While Medicine Box’s products contain a host of herbs and mushrooms, we’d like to talk to you today about the plant that started it all for us, even though you’d hardly know it to look at us now: cannabis.
When we got started back in the CA medical cannabis days, cannabis played a big part in our early formulations. Using equal parts cannabis medicine and mentorship, our Chief Spiritual Officer Michael Hollister weaned our founder Brian Chaplin off of Prozac. That formulation Michael used, a uniquely designed 30:1 CBD/THC herbal blend called Clarity Focus, relied on the plant, the whole plant, and nothing but the plant, rather than isolates. Our commitment to whole-plant health enhancement has always been a sticking point in bringing our products to a wider audience. But with the 1CaB reformulations of some of our earliest successes, not to mention a brand new product bringing our brand into the Mushroom Era, we’ve made a big step forward — one which offers a uniquely teachable moment.
It’s pretty simple: we figured out early on that our brand was not going to be about getting high, but getting well. And for too many people, THC = Getting High. This, of course, ignores the existence of FDA-approved THC pharmaceuticals like Marinol and Cesamet and the continued exploration of THC for relief in chronic pain, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, muscular dystrophy, and many other conditions. We have long maintained that the conflation of THC with partying has sold the plant short, and unfortunately, stoner culture’s overemphasis on the high has obscured its therapeutic properties. One day, we certainly hope that THC’s full utility will be grasped apart from its unfair stigmatization, and we continue to labor towards this ultimate goal. Luckily, in the meantime, the cannabis plant always provides, and we have taken heart in the potential of the plant’s many other cannabinoids to bestow help for the world’s humans. Still, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Full Spectrum hemp and cannabis
By now, you’ve certainly seen how some forms of hemp are marketed as “full-spectrum,” “broad spectrum” and “wide-spectrum.” This, of course, refers to the amount of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavinoids the solution contains. This, by the way, can legally contain THC, but only less than .3%. Ultimately, that’s the only real difference that exists between “hemp” and “cannabis.” Also, traditionally, the focus on hemp was for industrial uses, such as textiles, fiber and more recently building materials such as hempcrete.
While CBD hemp is still big business, there’s also a move towards cultivating lesser-known cannabinoids such as CBG, which alongside CBC was shown to exhibit anti-tumoral properties against gastrointestinal cancer cells in a preliminary study. (There’s also delta-8 THC as well, which is synthesized from hemp CBD, but again, there’s too little of that naturally occurring in hemp plants anyway, so we don’t touch it.)
Still, we’ve come across quite a few people that feel THC has been helpful for them; it shows there’s a cannabis plant and plant remedy for pretty much everybody.
Michael Hollister often used to speak about “the composites of the plant,” or the unique combinations which give people increased appetite, improved mood, or whatever else they may ask from the plant. In the end, that’s what’s most important to Medicine Box — the combination of these components, whether within the plant itself or with other herbs. When they’re combined with the right extraction processes and cultural traditions, that’s when you have more than a product in your hands —you have a powerful talisman with a lineage that stretches back centuries. Add the proper mentorship to it, as it was with Michael and Clarity Focus, real miracles can take place.
The World Beckons
As Michael often used to say, there is no right or wrong way, just a different way. Luckily, most of the people who’ve followed us since the beginning haven’t diverged with us. But there’s always been quite a few of you in the rest of the countrywho wished that they could try these products for themselves but didn’t live in California. Well, better late than never, for when we look at the world today, it couldn’t come at a moment too soon.
With Mind’s Eye Harmonize, we’re also shifting gears towards a cannabinoid-free domain. For just like cannabis, mushrooms have gotten the cold shoulder from most people. Even now, most renowned mycologists, such as Paul Stamets, are self-taught, because of the bad rep fungus has gotten. But as time has passed, mushrooms like chaga, turkey tail, lion’s mane and reishi have all gained renown for their adaptogenic and neuroprotective qualities. It’s why not only Mind’s Eye Harmonize as well as Happy Belly and Vital Recovery now contain them in our formulations. For as we wait to bring cannabis off of the bench, the rest of nature can flesh out the entourage effects that gives us better sleep, soothes our digestive tracts and powers our cognition.
Now more than ever, we’re all turning to plants, a part of our environment that we should have an inalienable right to explore for all of its uses. Medicine Box truly believes that’s a right worth fighting for, because what you may discover could save lives. Moreover, WE learn more about ourselves as human beings by doing so. Medicine Box has already learned so much more through doing these formulations about our work, and because of it, we can share it with more people than ever before. Whether you want to call it hemp or cannabis, whole spectrum or full spectrum, it’s all in the service of learning about how to give people rest, a good meal or just a better, non-toxic way of coping. The road to recovery from all that afflicts us heads back into nature, and we’re excited to be on this new path. We’re glad you came along for the ride.