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The Role of Cannabis in Maintaining Health

What does healing mean to you? Like a zen koan, it’s a question that can unfold and inform. Regardless of one’s individual answer, there’s power in saying “yes” to healing. Opening ourselves to the possibility can bring adjustments that pave the way for physical, mental and emotional well-being.

         When considering the meaning of healing, it’s important to distinguish between healing and a cure. To cure is to make something go away; healing is an expression of greater wholeness. Whether a health challenge, a behavioral change or a growth point in a relationship, there is always an internal and an external aspect of healing. When we get the internal attitude and the external support right, power to heal is released.

         Healing is often about discovering what is holding us back in the first place. We all get in our own way at times; whether it’s constantly staying tied to work via cell phone or sacrificing sleep in favor of getting more done, it’s easy to be resistant and persistent in patterns that aren’t serving us. The internal component of healing is often an allowing, a relaxing, and a willingness to see things differently. The external component can entail many things, one of which is plant medicine.

Plant Medicine and Integrated Healing

If we take into account the amount of stress that most of us are under in a normal day, as well as the lack of good nutrition in the average diet, it’s no wonder that we are experiencing unprecedented levels of diabetes, obesity, autism, anxiety, cancer, autoimmune conditions, and other expressions of imbalance. Medicinal plants could play a much larger role in most people’s lives by helping them maintain a balanced, healthy state.

         Plant medicine works through the introduction of nutrients that bind with many sites in the body. These nutrients support proper biochemical processes, many of which increase physical, mental and emotional resiliency. Plants differ from pharmaceuticals in that they are supportive and therapeutic without being dictatorial. They don’t force a particular function on the body; instead, they offer support in ways that allow greater adaptability and capacity for homeostasis. The body can often use the same medicinal plant to address either a hyper or a hypo state of imbalance, frequently making these plants more effective agents for healing than pharmaceuticals. The same is true of the potential of medicinal plants in helping the body maintain an existing state of wellness.

         Of all medicinal plants, cannabis is recognized as one of the most important. It is unique because it is the only plant to contain significant amounts of different cannabinoids. Many doctors and nutritionists claim that cannabinoids should be listed as essential nutrients: whereas deficiencies of certain vitamins can beget specific conditions (vitamin C and scurvy, vitamin D and rickets), a diet low in cannabinoids leaves a person more susceptible to imbalances. Cannabinoids are a big deal.

The Role of Cannabinoids in Maintaining Health

Many people reading this article are familiar with the role cannabinoids play in supporting the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a modulating system that resets the nervous system and helps to protect it from a host of stressors. It also balances the immune system and increases cell-to-cell communication. Cannabis is the closest thing to a panacea of all the plants available: it lowers blood sugar levels, reduces muscle spasms and relieves anxiety. It is used to manage psychosis and features anti-inflammatory, pain relieving, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. We are still in the infancy of reaching our full potential with this plant.

         True healing often starts with a shift in how one relates to oneself—a willingness to pinpoint where our issues are stemming from, and to address them at their source. This shift is not always easy. CBD products are meant to help provide support at the most fundamental level, when our normal way of operating is not getting it. They are, in a sense, a “yes” to healing.

Rick Potts is co-founder of Irie Hemp Company. To explore Irie’s complete product line, visit


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