When you hear the word hemp, you may think of a hippie festival, full of peace signs and tie dye shirts. You may recall the words gateway drug and the huge Anslinger anti-marijuana campaign of the 1930’s in the U.S. might ring in your mind.
It seems that hemp just keeps getting a bad rap. And the controversy continues today with the legality of medical marijuana and recreational use as a topic for politicians to ponder. Is there some truth to it’s many benefits if 22 out of the 50 U.S. states have already legalized marijuana, though?
But this article is not a pro-marijuana campaign tactic. This article is not about why everyone should be smoking pot. It’s about hemp, more specifically the Cannabidiol, CBD, part of the healing plant…which is actually 100% legal.
CBD doesn’t simply relieve pain or just get you “high”. It’s about healing and changing the face of medicine as we see it. About the possibility of mothers to help their children who suffer seizures, of people to have hope in liver disease, of benefiting those with chronic conditions like Parkinson’s Disease, or the fatal Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), who would have otherwise…felt doomed.
Cannabidiol, CBD, is the main non-psychotropic component of the glandular hairs of Cannabis sativa and belongs to the so-called ‘cannabinoids’ (CBs).
In the paper “Cannabidiol: From an Inactive Cannabinoid to a Drug with Wide Spectrum of Action”, Dr. Antonio W. Zuardi, (Vice Director of the Department of Neurology and Medical Psychology at the University of São Paulo), wrote, “studies have suggested a wide range of possible therapeutic effects of cannabidiol on several conditions, including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cerebral ischemia, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, other inflammatory diseases, nausea and cancer.”
Some of these are otherwise incurable conditions or have huge side effects with pharmaceuticals. And if modern studies don’t feel convincing…what if I told you that this was proven thousands, (yes thousands), of years ago?
You see, hippies didn’t discover hemp at Woodstock ’69. It was in fact, used around 10,000 BC in Chinese culture for strong rope and durable clothing. Archaeologist evidence includes rope imprints that were found on broken Chinese pottery plus hemp clothing in Chinese burial chambers from the Chou Dynasty, (1122-249 BC). Later, the Chinese declared it one of the 50 fundamental herbs in Chinese medicine.
As is true for India and in the ancient science of life, Ayurveda. Ayurveda is the traditional Indian medicinal system, with a 5000 year old history, focused on balance and healing the body by more natural means. The core focus is on diet, lifestyle, herbs, oil treatments and yoga. Hemp is still a strong supporting herb in modern Ayurvedic practice. It’s is mentioned in documents as far back as 1000 BC in India, but more for religious purposes. Medical use of marijuana realistically began around 700 AD as an anxiety reliever, treatment of fever, sunstroke, aid in digestion, to increase appetite, creative tool for the mind, and to clear chest phlegm. In 1890, the Indian Drug Commission investigated cannabis use. They concluded that cannabis was an integral part of India’s culture.
If they were to eliminate cannabis, it would create potential suffering.
In modern day Ayurveda support, Dr. Sanjay Gupta is a neurosurgeon as well as a cannabis activist. Within one of his famous documentaries, he shows a young girl who was suffering from 300 seizures a week. She takes CBD-rich extract twice daily and now only has two to three seizures a month.
Cultures all around the world have embedded trails of hemp use in their history. Egyptians declared it an eyewash remedy with hemp oil, parsley and water back in 1700 BC.
The first time cannabis was described in a western medical text was by a physician in 70 AD from the Roman Empire. Others countries that used hemp include Persia, the tribes of the Zambezi Valley in Ethiopia and even…America.
From 1631-1800, hemp was a legal tender in most of America. You could pay your taxes with hemp. In some areas of America, you could be jailed for NOT growing cannabis like in Virginia from 1763-67. And from 1850-1915, marijuana was widely used throughout the United States as a medicinal drug. You could purchase marijuana in any pharmacy or any Joe’s General Store.
When the Prohibition happened with alcohol though, marijuana was included and healers who used hemp suffered.
So…Is it time for a hemp resurrection?
Melody Petersen, author of the book “Our Daily Meds”, states that 100,000 Americans die each year from the side effects of prescription drugs… that’s 270 per day, or as she says, more than twice as many who are killed in car accidents each day. She describes the deaths as those that didn’t happen because the doctor made a mistake and prescribed the wrong drug, or the pharmacist made a mistake in filling the prescription, or the patient accidentally took too much. They were solely based on side effects.
And drum roll please…the side effects and interactions of hemp’s CBD: NONE.
CBD is like the underdog of marijuana’s main components.
Unlike the popular THC, CBD counters some of the less desirable side-effects of THC such as anxiety, paranoia, rapid heart beat and short-term memory loss, because it does not bind to the same receptors.
So what it does do?
- Acts as an antibacterial so can aid in things like gum disease, heart disease, and gut related problems.
- Allows a clear mind since it is not a psychoactive.
- Reduces inflammation. This is huge. Inflammation=disease. As mentioned before, it’s been known to help things like ALS, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s Disease and Liver Disease.
- It helps for a healthy immune system with it’s antioxidant properties. Not only that, but Cannabis contains all eight essential amino acids, which are the ones our body can’t produce. There are also the highest concentration of omega-fatty acids found in the world within cannabis.
- Reduces anxiety…don’t trip, it’s true.
- Relieves pain. There are many people that can benefit from this, even someone suffering from the common but debilitating migraine.
- Reduces blood sugar levels. Think of our high diabetes problem in the west, (American Diabetes Association reports nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes).
- Reduces seizures. If you have ever seen a child seizing, you would know why this is a amazing.
- Inhibits cancer growth. Naturally. No side effects, no hair loss, no depletion of healthy cells. It actually reduces nausea, not creating it, as with other cancer therapies.
You don’t have to wear bell bottoms and flowers in your hair to believe how powerful this truly is.
You can just see it in the history and current research.
CBD therapy seems to be on the tip of the health revolution ice bud.
Simon Zhornitsky ; Stéphane Potvin. Cannabidiol in Humans—The Quest for Therapeutic Targets Pharmaceuticals, 2012, Vol.5(5), p.529 [Peer Reviewed Journal]
Cannabidiol in medicine: a review of its therapeutic potential in CNS disorders. Scuderi , Caterina ; Filippis , Daniele De ; Iuvone , Teresa ; Blasio , Angelo ; Steardo , Antonio ; Esposito , Giuseppe Phytotherapy research, 2009, Vol.23(5), pp.597-602 [Peer Reviewed Journal]
Cannabinoids as Therapeutics / edited by Raphael Mechoulam. Raphael Mechoulam SpringerLink (Online service)
Springer eBooks Basel : Birkhäuser Basel 2005