Hemp, cannabis and why we’ve shifted

by May 27, 2020

While Medicine Box’s products contain a host of herbs, no one ingredient gains more attention or causes more controversy than cannabis.

In particular, we’ve always been big proponents of whole-plant solutions, rather than isolates, which has always been a sticking point in bringing our products to a wider audience. But with our latest reformulations, not to mention a brand new tincture for the Pandemic Era, we’ve made a step forward, one which we should explain for some of our longtime followers as well as the newer customers.

It’s pretty simple: we figured out early on that our brand was not going to be about getting high, but getting well. And for too many people, THC = Getting High. This, of course, ignores the existence of FDA-approved THC pharmaceuticals like Marinol and Cesamet and the continued exploration of THC for relief in chronic pain, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, muscular dystrophy, and many other conditions. We have maintained that the conflation of THC with partying has sold the plant short, and unfortunately, stoner culture’s overemphasis on the high has obscured its therapeutic properties. One day, we certainly hope that THC’s full utility will be grasped apart from its unfair stigmatization. Luckily, in the meantime, the cannabis plant always provides, and we have taken heart in the potential of the plant’s many other cannabinoids to bestow help. Still, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Hemp vs. cannabis

Full spectrum

By now, I’m sure you’ve seen how some forms of hemp are marketed as “full-spectrum,” “broad spectrum” and “wide-spectrum.” This, of course, refers to the amount of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavinoids the solution contains. This, by the way, can legally contain THC, but only less than .3%. Ultimately, that’s the only real difference that exists between “hemp” and “cannabis.” Also, traditionally, the focus on hemp was for industrial uses, such as textiles, fiber and more recently building materials such as hempcrete. While CBD hemp is still big business, there’s also a move towards lesser-known cannabinoids such as CBG, which alongside CBC was shown to exhibit anti-tumoral properties against gastrointestinal cancer cells in a preliminary study. 

Still, we’ve come across quite a few people that feel THC has been helpful for them, and as we said in a previous post, it shows there’s a cannabis plant and plant remedy for pretty much everybody. My mentor Michael Hollister and I often used to speak about “the composites of the plant,” or the unique combinations which give people increased appetite, improved mood, or whatever else they may ask from the plant. In the end, that’s what’s most important to Medicine Box — the combination of these components, whether within the plant itself or with other herbs. When they’re combined with the right extraction processes and cultural traditions, that’s when you have more than a product in your hands — you have a powerful talisman with a lineage that stretches back centuries. It’s where ancient wisdom meets modern science.

The world beckons

As Michael often used to say to me, there is no right or wrong way, just a different way. Luckily, most of the people who’ve followed us for a minute or two haven’t diverged with us. But there’s always been quite a few of you who wished that they could try these products for themselves, but didn’t live in California. Well, better late than never, and when we look at the world today, it couldn’t come at a moment too soon.

Now more than ever, we’re all turning to plants, a part of our environment that we should have a natural right to explore for all of its uses. I truly believe that’s an inalienable right worth fighting for, because what you may discover could save lives. Moreover, we learn more about ourselves as human beings by doing so. We’ve already learned so much more through doing these formulations about our work, and we will soon be on the cusp of sharing it with more people than ever before. Whether you want to call it hemp or cannabis, whole spectrum or full spectrum, it’s all in the service of learning about how to give people rest, a good meal or just a better, non-toxic way of coping. The road to recovery from all that afflicts us heads back into nature, and we’re excited to be on this new path. We’re glad you came along for the ride.

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