Super Plant and Superfoods: Cannabis and Amazing Antioxidants
By: Sekou M. Black aka Ku the Conduit
Every now and then, I’ll find myself amongst friends, co-workers or family and the conversation will shift to the latest health trend. Sometimes it is some crazy outbreak because that’s what they are, crazy, or even the latest power drink or new superfood that, at the time, is proposed to be the next “Cure All, It SLICES, It DICES, clears your arteries and makes you look younger and live longerrrr!” or something like that. With all of the amazing healing qualities isolated within plants found in nature, it is no surprise that naturally cultivated cannabis, the beloved flower of power, hosts an amazing array of benefits when eaten and ingested in raw form as well as when introduced to other powerful natural foods. Off top, cannabis has been known to be very rich in antioxidants, neuroprotective antioxidants, (as reported by the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, 2000) as well as containing omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.
These fatty acids as well as cellular responses generated by the richness of antioxidants have been found scientifically to help with illnesses that begin in the brain, such as Parkinson’s , as well as help repair and aid in the growth of new brain cells from traumatic brain injuries. Evidence through intensive studies have suggested that cannabinoids within the wonder plant have a tendency to demonstrate efficacy of attenuated neurodegeneration and reduced lesion volume. In other words after traumatic brain problems, it helps slow down, then halts cell death as well as slows down the process that leads to cell death, in many cases helping to grow new functioning cells. Even in stroke victims, cannabinoids from THC, the psychoactive chemical found in cannabis as well as non-psychoactive compound cannabidiol, derived from from hemp have found to trigger a cellular response amongst endocannabinoids (eCBs) such as 2-AGs which are found to work with our CB1 and CB2 receptor cells, the cells that aid our immune system. Although many of these scientific studies are first conducted on mice and rats, there are hopes with new studies out of Israel, UK as well as China. Our beloved country sadly falls in last place when it comes to these amazing studies however, like I have mentioned many times, hope is on the horizon.
Cannabis, known for containing dozens of natural chemical compounds called cannabinoids, has been documented to possess many fatty acids which are essential for human functioning. These fatty acids are found only in a handful of similar plants yet nowhere near the high concentrations of cannabinoids found in cannabis. Not only have everyday folks like you and me and about a thousand of raw-foodists have been curious but medical professionals are quickly seeking our as well as conducting research to validate claims about the healing properties of cannabis nutritionally.
According to Dr. Courtney, Medical Doctor and powerhouse in the Raw Greens Cannabis Movement, known for recommending raw cannabis to patients reports that cannabinoid fatty acids have benefits essential for basic human functioning as well as for preventative measures. Many enjoy smoking, as cannabis had been for centuries recreationally yet more are discovering how juicing cannabis as well as infusing cannabis with other nutrient-rich superfoods can furthermore boost the achieved health benefits gained from common as well as not-so-common exotic health foods.
Dr. Courtney reports that cannabinoids acids are anti-inflammatory, antioxidants, and anti-diabetic, anti-ischemic as well as having anti-tumoral effects. One major thing to consider is the source. The more natural the method of cultivating, the more nutrient-dense the plant can be. This is no surprise, as organic gardening has been scientifically proven to produce foods carrying up to 30% more nutrition, or carbon molecules than non-organic, meaning it probably tastes better, smells better and holds more nutrition due to there being more cells, tightly connected and masterly formed. Have you ever heard the old school anecdote “The Blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice!”? Contrary to belief, humankind has been relying on as well as succeeding in healing serious illnesses using such plants as cannabis. Well just as we’re told that dark leafy vegetable greens and those dark red and purple foods have been found to be rich in antioxidants, thanks to research, the same can now be said about cannabis.
Although we would love to have our own herb store in our backyards or porches, there are specific conditions that grow fruits, veggies and of course, our beloved cannabis requires love as does anything else that needs sun and water. Climate, weather, and growth conditions (whether grown hydroponically or using soil mixes) are determining factors with any crop yet proper propagation can host a number of benefits, not just for the smoker, but for the health-improvement seeking eater of cannabis. Flavonoids called Anthocyanins are responsible for the wide array of colors found in foods such as blueberries, tomatoes, raspberries and other foods; so the darker the hue of the pant, the more anthocyanins. Are you surprised? Cannabis buds as well as leaves have these same compounds, which in a 2004 scientific review on anthocyanins suggests they can decrease inflammation, protect cellular DNA from damage, support building of strong cell membranes, as well as help to maintain hormonal health. Anthocyanins are also reported to have anti-cancer properties as well as contribute to heart health.
Best-selling author and macrobiotic chef and San Francisco native Clint Werner states that a proper diet stimulates and regulates the endocannabinoid system- (a natural network of information relays and immune responses using cannabinoids, CB1 & CB2 receptor cells that aid our immune system). He relays how the high sugar and fat content found in many common and popular edibles can cancel out the possible health benefits found, noting- “I find it dismaying that so many of the cannabis edibles available in medical dispensaries are loaded with sugar and other refined, empty caloric additives.” Who doesn’t get a sweet tooth every now and then we say, right? When faced with serious health care issues & Ills, we then find ourselves searching for alternatives to the pills such as the herbal healing we know with combinations of cannabis, the plant with the skills.
Dr. Adam Richardson PHD, Chief Scientific Officer at Aegis Biotech, and metabolism scientist who recently spoke at a Women Grow event in Hollywood, on April, 18th of this year sent me scientific articles of how cannabinoids can do many things for the diet such as help to regulate diabetes, fight obesity, tumor growth, tissue inflammation, as well as metabolism issues. Imagine if we combined the benefits of cannabis with the benefits of superfoods such as chia seeds, chocolate, and coconuts. The health benefits would almost be doubled, adding cannabis as a natural cell and organ regulator, our bodies will be able to take in beneficial nutrients while maintaining the balance needed to do so. So keep an eye out when visiting your favorite dispensary or at your favorite event, as edible producers such as Swerve, Native Seed, Om Edibles and many new others are offering just that, a delightful superfood experience that might also add health benefits with interesting flavors. I can’t vouch and say I’ve tried them all so you’ll just have to seek for yourself and see which infusion with superfoods and flowers tantalises your taste buds. This makes me wonder where the edible manufacturing industry is going to go with the new regulations coming into effect this July, but I’ll save that for another post. Here’s a poetic ending as usual.
Food for Thoughts
Slaves to the plate we consume gladly what others lovingly create
Fortunes turning as the clock quickens
Seeking a higher quality of a wholesome existence
For an edible to be incredible it must provide health assistance
When gummies, syrups and sugar cereals are seldom sought
Our wanting for tradition is ever coming
As we perfect our palates and hope for something different
Changing with the course of continuance we begin to seek nutrition
Watching our family members & loved ones either come or leave with fruition
Realizing that what always was, heals more than body, yet centers the mind
Gosh darnitt why are good, tasty, wholesome edibles kinda hard to find?
Herb.co, medicalmarijuanainc.com, greenstate.com,
Picture sources: Ku the Conduit, cureyourowncancer.org, oneradionwtwork.com, researchgate.net
… and a bunch of other highly technical scientific medical journals and stuff that I understand well & often geek out on.