What is the Role of Medical Cannabis in Naturopathy?

Francis Cassidy December 3, 2020 0 comments

Naturopathy is a form of medicine that connects with innate body wisdom, not unlike cannabis.

Naturopathy is a form of medicine that evolved from a variety of traditional healing practices. It is primarily concerned with doing no harm and treating the root cause of the illness as opposed to the managing symptoms.

Naturopathic doctors tend to focus on functional causes of disease, so things like digestion, inflammation, and stress. Their treatments often include lifestyle recommendations, massage, vitamins, minerals, herbal remedies, acupuncture, and dietary changes.

Where allopathic medicine counteracts symptoms to promote healing, naturopathy digs deeper and treats each patient on a case-by-case basis. It is not uncommon for appointments with naturopathic doctors to last for one to two hours. In such cases, doctors attempt to understand the individual and the emotional issues that may underpin their illness. They then try to figure out how to treat any physical symptoms via holistic means.

Naturopathic doctors attempt to educate patients and encourage them to modify their behaviors, something that ultimately brings the body back into balance and leads to greater healing potential.

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naturopathy represented by cannabis plant in soil in person's hand

Naturopathy and Cannabis

The philosophy that underpins naturopathic medicine is very similar to that embodied by many medicinal cannabis patients. Naturopathy recognizes that disease can often begin in the emotional realm, a part that many find hard to connect with due to the hectic nature of modern life.

When used with a firm intention, cannabis has the ability to expand one’s conscious awareness. It’s a powerful spiritual ally and it allows people to connect with the innate wisdom within the body.

Many Naturopaths Embrace Cannabis

Michelle Sexton is a clinical cannabis researcher and naturopathic doctor. She is an assistant adjunct professor in the Department of Anesthesia at the University of California and author of several studies aimed at bringing medicinal cannabis into the mainstream.

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Her research into cannabis extends to topics as complex as multiple sclerosis and managing withdrawal symptoms with cannabis. But, many other studies serve to raise awareness of the benefits of medicinal cannabis. One of note is this one published in the Journal of Pain Research (2017).[1]Corroon, J. M., Jr, Mischley, L. K., & Sexton, M. (2017). Cannabis as a substitute for prescription drugs – a cross-sectional study. Journal of pain research, 10, 989–998. … Continue reading It highlights the growing trend among patients who opt for cannabis as a form of treatment over prescription drugs.

Of the 2,774 cannabis consumers involved, the study found that forty-six percent of them consumed cannabis as a substitute for prescription drugs. According to the study, “the most common classes of drugs substituted were narcotics/opioids (35.8 percent), anxiolytics/benzodiazepines (13.6 percent), and antidepressants (12.7 percent).”

The findings of the study represent a growing trend that points to less of a reliance on pharmaceutical drugs. As well as a return to holistic methods of medication more closely related to naturopathic means.

Breaking Down Healing: How Cannabis Helps

Naturopathic doctors will often begin treatment on the lowest level of intervention. Simple things like sleep, diet, and exercise, so often ignored, hold the key to regulation of the endocrine system and the immune system. Furthermore, this key trio also influence how individuals handle stress. It’s their dysregulation that often results in physical illness down the line. So cannabis consumption can help treat underlying issues with each.

Naturopathic doctors treat a wide range of illnesses that most commonly include allergies, insomnia, headaches, fertility issues and digestive problems. Not to mention obesity, hormonal imbalances, chronic pain, and chronic fatigue.

Also, when it comes to issues such as trouble sleeping or chronic pain, cannabis may be one of the most effective and non harming medicines available. The removal of such burdens brings the body back into alignment and helps promote healing.

Can Naturopathic Doctors Prescribe Cannabis?

Although some states do allow it, most don’t. But while naturopathic doctors can’t prescribe cannabis directly, they can perform a full assessment to see if a patient is eligible for medicinal cannabis. In such cases, a referral to a medical doctor who can then direct patients to a licensed medicinal cannabis provider is common practice.

naturopathy represented by oils and plants and homemade medicine

Healing Shouldn’t Be Unappealing

It’s the wisdom of our elders, now long forgotten by many, that may hold the key to healing. True health is to age with grace and understand that life’s a game to figure out, a game where learning to love is the fundamental premise. Once the underlying emotional issues are dealt with, the act of merely treating the symptoms of disease soon becomes a pointless practice. Further, it is one that only serves to prolong any needless suffering. While naturopathy or cannabis is not for everyone, there’s little doubt that people are slowly beginning to see the benefits of reconnecting to the old ways of healing and tuning into a deeper level.


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Francis Cassidy

Francis Cassidy is a freelance writer who writes on a variety of topics. With a particular focus on the cannabis industry, he aims to help ensure the smooth reintegration of cannabis back into global culture. When not writing, he's to be found exploring his new base in British Columbia, Canada. You can follow his other works including his photography on his blog thestrayphotographer.com

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