Over the past few years, a smoke-filled tidal wave of cannabis hit the shelves proclaiming a cure-all miracle, I watch hope escalate and sometimes go up in flames when what is promised is not delivered. Now some individuals love the idea of a bit of pot to resolve a health challenge, but most are questioning Cannabis– CBD as that magic formula. Time to get to grips with what it is all about.
WHAT WE SEE TODAY IS WHAT WE GET, OR IS IT?
The Cannabis as we know it has changed slightly from the one smoked around a campfire. It contains 2 chemical components which are primary to the apparent effect thereof. One is the THC, TETRAHYDROCANNABINOL [try to say that fast…] which is the happy side of the drug, then the CBD, CANNABIDIOL, the one which is not the cause of outward happiness but rather inward ease. These are the components removed by heat or activation to maximize potency. The CBD, when taken in, is stored in the lipids of our fat cells where its responsibility is to work with the immune system and our mental state. There it resides for days to weeks and can affect brain activity – basically driving is not a great idea if this replaces your cup of coffee in the morning before hitting the road to work.
Now let us look at how the potency of this drug has grown over the years, from the ’60s where flower power was reigned by smoking a bit of pot along the way. Cannabis then had a THC content ranging from 0.5 to 3%, by the ’90s it rose to around 6 to 8%. Today there is a rainbow spectrum of concentration, from 20% THC to more than 90% [ever heard someone mention that CBD quality is important?]. The supposedly helpful CBD, however, has been reworked in favor of the THC ingredient, with THC claiming the first spot these days at around 95% of the medical marijuana and punted as a quality CBD oil by some ‘quick-in-quick-out’ suppliers.
Basically, cannabis potency, as we used to know it, has increased significantly. Specifically speaking the THC component, releases huge dopamine kicks from the brain and as my mother always used to say, “too much of a good thing ain’t good“. After all, our physical bodies are all about balance, and yes that includes the brain… let us not close our eyes and mind to the one side effect which is an addiction, it seems ok at age 70 but what about our teenagers? It is a Schedule 1 drug, the funny thing is so is heroin and LSD. Interestingly enough, in communities where cannabis is like coffee and tea to you and me, they found that it actually impacted the immune system negatively.
WHERE THERE IS SMOKE THERE IS FIRE
If you have possibly been looking for answers in a personal health challenge, I am almost positive that someone somewhere has, or will still advice the use of CBD. It has been promoted EVERYWHERE, from health coaches to health shops, to naturopaths based on the fact that it is a cure-all product, there to help with sleep, apparent mental focus, fewer aches and pains all that without the usual high. Logically thinking, we all KNOW that cannabis effects the brain, regardless of a label of CBD or marijuana. When people are encouraged to take it willy nilly without the proper and precise dosage instructions and not made aware of ‘how to’ come off it, therein lies the danger. Side effects include but are not limited to somnolence [sleeping all the time] and sedation, suicidal behavior and hepatocellular injury [yup, your liver is not taking this weed thing too well!].
Let us take a look at that pleasure kick we get from dopamine again. Firstly, dopamine is our friend, a neuro compound that regulates movement, emotions, attention, and learning. It identifies the rewards and then motivates action towards the rewards. It is our pleasure reward system. The THC in cannabis instigates the release of dopamine from the brain, whooopwhoooooop… Now, let us do this for a period of time, a couple of weeks, months and or years, and we end up with one serious imbalance, in fact, our brain becomes numb to the commands and dopamine levels drop, this starts affecting cognition, memory and causes learning difficulties. Then added to a study has shown that the use of this drug has an influence on epigenetics, resulting in it having an impact on generations to come. What we do in effect FOR OURSELVES, is not so, it carries on and on and on…
And here comes the hitter, if like me you may not be a socialite, kinda like your own space, taking this on a regular basis showed an increase in panic disorder, bipolarity, depression, anxiety and social phobia leading to overall decline in mental health; it may seem like a full-blown party to start with but may end up as a one-man-band. Remember I mentioned the high potency of the THC component, well, a 2015 study in Lancet Psychiatry looked carefully at the first time episodes of psychotic actions of over 400 adults in South London and 24% were tied to the use of ‘high-potency cannabis, ie. 25% THC content cannabis. With this, aging of the brain has been identified with the long term use of cannabis. Then let us look at the effect on our heart, it both raises blood pressure and heart rate, again a study on a group prone to coronary artery disease showed with over 4000 patients that cannabis triggered acute myocardial infarction [basically – heart attacks]. I am almost certain for each negative study there WILL BE a positive one, the problem is we are not aware of the negatives and this is by no means indicating that I am for or against its use, only my absolute dog-headed determination to become aware of the full picture. In the short term all seems well and dandy, it is the long term effect that ALWAYS INTERESTS ME.
As a side note, the same can be said for any medical intervention we use, take statin drugs, for example, a drug purported to relieve and prevent heart disease, but start using this delightful devil and all hell breaks loose in a body. Both my parents were on statins for close on 20 years and both passed as a result of heart disease, in that time, every other possible medication was added as a result of the domino effect statins had on their bodies.
The same could be said for cannabis, it starts as a seemingly healthier alternative, but is it? Or is it purely a great alternative for the here and now, regardless of the outcome in 10 years? I know of people personally using it that will not go without, I also know of people who used it for medicinal cures and are no longer with us. With the evidence stockpiling over its efficacy or not, some say that the negative side effects outweigh the positives.
Looking at the rise of cancer and the use of CBD related to this is also interesting, in a 2012 case-control study, marijuana users ended up with twice the chance of testicular cancer. It was shown in a 2016 review that THC and CBD could ‘swing’ both ways, causes regression or progression of breast cancer in mice. Then a 2004 study showed the risk of brain cancer increased by 2.8 fold for those using marijuana at least once a month. The nail in the coffin so to speak showed up in a 2007 study sowing that THC was, in fact, an activator of cancer-promoting receptors and CBD gave only modest protection.
FASHIONABLE – WITHOUT QUESTION!
There are truly specific cases in which the use of this guided, specified, controlled and quality checked can be of benefit for a handful of health challenges, this I am not arguing. But, [sorry there is one] labeling cannabis and all the ways and means of consuming it, whether by; ‘delightful’ joint, THC infused soda [wtf – yup, it is in that too], skin products [really!? yes, really], a brownie, vaping and or dabbing a concentrated THC resin – into one bracket with zero standardization and quality control, never mind the MISLABELING [most often not mislabelling rather missing quality control, incorrect ingredient mix and misinformation is the culprit] is a cause for HUGE concern. Place this mix in a ‘clean’ bottle with a pretty label and just like that, you have a product for the desperate and unaware public legalized by many countries worldwide. Ever wondered about the contamination? It was found that 80 to 90% of the retailed cannabis sold in California included a not so helpful dose of pesticides, fungus, and molds.
The vital part of this discussion is; anyone stepping into the ‘use zone’ needs to ensure it is done under a doctor’s supervision to ensure it can be adapted to YOUR situation, and correctly terminated when required. Become informed about the latest studies, not just those in favor but those that show both sides of the coin, take note of the sweeping claims and investigate the full truth [little of that is available and even when available depending on your situation you may turn a blind eye, each to his own and I cannot stress how I, or anybody for that matter cannot feel the pain and relief thereof, so, that being said, the call to use or not to, sits squarely on an individuals shoulders – not the government, not the supplier]. Get informed, read up on SAM, which is an organization encouraging medical research but frowns upon outright legalization.
Clear the understanding in your own mind that yes, it does have a role to play, in many cultures, it was used with great optimism and effect, but today concentrates and extracts are by no means the same mix.
Di Forti M, Marconi A, Carra E, et al. Proportion of patients in south London with first-episode psychosis attributable to use of high potency cannabis: a case-control study. Lancet Psychiatry 2015;2(3):233-8.
Lacson JCA, Carroll JD, Tuazon E, Castelao EJ, Bernstein L, Cortessis VK. Population-based case-control study of recreational drug use and testis cancer risk confirms association between marijuana use and non-seminoma risk. Cancer 2012;118(21):5374-83.
Ladin DA, Soliman E, Griffin L, Van Dross R. Preclinical and clinical assessment of cannabinoids as anti-cancer agents. Front Pharmacol 2016;7:361.
Efird JT, Friedman GD, Sidney S, et al. The risk for malignant primary adult-onset glioma in a large, multiethnic, managed-care cohort: cigarette smoking and other lifestyle behaviors. J Neurooncol 2004; 68(1): 57-69.
Ryberg E, Larsson N, Sjogren S, et al. The orphan receptor GPR55 is a novel cannabinoid receptor. Br J Pharmacol 2007;152(7)1092-101.
Wise Traditions. In food, farming and the healing arts. A publication of The Weston A. Price Foundation. Vol 20 Number 1. Spring 2019. p24-37
You have done the work the diet has gone fantastically well… AND you WANT to keep that body perfect! After all, no diet is easy and you HAVE done everything you need to do to get to this point. RIGHT?
If you feel the breathing down your neck don’t be alarmed… that is the immediate population in your 10km radius WAITING with bated breath for you to get FAT again… Sorry to say, that is EXACTLY what society expects based on the 90 – 95% failure rate, which of course DIETS get the blame for.
Let us start at the very beginning, the time before ‘the diet‘ even started, when hope for fatloss was still a glimmer in your eye, AND before you got fat AGAIN:
A) You pick a diet – most likely based on a friend’s recommendation, I mean, she lost like 15kgs!! Never mind the fact that you hate shakes… you WILL stick to it and do the same damage to the hips as she did…
B) Massive success – you managed to force your body into submission, you too are now down 15kgs and you and your BFF are now bigger and better BFF’S. You have after all SUFFERED through something apparently life-changing !
C) CELEBRATION TIME! Off diet and freedom comes in the form of a double Mocha and Key lime pie with said BFF. After all, a reward IS REQUIRED.
Fast forward a month or so…
D) Clothes have shrunk – are the tumble dryer settings correct? Let me check my weight… “oh dear… seems like that continual double Mocha is taking effect on my hips… Bloody diet, NOTHING WORKS!!!!*%”@#!“
E) The Audience…(AKA everyone in 10km radius) Now there are serious stares from all and they are breathing down your neck in anticipation, waiting, I dare say to see you gain back all 15kgs AGAIN. As you start swelling, you politely inform all the vultures that “IT IS THE DIETS FAULT”, of course, it is??!
NO… it is NOT the diets fault.
Let me say that again.
NO, SAD TO SAY, IT IS NOT THE DIETS FAULT.
So here is the thing, (yes, that THING!) we live in a society where we take pills to treat the symptom, not the cause, we expect immediate gratification and want the latest Lamborghini AND be CEO by 25 years of age latest, or you are roadkill for life. IF that does not happen then it is SOMEONE’s FAULT SOMEWHERE. Someone (or some childhood trauma) is ALWAYS to blame.
I read the holier than thou blog posts spewing out one by one how diets fail EVERYBODY MISERABLY. Get real. Hows about; COCA-COLA and MAC DONALDS fail us miserably, how about; we don’t WANT to think anymore and make logical deductions and reasonings about what we shovel into our bodies?
I watch obesity rising, cancer proliferating, and health and wellness gurus popping up all over the place to stake their claim in the obesity epidemic with the front wingers shouting DIETS DON’T WORK. Get real.
Firstly, if you are sensible you NEVER chose a diet with a shelf life, you NEVER chose a diet that relies on your starvation or one which has zero balance, that has more chemicals than the atomic bomb, to force your body into submission. NO. You are an intelligent logical human being, you take the highest regard of your wellbeing and decide you would like to live long enough to spend time with your grandchildren and not necessarily be thin AND dead. You chose your diet based on your lifestyle and what you can live with easily for the rest of your life without massive sugar and hormonal spikes coming as added benefits. YES?
HELL NO. NO…. its all about instant gratification. “Like yesterday, I was already thin, even though I only started the diet today. AMAZING RIGHT?“
How to maintain once you have removed the weight is easy… it starts BEFORE you have even started dieting!!!!
PICK THE RIGHT DIET FOR YOU!
If you chose correctly based on a couple of vital factors chances are your body will be satisfied even after you are OFF diet and you will NOT gain the weight back. The success or failure of a diet post-diet sits entirely on YOUR CHOICE OF DIET…
EXTREME DOWN = EXTREME UP
Ever ridden a bicycle up a hill? Ever freewheeled down the other side to hit a hill again and come to a full stop unless YOU PEDDLED? Well, kinda works the same with a diet. If you are buying into the extreme forcefulness of some whacked out diet, pushing your body to the limit, expect it to retaliate when done. There is ALWAYS an uphill.
ON DIET – OFF DIET
Sound familiar, people diet for the perfect figure and once that point has been achieved they vow to NEVER go back to ‘that’. Oh boy. I have been there AND got a T-shirt. There is a tendency to turn from an easy over hermit, into a ‘party-loving celebrating I can do anything superhero’ for a short while as your body realizes it has energy and mobility.
With that goes a couple of tequilas and a birthday cake or 2. Having an off diet mentality will assist your muffin tops coming back in no time. Once you break your virginity in the dietary community there is NO TURNING BACK. Which, is a bad thing IF you decided to do shakes for breakfast lunch and supper of course, but, if you decided, intelligently speaking of course, to start by having salads instead of big Macs, and saying no to sweetener, drinking more water, you know, logical things like that, THEN, chances are you can keep that body beautiful figure and NOT gain the weight back again.
ME LOOSE… NOT A CHANCE!
Let us talk terminology. What happened to you as a child when you LOST ANYTHING? In my day we had a tongue lashing and an arse whipping and that is putting it politely. Even today, my children know, they lose it, THEY replace it. Nobody EVER, like EVER wants to lose anything, wallet, keys, boyfriend??! So why on our little blue planet called Earth would we want to lose weight?!???
Even if we lost it we will make damn sure we find it again! If you want to maintain the body you managed to get by being INTELLIGENT, then make sure you don’t tell your brain you losing the weight. Getting rid of it for sure. Losing it, no chance! Our subconscious works 24/7 to FIND answers, and the word losing triggers 20, 30, 40 or 50 years of programming that says if you lose that you are in deep sh*T! So, time to ‘burn fat‘, ‘get rid of unhealthy fat‘, even ‘get down to my best size’ is better. But losing is only going to lead you right back to gaining. Let me not even start with the word WEIGHT. Please, think about that one.
WHY ON EARTH WOULD I LOVE THE NEW ME?
You looking amazing, your diet has helped you develop new healthier habits and you are getting wolf whistles purely by walking down the street. This is something you NOT used to. Self-esteem steps in and rains on your parade poops on your head, or rather in it. You cannot possibly get this type of attention? Someone says “Jane, you look smashing, wow!!?? What have you done?” Your lagging self-esteem (woe be her, she has had a tough few years of fatdom) steps in… “This oh man it is NOTHING (REALLY!!??), I did work hard but you know, sacrifice and hard work and self-discipline (yawn……….) are ‘all’ it takes. Not much to it (let us downplay it Ms. Self-esteem, you try and eat only salads for lunch!!)” and so the conversation goes. Your subconscious (home to Ms. Self-esteem) hears how unimportant this victory was, how much hard work it was, and how irrelevant the compliment was that was given and, after shedding a humble tear, she starts working out how to avoid these awkward moments where you were not quite sure what to say. Please search on google ‘how to ACCEPT a compliment‘ so that you can KEEP AND ACCEPT the good energy that can come from it!! Eventually, the attention may get overwhelming, the boyfriend may even get a bit jealous and then to safeguard yourself and keep your rising self-esteem at bay, you start eating again… a lot.
Embrace the compliments, learn how to welcome friendly self-esteem within and nurture her, give that girl a coffee! Say to her “MAKE ME MARVELOUS” and then to yourself, “I am EVERYTHING AND MORE!”. Want to maintain that body, start by LOVING YOURSELF FIRST!
LETS TALK ABOUT STREEETTTTCHHHHH BABY…
The only stretch ANYTHING you should have after a diet is your morning yawn as you wake up to get out of bed. If there was a way that sweatpants could be non-stretch and still work, it would literally cause the diet industry billions to be halved. The problem with stretch is this, you can keep expanding your waistline and be completely unaware, then start passing the joke around that there are gremlins in your cupboard making your clothes smaller, BLOODY DIET ALWAYS FAILS!!! Eventually, the stretch is replaced by baggy and everyone applauds as you take on the next diet to once again get rid of the 15kgs. Let me add to this… THROW THE BIG STUFF INTO THE CHARITY BIN! IT DON’T FIT YOU ANY MORE. And chances are if it is in your cupboard you may very well grow INTO IT again! Burn the ships!
WHAT YOU BUY, YOU EAT, YES?
Sounds completely logical right? Well, so I thought until client after client after client blames the biscuit they continuously had after supper for not maintaining?! REALLY?! Need I say more. Are we being held hostage by a sprinkled carb? REALLY… who bought it. And please…. your children DON’T NEED IT TO SURVIVE!!!!!
IF YOU KEEP EATING EVEN AFTER YOU ARE FULL, CHANCES ARE THE CLAPPING YOU HEAR WILL BE YOUR THIGHS.
Is this the diets fault too? Or is it possibly the appetite suppressants taken to numb (dumb) your hunger signals down??? Where the effort and possible use of will power to say no thank you not now, was just too much (again, must be the diets fault there too?). Do we realize that ALL FOOD and MORE will be there forever and we don’t need to say yes all the time and every time? So, let’s say you got through your diet at age 45 and you are looking like da bomb, that type of cheesecake will be available to you for another 30 years at least!
Allow your body to ‘settle into’ a new weight category before you start throwing heavy punches (into your mouth). Each person has that ‘almost’ perfect set point of weight and energy use… over time we stuff that equilibrium up completely and your body ends up between a rock and a hard place… hormones out of wack, gut flora none existent and metabolism shouting “I give UP!!!”. So, if you are one of the fortunate few that found a diet that is correct for you individually (look, there are 5 billion results on Google I am sure you can find ONE that works for your ‘type’) and you decided to make use of my intelligent MMM System to ensure your success, then ALLOW your body to settle and acquaint itself to a less hefty you BEFORE relinquishing your daily exercise routine for muffins with Martha at Starbucks.
Give yourself and the intelligently chosen diet some settlement time. Allow yourself to integrate your diet with reasonable inclusions so that you can slowly recalibrate your metabolism to suit your lifestyle. It comes down to this, if chosen well, ANY diet will be successful, based on the fact that it is backed by some sort of successful science and logic. ANY diet will assist in you maintaining properly if you are mindfully refeeding yourself into the general swing of your lifestyle. You WILL keep the weight OFF if you follow a plan of implementation for your diet from BEFORE your start to months after you complete. No ‘here today, gone tomorrow‘ classics. You WILL keep it off if you educate yourself along the way about good healthy choices and the food you are consuming and like to consume, chances are you will say a BIG NO THANK YOU to a MAC DONALDS after you are done with your diet.
Personally, I know, diets work. If the fat doesn’t stay off, reasons are, you only gain that which you lost and more based on poor diet choice and sweet bugger all awareness and mindfulness once you ‘OFF DIET‘. Keep in mind that if you chose an averagely good science-based diet, you STILL lose muscle, which in turn affects your Basal Metabolic Rate which in turn affects your Metabolism resulting in slow conversion of fat to energy and more storage (less muscle mass, less fat burning) so you will HAVE to be MORE VIGILANT about what you put into your body regardless of how good the diet is. Once you have walked the diet gangplank embrace the fact that you have messed with ‘PERFECT‘ created by ‘PERFECT‘. That is O.K. if and only if you TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR CHOICES and become mindful of how you live thereafter.
Now some of us, (yup, I include myself) had a tendency to ignore nutrition, health, exercise, wellness, calorie load, metabolism – well, anything to do with living well and have taken on our own fair share of diets. We, (woe us) will need to put on our big girl panties and realize our choices maketh us. Vigilance on what we eat HAS to be part of life as most likely our metabolism is shot, muscle mass has been depleted, enzymes are fighting for survival and our microbiome thinks it’s Vegas… Yup. It ain’t the DIETS FAULT.
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