With the advent of modern medical advances, you can calculate your projected age of demise by adding 15 to 20 years on to the age of your oldest living relative. If you are a cannabis consumer, I'm here to tell you that you may actually be prolonging your life by smoking, eating edibles, or using CBD. If you like the prospect of looking and feeling great now and into your elder years, then you'll be happy to learn the following pro tips.
What Is Inflammation?
First, it's important to discuss the dangers of what doctors call “inflammation” and what it means to your health. Inflammation is often a healthy sign of healing when limited to a local area of the body such as swelling surrounding a small scratch. Unfortunately, for many, if not most Americans, this is not the case – inflammation is present across the entire body and can lead to major health issues. Our lifestyles are primarily to blame.
Excessive alcohol consumption; environmental toxins; a diet of processed foods with omega-6 oils and corn syrup (processed foods); lack of exercise; too much stress; obesity; or genetic factors could lead to inflammation or in some cases what is known as chronic inflammation. Doctors are calling this condition of chronic inflammation an epidemic.
The bad news (well, maybe “worse” is more accurate) is that prolonged levels of inflammation can lead to premature aging, general discomfort, muscle spasms, aches and pains in the joints, and at higher levels, a slew of diseases:
- Certain Types Of Cancers
- Crohn's Disease
- Rhematoid Arthritis
- Type 2 Diabetes
Don't worry, this article gets better – here are some great solutions that are easy and pleasant to administer. A healthy lifestyle, a dash of cannabis, and some basic body maintenance can reduce the risk of inflammation, helping you to both feel and look amazing in your meat suit for many years to come.
To understand how marijuana reduces inflammation, let's turn our attention to a brief biology lesson brought to us by the joys of modern science. The human endocannabinoid system is the intersection of brain function, cell function, and our immune systems. For the purposes of this article, we are focused specifically on what are known as the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system. CB1 is located primarily in the brain and is associated with the psychoactive experience brought on by the cannabinoid found in cannabis called THC a.k.a Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol.
CB2 is located primarily in the immune system. The cannabinoid beta-carophyllene, which makes up 12 to 35 percent of essential oil derived from the cannabis plant, selectively activates the CB2 receptor in what is known as an “antiproliferative” effect. The activation inhibits the release of inflammatory factors. In tests with mice, up to 70 percent showed a decrease in swelling after taking cannabis essential oil.
As mentioned above, our diet can also directly affect levels of inflammation. Leading edge geneticists are most recently focused on the “microbiome,” a term coined by Nobel Prize-winning molecular biologist Joshua Lederberg and defined as the population of microbes that inhabit us in our digestive system and elsewhere in our bodies. “The microbiome helps regulate immunity, and it also produces chemical by-products during the digestive process that reduce inflammation” (pg. 80).
Are you over 18?
In their recent book Super Genes, Dr. Deepak Chopra and Rudolph Tanzi discuss what they refer to as “radical well-being”. They advise that fiber found in fresh fruits such as orange juice, bananas, and vegetables such as garlic or asparagus is essential to countering the effects of high fat, high sodium foods that most fast food menus offer. Probiotics are an important addition found in Greek yogurt, fermented sauerkraut, or pickles. (p. 90) Asian mushrooms, omega-3 oils such as flax, bone broth (new on the health scene), and the spices turmeric and ginger are also conducive to reducing inflammation by nurturing the micro-organisms in our gut.
Eat Your Mean Greens
To experience the full benefits of this science, consider adding cannabis to your list of green, must-eat vegetables. Here's a simple salad recipe devised to deliver a party in your mouth and a strong anti-inflammatory pacifier to your gut.
- Dark Leafy Greens Such As Kale Or Beet Leaves
- Grilled Salmon
- Chopped Celery
- Cooked Beets, Chopped In Quarters
- Low-Fat Part Skim Mozzarella Cubed
- Cannabis Infused Seeds And Nuts Such As Pura Vida Sunny Seeds Containing Organic Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Coconut Oil, And Spices (vegan)
Dressing: Mix 2 tablespoons of tahini sauce with one tablespoon of red wine vinegar.
Bonus: For a healthy anti-inflammatory snack, try Garden of Weeden medicated banana chips.
Take It Topically
For local swelling from exercise or discomfort caused by repetitive use of electronic devices, try a topical balm such as Flour Child CBD-rich Relief Balm for Chronic Pain made from organic ingredients.
As always, it is suggested that you consume cannabis responsibly and consult your physician for dietary advice particular to your needs. Live in abundant health.
- Deepak Chopra, M.D., & Rudolph E. Tanzi, PH.D. Super Genes. New York: Harmony, 2015. Print.