Phytocannabinoids: An Essential Nutrient By Erin Kala Lindley

My grandfather was at war with the Quack Grass on his farm. It encroached on his beautifully manicured lawns and flower beds. It wasn’t until after he passed away did we find out that, that specific grass was an herbal remedy for prostate cancer, the ailment he died of.

We are far more connected to the plant kingdom than we know. Hemp is the largest and longest cultivated crop in human history, our relationship with it dates back thousands of years.

Anyone who has ever spent time in a hemp field will attest…You feel great, the myriad of terpenes are uplifting. A farmer’s wife once told me that her arthritis all but disappeared just from sleeping with the window open next to her hemp field. Any Cannabis user will testify to the sense of well-being and calm this plant provides. A solution to the modern day plagues such as anxiety, depression and chronic pain with new users of non-psychoactive PhytoCannabinoids reporting an almost instant relief of symptoms.

If you give a hungry person food, their response to the nutrition is an almost instant relief of symptoms… Correct?

Essential Nutrients are defined as nutrients that the body cannot make or produce in sufficient quantities on its own so therefore need to be obtained through the diet. They include the building blocks of carbohydrates, essential fatty acids, proteins, certain vitamins and minerals, and water. The World Health Organization defines nutrients as essential for growth, reproduction and good health.

“An essential nutrient is a nutrient required for normal physiological function that cannot be synthesized in the body – either at all or in sufficient quantities – and thus must be obtained from a dietary source.”

The protein in hemp is one of the most easily digested proteins on the planet. Human Breast milk contains an abundant source of endocannabinoids, a specific type of neuromodulatory lipid that teaches a newborn child how to eat by stimulating the suckling process. The endocannabinoid system is the body’s communication system; mother’s milk gives the baby a vital life saving boost of these essential nutrients and then after weaning we are left to find Cannabinoid sources in our diet.

Phytocannabinoids are classified as plant phytochemicals that communicate with the endocannabinoid system. Food sources of phytocannabinoids include anandamide from cacao, beta caryophyllene from black pepper and the 140-plus cannabinoids from cannabis sativa which directly react with the CB1 and CB2 receptors.

There is no coincidence that our bodies contain a whole system that reacts to the plant we as humans have historically interacted with more than any other plant. The indigenous populations across the world have known for millennia what we found out about my grandfather’s Quack Grass: The medicine we need will grow around us. Turmeric, one of the cornerstones of Ayurvedic Medicine contains Cannamemmetics, a phytonutrient that indirectly communicates with the endocannabinoid system. Kava Kava is used as a spiritual medicine in Polynesian cultures and Ginseng, one of the most widely used plant medicines in Traditional Chinese Medicine also acts as a Cannamemmetic. Traditional Chinese Acupuncture points look very similar to the endocannabinoid system.

Bioflavonoids are a category of plant phytochemicals currently being considered as“Lifespan Essential” meaning that they are needed to achieve full lifespan by reducing chronic disease. Citrus bioflavonoids, polyphenols from tea, quercetin and proanthocyanidins from red wine are all currently being researched and are classified by common biochemical characteristics.

The scientific body of evidence for the establishment of a Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) of phytocannabinoids is growing everyday and rivals data on bioflavonoids and other plant phytochemicals currently considered Essential.

It’s time to start thinking about phytocannabinoids as a food with a focus of study daily intake recommendations rather than just a treatment or medicine.

During three distinct human developmental stages (embryonic implantation, prenatal brain development and postnatal suckling), the endocannabinoid system appears to play an essential role for development and survival.

Thus, during early pregnancy, both successful embryonic passage through the oviduct and successful implantation into the uterus require critical enzymatic control of optimal anandamide (a phytocannabinoid) levels at the appropriate times and sites.

In my opinion the role that phytocannabinoids play in conception and fetal development can lead to no other conclusion then this plant still considered a drug by the United Nations is in fact an essential nutrient.

“A study done in 2008 examined the concept of clinical endocannabinoid deficiency (CECD), and the prospect that it could underlie the pathophysiology of migraines, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, and other functional conditions alleviated by clinical cannabis. Conclusion: Migraine, fibromyalgia, IBS and related conditions display common clinical, biochemical and pathophysiological patterns that suggest an underlying clinical endocannabinoid deficiency that may be suitably treated with cannabinoid medicines.”

In December 2018 the United Nations tabled their decision to de-schedule Industrial Hemp as a narcotic. A plant that is as psychoactive as my Grandpa’s quack grass. A plant that provides 5 times as much fiber as trees and takes 90 days to grow. THE plant that can provide a solution to our climate woes.

In February of 2020 the United Nations tabled the de-scheduling again. In Spite of being presented with the evidence that it is an essential nutrient.

The organization we depend on for our global safety and wellbeing has knowingly decided to criminalize access to a plant that our body requires for normal physiological function. In my opinion, this (and many other things) render the UN irrelevant.

We are living in a pivotal time right now, the opportunity to shed greeds debris and live synergistically with our planet is not only upon us, but necessary. If the “powers” that be choose to make such a detrimental decision I see only one choice. Plant Hemp, Grow Hemp, Eat Hemp… Change the world.

Written and published By Erin Kala Lindley In Weed World Magazine Issue 146

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