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Plant Profile: Hemp

Here is a personal perspective on the use of CBD as Herbal Medicine through the eyes of a Community Herbalist. It is gleaned from my extensive work with this plant in both my personal journey as well as with others. The hemp plant meets us in many ways in both the body and the spirit. Though there is much information out there about hemp and CBD, I felt compelled to write up a simple herbal profile about the plant to foster a more easy going approach to its medicine.

Of course, the hemp plant can be a broad reference in a large genus of plants known as the cannabis family. For the sake of simplicity, this profile is referring to what we now consider "industrial hemp" which are strains of hemp that contain no more then .3% THC and contain high concentrations of CBD. CBD does not intoxicate individuals and as the genetics of the hemp plant is not destined to create any significant amount of THC, is a safe and effective therapy. I highly suggest staying away from products that are described as "CBD isolates", you want a broad spectrum formula that contains the various cannabinoids, terpines and other constituents that the plant naturally provides to be most effectual.

Physically: The hemp plant exerts it's influence on the body with subtle persuasion, which is one of it's strongest assets. In the nature of most plant based medicine, it moves through the body fluidly, allowing many opportunities for it's compounds to be metabolized. The most common application that I employ CBD therapeutically would be for addressing pain and inflammation, both acutely and systemically, and for over excitation of the nervous system and the myriad of different ways that this manifests for individuals (anxiety, high blood pressure, chronic tension, insomnia..etc).

Tension, spasms and inflammation, whether acute or chronic, is a main indicator for the employment of hemp as medicine. Its effects as an anti inflammatory and as a potent antispasmodic offers its use therapeutically in many circumstances. Whether we're addressing inflammation and pain in muscles, tissue, tendons, or joints, CBD is highly effective at calming the influence of overactive white blood cells so that the area can begin to heal as intended. This effect is particularly amplified when formulated with herbs that have a warming and stimulating action that encourages deeper penetration and movement of blood and stagnation from effected areas (like this salve).

CBD has an enduring effect on soothing the nervous system with its general influence on calming over excited states of the mind and body. Sleeplessness, anxiety, stress, excessive need for control, burnout, certain cases of high blood pressure, chronic fatigue, tension, restless thoughts, overreaction in emotions... the list of side effects of an over excited nervous system is long and quite varied and is one of the hallmarks of mental and physical disease of modern times. CBD's effects on the nervous system are gentle and sustained, offering us an invaluable opportunity to be present in life and at the same time offer us rest in body and mind. CBD is incredibly valuable in this application, it can be utilized through the day as it will not make you drowsy and as you navigate the day from this calm place, you will find that there becomes a general shedding of exhaustive behavior patterns (often times improving your digestion and sleep drastically).

Hemp supports you in "taking a load off" which enables the organs and systems of the body to not have to work as hard, allowing them to rest and digest and encourages optimal performance within these systems. From this space many things that are disordered in the body can find it's rhythm again. The body is highly complex and intelligent in how it is able to heal and rebalance itself if the atmosphere that you give it is restful and nourished. Hemp can help provide the platform for deep healing to unfold, not necessarily because it is in and of itself a panacea, but because of it's ability to provide this restful state for your body to find homeostasis.

Spiritually: CBD is deeply grounding medicine. What does this really mean? It is a plant that encourages you to relax into your body and mind in a fulfilling and peaceful way. Why does this matter? It is only from this space that we can respond to all of the situations and circumstances in life from a place that is resilient and impactful, that allows us to grow and evolve. Coming from a grounded place encouraging us to search for deeper meaning in what is happening as apposed to succumbing to hurtful thought processes that take us into patterns of fear and doubt... Fear and doubt keep us stuck, small and limit us in every capacity. We can all become grounded and embody a more peaceful nature that will encourage critical and imaginative thinking that are so needed to carry us forward.

CBD is a particularly great ally when it comes to establishing a meaningful meditation practice. Having an untrained mind that continually takes you out of a meditative state is perhaps the hardest obstacle to overcome during meditation. CBD and it's grounding nature can help us in making meaningful strides within meditation that makes it less of an agonizing chore and more of a serene experience. Taking a bit of CBD, as well as employing mantra, is a highly effective way to create a sustained meditation practice for us all to actualize our Jedi potential.

Therapeutic Employment: CBD is a safe plant to employ and the profound effects of its attributes lends itself to being most effectual for a long term and tonic approach. The most practical way to imbibe CBD as medicine is through a properly processed infused oil. Oil provides the fatty menstruum necessary to effectively suspend and harbor resins and active constituents of the hemp plant to be utilized in an impressive variety of ways. Try using these ideas for effectively imbibing the medicine of the hemp plant:

  • Topical application of CBD, with an herbal oil or salve, is deeply impactful and the effects can be felt almost immediately. For addressing areas of tension, pain and inflammation as well as systemically addressing an over active nervous system do not underestimate this way of imbibing CBD therapeutically.

  • Sublingually, or when applied under the tongue, CBD oil addresses the nature of pain and inflammation at it's roots. For advanced cases, doing both topical and sublingual application is highly effective. The same can be said for use in nervous system disorders.

  • Give cooking with CBD a shot and have fun with it! My all time favorite way to utilize CBD oil in the kitchen is in the form of a simple citrus vinaigrette (trust me, you will love it). Try baking muffins, garnishing your eggs, tossing pasta in it or adding to a smoothie. The possibilities are endless! It is an oil after all.

I hope this post has made the hemp plant and its medicinal virtues a bit more accessible and easy to understand. There is so much potential for healing and growth with this potent ally. For those looking to more fully unpack extraction processes or anything relating to this plant, please feel free to reach out!

Herbally yours,


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