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15–11–2018

Food Review

#99

What's all the fuss about...Cannabis (Part-three.)

Disclaimer

The use of cannabis in New Zealand is governed by the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975, which makes unauthorised possession of any amount of cannabis illegal.

Note: This act was recently amended (2017) to make it legal for New Zealanders who are suffering from ‘terminal illness’ or any debilitating condition to use cannabis or cannabis products with the support of a registered medical practitioner.

There are political efforts to remove penalties on its ‘full’ use for those over 18 years of age. (A referendum which was scheduled for 2020 now seems likely to move to 2019). 1,2,3

I won't beat around the (Hemp) bush any longer

Cannabis — I’m a fan of this herb from:

A Professional perspective
For its therapeutic use for my clients.

A PERSONAL PERSPECTIVE
For its (moderate/responsible) recreational use by adults.

I’m therefore a strong advocate for this herb’s legalisation and regulation in New Zealand.

I wholly intend to be ‘first in line’ when they finally make this ‘stuff’ legal in this country. And better yet, I hope to one day be a primary ‘dealer’ in this medicinal herb.

Yup. I’m a huge fan-girl.
I’ve got big love for this plant.

Note: I might discuss Hemp in another blog-post. Hemp is the industrial part of the plant – the fibrous part. It can be used to produce clothes, food, paper, textiles, plastics, insulation and biofuel. To be classified as Hemp the plant must contain lower than 3% THC (the psychoactive component of Cannabis).

I sincerely hope NZ comes to its senses quick-smart. The fact that this stuff has been illegal since long before my arrival on this planet… well, that’s what’s actually criminal.

Check out my first blog-post in this three-part series to find out why Cannabis was made illegal.

As a Medical Herbalist, I want to be at the 'head of the line' when this medicinal herb is finally reinstated.

Again, promise me something...

When reading this blog-post series, will you please try to keep an open-mind about what I have to say about Cannabis?

I know it’s really hard to see things from a new or different perspective when you’re so used to seeing things from, well, the way you’ve always been shown them…

I fully acknowledge that Cannabis, at any dosage, will not suit everybody, and that due to one-off experiences — either directly or indirectly — some people will not be receptive to the usage of Cannabis in any manner and will continue to shun this plant. So be it.

My objective in this blog-post: To alter your consciousness

I’m going to do this by giving you some other ways of looking at Cannabis – that I’ve been pondering for a wee while 😉

Firstly, I’m going to compare this medicinal herb to the other medicinal herbs that I currently dispense at OOMPH.

Then, I’m going to compare the side-effects of taking Cannabis to the effects that stress has on your body.

And finally, I’m going to tell you all about a system that we have in our body that actually runs on cannabinoids!

Note: Cannabis contains around 400 different chemicals, of which, cannabinoids make up around one quarter.

Cannabis.
Medical HerbaLUST.

You can have too much of a good thing...

Anything in excess is not good for you — regardless of what it is.

Too little water will dehydrate you.
Too much water will (effectively) drown you.
Adequate water will sustain you.

Too little food will malnourish you.
Too much food will kill you.
Adequate food will sustain you.

The same is true for the medicinal herbs that I work with everyday at OOMPH.

01—Passionflower — which I have in my medicinal herbal dispensary

Note: This herb is also found in herbal tea blends from the supermarket and the health food store.

Passionflower, when used in regulated doses, can be used daily as an anxiolytic (anti-anxiety), a mild sedative, a hypnotic (sleep inducing), and a spasmolytic (relieves spasms of smooth muscle).

However!

When this herb is used in high (unregulated) doses, or if you’re extremely sensitive to it, it can produce hallucinations.

To read about more about Passionflower, click here.

02—Kava — which I have in my medicinal herbal dispensary

Kava, when used in regulated doses, can be used daily as an anxiolytic (anti-anxiety), a mild sedative, a hypnotic (sleep inducing), and a spasmolytic (relieves spasms of smooth muscle).

However!

When this herb is used in high (unregulated) doses, or if you’re extremely sensitive to it, it can render you paralytic.

To read more about Kava, click here.

03—Cannabis — which I would very much like to have in my medicinal herbal dispensary

Cannabis, when used in regulated doses, can be used daily as an anxiolytic (anti-anxiety), a mild sedative, a hypnotic (sleep inducing), and a spasmolytic (relieves spasms of smooth muscle).

However!

When this herb is used in high (unregulated) doses, or if you’re extremely sensitive to it, it can render you paranoid or ‘stoned’.

To read more about Cannabis, click the links: What’s all the fuss about Cannabis: part-one & part-two

ARE YOU PICKING UP WHAT I'M PUTTING DOWN HERE? KNOWLEDGE & REGULATION IS KEY.

MARK MY WORDS

One day, very soon, I will have Cannabis in my medical herbal dispensary.

It will be available in both liquid, pill, and dried herb form — just as it has been used for 5,000+ years.

And, it will primarily be dispensed to clients who need stress & sleep support, and pain relief.

Disclaimer:
It will be just one of the medical herbs that I use. Herbs such as those that I’ve discussed here, are idiopathic in nature. This means that certain herbs will suit certain people better than others.

Cannabis is a herb — a medicine.
Mother nature ain't no drug dealer.

Passionflower is apparently an innocent little planty-wanty...

Cannabis, however, is apparently a 'demon drug'!

According to Lester Grinspoon, Harvard psychiatrist:

Cannabis is not a physically addictive substance.
However, it can create psychological dependency.
This is how any habit is formed — if something satisfies a need or desire.

Note: Dr Lester Grinspoon (Cannabis advocate) has been studying Cannabis since the 1960s. 

It's a bit of a toss-up

Here, I want to compare the side-effects that you may get from using Cannabis and compare it to well, not using it, or rather, going-it-alone.

01—The possible side-effects from taking Cannabis are:

Short-term memory loss, poor concentration, low motivation, possible anxiety, and paranoia

02—The very real effects of suffering from ongoing stress are:

Short-term memory loss, poor concentration, low motivation, possible anxiety, and paranoia.

Hmm. I don’t know about you, but…
I guess the deciding factor here, for me, would have to be this:

Cannibis doesn’t kill brain cells…
Cannabis is ‘neuroprotective’ — meaning it protects the cells of the brain and/or can stimulate their growth4,5.

Note: Based on what we now know, using Cannabis will not cause harm to the fully-developed adult brain.

ongoing stress can Actually damage brain cells!
To find out more about the detrimental effects of ongoing stress, please read this blog-post that I wrote about it6.

On Cannabis:

“Smoking grass eased the strain for me.

— Maya Angelou
(American poet, singer, memoirist, civil rights activist, and mentor to Oprah Winfrey)

See full testimonial >

People called it Mary Jane, hash, grass, gauge, weed, pot, and I had absolutely no fear of using it.

Walking on the streets became high adventure, eating my mother’s huge dinners an opulent entertainment, and playing with my son was side-cracking hilarity.

— Maya Angelou
(American poet, singer, memoirist, civil rights activist, and mentor to Oprah Winfrey)

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“It is an assistant and a friend”

— Louis Armstrong
(American trumpeter, composer, and singer)

See full testimonial >

It really puzzles me to see Marijuana connected to narcotics, dope and all of that stuff. It is a thousand times better than Whiskey.

— Louis Armstrong
(American trumpeter, composer, and singer)

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“I will never give up the Ganja – God's own weed.”

— Morgan Freeman (Actor)

See full testimonial >

Marijuana prohibition is just the stupidest law possible.
Just legalise it and tax it like we do liquor.

— Morgan Freeman (Actor)

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I remember watching Morgan Freeman as a child in the 70s.
"Ganja" does not appear to have adversely affected him or his career... 😉

Supposedly on Cannabis:

“This Marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes entertainers and any others.”

— Harry J Anslinger
(The first commissioner of the U.S. Treasury Department's Federal Bureau of Narcotics).

See full testimonial >

There are 100,000 total Marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers.

Their satanic music, jazz and swing, result from Marijuana usage.

 

— Harry J Anslinger
(The first commissioner of the U.S. Treasury Department's Federal Bureau of Narcotics).

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The Hunting of Billie Holiday

One night, in 1939, Billie Holiday stood on stage in New York City and sang a song that was unlike anything anyone had heard before. ‘Strange Fruit’ was a musical lament against lynching. It imagined black bodies hanging from trees as a dark fruit native to the South.

Here was a black woman, before a mixed audience, grieving for the racist murders in the United States. Immediately after, Billie Holiday received her first threat from the Federal Bureau of Narcotics.

Note: I took this excerpt straight from Politico – you can read the full story here.

She lost her license to perform in New York cabarets and continued to be dogged by law enforcement until her death7.

For more about the racism that surrounds the outlawing of Cannabis, read part-one of this blog-post series.

We have a system in our body that actually runs on cannabinoids.

Funny that...

“The endogenous cannabinoid system, named after the plant that led to its discovery, is perhaps the most important physiologic system involved in establishing and maintaining human health.”

— Dr. Dustin Sulak

Note: Our Endocannabinoids were only found because they were researching THC (from Cannabis). ‘They’ were all like “Why-on-earth do we have a little ‘slot’ in our bodies specifically designed to get high?”

There is more to Cannabis than just its Cannabinoid content.

Cannabis contains around 400 different chemicals, of which, cannabinoids make up around one quarter.

Note: A cannabinoid is a chemical compound that acts on cannabinoid receptors in the body. There are two main cannabinoid receptors – cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2). 

The most notable cannabinoids are:

THC
(A.K.A delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol) 
This is the main psychoactive agent in Cannabis, which can change a person’s mental state or produce a high.

CBD
(Cannabidiol)
This non-psychoactive chemical is credited for its therapeutic value (pain relief, anti-nausea, antispasmodic).

The remaining three-quarters of the chemical constituents in Cannabis comprise of Terpenes (around 200 different chemicals) and flavonoids.

Terpenes are what give Cannabis its distinct smell and flavour. And more importantly, these integral (but entirely under-rated) chemicals actually balance-out the total effect of the plant.

Because ALL of the ‘components’ in Cannabis work together — no one ingredient can be given credit for its effects.

This is why I’m no fan of isolating the chemicals in this plant, or tampering with the plant to produce higher THC levels that don’t reflect the original makeup of the plant that Mother Nature provided us.

Cannabis is an adaptogenic herb — as it endeavours to create balance in our body.

The Endocannabinoid system (ECS)

The Endocannabinoid system is a homeostatic signalling system within your body (meaning it keeps our nervous, hormonal, and immune systems in balance).

As part of this system, our body makes chemicals called Endocannabinoids. These are known as:

Anandamide
‘Ananda’ means bliss in sanskrit.

2-AG
2-Arachidonoylglycerol

Note: Interestingly, the Alkylamides in Echinacea mimic ‘our’ Anandamide — which makes us feel blissful, joyful, or delighted. This herb, possibly used alongside Cannabis, would be of great benefit to anyone suffering from depression or stress due to chronic infection or auto-immune conditions.

It is very interesting to note the symptoms of an Endocannabinoid System deficiency8:

01—Severe Insomnia

Requiring medication.

02—Anxiety & Depression

As well as Dementia-like symptoms, and anger issues.

03—Conditions associated with heightened inflammation

Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, and chronic pain.

04—Bone loss

05—A family history of cancer

I’ll talk more about other ways you can ‘prime’ your Endocannabinoid System in a subsequent blog-post.

Human breast milk is an abundant source of endocannabinoids.

This all got me to thinking...

As humans, our body can make many of the nutrients that it needs to carry out its processes for growth, development and continuing health.  (These types of nutrients are called non-essential nutrients.)

However, some nutrients can’t be made rapidly enough, or at all, to meet our daily requirements. (These types of nutrients are called essential nutrients.)

So, in order to stay healthy, the large majority of our nourishment must be obtained from outside sources (protein, carbs, fat, water, vitamins and minerals.)

Now, as we saw above, our body can make some Endocannabinoids…
Would it not follow then, that the large majority of Cannabinoids should be sought from an outside source — for optimal health?

Here are some plants that activate the Endocannabinoid System (besides Cannabis):
Black Pepper, Black Truffles, Cacao, Echinacea, Flaxseed, Kava, Maca, and Rosemary.

Maybe we’re not getting enough of this type of phytochemical in our diets? This could explain why our general health (primarily cancer and mental health disorders9) appears to be getting progressively worse — even though we’re supposed to be more educated and medically equipped than ever before?

Note: It would now seem that every client that comes to me is experiencing some form of stress or mental health disorder. This is something that I’ve observed in my practice over the last twelve years as a Naturopath & Medical Herbalist.

What the Hell?! Could it be that we're all experiencing a deficiency in Cannabis?

The way Cannabis works in our body is rather backwards

Cannabinoids actually travel in the opposite direction in the synapse between neurons — they go against the general flow of neurotransmitters.

Note: Nitric Oxide also works ‘backwards’ like this. 

Therefore Cannabinoids don’t distribute information as such, but rather they simply regulate it — helping to achieve balance in the body10 👊

Echinacea — another innocent looking planty-wanty.

Do you not like the idea of Cannabis because smoking seems bad & naughty?

You know that this isn’t the only herb that can go-up-in- puff-of-smoke, right?

Here’s just a few of the hundreds of herbs that you can also smoke to experience a therapeutic effect: Angelica, Anise, Blackberry (leaf), Catnip, Chamomile, Damiana, Hops, Horehound, Hyssop, Lavender, Lobelia, Marshmallow, Mugwort, Mullein, Passionflower, Peppermint, Red Raspberry (leaf), Rose (petals), Skullcap, Spearmint, St John’s Wort, Thyme, Uva Ursi, and Willow Bark…

You can use these herbs on their own for their therapeutic effects, or use them in with your Cannabis — to reduce the need for tobacco and/or to modify the effect. You can also use these herbs to transition off Cannabis and/or tobacco.

Oh, what a tangled web we weave...

So yeah, NASA enlisted some spidies

What you’re looking at in these images are the webs spun by ordinary House Spiders — ‘high’ on various drugs.

NASA wanted to determine the toxicity of various chemicals.

01— Normal (the control — no chemicals are used)
02—Cannabis
03—Chloral Hydrate (a heavy sedative)
04—Benzedrine (an amphetamine)
05—Caffeine!
06—Mescaline (a psychedelic plant which occurs naturally in the peyote cactus)

This study was published in ‘New Scientist’ magazine in 1995. The verdict: The more toxic the chemical, the more deformed the web. Take from this, what you will 🤪

Note: Not that I’m into tormenting poor wee spiders, but it would have been very interesting to see how a drunk and/or a stressed spidy spun!

Lisa
Says:

All Cannabis should be made legal (not just decriminalised) — from my professional perspective

If nothing else, I want to be able to prescribe Cannabis in my practice — from a reputable cultivator and supplier to ensure quality, safety and efficacy for natural healthcare.

I want to be able to offer my clients the different types of Cannabis (Sativa, Indica, and all the hybrids in-between), and I want to know the breakdown of its chemical constituents. (Its THC, CBD, Terpene, and flavonoid profile).

Previously in NZ, when somebody needed to take CBD for a serious disease they had to petition the Health Minister. 

Shouldn’t this be a job for the ‘Natural Health Ad-minister’?  Who better to regulate Cannabis than a degree-qualified Medical Herbalist who not only specialises in medicinal herbs, but who also specialises in preventative, and chronic health-care? We can administer this herb and also monitor the person, to ensure they are not abusing this plant.

Better this than have Joe-Bloggs sell ‘weed’ at your local dairy store! Let’s not ‘go-there’ at all — let’s not get super-tacky & greedy and commercialise this stuff. Cannabis is a medicinal herb that needs to be treated with respect.

Note: For my overseas readers, in New Zealand we call small community convenience stores a ‘dairy’.

All Cannabis should be made legal (not just decriminalised) — from my personal perspective

I’d like to begin here by saying that: You never hear about ‘Coffee Shop’ brawls in Amsterdam. Or, stoned riots after the English ‘footy’…

I don’t want Cannabis to simply be decriminalised.

First off, I can’t pronounce decriminalise fluently. (It kind of gets all jumbled up in the mouth).

Note: When I first started looking into this herb I had to look up the difference between this and ‘legalise’; as I thought it meant the same thing…😋

Secondly, I don’t want to purchase Cannabis from a supposed ‘criminal’ — christ knows where they got it from, and what it actually is? (I would rather pay extra for organic, regulated goodness.)

And thirdly, I want the government to stop wasting money on policing this innocent herb. Prohibition doesn’t work! Cannabis is the most widely used illegal drug in the world.

Instead, they should tax what will prove to be a very profitable herb. From here, they should take some of this extra dosh and educate our young folk about actual drug use, and provide them with more programmes to support them during their formative years. We should ensure they don’t feel the need to turn to ‘self medicating’ and ‘oblivion’ by providing: a broad range of activities that they can express themselves through (sport, music, art, drama); free & abundant counselling; and natural healthcare subsidies.

The Government can also use this ‘drug money’ (😉) to help ‘clean-up’ our actual drug-addicts so that they may be integrated back into society.

Recreationally speaking, Cannabis should  only be used casually, moderately and responsibly. It should be restricted to adults. (This means no-one under the age of 18 years old).9

Note: If I was in charge of the world the legal age of anything involving drugs, liquor, going to war, driving, love… and having babies(?) would be 24 years of age. (Once our brains are fully developed). Just saying.

We just need to take things slowly, going-forward, alright?

Let’s not get too excited here.
Cannabis ain’t gonna fix everything.

Let’s not make it the new ‘super food’ and start adding it into every item in our food-chain.

You’re still gonna need to help yourself by maintaining a healthy diet, taking any other prescribed supplements & medicinal herbs, exercising regularly, and sorting-out-your-shit (your life’s purpose, your job, and your relationships).

However, that said, I see no harm in bringing more bliss, pleasure and sensuality to people’s lives — from what I’ve seen and heard at OOMPH, so many people could do with a good deal more ‘calm & happy’ in their world.

Cannabis does have the supreme ability to slow you down and to make you feel: enticed, beguiled, charmed, captivated, enchanted, hypnotised, mesmerised, tantalised, and bewitched with life — it’s food, music, art, scenery, and sex.

Enjoying life cannot be a bad thing.
That’s supposedly why we’re here, yeah?
I’m sure we weren’t ‘put here’ to suffer through it all with mental health conditions, auto-immunity, fibromyalgia, cancer, and the like.

Somehow, I think we’re missing something…

Not only do we have a right to access this original medicine — I actually believe we need to.

Granny Storm Crow

This is one of the primary references that is cited at the Cannabis College Amsterdam for the most extensive and up to date literature on Cannabis.

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