Last night we were with a group of our friends from our church and my husband mentioned that we had created a new business and everyone was curious and asked for more information. When he said the words medical marijuana you could have heard a pin drop. Several people said wow, that’s the last thing they expected him to say. He then proceeded to brag about the amazing benefits of this God given plant. Some disengaged from the conversation and those with chronic pain tuned in to learn more. Some of the reactions did not surprise me because I too shared some of their skepticism, judgement and negative thoughts about this plant that has brought heartache and pain to so many families. My opinion only changed after I opened my mind and researched it for myself. Sadly, this plant has been exploited and abused by users which has given it a bad name. Growers through the years have created hybrid strains of cannabis to create that perfect high and the market is not short of customers. Knowledge of the medical benefits of this plant were secondary and for years non-existent at least in the minds of many.
Let me be clear, this plant is not on this earth by accident, in fact it has been used as a food as well as for healing for thousands of years. There is even scripture in the original Hebrew version of the bible in Exodus, (30:22-23) that refers to a Holy anointing oil that was rubbed on Jesus’ body after his crucifixion and before he was wrapped in cloth. When translated the recipe for this oil, some scholars believe, included olive oil, cinnamon, myrrh, cannabis and other fragrant herbs. Yes, cannabis!
Asian countries had been using cannabis as a food source and for medical purposes for decades before the West discovered its medicinal benefits. In fact, it wasn’t until the mid 19th century before the use of cannabis as medicine began to grow here. There were at least 2000 cannabis medicines prior to 1937, produced by over 280 manufacturers. It was prescribed for a number of conditions and used by doctors regularly. It wasn’t until the mid 1930’s that marijuana became regulated and in most cases illegal. The benefits to the medical community and patients became overshadowed by drug abuse. The plant now became dark and dangerous in the eyes of many. Powerful marketing campaigns taught generation after generation that cannabis was awful, dangerous and a gateway drug to narcotics.
Yes, cannabis with high levels of THC when heated transforms into a drug that is often smoked to create a buzz and it can be harmful to users for a number of reasons. But the story does not have to end there. Take the coca plant for example. Its leaves have been used to make teas for thousands of years. These teas are said to provide medicinal benefits to people with respiratory problems as well as digestive distress. An extract from these leaves can also be found in Coca Cola. But you know what else? When processed this same plant is what produces cocaine. When you take a God given plant and misuse it, it can be abused. But does this mean that it should be outlawed?
Our nation is being bombarded by drug abuse, its epidemic and yes, I agree it needs to be regulated. But we as a society have to get back to basics and look and see what is growing on this planet naturally. God has given us everything we need for survival, including plants that heal. We need to stop turning exclusively to synthetic drugs to cure us. I’m not saying there is not a place for these drugs, but these drugs should be in addition too, not in lieu of.
It wasn’t until the United States heard about a little girl named Charlotte Figi, who was suffering from more than 300 seizures a week, did the script begin to change. Her parents, desperate for any medicine that would help their daughter were turned on to cannabis. Their daughter was only five at the time and they certainly did not want her to get high, that is when they learned about cannabidiol or CBD. CBD is the dominant cannabinoid in hemp, or cannabis with less than .03% THC. When oil is extracted from the entire hemp plant it contains more than 80 cannabinoids that work synergistically. This team work is often referred to as the entourage effect. This full spectrum plant oil is what contains healing properties that parents around the world have sought to help their children with seizures. Like most medicine, nothing works 100%, but it gives hope to those who have become hopeless. Thankfully CBD is helping children like Charlotte around the world.
My prayer is that people will begin to see this plant, not as an ugly weed that is dried and smoked but as a beautiful gift from God, growing on earth to consume as a superfood and as medicine.