I attended an interesting Linked Local Marin County sponsored talk on "The Future of Cannabis". Last November, California passed Prop 64 (AUMA - Adult Use of Marijuana Act) and the implications, regulations, and access was presented, the speakers were only able to scratch the surface of access , use, and regulations.
Huo Ma Ren, the pinyin name for Cannabis Semen or cannabis seed, is listed in the category of Moist Laxatives in the Materia Medica. The first mention of Huo Ma Ren is found in the Classic of Herbal Medicine, an agriculture and medicinal plant book, attributed to Shennong, a Chinese scholar believed to have lived around 2800 BC. The key characteristics of Huo Ma Ren are: enriches the Yin fluids, moistens the Intestines, unblocks dry constipation.
Huo Ma Ren or better known as hemp seed, can be imported to the US as long as THC (the psychoactive constituent) is less than 0.3%. The hemp plant has been used for thousand of years for fiber and oils. I remember in my travels to Nepal and Bhutan in 1994 seeing hemp harvested for animal food and fodder for pigs and buffaloes and I thought to myself "HAPPY PIGS". Hemp seeds are now readily available at health food stores and grocers. Recent research report healthy benefits of eating hemp seeds are the high levels of essential fatty acids, mainly Omega 6's and Omega 3's, high levels of protein, and high levels of insoluble fiber (resonates with the Traditional Chinese herbal use as a laxative). Easy ways to incorporate hemp seeds into your diet is to sprinkle a tablespoon into your smoothie or onto your salad.
Cannabis related products are becoming more available - those containing CBD (cannabidiol) without THC (less that 0.3%) are legal for use in all 50 states, however local county and city regulations may limit sale and use. As a practitioner I am curious to increase my knowledge of these new products. Some of the benefits being promoted are topical use for pain, eczema, dryness and that makes sense with the high levels of essential fatty acids found in hemp seed. Other benefits being promoted are as an ingested tincture or capsules for pain and anti-nausea. I am always learning and researching protocols, techniques, and products that may benefit my patients.
I chose the name hedgehog blog because hedgehogs are cute and they look like they are acupuncture models with their "needles" covering their bodies. I hope these blog posts educate and inform you about Chinese Medicine and Wellness.