by Deb Martin, Holistic Health Educator
CBD oil is a Natural Medicine found in the Cannabis plant. No one can get “high” on it. But it is an effective medicine for multiple issues as well as for longevity. CBD regenerates the human body and brain to be more youthful. It changes lives, and the cities and states who embrace it may experience significant growth and a revitalized economy. But, as the popularity of the Cannabis plant has grown over the past decade, the pharmaceutical industry has been busy behind the scenes. There are currently serious legal obstacles posed by the FDA (Federal Drug Administration).
This article will focus primarily on CBD (Cannabidiol), a compound which cannot create a “high”, but has been proven to help with seizures, anxiety and stress, sleep, bone regrowth, and even cancer, to name a few. We’ll also introduce you to the crazy legal world of cannabis.
CLEARING THE CONFUSION
Let me be clear on this: There are TWO plants. One is called Cannabis, and it is medicinal. The other is Hemp. Cannabis is the source of both CBD oil and the psychoactive compound called THC. Hemp is a fibrous plant which has overtaken soy as a major cash crop. It contains only trace elements of CBD oil, if any at all, and no THC. Of course hemp oil has nutritional value as an Omega 3, plant-based oil called ALA. Cannabis and hemp are related but not the same plant.
Marijuana is another name given to the Cannabis plant. The two main compounds in the plant are called Tetrohydrocannabidiol (THC), with psychoactive effects, and Cannabidiol (CBD). CBD is the non-psychoactive, medicinal part of the cannabis plant. You absolutely cannot get “high” on it, and it is probably most known for its seizure management capabilities. In fact the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services patented the use of CBD as a neuroprotective agent. Look it up: 29 pages of fascinating information are found in U.S. Patent # 6,630,507B1, dated October 7, 2003. The patent is very informative regarding oxidative diseases and specific dosage requirements.
Now let’s take a look at just a few of the many healing aspects of CBD oil.
WHAT’S THE TIE TO LONGEVITY & HEALTH?
Can’t sleep? Anxiety? Seizures? Brain diseases? Bone loss or fractures? Want to make sure you DON’T have these troubles? These are all clearly qualities of physical and mental health. If these are in crisis, we are not healthy, happy, functioning human beings. Our lives may be long and miserable, or much shorter than we are designed to live. Various science studies show humans are designed to last for about 120 years!
CBD is used to calm anxiety, assist sleep, relieve pain, rebuild and maintain strong bones (yes!) and keep the brain healthy and young. In the 2017 online docuseries “The Sacred Plant”, CBD oil is said to have “The Earth Mother Effect” due to the higher neurocognitive capacity measured in youths whose mothers consumed CBD oil while pregnant. It has been found to affect the wiring of our brains.
GOT BONES? WANT TO KEEP THEM STRONG?
Falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults. Falls result in more than 2.8 million injuries treated in emergency departments annually, including over 800,000 hospitalizations and more than 27,000 deaths. – NCOA National Council on Aging
In 2000, I (Deb Martin) was diagnosed on the hairy edge of osteoporosis. I come from a line of women who would be susceptible. White, light-skinned, female and less than 120 pounds is the most at-risk category. Many Asians fit in this category as well. Eighty percent of people with osteoporosis are female; 20% are male.
Check out these statistics from the International Association of Osteoporosis:
“USA: Osteoporosis and low bone mass are currently estimated to be a major public health threat for almost 44 million U.S. women and men aged 50 and older. The 44 million people with either osteoporosis or low bone mass represent 55 percent of the people aged 50 and older in the United States.”
You may be asking WHY are our bones not regenerating properly? (Ah, you are learning to think like a natural medicine healer!) We believe this is primarily a nutritional deficiency, meaning that our bodies do not have enough raw materials to keep our bones healthy. We say it has a lot to do with our diet! We see young athletes coming into the clinic with sodas in hand, and we cringe! This is just one example of what our society doesn’t know about what we consume. Phosphorus in soda drinks like Coke, Pepsi, Mountain Dew, etc. cause our intelligent body system to rob the bones (and teeth) of minerals in an attempt to keep the critical pH and mineral content of our blood “just so”. Our lives depend on a delicate balance of minerals in our blood…or we could die in minutes!
A doctor I know once had a 55-year-old patient who died of a heart attack. The autopsy found he had no magnesium in his body when he died. She was never trained in Medical School about the critical nature of minerals in our bodies. Subsequently, in her quest to understand how to heal better, she has gained significant nutritional expertise and now writes books which many call “gold standard”. If you wish to gain deep knowledge about bone health, look up Pamela Smith, M.D. And you may wish to come see us for a micronutrient test. We use the results of this test to help you create a nutritional balance which aids in bone growth, a healthier heart (and more).
BONE GROWTH AND CANNABIS
Bones completely regenerate within 7 years. They take the longest-time of any bodily system to fully regrow, replacing old cells with new. But we have to supply them with the right nutrients to do so. And while my bone healing was accomplished with foods (a mostly-green veggie smoothie was the basis) and supplements, cannabis can also come to the rescue. Both THC and CBD have been found to help bones regrow and heal fractures.
According to research published on PubMed in 2009, the THC oil in cannabis contains compounds called CB1 and CB2 which have been shown in preliminary trials to both encourage growth (osteoblasts) and slow the breakdown process of osteoclasts. For example, “…the main physiologic involvement of CB2 (another compound of cannabis) is associated with maintaining bone remodeling at balance, thus protecting the skeleton against age-related bone loss.” That sounds like longevity-promoting action! And, yep, there are pharmaceutical drugs in the brewing to address our nation’s huge bone loss issue.
But don’t count out CBD oil on bone health! Cortisol, the stress hormone, is a primary substance which leads to bone loss. (Note: two more big bad boys are 1) sugar and 2) many pharmaceutical drugs which upset the delicate balance in probiotics in the gut!) CBD is a very effective calmative agent which has been proven to lower cortisol, thereby eliminating one of the most common sources of bone loss.
MEANWHILE IN ISRAEL…
A group of scientists in Israel have established their work as the leading source of data on medical cannabis. For example, one study conducted primarily by researchers from Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv University, Cannabidiol (CBD) was found to enhance fracture healing and stimulate a highly-abundant enzyme involved in bone healing as well as supporting activity in osteoblasts, the bone building cells.”
THE LEGALIZATION ISSUE
Being from Colorado, we have watched the budding (pun intended) and now thriving business of cannabis in our home state. It brings in $200Million annually to the state’s coffers. While cannabis continues to become fully legalized–in part or whole–in 30 of our 50 states– it is still technically illegal at the federal level. CBD oil itself was, as recently as 2017, legal in all 50 states. But here’s the latest, from an article posted on Dr. Mercola’s website on April 22, 2018:
- The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) considers CBD to be cannabis and has scheduled it as a Class 1 narcotic. Hemp growers have sued DEA to deschedule CBD. The case is currently pending before the Ninth Circuit of Appeals.
- There’s a limited time left for CBD companies to petition FDA to market CBD as a dietary ingredient. Once FDA approves GW Pharmaceuticals’ CBD medicine as a new drug, CBD can no longer be legally sold or marketed as a supplement.
THE HIDE AND SEEK GAME
As you can see, the Cannabis industry is in a serious situation. Although it makes no sense from a healing standpoint to limit the use of Cannabis (and expecially CBD oil), it is logically about the money and control of a growing market. What a coup for GW Pharmaceuticals!
My guess is that both of the primary oils (CBD & THC compounds) will play a cat and mouse game for the foreseeable future. I’ve personally noticed how labels are changing over the last few months. “CBD” is often not on the label at all. It is being called HEMP. How will you know if it’s an industrial fiber-grade product with only traces of CBD (Hemp) vs. the real thing (CBD)? Look for tell-tale clues such as a content dosage, “THC Free”, and perhaps a manufacturer’s batch number. These would not be necessary for non-medicinal Hemp.
WILL THE FEDS MAKE IT LEGAL ONE DAY?
This is a twisted story. Due to being illegal at the Federal level, cannabis businesses cannot take normal, federal tax deductions and therefore pay an average of 70% of their gross income to the Feds. The tax income at the federal level is projected to bring in $10 Billion Dollars over the next decade. Will the Federal Government be willing to let go of that treasure trove coming into the Federal coffers as our nation’s deficit rises to historic levels? The compelling nature of easy money likely poses an obstacle to federal legalization.
Amongst those who study this issue, the thought is that the federal legal status is unlikely to be changed. However, enforcement and focus is likely to remain weak because it is clearly not the level of problem of heroin and the legal opioid crisis. The opioid crisis is UNIQUE to America and has been the cause of death of hundreds of thousands of people over the last decade. Interestingly, this is only a U.S. problem. There is NO such crisis in other countries. The pharmaceuticals trained up our M.D.’s to believe these opioids were not addictive!
WHAT ABOUT SMOKING “POT”?
From the science side, although many studies have been done on smoking marijuana, no lung cancer has yet been found from smoking it. However it is not wise to partake of high THC content before full adulthood at age 24. It affects neurological development. People do not die from overdoses, although too much THC can be very uncomfortable, create nightmares, etc. In any case, natural medicine practitioners generally discourage smoking anything because the lungs were not designed for smoke.
Although THC has its place in healing cancers and other diseases, we think CBD oil is the safest and most effective medium for the masses. It can be delivered via droppers or gel capsules. And doses need to be dosed at 12-15mg or more to be effective. Oftentimes people think it doesn’t work. Usually the dose used was too low.
EVOLUTIONARILY SPEAKING: HUMANS & CANNABIS
Why all the science buzz and the research into the health effects of cannabis? CBD (and THC for certain diseases) work hand-in-glove within a key system of cell receptors in the human body called the Endocannabinoid System. Who knew? Somehow we’ve got this neurotransmitter system inside our bodies which regulates a variety of physiological processes including appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory. We are ideally suited to be affected—and helped—by this plant. Our own bodies manufacture CBD, just not enough of it to manage certain situations. We are literally “biologically related” to these plants!
Humans have cultivated a relationship with the cannabis plant for thousands of years. Anthropologists have found evidence of its use in the medicines and ceremonies of many ancient cultures. Back in the 1960’s, marijuana got a bad reputation when it was labeled by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) as a “gateway drug”. As marijuana went underground, cannabis plants were selectively bred to enhance the psychoactive compounds (THC) and diminish the cannabidiol (CBD) compounds. Fast forward to today, and it’s all turning around. Nowadays much selective breeding is being done to move back to a greater balance of CBD in the whole plant. And we will all bear witness to the future of the use of this plant in America as we watch or participate in the battle of the cannabis industry vs. pharmaceuticals.
Other Articles to Reference re Longevity:
Staying Calm and Focused,
Deb Martin & Dr. David Martin
And all the Providers at Lotus Blossom Clinic
Serving the Greater Fort Myers area with Natural and Holistic Medicine: Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture, Massage, Science-backed Food as Medicine, Energy Medicine.
Legal Updates on CBD & Homeopathy, Mercola.com, published April 22, 2018
Bone Regrowth and Maintenance: PubMed, 2009 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19634029
CBD and Bone Fracture Healing: The Best Data Published for Medical Marijuana in Fifty Years https://www.biotrack.com/cbd-and-bone-fracture-healing-the-best-data-published-for-medical-marijuana-in-fifty-years/
Regulation of Skeletal Remodeling by the Endocannabinoid System. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1116: 414 to 422. Itai Bab. 2007. Ofek et-al 2006. op-cit