I want to talk to you about the benefits of cannabinoids. Talking cannabinoids, or hemp, is not just for a pot-smoking, Bob Marley, hippie! That’s what people think I am when I talk about it. Seriously! No offense to Jamaicans or Reggae music. It’s a stereotype and everyone can enjoy the clinical benefits of cannabinoids. And I hope they do!
Yes, cannabinoids are a part of the marijuana plant. There are over 400 chemical compounds in the cannabis sativa plant and about 80 cannabinoids identified that are unique to this plant. (1) They interact with receptors in our nervous system and immune system to cause a wide range of effects. Some lead to positive health outcomes but THC along with its euphoric effect is the most well-known outcome.
There is so much more to it! Some of these facts aren’t going to sit right with many of you but stay with me. You are going to learn some interesting information. Maybe even change your mind.
Government Patent on Benefits?
Did you know the government has a patent on cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants? (2) That’s right- not an individual or business! Our government holds the patent. What?!!?
Because of these antioxidizing and neuro-protecting qualities, they have potential to be useful in the treatment and prevention of a wide variety of diseases including:
- Stroke (3)
- Chronic pain (4)
- Inflammation (5)
- Alzheimer’s (6)
- Auto-immune disorders (Grave’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, lyme disease, Hashimoto’s disease and so many more) (7)
- Parkinson’s disease (8)
- Arthritis (9)
Many illnesses have the potential to be treated with cannabinoids, yet the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) still classifies it as a schedule 1 drug with no medical benefits and you can be arrested for possessing it. We have a whole war on drugs yet.. our government has a patent on cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants. Does that make sense to you? It sounds like cannabis got mixed up in the wrong war.
There is a whole cannabinoid system in our bodies. No joke! They don’t even teach you this in school. The endogenous cannabinoid system is a regulatory system of the body to maintain homeostasis. It is the central mediator of the stress response by regulating the release of stress-induced neurotransmitters.
This system creates balance and brings your body back to normal. Cannabis is able to mimic the endocannabinoids in our body that create homeostasis. (10) That doesn’t sound bad, does it?
It’s More than THC- Benefits Of Cannabinoids
THC is what marijuana is known for because it changes your mental state… it gives you a feeling of euphoria. We can all laugh and joke at the stereotypes we see in movies. “Puff, puff, give. Puff, puff, give. You’re *#$!ing up the rotation!” But in all seriousness… the medicinal benefits are indisputable.
THC is also an appetite stimulant (which is important for those going through chemotherapy), a bronchial dilator, a pain reliever and helps with glaucoma. It also stimulates growth of new neurons and stimulates neuroplasticity. That’s not something to laugh about.
The majority of cannabinoids are mild or not psychoactive. We can’t list all of the cannabinoids and all their benefits. Some of the cannabinoids and their suggested impacts are:
- CBG (Cannabigerol) non-psychoactive, sleep inducing, anti-microbial, helps glaucoma
- CBD (Cannabidiol) is non-psychoactive, reduces muscle spasms, muscle relaxant, pain relieving, and anti-inflammatory cannabinoid.
- CBC (Cannabichromene) is non-psychoactive, has sedative effect and pain relieving qualities
- THCV (Tetrahydrocannabivarin) is an appetite suppressant, psychoactive, and pain relieving cannabinoid.
- CBDV (Cannabidivarin) inhibits symptoms of epilepsy, seizures and IBD. It also helps with nausea.
Smoking Vs. Ingesting
Is there a clinical benefit to smoking cannabis? Technically, yes. I must be clear that we DON’T support the smoking of marijuana and you won’t find me hemming and hawing about it. I don’t smoke it or use it recreationally. There are reasons others do.
When you smoke it, there is the Delta–9–tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta–9–THC) that calms the brain down very quickly and allows the body to get out of stress quickly. The results are quick. You can’t argue with that but it’s not the best for you.
- Oxidative process of smoking causes damage to our bodies.
- When you smoke it, it only gets to certain parts of the body
- When you smoke it, it cycles through your body quickly and lasts a shorter time
So, the downfall of ingesting is that it takes longer to feel the effects. Usually it can take 2-3 hours but there are some worthwhile positives.
- No damaging effects that you get from smoking
- Has stronger and longer lasting effect- can last 7-10 hours
- It metabolizes through liver and goes to every tissue
- It helps with a wide range of physical concerns and stressors
So, if you look at the negatives of smoking compared to the positives of ingesting the choice is clear from a clinical standpoint. I suggest, ingest. Smoking anything is bad for you and there’s more clinical benefits to ingesting. We can get the best clinical results from ingesting with the least negative effects to the body. That’s what I always look for to get the body back to homeostasis.
In My Opinion
Marijuana has massive medical benefits. The studies can’t dispute that- no matter how many years of brainwashing we have endured.
Just because grandpa Stan or your teacher are worried about the psycho-activity doesn’t mean we need to shut down the conversation. With all the benefits, it is a small side effect especially when compared to the side effects of anti-depressants and other drugs. What happens when you overdose on marijuana? You take a long nap not a dirt nap.
It has the potential to help with neurogenerative disease, Parkinson’s Disease, auto-immune diseases, Alzheimer’s, glaucoma, cancer, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel diseases, arthritis and so many other conditions. It can help those who have physical and mental stresses to calm the body. Check out this article on 10 reasons medical cannabis makes sense.
I’d rather people didn’t smoke it but chose to ingest it. Smoking is bad for your health. It’s hard to spread that message when people are focusing on if it should be legal or illegal. Which is sad because the only people that benefit from it from being illegal are people who have other drugs to sell you. Therefore, it makes sense to me to support legalization.
Most of all, I want everyone to have access to the medical benefits of cannabinoids and not be on dangerous pharmaceuticals with ridiculous side effects like DEATH! Do I sound like a hippie now?
Update 1/29/2018: Quality of CBD oils varies widely so we developed our own to ensure quality and full spectrum effectiveness. You can find it here.
*Pathway To Wellness does not support, promote or endorse recreational smoking of marijuana. We are referring to supporting the use of cannabinoids, a group of terpenophenolic compounds found in cannabis, which can be eaten, juiced, reduced to oil or turned into a lotion.