Last updated on 25 May 2022
Cannabis Sativa has many wellness and medicinal uses. There are hundreds of cannabinoids in it, which work with the body to fight inflammation, lower stress and improve sleep. This may help us feel more balanced, calm, and happy in today’s hectic lives. The article “Meet The Plant” will give you a detailed introduction to the plant’s history.
CBD is a single chemical from the cannabis plant that has many superpowers. It doesn’t have the same effects as THC so it won’t make you feel high, funny or intoxicated. It is safe enough that you wouldn’t feel any harm if you ingested a whole bottle of CBD oil made from hemp. Many people are afraid of CBD and misinformed about it. I’ve even seen someone claim that they can get high with a CBD facial. CBD is safe and non-toxic, even at the recommended wellness doses. The World Health Organization (WHO) report on CBD toxicity found that it was’relatively low in toxicology. CBD has never been overdosed on by anyone to my knowledge. It is therefore safer than most prescriptions for pain, cough, and other symptoms.
CBD is a powerful preventative medicine tool. Its potent anti-inflammatory properties and stress-reducing abilities may help to prevent many health problems that can arise from chronic inflammation and stress. This makes it the ideal botanical helper for modern living.
Cannabis is now reclaiming its historical position as part of our culture and fundamentally changing everything, from healthcare to food industry and beauty products. This could even alter the way people socialize, as many people seek alternatives to alcohol for stress relief and social interaction. CBD, unlike alcohol which can be neurotoxic, is neuroprotective (i.e. CBD is brain protective and won’t leave you with a bad hangover.
What evidence is there for CBD and cannabis?
It is difficult to study cannabis in the same way that drugs are, because it contains so many plant chemicals. This is in contrast to pharmaceutical drugs which contain only one chemical with a target in the brain, or body. Dosing follows a standardized model.
Researchers, doctors, and everyone else who watches the news know that only randomised placebo-controlled trials (RCT) are valid evidence for medical products. This research model was originally created for multi-billion dollar companies to create single-ingredient, man-made drugs that they could patent. They would then be able to claim their development costs and control all conditions in a lab-like environment. The drug development funnel/RCT became the standard for evidence-based medicine over the past 30 years. Everything else was ignored, dismissed, or dismissed as lacking evidence. This agenda led to all traditional plant medicines being ignored, along with many others at low risk, in spite of thousands of years of use. It was a disservice for both patients and science.
Because of the hundreds of active components and dozens of forms, cannabis and other botanical medicines can be difficult to analyse with single-chemical drugs. CBD works in many different ways than other man-made or single-plant compounds. This is why CBD seems to be effective for many issues, from skin problems to epilepsy.
Professor David Nutt is one of the most respected experts on drug effects on brains and a visionary in drug policy. He says that “Cannabis is undoubtedly the oldest medicine in the world, but it was banned in many countries for political reasons for more than 50 years.” Its return to medical use is a positive thing. I believe that it will be the most innovative treatment in the next quarter century. However, patients in the UK must see medical cannabis not as a threat but an opportunity.
There is plenty of evidence to support CBD and cannabis as serious medicines and wellness tools. Despite the fact that cannabis has been illegally studied for the majority of the last 100 years, this evidence is rapidly growing. Given the decades-long gap and the difficulty of studying plant medicines, we are moving at a near warp speed to increase the evidence supporting the use of cannabis plants.
There are a few plants that I call ‘power plants’ in herbal medicine. These plants have powerful properties and can be used for good or bad. These plants are very active and can produce strong effects in small amounts.
These are the main power plants that are used widely as medicines and drugs.
It is the source of heroin and morphine, as well as poppy.
Coca – The most well-known drug is cocaine. But the Andes people ingest unprocessed coca leaves to alleviate altitude sickness and aid them in climbing the mountain sides. They carry 50-pound packs. Coca leaf can also be used in South America to aid focus. It is similar to a cup of coffee.
Coffee – The morning caffeine hit that can be very good for some, but harmful to others’ sleep and stress levels in others.
Tobacco – Nicotine is one of the most addictive drugs known to man. However, the plant is also a powerful natural pesticide that is used ceremonially in Native American tradition.
Cannabis is one of the oldest herbal remedies. It has been used for medicinal and spiritual purposes in many cultures for thousands of years. Modern times have seen the black market bred cannabis strains with super-high THC levels for the sole purpose to get stoned. You can also breed it for higher CBD and lower THC strains that are more potent.
Except for poppy, which acts as a nervous system sedative and all of the power plants mentioned here, other than cannabis, have powerful stimulants. Cannabis can, however, be used to restore balance, harmony, and equilibrium to our brains, nervous system, and bodies. It can either be energising , or calming depending on its form. There are so many ways to use it.
Cannabis acts as a bridge between drugs, and botanical medicine
Western doctors are prescribing cannabis as a main drug in the United States, Canada, and the UK. It is also a herbal or botanical medicine, which means that hundreds of active chemicals are still present in cannabis. This makes it a unique synthetic drug.
It is both a medicinal plant and a drug. This is the amazing thing about cannabis. It can dramatically reduce seizures in children with drug resistant epilepsy. There are fewer side effects and it can alter our reactions to stress and trauma.
It is also unique because it can be applied topically as a acne cream or for muscle pains.
Cannabis can also act as a bridge between Western medicine, natural herbal medicine, and Western medicine. It brings together everyone from the most skeptical medical doctor to traditional medicine women. People from many backgrounds can communicate with one another about cannabis in any form.
People who are skeptical about alternative medicine talking to people who haven’t been in a medical facility for years. Because no matter your beliefs, cannabis or CBD might have something to offer. After years of practice as both a Western and integrative medicine and herbal medicine practitioner, I can confidently say that this plant is unique.
The ability to connect worlds is unparalleled by any other drug, herb, or single ingredient that I can put in a pill. Many are calling the Green Revolution, which is the revival of cannabis as a medicine or wellness tool, “the Green Revolution”.
How I became convinced
My first encounter with cannabis was at house parties, where I was offered high-THC marijuana. My teenage friends used to smoke weed and drink alcohol alongside cigarettes. To this day, I have not smoked a cigarette. I only tried cannabis when I was in my twenties to see what all the fuss was about. As I was going through medical school, it didn’t play any role in my life. Perhaps because I was taught that cannabis could cause brain damage, make you stupid, or interfere with academic performance.
Even though I am a trained integrative medicine practitioner (including botanical medicine), it was still a difficult task. Although I was trained in integrative medicine (including botanical medicine), I still had some reservations about prescribing cannabis to patients. We were not taught anything about cannabis as medicine in medical school. It was only a dangerous drug that is legal for some patients in Canada since 2001. This fact was something that I didn’t learn in my training. It was almost as if medical marijuana was the best-kept profession secret.
Our governing bodies also provided regular updates about the dangers associated with prescribing medical marijuana. Doctors were advised to avoid talking to patients about it, to not condone it and to never prescribe it. These warnings did not mention the differences between CBD or THC or the research being conducted, unless the study was negative or poorly performed or involved synthetic man-made cannabis products that were completely different from what I would prescribe.
Needless to mention, my prejudices about this plant were formed after years of negative cannabis conditioning. I had deep (subconscious) beliefs about CBD, medical cannabis, and even though I was a natural medicine specialist doctor.
The legalization of medical cannabis was a way for people to get high.
- It didn’t work (despite all evidence to the contrary), there was no evidence.
- It was addictive.
- It could increase the risk of serious mental health issues.
- Adults can suffer irreversible brain damage.
- It was a gateway drug that led to addiction, ruining lives and hard drugs that would destroy a person’s life.
- It made people lazy.
I had seen dispensary walk-in clinics that gave out cannabis. Some of the doctors that prescribed cannabis to patients were my friends. It was more like a doctor’s order authorizing them to use the drug for medical reasons than a prescription. I felt this was done without much knowledge of the plant, dosages, and how to use it. This was perceived as a quick way for doctors to make a lot of money by writing short prescriptions and practicing bad medicine. This was something I wanted to avoid. When I started prescribing cannabis, I considered it as an integrative medicine intervention. I looked at the whole picture and considered other treatment options. To suit each patient’s needs, I adjusted things such as CBD and THC content, dose, strain, and method of use.
What made me decide to prescribe cannabis? My patients were the first. I was able to see firsthand the patients who had grown cannabis in rural Canada and used it for years as an alternative to opioids, sleeping pills, and anti-anxiety medication. It worked well when they did it correctly. They used it in oils, vaporizing and as a smokeless alternative to smoking. This home-grown or “I got it from someone” method had a downside. They didn’t know what they were getting in terms CBD and THC.
I was aware that cannabis could be made more effective by combining herbal medicine principles with a scientific approach. This would reduce the risk of intoxication and side effects, which many people want to avoid. They wanted someone they could trust, someone who knew both modern medicine and herbal medicine. It was part of my duty and my passion for natural and botanical medicine to assist. Although they were providing a tremendous service to their patients in many cases, most of the doctors who prescribed cannabis had little or no training in the use of botanical medicine. These things were incorporated into my main medical practice for many years.
Second, I had become a chronic pain patient myself after a traumatic accident. Cannabis helped me heal.
Over the next few decades, I dedicated myself to what I called ‘integrative marijuana medicine’ and treated thousands of patients that way.
My complete surprise was that this one plant and the medicines it produced began to make a huge difference in my patients’ lives. They were telling me almost every day that the medicine saved their marriages, helped them connect with their children, grandchildren, and partners, or just made them feel normal again. No one has ever said this about the drugs I was prescribing or any herbal remedies I used. It was a big change and it was going to transform medicine as we know.
I am excited to share on Hemppedia all I know about CBD medicine and CBD. Although the plant isn’t a panacea or a quick fix for complex chronic diseases, it can be a powerful tool that can help people with many healing paths. We will also explore holistic approaches in the pages below.
Nicole Davis is a integrative medicine specialist who focuses on sleep and fatigue. She has extensively explored the therapeutic properties of cannabis, and provides specialized treatment plans according to personal symptoms. Dr. Davis is passionate about helping people feel their best, and believes that everyone deserves access to quality healthcare.