Think CBD is a wellness fad that will eventually fall out of fashion? Think again.
It’s been less than five years since the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp and started CBD on its ascent to supreme modern wellness staple. Recently, I was amazed to learn that CBD hemp was actually included as one of the original fifty Chinese Herbs recorded some 1,800 years ago.
I talked to someone who has a unique perspective on CBD and its Traditional Chinese Medicine roots, Kevin Menard, LAc. Kevin is an acupuncturist and the founder of Dragon Hemp, a brand designed to marry the benefits of CBD hemp with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
I’ve had incredible results, personally, from the use of both TCM herbs and CBD, but have rarely seen them used together. I was curious to learn how Kevin uses them synergistically in functional formulas based on his acupuncture practice. He primarily uses CBD with the other herbs for three functions: recovery, sleep and performance.
Relief Capsules combine CBD with primary Chinese herbs recognized to treat pain and inflammation, including Turmeric (Jiang Huang) and Frankincense (Ru Xiang)
Reach Capsules harnesses the benefits of adaptogens, blood circulatory activating herbs, and natural caffeine designed to oxygenate the brain, increase focus, and stamina for exercise.
Rest Tincture combines CBD with TCM herbs like Schisandra (Wu-Wei-Zi) and Lavender (Xun Yi Cao)
CBD’s Roots In Traditional Chinese Medicine
According to Kevin, “The herbalists 2,000 years ago recognized that the Chinese herb, máfén (today’s CBD hemp) was effective in treating many conditions related to pain and inflammation.
Cannabis and CBD Hemp, or máfén 麻蕡, was one of the original, 50 fundamental herbs recorded in the earliest surviving herbal directory in the Chinese Medical tradition, The Divine Farmer’s Classic of Materia Medica. In short, the herb was described to, “treat cold qi.”
Translating in as straight-forward language as possible, Kevin explains that to treat “cold qi” is to reduce pain and inflammation. The ancient directory explains that CBD hemp, or máfén, is used to allow optimal function of the “five zàng organs”, the Heart, Spleen, Lungs, Kidney, and Liver, especially improving their associative Qi dynamic.
What really perked our ears and brought the ancient message into true clarity for us here in 2022, was that this 1,800 year old resource connects CBD hemp with the “Five Taxations”, a list of damages caused by overuse or overexertion. Burnout, fatigue, stress and anxiety are probably the most common wellness complaints of our age, and TCM addresses each differently.
Kevin reminds us that “Overexertion and prolonged emotional states can influence the central nervous system and our internal resources leading to many of the conditions that CBD has been recently studied to address, including anxiety, insomnia, PTSD, GI disharmony, autoimmune conditions, and more.”
“Anxiety is a Western Medicine condition that doesn’t have an exact equivalent in Chinese Medicine, though there are few ‘patterns’, as we call them, that correspond. These conditions usually correlate with states of fear, worry, and anxiety, and the TCM condition that most likely equates to modern day anxiety is ‘Rebellious Qi of the Penetrating Vessel’ (Chong Man).
Under normal, healthy conditions, Qi flows in specific directions — up, down, clockwise, etc. — depending on the associated meridian and organ. The Liver is in charge of the smooth flow of Qi throughout the body.
When emotions, or other external phenomena upset this flow, Qi can become excess, deficient, or rebellious, i.e., goes in the opposite direction. Emotional stress, anger, repressed anger, worry, fear, can cause the Qi to rise and/or become stagnant.
Without going into great detail, in TCM, prolonged states of emotional stress can cause deficiencies, most commonly, in women. Modern research on CBD and other cannabinoids has shown that it reduces anxiety by lowering inflammation via the endocannabinoid system, a network of receptor cells in various tissues that help the body to restore homeostasis.
Acupuncturist, Kevin Menard, LAc is founder of Dragon Hemp
When we’re healthy and in balance, our bodies can produce enough natural endocannabinoids to self-regulate, but in a prolonged and constant emotional stress state, as is so common in today’s world, our bodies can’t keep up. That’s where CBD comes into play.
Ingesting CBD enables the body to maintain more of its own endocannabinoids, therefore reducing systemic inflammation, especially in an over-stimulated nervous system.
My Dragon Hemp formulas go even further to combat these anxiety states by combining TCM herbs like Wu Wei Zi (Schisandra Fruit) to ‘calm the mind’ (in the REST Sleep Formula). The RELIEF formula helps to disperse the stagnant Qi with herbs that include Yan Hu Suo (Corydalis), Ru Xiang (Frankincense), and even Turmeric (Jiang Huang).
All of these herbs are powerful in moving stagnant Qi throughout the body, thus reducing anxiety, calming the mind, promoting sleep and wellness.
TCM Editor’s Pick: Dragon Hemp RELIEF formula in either capsule or tincture with TCM herbs and CBD to regularly fight inflammation.
This story is brought to you in partnership with Dragon Hemp . From time to time, TCM editors choose to partner with brands we believe in to bring our readers special offers.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The Chalkboard Mag and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. All material on The Chalkboard Mag is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programs.