Herbal Medicine

A Guide to the Endocannabinoid System

By Jamie Corroon, ND, MPH & Jake Felice, ND

Interest in the medical use of phytocannabinoids from Cannabis Sativa L. (Cannabis) has reached an all-time high. These exogenous, plant-derived ligands interact with endogenously produced proteins, receptors, enzymes and endogenous ligands, in one of the most evolutionarily preserved biological systems known to the life sciences: the endogenous cannabinoid signaling system, better known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS).

From the Mystical to the Medicinal, Mushrooms are Having Their Moment

By Ellen Kanner, Contributing Writer

Worldwide, there are 2,000-plus species of cultivated and wild edible mushrooms. All provide solid nutrition—even the seemingly vacuous white button variety. Some produce medicinal compounds. Whether in the kitchen or the clinic, mushrooms are the subject of rising popular interest these days.

Hemp & CBD: Evidence, Evangelism & Extreme Exuberance

By Erik Goldman, Editor

If you are confused about the therapeutic value of hemp oil, cannabidiol (CBD), and other cannabis-related substances, and you’re scratching your head trying to figure out what’s legal and what’s not, that’s good: It means you’re paying attention.  Yes, there is some evidence, but there’s also a lot of evangelism. Clinicians face the challenge of separating the scientific realities from the hype. 

Cannabis: State of the Science

By Erik Goldman, Editor

Is there any solid science to support the use of phytocannabinoids in clinical practice? The answer is yes….and no.

It depends on how you define “cannabis” and “cannabinoids;” whether you’re talking about inhaled (ie, smoked or vaped), ingested, or sublingual delivery; and of course, which diseases you’re considering.

Cannabis & Hemp: A Regulatory Update

By Erik Goldman, Editor

The year 2018 was a landmark in the history of hemp and cannabis in the US. It was the year the FDA approved the first natural cannabis-derived prescription drug, and Congress passed a Farm Bill that included provisions legalizing cultivation of, and interstate commerce in, low-THC hemp. But the laws and regulation around hemp and cannabis remain a confusing patchwork, and some states are taking regulatory actions that run counter to the new federal provisions.

Cannabis, Hemp, Marijuana: What’s in a Name?

By Erik Goldman, Editor

Amid the current rage for all things cannabis, there is a lot of confusion about the terminology used to describe this plant and compounds extracted from it.

Part of that confusion arises from the Farm Bill of 2018, which changes some federal definitions. These changes have major implications for legal and regulatory policy.  Here’s a guide to common cannabis-related terms and their current definitions.

In “How to Change Your Mind,” Michael Pollan Explores Resurgence of Psychedelic Medicine

By Ellen Kanner, Contributing Writer

After decades on the margins of both polite society and medical research, psychotropic compounds such as psilocybin, LSD, MDMA, and the like, are once again the focus of serious clinical investigation as potential therapies for a host of psychological and neurological conditions. In his newest book, How to Change Your Mind, popular author explores the resurgence of psychedelic medicine without bias, agenda, or pretense.

How the Endocannabinoid System Modulates Stress

By Carrie Decker, ND, Contributing Writer

In recent years, there has been a lot of interest–among practitioners and patients alike–in the impact of cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds for the modulation of pain, mood, inflammation, and immune system responsiveness. It should not be surprising that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) also plays a regulatory role in the body’s stress response mechanisms.

Common Medicinal Herbs That Are Vulnerable to Adulteration

By Erik Goldman, Editor

All herbs, like all agricultural products, are potentially subject to contamination with microbes, pesticides, environmental toxins, and financially-motivated adulteration or mislabeling.Certain herbs, however, have been particularly vulnerable to economically-motivated adulteration.