The use of cannabis in Chinese medicine dates back over 1800 years, which is quite fascinating. Rather than solely focusing on whether cannabis “cures” certain conditions, a better approach may be to consider whether it can assist with healing. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, over 20 percent of the population suffers from anxiety and stress disorders, resulting in a chronic sympathetic reaction and fight or flight response. This, in turn, can cause deficiencies in rest and digestion and an underactive hypothalamus, leading to a deficiency of vital hormones.
The sympathetic reaction is the body trying to respond like a gazelle in a lion’s presence. Chronic sympathetic overuse leads to a host of other issues, such as high blood pressure, eye strain, slowed digestion, and sleep deprivation. This is where cannabis comes in – a psychoactive drug that has been used for medicinal purposes in China for thousands of years. The seeds of the cannabis plant, known as huo ma ren, are still used in Chinese medicine today.
However, there are concerns surrounding the extraction of the active ingredients from cannabis, and how they are ratioed and governed. Many believe that the whole plant should be used in medical applications, just as sea salt and cane sugar should be valued for their micronutrients. A natural psychoactive drug used responsibly could be of great value in providing relief for the overacting sympathetic nervous system.
When used during meditation, the whole cannabis plant could be particularly healing for those experiencing pain. Meditation provides the body with more oxygen and blood flow, which can help alleviate pain. Cannabis could take a person deeper into meditation for better sleep, digestion, and healing overall.