Imagine a plant that has helped thousands (maybe even millions) of individuals with literally hundreds of health conditions – everything from fibromyalgia to cancer. In fact, ancient healing systems such as Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine referenced it in their texts as far back as 2600 BC.
This sacred plant is totally natural, has no dangerous side effects when used properly, and is chock-full of hundreds of healing phytonutrients, including antioxidants. Sounds too good to be true, right?
It has been seen as a sacred healing herb for millennia, yet it is still often labeled as “controversial,” “harmful”, and even downright “evil” in the U.S. and many other parts of the world.
This controversial plant goes by many names, but is most commonly known as cannabis. The results are in and the studies continue to show that this healing plant is even more remarkable than we thought.
If you haven’t read my article on healing with hemp and cannabis, I suggest you head there first to get a full understanding of the plant, the difference between hemp and marijuana, healing properties of hemp oil, and the truth about CBD.
So what are the benefits of cannabis?
It Contains Over 450 Healing Substances
There is a reason why healing professionals for so many years have considered this particular plant a major player within the healing arena. Did you know that, to date, scientists have found over 450 healing substances (called phytonutrients) in cannabis alone? Some of these include:
- Terpenes. The major components in healing essential oils, terpenes are what make fruits and vegetables put out their unique aromas and many have been linked to powerful anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. Some healing terpenes found in this plant include limonene, linalool, and pinene. Some terpenes even have the ability to instigate apoptosis, or cancer cell death.
- 8 essential amino acids, including globulins, albumin, and other unique amino acid substances that have been shown in laboratory studies to repair DNA. The majority of the cells that make up our muscles and tissue are made of amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein.
- An overall protein profile similar to that of human blood.
- An ideal ratio of brain and body-fortifying Omega 6 (linoleic) and Omega 3 (alpha-linoleic) fatty acids. Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids help to boost the immune system and reduce inflammation and can also strengthen skin, hair, and nails.
- Phytoestrogens, used to balance hormones and flush out xenoestrogens, foreign toxins that mask as hormones and have been known to lead to cancer.
- High levels of key essential minerals such as magnesium and zinc. Magnesium deficiency in particular is a major health issue worldwide since magnesium is essential for the production of the super-antioxidant glutathione and is needed for DNA and RNA synthesis. Magnesium deficiency can lead to thyroid issues, cardiovascular disease, and many other life-threatening conditions.
- Other antioxidant substances that are unique only to this plant, which help to balance the entire body and whose healing powers have barely been tapped.
It Helps with HUNDREDS of Conditions
There are simply too many health conditions with which this plant can help to name in one article. Here are just a few of them that have been backed by scientific research and studies:
- Cancer, including breast, prostate, brain, and many others
- Chronic stress
- Pain (of all kinds)
- Acute inflammation
- Macular degeneration and glaucoma
- Epilepsy (including childhood epilepsy)
- Crohn’s disease
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Multiple sclerosis
- Nervous system disorders
- Hepatitis C
- Tourette’s syndrome
- Addiction recovery, including from opiate drugs
and the list goes on…
What the Ancients Knew About the Benefits of Cannabis
Here is what ancient doctors and healers the world over had to say about cannabis thousands of years ago:
- As far back as 2698 BC, this plant’s use as a multi-faceted healing source was outlined in detail by Huang Ti (“The Yellow Emperor”) in the Huangdi Neijing, the Chinese Canon of Medicine, and the guide to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
- Its many benefits for the body was included in a pharmacopeia for the first time in 2737 BC by Emperor and pharmacologist Shen Nung. It is still included among the 50 most important herbs in TCM.
- In fact, it was once used as an integral part of the practice of acupuncture. Part of the Huangdi Neijing, called the Ling Shu (where it is discussed along with other healing herbs used in acupuncture) is required reading for many TCM students today.
- It was used for the first time as a natural, non-toxic analgesic for surgery (along with acupuncture) by Chinese physician Hua Tuo somewhere between 140 and 208 A.D.
- In the Indian Healing Tradition of Ayurveda, this plant has been around since about 2000 BC. According to the ancient Hindu texts called the Vedas, it is considered one of the five sacred plants. It is still used within that healing traditional for pain, anxiety, and a host of other maladies.
- In 1621, English clergyman and Oxford scholar Robert Burton suggested cannabis for depression in his The Anatomy of Melancholy.
- And during the 1840s in the West, it was considered an integral part of “mainstream medicine!”
Yet It Is Still Mired in Controversy…
Like so many powerful, non-toxic natural healing modalities, it was criminalized by Big Pharma. Because it is easy to grow and obtain, it has been the victim of a public smear campaign in the U.S. which goes back to the turn of the century. It has often been called a “gateway drug,” discounting thousands of years of medical use, as well as solid scientific evidence to the contrary.
However, medical consumers and patients looking for alternatives to the drug-pushing methods of allopathic medicine (as well as those looking for adjuncts to conventional protocols) are taking notice of the benefits of cannabis once again. They are also taking action towards making sure that they and their loved ones have access to this powerful herb in a safe and reliable way.
Still, the fate of the medical use of cannabis is largely up in the air in the U.S. And, unfortunately, thousands of people are left to suffer due to lack of access. Also, according to the federal government, it is still considered or “scheduled” as an illegal Schedule 1 drug. But thousands of peer-reviewed studies say otherwise, proving its healing power for hundreds of disease conditions.
Rescheduling would open up even more research opportunities.
Will cannabis someday be available to anyone who needs it? Will it regain its rightful place among earth’s herbal “super-healers?” The practitioners of Traditional Chinese medicine knew it. Ayurvedic practitioners knew it. Even Western-trained doctors of the mid-1800s knew what cannabis could do for pain, mental disorders, chronic disease, and so much more.
Will “modern” medicine join us in the 21st century? Only time –and our consumer voice – will tell.