Cannabis and Man: Coevolution and Sacred Connection
There has been a complex and profound relationship between man and the cannabis plant for tens of thousands of years – a relationship that has resulted in the combined evolutionary advancement of each species at potentially accelerated rates. The partnership between man and cannabis fostered the ability of both species to spread across the globe through the recognition of mutually beneficial and useful properties.
However, the relationship is much more intricate. Our traditional view of the human-plant connection focuses mainly on the perspective of man’s cultivation and utilization of plants based on their usefulness. In The Botany of Desire, author Michael Pollan suggests that plants exhibit highly intelligent behaviors and adaptations to align with certain species for their own survival and advancement. Evolutionary research has revealed the likelihood of behaviors such as gene transference, adaptable scent and taste profiles, alterations in physical appearance, and the development of psychoactive properties and compounds which are activated when consumed by the target species. We now understand that in humans, through the interaction of cannabinoids with the set of receptors in the human body called the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), exposure to cannabis has been integral in the advancement of humans on a physical, emotional, and spiritual level. This practice has been deeply ingrained and well documented in the medicinal and spiritual practices of our ancient ancestors.
Brian Sanderoff, PD, is a holistic pharmacist that is the General Manager and Clinical Director of the Curio Wellness Center and Medical Cannabis Dispensary, in Timonium, MD. Brian is a 1984 graduate of the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, has taught classes at his Alma Mater and Johns Hopkins University (Odyssey Program), hosted and produced a radio show for more than 20 years, and has owned and operated various wellness centers and holistic pharmacies in the past. Brian sees Medical Cannabis as a very powerful tool in the arsenal available to help people find wellness and moderate or avoid the need for prescription medicines.
Dr. Hempel is a graduate of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2002. As an Osteopathic Physician, she has embraced a holistic approach to patient care, providing loving attention to the relationship between mind, body, and spirit. For the past 11 years she has received specialist training, Board Certification and expertise in several fields including Internal Medicine, Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine, and Hospice & Palliative Medicine, along with many Integrative modalities. She is a member of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians, the Association of Cannabis Specialists, and is registered with the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission.
Over the course of her career she has seen the consistent struggle of patients dealing with chronic, progressive, debilitating illness, and witnessed the challenges and limitations of the current pharmaceutical options for pain and symptom management. Her passion for this population has grown, along with her desire to advocate for patients to have access to non-opioid, holistic options to enhance quality of life and optimize function.
Dr. Hempel has been practicing in the Baltimore area since 2009 and has a strong connection with many area Primary Care Physicians and specialists. Her passion is to work collaboratively and closely with community doctors and caregivers to support patients and families through the evolving process of legalized access to pharmaceutical cannabis for severe symptom management, while seeking to establish safest and best practices for this new and evolving specialty.
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