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 wellbeing.
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
Most 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, relieves anxiety, 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.
Products like Irie’s aim to capture the unique healing properties of cannabis with extracts high in one of its primary cannabinoids, cannabidiol (CBD). In each extract blend, CBD delivers a wide range of benefits of its own, which can figure into maintaining an existing state of wellness as well as addressing a state of imbalance. To augment these benefits, other medicinal plant extracts are added to create specialized blends like Irie’s CBD Calm, CBD Stress Support, CBD Lifeline, and CBD Flex. Each one is meant to accentuate a particular healing quality of CBD.
For example, CBD Calm includes the essential oils of lavender and peppermint, which potentiate and magnify the calming effects of CBD to help soothe the nervous system. CBD Stress Support adds extracts of four adaptogenic herbs: maca, mucuna, ashwaganda, and holy basil, which together are meant to help balance hormones, blood sugar levels, energy levels, and the stress response itself. CBD Lifeline, designed to address more serious health issues, includes frankincense, ginger, and sandalwood – powerful oils chosen based on their long history of helping people with medical conditions. CBD Flex incorporates Celadrin, whose esterified fatty acids create a sort of “fish oil on steroids” intended not only to relieve pain but to address joint healing directly. The same process of blending CBD with complementary medicinal plant extracts and herbs is used in the creation of specialty chocolates, honey sticks, and coconut sticks in Irie’s product line.
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 like Irie’s 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.