing journey & provide guidance to optimize your wellbeing on multiple levels – mentally, emotionally, spiritually, & physically. Naturopathic doctors understand that all these levels are interconnected and that your health is more than just the physical body or the absence of symptoms.