Cannabis For Health & Healing: The Basics
Updated: Feb 17
Cannabis, Health & Healing
Science is constantly discovering plants nature has known about for ages. Cannabis is no exception to this rule. A plant that previously had a reputation for getting you “high” is now being talked about by the medical community for other reasons. The cannabis plant, more commonly known as marijuana, is flooding the scientific and medical communities with a number of different healing abilities and potentials.
Cannabis has two major components that are hot topics currently. These components are THC (tetrahydocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). THC is the particular component known for “getting high” in the way that most people are familiar with. CBD is the other component that is becoming better known for calming, relaxing, pain relieving effects and not getting you high. THC and CBD both come from species of Cannabis plants. Hemp is a variety of Cannabis plant high in CBD and extremely low in THC. Other varieties of Cannabis plants are high in THC and low in CBD.
CBD and THC are both proving to have healing abilities and great effects on the body. THC is being shown to work on the endocannabinoid system. This is a system in your body that plays a role in regulating several body functions like pain, sleep, emotions, learning, memory, temperature control, immune system activity and more. There are two main types of receptors that are being studied in the endocannabinoid system, CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors interact more specifically with brain functions while CB2 receptors interact more with the immune system and areas outside of the brain. Unlike THC, CBD does not interact with CB1 or CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system. It is not completely clear which receptors CBD interacts with but it is currently suspected that serotonin receptors are involved.
Where do the potential future benefits lay? As a society of stressed out people, almost everyone you encounter has some sort of chemical imbalance, stress issue or physical ailment that is caused by stress. In order to alleviate these symptoms, the stress has to be stopped and the body allowed to return to a normal balanced state. Some people have the power to do that mentally. Most people, however, need tools to help break the pattern and cycles that have gotten them stuck with the aches, pains and issues that they are currently facing. Utilizing THC and CBD for the specific benefits that they have been shown to have, are good options to get you started on this path. My personal opinion, from years of medical practice and observation of healing through foods and lifestyle, is that the best approach is to use the whole plant. For example, when you need vitamin C you can take a tablet or eat an orange. You will get vitamin C from the tablet and whatever else is added to it. On the other hand, if you eat the orange you get vitamin C in its natural state plus all of the other co-factors and things produced naturally. These other things you have no idea about help your body use the vitamin C more efficiently and effectively.
Think of THC and CBD the same way in the same context as the vitamin C example. Science and medicine are researching the individual receptors, what they’re connected to, how they work, etc. That’s great information for targeting and treating an individual symptom. It’s why there are specific products targeted at treating specific issues. However, when you choose a product that targets a specific area like only CB1 or only CB2 receptors, you’re missing out on all of the other benefits that the plant had wrapped up in the full spectrum version. It’s like the vitamin C tablet versus the eating the orange. Do some research and consider starting with a full spectrum product if you choose to incorporate THC and CBD into your health journey.
In addition to using THC and CBD products to help rebalance your body, relieve stress and heal ailments, there are other things you can do to keep the process moving along. Mindfulness, be aware of your constant mental chatter and worries. If it’s not relevant to your current moment, turn the chatter off. Meditation, take a break and allow yourself to be completely present with the moment and yourself. Traditional meditation methods are great but so are walking, hiking, exercising, reading and any other activity that brings you to being present with yourself. Whole foods, these are another beneficial tool in healing your body, calming your stress and alleviating symptoms. Foods like cacao, walnuts and chia seeds can give your endocannabinoid and other body systems a nice boost. Finally, create a routine that works with your personal preferences and you will make progress toward your healing goals. Now that you have an introduction to its benefits, cannabis just might be part of your healing journey.
*This is one article in a series on cannabis.Check out the blog at https://www.createthenewreality.com/blog for more articles.