The most nutrient-dense part of the cannabis plant is its seeds (packing in high levels of calcium, fiber, fatty acids and 16 grams of protein in every 50 gram serving), the entire plant – leaves, stems, and roots – contain nutrition your body can benefit from. Leaves are an excellent source of fiber, magnesium, calcium, phosphorous and also contain polyphenols which are well known anti-oxidants that help protect the body from aging.
Though the stems contain high levels of fiber (suggesting they may be used as fiber supplement), their tough, woody texture and insoluble nature makes them undesirable to eat. The roots, which have been used topically as medicine for centuries, have yet to be analyzed by nutritionists.
“Cannabis isn’t always the answer and cure all for everything,” Sexton said. “If you want to use cannabis therapeutically, think about a whole approach, treating the whole person. As a culture, we have this tendency to want a quick fix. We need to treat the cause, not just medicate it away.”
“Cannabis is the key to unlocking preventative medicine,” said neuroscientist Dr. Michele Ross. “It protects your DNA from being damaged and slows down the aging process.”
Dr. Ross advocates for patients consuming small doses of full extract cannabis oil daily as a preventative measure. She says she uses a small amount every day like a vitamin both to treat her own PTSD and endometriosis, and for her overall health.
Dr. Amanda Reiman, lecturer at UC Berkeley and California policy manager at the Drug Policy Alliance also says she uses marijuana like a vitamin to treat arthritis and other muscular-skeletal issues.
“I look at it like a vitamin or supplement. You don’t feel the effect of them immediately. It is more about long term wellness and prevention of disease,” Reiman says. “I would recommend that people look beyond the recreational, intoxicating side of cannabis to the prevention and wellness side.”
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