Doctors over the centuries relied upon cannabis.
Picture an old fashioned family doctor making his house calls with his little black bag tucked full of the essentials of his trade. One of the weapons against common ailments he relied upon was extract of cannabis.
Around the turn of the 20th century, concoctions including Squire’s Extract, Infant’s Relief and Kohler’s One Night Cough Cure began the roots in emerging companies we call big pharma today.
The list of treated human maladies ranged from epilepsy to diabetes, hemorrhoids to asthma, colic to malaria, migraines to menstrual pain; a vast array indeed. This was also the era of the Snake Oil Salesman and the cannabis was often mixed with strong opiates and ingredients we wouldn’t even think about consuming today; like kerosene!
We now know cannabis as a safe treatment
for multiple conditions is strengthened by the fact that lethal dosages are unheard of; a person simply could not physically consume enough marijuana to cause the heart to stop beating nor the lungs to stop breathing.
Compare that to the number of iatrogenic deaths
caused by pharmaceutical drugs which commonly target the area of the brain that controls heart beat and breathing. The recent past is full of lethal over-dose tragedies and they are an exclamation point to this fact: No one has ever died from too much marijuana.
What does “Iatrogenic” mean? Iatros means “physician” in Greek and -genic, means “induced by” – derived from the International Scientific Vocabulary. In 2000, the Journal of the American Medical Association carried a study by Dr. Barbara Starfield (John Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health) that put Iatrogenic deaths in America at the astounding number of 250,000! The most significant number of these unnecessary deaths, 106,000, were due to the negative effects of properly prescribed drugs, making them the fourth leading cause of death in America.
So why the demonization of the prolifically growing, safe and effective cannabis plant?
Could it simply be that there is little monetary incentive for behemoth drug manufacturers to pursue cannabis based medicines?
Think about it: if most backyards had an aspirin
tree would we find it on the drug store shelves?
Could it be that three generations of scare tactic propaganda has permeated our culture so deeply that it is safer to “just say no’ than to risk investigating the possibilities of natural cannabis based treatments for what ails us?
Perhaps it is parents who fear loss of control over their teen’s curiosity that has continued to fuel the myths of a menacing “gateway drug”.
There is no doubt that marijuana can alter a person’s behavior and state of mind. That can be scary to some; it is powerful medicine that deserves respect and a lot more research.
When I discovered I could apply cannabis topically
to alleviate my swollen joints and relieve my headaches without messing with my state of mind, I wanted to understand how.
I found my answer in the study of the endocannabinoid system. It turns out cannabis can supply the missing key that has the ability to turn down pain signals in our cells. In fact, it works on all mammals and ancient healers to horsemen have used it for centuries to reduce inflammation; a main cause of many discomforts.
Cool! Mess with the pain, not the brain!
I will be digging deeper into this topic and I invite you to share what I discover hidden within the history of marijuana’s coexistence with mankind. Maybe someday, your family’s MD may recommend you relieve your symptoms with a little dab of dank. Groovy!