DID YOU KNOW | Cannabis is one of the 50 “fundamental” herbs of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and is prescribed to treat diverse symptoms?
The many alternative healing modalities that together are grouped into the term “Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)” have been in operation in China and other parts of Asia for over 5,000 years.
This medicine includes forms of herbal medicine, massage (tui na), exercise (tai chi), dietary therapy and acupuncture.
Concluding | “Our results suggest that electro-acupuncture reduces inflammatory pain and pro-inflammatory cytokines in inflamed skin tissues through activation of CB2 receptors.” – Read the Study
Cannabis & Accupuncture
Many people are familiar with acupuncture and its uses, but most are not familiar with its connections to Cannabis. Researchers have now confirmed that acupuncture actually works with the endocannabinoid system.
Acupuncture is the use of needle insertions along key point of energy flow (called Meridians) in the body. The point of the insertions just below the skin’s surface is to unblock energy (called “chi” or “qi”). The build-up, sluggishness and blockage of one’s chi can lead to pain, imbalance and disease.
Recent research shows that, like cannabis, acupuncture actually works to regulate, heal and optimize the endocannabinoid system as well as the other systems of the body. If you are treating inflammation and pain with cannabis, adding acupuncture to your protocol just might be the one-two punch that your body needs for deep healing.
Did the ancient Chinese healers and acupuncturists of the past somehow know of the relationship between chi flow, opiate levels and the health of the endocannabinoid system long before the technology of modern medicine was able to see and prove the connection? We may never know for sure but one thing is certain: the ancients knew that cannabis was a powerful healing plant that can be used in many ways and for many different ailments, including as a powerful analgesic for surgery and as perhaps one of the basic elements of early acupuncture.
Documented History of Cannabis in Chinese Medicine
The ancient Chinese were an agricultural civilization watching patterns in nature, trying to figure how they fit in with the earth. The philosophies and therapeutics the Chinese created were eclectic, tested by time and people like Emperor Shen Nung.
Emperor Shen Nung; was a pharmacologist, who wrote a book on treatment methods in 2737 B.C., the first to include the medical benefits of Cannabis. – Emperor Nung was concerned with the failings of shamanism and studied the properties of Chinese plants. He often recommended a hemp elixir; that was likely a tea of leaves and flowers, and accepted hemp as payment.
The “Pen Ts’ao Ching” was compiled in 1 A.D., based on traditions from the time of Shen Nung and is known as the oldest pharmacopoeia, or herbal reference book. In it, Cannabis is recommended for more than 100 ailments, including gout, rheumatism, malaria and absentmindedness. Centuries later, a Chinese medical text described the use of marijuana to treat vomiting, parasitic infections and hemorrhages.
- 1 A.D.: “Pen Ts’ao Ching” compiled the oldest pharmacopoeia (herbal book) on record. It was largely based on Nung’s work and included the medical benefits of marijuana;
- 140-208 A.D.: Hua Tuo is credited with being the first person on record to use cannabis as an analgesic. It is hypothesized that the concoction utilized strong CBD-heavy strains of both leaf and flower ground to a pulp and mixed with wine for local and systemic administration. Tuo reportedly used cannabis in conjunction with acupuncture to numb pain during surgery;
- 700 A.D.: According to a 2008 report in the Journal of Experimental Botany, researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences discovered what could be the world’s oldest stash of marijuana “cultivated for psychoactive purposes,” in a remote part of China. The stash was inside a tomb of a man who appeared to be a shaman.
Are You Considering Combining Acupuncture & Cannabinoid Therapy in Your Treatment Plan?
If you are considering giving cannabis therapy a try in conjunction with acupuncture (for general pain or a specific condition), be sure to pick an acupuncturist that is at least open to cannabinoid therapy if you wish to combine the two.
Ideally, if you are living in a state where medical cannabis is legal, your acupuncturists should be knowledgeable about and may even be trained in cannabinoid therapy and how to use it in conjunction with acupuncture.
Questions to Ask Prior to Your Appointment
- What kind of acupuncture do you practice?
- What sterilization process do you use for your needles?
- What is your position on the use of cannabis for this ailment or for pain in general? Have you been trained in cannabinoid therapy in some way?