WHY CANNABIS GIVES US HOPE
Updated: Jul 23, 2021
Dear Potential Cannabis Activist,
The rediscovery of cannabis as a viable medicine for conditions as widely varied as epilepsy and psoriasis, Alzheimer's and diabetes, Parkinson's and Crohn's disease has changed the game for every person in every walk of life, and many people still don't even know about the potential therapeutic benefits of this miraculous plant.
For as long as humans have been alive, scientists and scholars both religious and secular have been trying to find the reason for the complex phenomena that is the human body. It repairs itself and can survive under even the most extreme conditions, yet is physically frail and permeable in many other ways.The Endogenous Cannabinoid System
Discovered in 1992 in Jerusalem, this complex system of lipid-based neurotransmitters is an interconnected web that communicates between ALL of the body’s natural systems. The ECS produces these Endogenous (made by the human body) Cannabinoids to help maintain homeostasis in the body at the cellular level, playing a role in the regulation of hormones, nerve cell communication, mitosis, inflammatory response of the immune system, and pretty much every integral bodily function.
This major body system in the body was discovered over 30 years ago, but research into its function in the body and its potential health benefits had been halted or heavily slowed for one reason. The highest concentration of cannabinoids in the world can be found in a plant with a very notorious and misunderstood past: Cannabis Sativa.
To quote the National Epidemiological Survey of Alcohol and Related Conditions, “Cannabis is the most widely used illicit substance worldwide”
Here is a small infographic to depict some of the functions of your CB1 and CB2 Receptors as the two main parts of the ECS that we know the most about!
While endogenous cannabinoids are made by the human body, and there are several hundreds whose functions and forms remain unidentified, the cannabis plant produces over 140 different phytocannabinoids (plant made cannabinoids) as well as many other terpenes and plant molecules that also interact with your ECS. A few of these molecules are fairly well known by the global scientific community, but have only started being researched in the past 8-10 years here in the United States.
THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), THCa (Tetrahydrocannabinol-acid), CBD (Cannabidiol), CBDa (Cannabidiol-acid), CBG (Cannabigerol) are but a few of the cannabinoids that have been researched, each with their own unique form and function to play when interacting with the human body! We will go into more detail about these molecules in subsequent posts, as well as the other main category that has been a widespread point of research in herbalism as of late: terpenes. Some examples of the well known effects of both classes of molecules include: anti inflammatory, analgesic, antispasmodic, appetite stimulant/suppressant, anti-fungal, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-cancer.
(P.S. In case any of you think I'm bold for stating plainly that cannabis has these marvelous properties, look no further than the evidence presented by U.S. Patent No. 6,630,507, which states that the U.S. Government filed a patent in 1999 for use of CBD as "A method of treating diseases caused by oxidative stress." This basically means any disease that comes from oxidation, or exposure to oxygen [a.k.a. Being Alive]. Even though, during this time the U.S. Government also had CBD, and Cannabis in general, listed as a Schedule 1 Drug.)
All of these natural plant molecules have beneficial properties when applied to our bodies that rival many modern day pharmaceuticals, and have spawned a huge base of anecdotal evidence from medical patients all over the country and world using cannabis to help their support their bodies through discomforts as small as minor muscle strains or as debilitating as Stage 4 cancers. In many instances these methods replaced harmful and often dangerous pharmaceuticals and improved overall quality and duration of life for the patient in question.
This brings me to my next point about cannabis, the median lethal dose.
“The quantity that produces mortality in 50 percent of a group of animals,” is termed the median lethal dose (LD50). There is not any solid evidence to support a realistic LD50 for cannabis in humans, but in animals the LD50 is somewhere between 40 mg/kg to 130 mg/kg intravenously (which made me very sad to read that they literally killed animals with cannabis to find out that information), so for the weight of the average American (64kg) is somewhere in the ballpark of a half pound of raw flower (not eaten). Many other Schedule 1 drugs, and almost every pharmaceutical, have side effects that are much more dangerous.
To give you a comparative example, Cocaine has a median lethal dose of around 90mg/kg and methamphetamine’s is nearly half that. In both cases less than 50mg (a small spoon full) has been shown to be more than enough to cause tachycardia and death under certain conditions (i.e. patient overall health prior to dosing, environmental factors, exercise and diet, etc.), and many amphetamines (legal forms of Meth) are just as available in pharmaceuticals, Adderall being one of the most prevalent formulations on the market.
Although these pieces of information are simple, the real obvious conclusion drawn from all of these small pieces of evidence is that cannabis and holistic medicine works, and with minimal drawbacks, unlike most "FDA approved" chemical drugs. Not only supported by personal testimony from use in our daily lives, but backed by increasing scientific research and study as well. Our goal with "Why Cannabis?" is to further public knowledge on cannabis and other adaptogenic medicines, creating a new mentality around personal health that empowers people to support their own bodies using cannabis and holistic ideals instead of depending on the deadly machine that is the pharmaceutical industry in our country today.
That is the Hope Mindset.
P.S. Here are some of the sources we used to form this blog post, in case you enjoy doing the reading yourself. :)