Reversing The Stigma
Plant Medicine is renewing the lives of people with autoimmune disorders. Instead of gobbling down piles of prescription medications that only address symptoms, sufferers can simply and effectively digest part of a plant.
“It can benefit patients suffering from a wide range of autoimmune disorders because compounds in the marijuana plant activate receptors in the human brain and body that regulate inflammation and immune cell activity,” says Martin A Lee, Director of Project CBD.
The truth is, there is a lot of science behind the these plants, but until recently that very concept was taboo, adds Daniel McMahon, EVP of Government Solutions, BioTrackTHC.
Most people associate the oil with T-H-C, the molecule that causes users to get “stoned.” However, correctly extracted CBD is the second most abundant extract present in the plant and is rising in popularity because of its health properties.
“People often talk about the magic of marijuana, as opposed to the science of modern medicine,” says McMahon.
Research suggest that both CBD and THC, the two main cannabis compounds, help support organ, muscle, and joint health.
Autoimmune Disorders affect up to 50 million Americans, 75 percent of those being women. The root of these conditions remain a topic of much debate with theories ranging from bacterial infections and viruses to environmental irritants and recreational drug abuse.
Though symptoms may vary, all autoimmune diseases result when inflammation prompts the body to attack itself. In healthy people, the immune system is able to correctly determine invading foreign agents and either ward them off or eliminate them.
However, in those with autoimmune disorders, the immune system fails to differentiate between foreign intruders and the individual’s body. The resulting self-inflicted damage can ravage organs, cause pain, and even lead to death.
Currently, Western Medicine doesn’t recognize any official cures for autoimmune disorders. Treatments, which include anti-depressants and steroids, only focus on the alleviation of symptoms.
“It turns out we, as human beings, actually have natural receptors for cannabinoids, which is one of the reasons they work so well,” explains McMahon a Chron’s sufferer, who uses plant oil to support muscle and joint health.
CBD supports and helps the immune system, allowing the body’s self-defense to be able to recognize the difference between normal anatomy and foreign bodies.
And since CBD does not produce any psychoactive effects, it has minimal side effects, and is non-toxic and non-addictive.
The best way to describe this system is to use the analogy of vitamin D. There are vitamin D receptors in every tissue in our body and this is the system that interfaces with sunlight. The endocannabinoid system interfaces with the plant world and we receive all the benefits through this system. It’s crucial to homeostasis, pain reduction, neurotransmitter levels, and much more.
5 Autoimmune Disorders CBD Has Shown Great Promise In Helping:
- Rheumatoid Arthritis. In one research experiment at Hebrew University, lab mice with a version of RA experienced a joint health increased by 50 percent at the right dosages.
- Celiac Disease. According to the Mayo Clinic, 1 in 141 Americans have celiac disease (though it often goes undiagnosed). While THC helps to slow down the digestion and movement of food in the digestive tract, CBD works with CB2 receptors in the gut, to help against autoimmune attacks on the small intestine caused by consuming gluten.
- Fibromyalgia. One in every 50 Americans live with the fatigue and pain associated with this autoimmune disease. In a recent survey, published by Care By Design, 100 percent of fibromyalgia patients reported that they experienced a reduction in pain after using CBD-rich cannabis for at least 30 days. More than 80 percent of surveyed patients also experienced an improved sense of well-being.
- Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD). Recent research shows that CBD helps support health guy activity. While research on CBD’s effect on IBD is ongoing, the use of cannabis to promote healthy bowl activity has a lengthy history. In fact, over a century ago, cannabis was prescribed to offer relief from diarrhea.
- Diabetes Type 2. There are currently 375 million Type 2 Diabetes patients worldwide and an expected forecast of 550 million by 2030. CBD’s properties are theorized to improve the body’s metabolism and support insulin activity.
Preclinical studies have shown that cannabis components promote joint and muscle health.
“But because of marijuana prohibition, medical scientists, with few exceptions, have not been able to conduct clinical trials with cannabis to prove that it works with human subjects, not just with animals,” says Lee.