Could Cannabis Be Your Gateway to Full-Spectrum Plant Medicine?

“Western medicine tries to identify one compound, one effect. Here, we’re not. In traditional medicine, it’s a very holistic approach.” —Jean-Marc Montalvo

Cannabis is an extension of the plant queendom. That includes herbs, fruits, vegetables and every other living thing you put in your body that comes from what we like to call Mother Nature. An elevated mood, lower stress levels, mental agility and better overall health are all things that can be attributed to using cannabis as a wellness tool. Plants are living, breathing organisms with thousands and thousands of years of information to share. When our bodies break down foods or adaptogens, nontoxic substances, especially a plant extract that is held to increase the body's ability to resist the damaging effects of stress and promote homeostasis (i.e. cannabis), for nutrients, they are able to provide healing and promote wellbeing to our mental facilities, physical and emotional bodies.

Cannabis, like all other plants, is very complex but somehow manages to navigate the human body as an ally against sickness, disease and illness. Across many cultures and traditions, cannabis has been used for its medicinal and healing properties as an ancient medicine. Before there was modern medicine, people relied on herbal remedies. In fact, a lot of pharmaceuticals are derivatives of plants and herbs. While some medicinal drugs are designed synthetically, many are either made with or designed to emulate natural plant.

Common examples include:

Morphine, which originates from the opium poppy plant.

Amoxicillin and penicillin, two of many antibiotics on the market today, which comes from a fungus called Penicillium.

Aspirin, which contains compounds extracted from white willow tree bark.

Menthol, which is derived from Mint.

We know that unlike aspirin, white willow bark contains the chemical that prevents ulcers and stomach problems. And we know studies have demonstrated that garlic can be more effective as a broad-spectrum antibiotic compared to prescribed antibiotics that the body becomes resistant to over time.

This is why in many cases, it’s best not to isolate one cannabis compound, such as THC, but to consider products that contain both primary cannabinoids: THC and CBD. This is what’s known as the entourage effect:

The effects of each cannabis strain depend on the interaction between ALL of the compounds in the plant, otherwise known as the “Entourage Effect” of cannabis.  Every compound in the plant interacts to produce a wide range of effects.  Some compounds amplify the euphoric effects of cannabis, while others help to reduce the undesirable effects associated with primary compound, THC. A second primary compound, CBD, helps to reduce some of the psychoactive effects associated with THC while enhancing the medicinal properties of the plant.

What Cannabis reminds us is: full-spectrum plant-medicine is greater than the sum of its parts.

It starts with simply looking for that LOUD, some fire or simply quality, pesticide-free flower. But it shouldn’t stop there. Cannabis is the gateway to discovering other herbs and other inhabitants of the plant ecosystem. Plant-based medicine is the first step to exploring new ways of eating and living more mindfully.