“Far out, man.” Oh the language of the ’60s! I don’t hear that phrase much anymore, but that certainly doesn’t mean that getting high is no longer in. In fact, it’s more prevalent than ever, but the argument in favor of marijuana has fundamentally changed over the years. Instead of the acknowledgement that a substance—in this case, cannabis—can be brain-disrupting, the new conversation is now focused on its potentially medicinal action.
This is certainly not an earth-shaking revelation to homeopaths—we’ve always acknowledged that plants and other substances can have coexisting properties that are harmful as well as beneficial. In fact, that observation in many ways describes the very essence of homeopathy, which harnesses the potential benefit inherent in harmful or toxic substances and uses them to our advantage. This is done by noting the substance’s toxic effect and the symptoms provoked in a person exposed to that substance. When the substance is diluted and potentized through homeopathic pharmacology, we see it address those very symptoms in the person who suffers from them.
CURATIVE ACTION TO THE FORE
The homeopathic way to derive benefit from the marijuana plant does not rely on using any part of the plant in its gross form. Instead of smoking marijuana, baking it into brownies, distilling it or drinking it, homeopathic manufacturing pharmacies dilute and potentize it. If you know anything about how homeopathic medicines are made, you can understand how the dilution process eliminates the toxic elements present in the gross form of the plant and allows for the curative action to come to the fore. When the original plant is highly diluted in water or alcohol, according to the standardized pharmacological and mathematical homeopathic method, the potentially harmful aspects of the plant (or any substance from which a homeopathic medicine is made) are minimized, while the curative characteristics of the plant remain.
A TRADITIONAL HOMEOPATHIC REMEDY
Interestingly, homeopaths have employed Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica for about a century, and they are two of our most valuable medicines. For what? Start with what ingestion or inhalation of cannabis might cause. Given that the plant is noted for its ability to affect the mind, it stands to reason that when used in a homeopathic formula, it will address similar conditions. This homeopathic medicine’s beneficial action can be accomplished in four different kinds of people:
- Someone who has never been exposed to cannabis but who has symptoms that are similar to typical ailments that cannabis use would produce.
- Someone who has been left with psychological conditions as a result of using marijuana.
- Someone whose parents had a marijuana habit for a time before their conception or during pregnancy.
- Someone seeking to break the marijuana habit (Cannabis sativa 200 has been used in some instances for this purpose).
In each of the above cases, the symptom picture that the person is presenting must have enough overlap with the cannabis Materia Medica picture to justify the use of the homeopathic version of cannabis. Homeopathic Cannabis preparations are medicines, not supplements or recreational drugs. Instead of seeking a high or “enlightenment,” we look to the curative action to be released, specifically in an effort to uproot illness that looks like what a cannabis user or the child of a cannabis user might suffer.
The list of conditions that the homeopathic formula will uproot reads like a list of what marijuana users most typically complain of. Or in most cases, it’s their families and employers who are doing the complaining. Those who use marijuana—particularly on a regular basis— don’t always have the wherewithal to take note of their undesirable behaviors.
Let’s begin with what marijuana use can cause. This will give us an outline of what Cannabis 200C is capable of uprooting. Those who use marijuana often describe feeling happy, lighthearted, easily amused, spacey, creative and relaxed, or they evoke a sense of euphoria and heightened sense perception. Wait—that’s why they smoke it in the first place, right? So far, that sounds like it might be good, right? But what if the person is seeking out this artificially produced state of mind by using marijuana on a regular basis? What if this habit is not appreciated by everyone else around them because it is having a negative impact on everyday life, such as when the marijuana user is behaving like every night is Saturday night, or when they’re more intent on getting their high than they are on finding a job, running a business or putting the kids to bed? When this kind of attitude or addiction causes frustrating laziness or a lack of personal responsibility, we’re embarking on mental illness.
Some of the more negative results include forgetfulness or memory problems, paranoia, panic, confusion and a sense of unreality. These feelings can lead a user to laugh inappropriately or leave him or her with a distorted sense of time and space. The very same person may also swing in the opposite direction, with unfounded anxiety or a fear that he or she is descending into insanity. On the more extreme end, marijuana use can lead to hallucinations, delusional ideas, psychosis and a disordered sense of personal identity.
Those who are struggling with a marijuana habit and those who are trying to get off of the drug may wonder whether homeopathy can mitigate the effects of the drug or cure dependency. The answer is that it has indeed been used for those purposes, but it is more often employed when a person’s sober behavior matches the symptom picture. In other words, if a person has symptoms such as spaciness, lack of motivation, lack of appropriate gravity (for example, inappropriate laughter similar to how a “stoned” person would behave), paranoia and a sense of unreality—even when they are not currently using marijuana, or even if they’ve never used marijuana—that would be a typical case in which Cannabis might be used homeopathically.
As with most homeopathic medicines, the ability of the Cannabis medicine is often sweeping and covers many conditions in the body. However, Cannabis’s primary action falls squarely on the mental plane. In addition, it is well suited for conditions relating to the urogenital area and for cardiac conditions: Cannabis in its homeopathic form can be of service for conditions related to chronic urethritis, burning on urination, prostatitis, pain around the kidneys (especially during laughter) and a noteworthy excessive sexual desire. Should any of these conditions be present along with the more striking mental conditions, it’s likely that Cannabis sativa 200 used twice daily for a few weeks will bring down the symptoms to a more manageable degree.
Here are the most common symptoms, found in Roger Morrison’s Desktop Guide To Keynotes and Confirmatory Symptoms,1 that would lead a homeopath to consider using Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica:
- Mental states that are confused;
- Sense of ecstasy;
- Mistakes in speech, writing and depth perception;
- Anxiety that may include panic attacks or fear of losing the mind completely;
- Reaching implausible or exaggerated conclusions;
- Confusion, inability to concentrate and continue with a train of thought or direction;
- Lack of initiative;
- Feeling that thoughts come so rapidly that the sufferer can’t grasp them.
Dr. James Tyler Kent was an American physician and homeopath of the last century. His voluminous works that describe human ailments associated with their homeopathic medicines are still used today. In his treatise, Materia Medica,2 he states the following for the study of Cannabis indica:
- Things seem strange and unreal. He seems as though in a dream. Confusion as to his personal identity. Makes mistakes in writing and speaking, and misunderstands what he reads and hears said.
- Sounds in the room seem to come from a distance. When she speaks, it seems as though someone else were speaking. Seems as though her senses would vanish.
- Despondent in forenoon, lively in the afternoon. Fear of going to bed. Hysterical feeling in the throat. Anxiety in the stomach. Confusion of mind and vertigo.
- Chordee (curved penis). Burning at starting and closing of urination. Intense stabbing pain in urethra when not urinating. Most difficult and painful urination. Pain that extends from meatus back along the urethra while urine flows.
- Pressing out feeling at the orifice of the urethra after urination in a woman. Violent urging to urinate. Constant or frequent urging to urinate. Involuntary urination. Violent pain at the close of urination. Bloody urine.
- Intense sexual excitement in both sexes.
How are these symptoms addressed using homeopathy? Let me illustrate using a clinical example. Harry was his mother’s greatest worry. At age twenty-four, Harry was aimless and incapable of carrying through a directive and had pie-in-the-sky ideas and impractical plans that he never followed through on. His mother recalled that this had been a long-lasting problem for him. Harry often made his mother squirm with discomfort and embarrassment due to his immoderate and inappropriate laughter, which seemed out of context.
Had he had an increased appetite, physical coordination problems or slow physical reflexes, his mother might have suspected the use of marijuana, but Harry actually didn’t have any interest in weed. However, Harry’s father did. In fact, a day rarely went by without Harry Sr. getting high. This had been his lifestyle since college, well before Harry Jr. was conceived. While Harry’s mom had lost interest in smoking the stuff around the time they married, Harry Sr. either smoked it with friends on weekends or alone in the garage daily. Harry Sr. was a musician, with a home music studio in the garage. The family struggled financially because he always seemed to have exalted ideas of what he was going to do with his music. Harry Sr. was loved by all, due to his childlike, easygoing and sanguine personality. His wife admitted that he had stage presence and a great deal of charisma, but that didn’t pay the mortgage. It seemed as though Harry Sr. just hadn’t grown up.
Harry Jr.’s mom worried that the son had inherited his father’s personality. Young Harry spent far too much time theorizing about and pondering the science fiction books he devoured. At first, his mom thought it was intelligent and precocious of him to take these theories to a deeper level and discuss them late at night instead of getting to sleep at an early hour. Sure, he had little interest in looking for a job or earning some pocket money, but his mother initially rationalized that, in her admiration of her son’s deep thoughts. But now that he had graduated from college, she couldn’t help but note that he seemed to have little common sense and no interest in moving out of the house and facing adulthood.
It was around this time that Harry’s mom learned about homeopathy from her friend Darcy, who had been studying it for months. Darcy knew enough about the family to recognize that there might be a homeopathic medicine that could help Harry Jr., but because she was still new in her studies, it didn’t occur to her that homeopathy might be helpful to Harry Sr. as well.
1. Morrison R. Desktop Guide to Keynotes and Confirmatory Symptoms. Hahnemann Clinic Publishing; 1993.
2. Kent JT. Materia Medica of Homoeopathic Remedies. Homoeopathic Book Service; 2005.
This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly journal of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Spring 2019