The cannabis plant is incredibly versatile as many in legal states are quickly discovering. As a certified cannabis educator and practitioner in private practice, I find a number of medicinal uses that even surprise me. For example, I know someone with macular degeneration who is receiving periodic pharmaceutical injections into his eyes to slow/reverse the progression of this disease. Upon researching I discovered how THC could be as effective  as the pharmaceutical. Now my new friend wants to try a cannabis product to complement his medical treatment.
The whole of the cannabis plant has been used for centuries  as an overall health tonic boosting not only the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS)  to restore balance to itself and the body’s other physiological regulatory systems, but also as a way to reduce anxiety, stress and depression via a benefiical impact on the mind and our deepest self, the soul.
Dare I say cannabis is medicine for the soul? There, I said it, and for good reason.
Also, for good reason, this is the first of a series of articles bringing to light the benefit of cannabis as medicine for the soul for the individual, their family and society during these tumultuous, divisive social times in North America.
In the 21st century, daily life moves ever faster and the need to keep up marks today’s modern society. Living on the go, and often on the edge, dishonesty, self-centeredness and a need for more control have become cultural norms as social issues of housing, politics and environment have become more personal. Traumatic events such as birth, death, moving, loss of a loved one, aging, personal debt and serious illness can disrupt our lives at the core.
Technology has revolutionized our lives in so many ways that even thirty short years ago few could have dreamed it possible. Yet social media, texting and other communication methods have short-circuited much of how we humans connect with even our closest friends and family members. Working remotely on the same team and using online virtual meetings for personal and professional relationships appears to exacerbate cultural negatives such as: the sense of isolation, loneliness, lack of social skills and expectations of social correctness.
Many of us know intuitively that something is not right in today’s supposed ‘best economy’ as we witness first hand, increased levels of stress, anxiety, emotional violence, addiction, insomnia, depression, chronic illness and suicide. If you stop and count the number of people you know facing any of these moderate to major life challenges, the pervasive nature of distress in modern society becomes abundantly clear.
The exponential rise in the use of antidepressants and benzodiazepines statistically identifies a growing societal malaise.
“Anna Lembke, MD, of the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine in Stanford, California, and colleagues note that between 1996 and 2013, the number of benzodiazepine prescriptions filled by adults increased by 67%.”
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) national survey, in September, 2017, The American Psychiatric Association reported that antidepressant use had gone from 1 in 50 people 30 years ago to 1 of 9 between the years 2011 and 2014.
In the latest result of an August 15-30, 2019 Gallup Poll about mass murders 83% of those polled cited the “failure of the mental health system to identify individuals who are a danger to others.”  This is more evidence of increased awareness regarding the extent of mental health issues. To date, only antidepressants and psychiatric drugs have been seen as legitimate to affect such health concerns. And yet it has been found that many of the mass shooters have been on psychiatric drugs themselves!
On the other hand, I doubt it is a coincidence that for as long as humans have walked the earth the cannabis plant has been available, growing freely. with molecules that exactly mimic the natural internal molecules of the human body.  Obvious to me, the cannabis plant was put on earth to help humans and animals.
And so many of us need that help now.
While every day more and more people hear stories about how cannabis has helped someone they know with sleep or chronic pain issues , much less is broadcast is the fact of how cannabis as an elixir for the mind and soul is transforming courageous souls by restoring a healthy, resilient, outlook on life and a bodily-felt sense of wellness.
In this North American era of extreme social divisiveness, isn’t this exactly what many of us need now for personal wellbeing? All the while the stigma against medicinally non-toxic cannabis for stress, anxiety and depression, and the people who use it, remains. Though thankfully, the stigma is fading with each passing day.
Part II starts a deep dive into how cannabis fosters resilience on the path to whole-person wellness.
Image courtesy of The Free Thought Project