For a health plan to work best it should be a multi-pronged approach. Cannabis is a wonderful medicinal plant but if you’re not addressing harmful habits, any and all treatment plans may have limited benefits.

You may have heard about a holistic approach to health. The holistic approach simply means that many things are working together to create health and balance within the mind and body. It means being in tune and noting what works and what doesn’t. Of course, as we age, the cumulative effect of our habits begins to show. But it’s never too late to start approaching things in a ‘good, better, best’ frame of mind. If you are a smoker and you have 5 cigarettes a day – 4 is an improvement. Keep adjusting in the right direction. Small steps can have a big ripple effect.

One of the key contributors to homeostasis, besides medicinal cannabis, is the mineral magnesium. Magnesium is The King of the mineral world – it is responsible for a minimum of 300 enzymatic processes within the body. Unfortunately, by the time we are in adulthood, 80-90% of us are deficient in this mineral. Why? Several reasons. In the last 50 years – foods are depleted in minerals, typically due to mono cropping and the resulting soil depletion. Also, stress uses magnesium up quickly. Today’s world is far more unrelentingly stressful, and chronic stress will more than likely lead to depletion – magnesium is burned as fuel – the more stress you have the more it burns. Further, caffeine and other stimulants add stress to the body when it needs to rest and restore.

When you are low in magnesium, you’re not operating at your fullest. Heart rate, blood pressure, nervous function, ability to think clearly (resulting in brain fog) are all critically dependant upon magnesium for fuel. Deficiencies are also connected to things like headaches, visceral fat (i.e. belly fat), high blood pressure, chronic fatigue, poor digestion, tight muscles and tension. You may be anxious for no apparent reason – more reactive in relationships with people. Many studies show that between CBD in cannabis and augmenting magnesium, most anxiety is relieved.

Called the relaxation mineral, it’s a natural tranquilizer. You will get poorer sleep if you are magnesium deficient. Note that, while sleeping, your body produces up to 75% of our human growth hormone (needed for cell production and regeneration). It is released by the brain into the bloodstream during sleep and is part of the repair and restoration function of sleep. Many people will wake up between 2 and 4 because of magnesium deficiency. This may limit crucial regenerative, deep sleep. It will age you.

We know that Indica cannabis strains with a mid to high THC level also help you attain and stay within a deeper sleep deeper sleep. Between these two non toxic organic compounds, the restorative affects of deep sleep will be greatly maximized.

The body strives to maintain balance. If it needs magnesium (which must remain in steady supply in your blood), it will start leaching it from your bowel, nerves, ligaments and bones (all places magnesium is stored). That is why we start to break down… literally. Magnesium is an alkaline mineral that works synergistically with calcium – the Mg/Ca balance is critical. Over calcification due to magnesium deficiency will cause aches and pains as it puts pressure on nerves. A healthy diet and quality supplements can support your body so that it doesn’t have to start using its own minerals.

So. What can you do? Consciously add magnesium rich foods to your diet. Anything with chlorophyll in it will have magnesium. Eat green. Spinach, broccoli, Swiss chard, avocado, and add things like pumpkin seeds and almonds to your salads.

Be very careful about supplements – you get what you pay for. Research reputable companies who produce more bio available forms. Unfortunately, inferior supplements are not absorbable, and could cause more harm than good. Magnesium bisglycinate in capsule form (250-500 mg/dose) is more absorbable than citrate for instance. If you have kidney weakness, be careful when supplementing with magnesium in its oral form. The body will filter out up to 92% of an oral dose through the kidneys, causing kidney stress. Some forms of oral magnesium (magnesium citrate) may also cause bowels’ peristaltic action, which will cause diarrhea. Never take supplements to bowel tolerance as many minerals can be flushed from your system this way.

When supplementing, you may want to consider a good topical magnesium (spray or oil) applied directly to the skin. This form goes through the capillary system, bypassing the kidneys, and often provides relief within minutes. Again, its essential to make sure you are purchasing a quality product that can easily be absorbed into the skin. Cannabis helps to rebalance your endocannabinoid system. But it cannot create a healthful balanced state on its own, or make up for mineral deficiencies. Start looking a little deeper at what you are putting in and on your body and the synergistic effects and benefits will quickly follow.

written by Kait Shane, Natural Health Services

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