There is a substance in nature which has exceedingly potent properties. It possesses properties which make it invaluable for a wide range of health conditions as well as the means for preventing such disorders. This is cannabis, also known popularly as marijuana. In this book what is described is medicinal marijuana, not the drug type that is smoked. It is the type which does not have hallucinogenic properties and will be hereby described as cannabis or hemp.
Regarding the non-hallucinogenic plant the term cannabis is synonymous with hemp. The now popular nutritional food, hemp seeds, are the seeds of the cannabis plant. Cannabis is merely the scientific name. It does not imply hallucinogenic properties.
In previous history hemp was used for a wide range of products, including the production of paper, clothes, and rope. Hemp rope is the toughest type known, and hemp based paper, used, for instance, by Chinese and Islamic civilizations, is the sturdiest, most long-lasting ever produced. Books made from hemp paper are still extent today despite being 1000 years-plus old. In Europe such paper was also produced and used during the Middle Ages and, once again, is still extent through Medieval-era books. Yet, there are two kinds of cannabis, the food or industrial kind and also the addictive kind, the one grown for recreational use. Hemp, that is cannabis, is not evil to any degree and is, rather, of vast benefit upon humankind.
Even so, there is a form which is noxious. This is marijuana, the type raised as a hallucinogen. The regular smoking of such hallucinogenic plant matter is an issue of concern, as it does lead to negative effects, both upon the individual and society at-large. Like any other drug the continuous use of marijuana can cause tissue damage, while also having a derogatory effect on the psyche. In contrast, the smoking of hemp is not an issue, that is industrial hemp, as it is not hallucinogenic and does not have negative effects upon the body. No one can get high on its leaves. Botanically, it is a different plant and is entirely safe for human consumption.
The hemp plant as a natural medicine has vast value. Here, no one is suggesting it be smoked. Rather, the premise of this book is in regard to the internal consumption of this astoundingly valuable natural medicine and/or its use topically. It is fully established that hemp is one of the most nutritionally dense of all foods, being exceedingly rich in vitamins and minerals as well as protein. What isn’t as well established is that the plant has countless numbers of highly potent substances, phytochemicals, which find vast use in the treatment of human disease.
These phytochemicals exert properties which are of value in a wide range of conditions, including potentially deadly diseases. Widespread in nature these phytochemicals or their similars are found in the barks of trees, in the needles of evergreens, within a wide range of foods, and, extensively, in aromatic plants such as spices and herbs. Collectively, these substances are known by a variety of distinctions such as aromatic compounds, phenolic compounds, aromatic esters, aromatic terpenes, terpenoid compounds, and, of course, that key distinction, cannabinoids.
By implication cannabinoids are substances found, as would be expected, in cannabis. Yet, this is a short-sighted view. The fact is hemp is merely one of a number of plants rich in these compounds. There is a notable reason they are so widespread. For optimal health living bodies, whether animals or humans, need the cannabinoids. Such beings have specific, deliberate systems for making use of these substances. Consider the human body. Here is found a specialized physiological system known as the endocannabinoid system. The prefix “endo” means within. The endocannabinoid system is within the body for a specific reason, which is to accept cannabinoid receptor activators. These activators help modulate the function of a wide range of elements, including the detoxification, immune, neurological, and endocrine systems. One such key hemp-based phytochemical is the aromatic compound caryophyllene, also known as beta caryophyllene. This is classified as a terpene molecule or terpenoid. It is a substance which may be regarded as virtually miraculous in its powers. In its terpene fraction concentrated extracts of hemp, known as CO2 extracts, are up to 50% beta caryophyllene by weight. Other dense sources of this novel compound include black pepper, particularly the novel West African type, echinacea, hops, basil, rosemary, sage, and oregano. Terpenes are defined as “unsaturated hydrocarbons.” The compounds are made up of what is known as “repeating isoprene units.” In fact, life is made up of such chemical compounds. They are also defined as any of a group of “unsaturated hydrocarbons of the chemical formula C10H16, found in essential oils and oleoresins of plants such as conifers.” Virtually all evergreen trees are rich in terpenes.
That makes sense. Has not everyone heard of “turpentine,” which is just one such terpene-rich complex from pine trees? In fact, turpentine is the obsolete term for describing these compounds.
American Heritage Dictionary states that the commonly known nutrient beta carotene is a terpene. That makes sense when considering the name, carotene. It is close to caryophyllene. Another chemical term which describes these novel substances is sesquiterpene, of which beta caryophyllene belongs. Sesquiterpenes are among the most powerful natural therapeutic substances known. Obviously, then, terpenes are largely food-like substances. In other words, they are entirely edible. Merely the products of plant biosynthesis, where carbon is fixed as a result of the interaction of sunlight, terpenes are found in virtually all plant foods. They are most heavily concentrated in vegetation, that is barks, leaves, the stalks of plants, berries, fruit, and vegetables. The densest sources of the caryophyllenes are aromatic plants such as cannabis and flavorful spices, also those various trees with much aroma, including those of the pine and fir families.
No one bans for human use pine or fir bark or for that matter natural spices. How, then, can an extract of hemp, in this case of its stalks, be considered anything other than fully legal, impossible to ban? Regardless, no doubt, the industrial hemp species, the type ultra-low in hallucinogenic compounds, is an invaluable natural medicine. This is largely because of the terpenoid molecules, the most predominant of which are the caryophyllenes.
The caryophyllene group of compounds exert their powers on the same class of receptor sites activated by marijuana: the cannabinoid receptors. As a drug marijuana acts on two groups of receptors, known as CB1 and CB2. These receptors are the key to understanding cannabis’ powers. They act to coordinate signals to key organ systems in order to maintain a state in the body known as homeostasis. The latter essentially means normalization and/or balance in bodily functions. CB1 receptors are responsible for the mood-altering effects, known as psychoactive effects. In contrast, CB2 receptor sites are the conduit for therapeutic actions such as the body’s response to inflammation, pain, immune activation, and tissue damage as occurs in hardening of the arteries, cancer, arthritis, and osteoporosis. Activation of these receptors is health-giving. CB2 receptor activation is devoid of psychoactive reactions.
CB2 receptors are found in a wide range of tissues, including the intestinal canal, thyroid gland, adrenal glands, ovaries, testes, liver, spleen, heart, kidneys, blood vessels, lymphatic cells, and bones. Of course, they are also found in abundance in the brain and spinal cord although to a much lesser extent than CB1 receptors.
This is an impressive representation for these receptors. It demonstrates how truly powerful CB2 receptor activators are: that they could exert such a wide diversity of beneficial effects. In this regard it has been determined that caryophyllene molecules have a highly direct action on these tissue receptors. This substance selectively binds to the CB2 receptor sites, activating it or reviving it, that is if it is burdened by overload or toxicity. The same is true of the majority of the other 60 or so hemp-based cannabinoids. Since the 1960s scientists have been fully aware of the existence of these receptor sites, knowing that their activation is a key in disease treatment and prevention. body, scientists know, have them there for a reason, and the primary reason, they presume, is for regulation. They also know that industrial hemp is the richest source of cannabinoid receptor site activators known. Yet, what has been the focus of modern science? It has been to synthesize CB2 activators, essentially, synthetic forms of cannabinoids. Many of these synthetics now exist with a number of them fully patented.
While hemp has a great diversity of cannabinoids, here, researchers have been short-sighted. They have focused on single substances, such as cannabinol and tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, instead of the synergistic whole. That’s right, all the various cannabinoids work in a complementary way together. Single molecules, whether isolated or synthetic, are not the answer. Nor is neglecting one of the most prolific ones, beta caryophyllene, an effective approach. THC is the active ingredient of hallucinogenic marijuana. This has led to the production of synthetic drugs and/or isolates based on this compound. Yet, despite its potential powers and much positive results there are significant drawbacks to such an approach, including relapses, treatment failures, and the potential for side effects.
Yet, despite the sophisticated nature of these various cannabinoids they are no match for the ultimate cannabinoid receptor activator. This is beta caryophyllene, one of the most powerful therapeutic substances known. A focus on this molecule changes the entire platform for cannabis therapy. This is because rather than a drug beta caryophyllene is a foodstuff, essentially a food-based phytochemical. In fact, in terms of foods or herbs the most potent receptor activators are the plants which are richest in this substance. All such plants are phytochemical-rich and, therefore, therapeutic power-houses.
The densest food/plant sources of beta caryophyllene are as follows:
• CO2 hemp extract
• wild rosemary
• wild oregano
• black pepper, particularly West African types
• clove buds
• holy basil
• regular parsley
• Italian parsley
• Italian parsley root
• wild sage
All such foods, spices, and herbs have positive actions on the endocannabinoid system. In addition, the barks of various trees, notably pine and fir, are dense sources of this compound. Consider what is seen, here, the human experience, historically and medicinally, with such spices, herbs, and foods. These are among the most aromatic, intensely flavorful of all plant complexes known. It is the various caryophyllene molecules which are largely responsible for the intensity of these flavors as well as odors. Beta caryophyllene and its sister molecules may well be the most medically important of all substances known, a discovery set forth in this book for the first time.
Not every food is super-rich in this crucial terpene. That is why the above list is so important, because it demonstrates the densest sources known which can be readily consumed. Curiously, regarding people all over the world the listed foods, herbs, and spices are among the most popular of all. Who hasn’t enjoyed the healthy feeling of eating carrot and celery sticks? Moreover, all people love oregano as a flavor enhancer, and many people are major users of black pepper.
A standard in the health-giving Mediterranean diet parsley is highly popular as a food flavoring and food on its own. The flavor of basil is enticing and highly warming. Consider lime; who doesn’t enjoy the robust flavor it adds to virtually any food or beverage? Sage is less popular among Westerners, although it is unsurpassed when used in the cooking of liver and poultry. Wild sage tea is commonly consumed by long-lived, healthy mountain villagers of Greece and Turkey. Regarding cinnamon and cloves there is no need to reiterate their popularity, whether in ancient times, the Middle Age era, the Victorian age, or modern times.
So, it is clear. Whether deemed hemp or cannabis this plant is a food-like complex. In the wild deer browse on it. Birds relish the seeds. Insects feast on the nectar. The components of cannabis are highly similar to those found in common foods and spice. The cannabis plant is a blessing to humankind. Let us learn its chemistry, nutritional density, medical uses, and far more in order to understand it and take maximum advantage of it. No doubt, it will prove to be a cure for all those who are desperate to improve their health and to reverse that.