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Is Eating Eggshells Beneficial?

By Dr. Mercola

As you've cracked eggs over a skillet or mixing bowl over the years, it may never have occurred to you that the eggshell, and not just the egg, may offer considerable nutritional benefits. A study entitled "Eggshell Membrane: A Possible New Natural Therapeutic for Joint and Connective Tissue Disorders," was recently published in Clinical Interventions in Aging. The study tested the concept of using natural eggshell membranes in supplement form, or NEM, as a:

"Novel dietary supplement as it contains naturally occurring glycosaminoglycans and proteins essential for maintaining healthy joint and connective tissues … 500 mg taken once daily, significantly reduced pain, both rapidly (seven days) and continuously (30 days)."1

It may interest you to know that the researchers involved in the study concluded that none of the participants exhibited any adverse effects in the course of the study. A significant percentage of the participants experienced considerable improvements, and the authors deemed the crushed eggshell treatment to be "well tolerated."2

Learning that not only were eggshells from hens "suitable for human consumption" but even nutritious, the blogger behind Healthy Food Tribe notes that for others interested in the science behind it, it's important to understand a few things, namely:

  • Crushed, powdered eggshells may be a good addition to your diet
  • How to prepare them
  • How to use and store them

Studies Analyze the Benefits of Eggshell Consumption

According to the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition,3 the ingredient that makes eating eggshells beneficial is calcium, or more specifically, calcium carbonate. Perhaps not surprisingly, that's what 95 percent of the total makeup of eggshells consist of, which is similar to your own bones and teeth.

Researchers noted that consuming just half an eggshell can supply you with the recommended reference daily intake (RDI)4 of calcium, an amount the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has determined fulfills the nutrient needs by infants, children and adults.

In spite of the calcium sources that are readily available, calcium deficiency is still quite common, causing a condition known as hypocalcemia. It's evidenced by low levels of the mineral in your blood serum or plasma. Interestingly, anxiety and stress can contribute to this condition. Common symptoms of a calcium deficiency include:

  • Overall fatigue
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Muscle spasms
  • Mood changes
  • Memory lapses

How Low Calcium Levels Can Bring About Osteoporosis

Current statistics indicate that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men worldwide over the age of 50 experience an osteoporosis-related fracture. In fact, in 2000, 9 million such breaks were recorded, 1.6 million of them hip fractures, which can be life threatening, as 20 percent of the individuals who've had a hip fracture die within a year.5

One of the most sobering statistics about this condition, though, is that the remedy most people gravitate toward (because it's the go-to remedy doctors recommend) is toxic drugs, the side effects of which can range from serious to devastating, including doubling your risk of esophageal cancer.6

While a number of studies stress how important it is for people suffering from osteoporosis to keep moving to maintain muscle strength and build bone density, drugs prescribed to remedy the problem may thicken bones to make them bulkier but more porous in the process, and therefore more prone to breakage. People also often take calcium tablets in an effort to strengthen their bones and teeth and help prevent fractures.

Healthy Food Tribe notes that calcium may be one of the most abundant minerals in your body, but you must count on external sources like foods and supplements because your body can't produce enough on its own. As the blog notes:

"Surprisingly, only 1 percent of the calcium in our body is used for important body functions such as vascular contraction, nerve transmission and muscle movement. The rest of our body's calcium supply is stored in our teeth and bones that are going through a continuous remodeling process throughout our lives."7

It's important to understand, however, that if your calcium levels are not low, taking in too much will not only not help you, it may in fact do more harm than good. Further, poor quality calcium supplements may contain toxic metals in harmful amounts, including lead, cadmium, aluminum and mercury, according to a Canadian study,8 even though they may be labeled as being naturally sourced.

How Eating Eggshells Can Lower Your Osteoporosis Odds

For all of these reasons, ground eggshells can be an excellent stand-in for calcium supplements, which many people, both men and women, are directed by their doctors to take when aging begins the natural but preventable process of leaching calcium from bones, making bones thinner and weaker — a condition known as osteoporosis. The study added:

"In vitro eggshell powder stimulates chondrocyte differentiation and cartilage growth. Clinical studies in postmenopausal women and women with senile osteoporosis showed that eggshell powder reduces pain and osteoresorption and increases mobility and bone density or arrests its loss.

The bioavailability of calcium from this source, as tested in piglets, was similar or better than that of food grade purified calcium carbonate. Clinical and experimental studies showed that eggshell powder has positive effects on bone and cartilage and that it is suitable in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis."9

Many foods contain calcium, the healthiest dairy options being hormone-free, pastured raw milk, butter, yogurt and cheese, as well as green vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, collard greens, spinach and kale, canned sardines and salmon with bones intact, almonds and sesame seeds.

However, powdered eggshells add to your calcium intake dramatically. In addition, eggshells contain protein, magnesium and selenium, all associated with bone health.10 The featured video notes that they also contain glucosamine, chondroitin and hyaluronic acid. The video also lists other compounds in the shell membrane, such as type 1 collagen.

"Eggshell membrane is primarily composed of fibrous proteins such as collagen type I … (as well as) glycosaminoglycans, such as dermatan sulfate and chondroitin sulfate and sulfated glycoproteins including hexosamines, such as glucosamine. Other components identified in eggshell membranes are hyaluronic acid, sialic acid, desmosine and isodesmosine, ovotransferrin, lysyl oxidase, lysozyme, and β-N-acetylglucosaminidase."11

Best Procedure for Eggshell Consumption

The 2003 study explains that the best way to consume and digest eggshells is in powdered form, but first, they must be cleaned properly to get rid of any bacteria that may be hanging around. To say that eating eggshells right after peeling them is not recommended is a gross — in every sense of the word —understatement. Also keep in mind that organic free-range eggs are not only recommended but crucial. I personally have a teaspoon of eggshells every day.

The best way to prepare eggshells is to powder them in a grinder, such as a coffee grinder or food processor, but again, make sure they're organic free-range and dried properly before you grind or eat them. Also, it's important to remember NOT to remove the membrane, the ultrathin "skin" between the shell and the outer shell, as this is where the nutrition comes from. Luckily, preparing your eggshells is an easy process:

  1. Once you've used one or more organic eggs, save the shells, drop them into boiling water for about five minutes to clean them and remove bacteria.
  2. Spread the shells on a paper towel placed on a baking sheet to dry. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 180 degrees F.
  3. Remove the paper towel, spread the shells out on the baking sheet and bake for around 10 minutes to further eradicate harmful bacteria. This step also serves to further dry them, which makes them easier to grind.
  4. Grind the dried, baked eggshells in a coffee grinder (or a good quality blender that grinds them very finely) until they attain a powdery substance.
  5. Store the powder in an airtight container to keep out moisture.

Ways to Use Your Powdered Eggshells

Probably the easiest way to eat your powdered eggshells is in a smoothie. Healthy Food Tribe recommends 1 tablespoon per week, which you can spread out in increments whether you have smoothies every day or only a few times a week. Around 2.5 grams is recommended as enough to meet your requirements. Other ways to get the benefits of powdered eggshells, without affecting the flavor of the foods, include:12

  • Sprinkling a bit on pizza
  • In pasta sauce or salad
  • In juice or even water; stir it in and drink it down quickly before it settles to the bottom of the glass
  • Casseroles or scrambled eggs
  • Coffee, as powdered eggshells are said to reduce or even eliminate bitterness when it's added to the grounds before brewing

Besides taking calcium through food or supplements, and aside from cleaning and crushing eggshells for consumption with food, you can also take the NEM supplements with the membrane intact to benefit your joints, although scientists say more studies are needed. Besides the dietary intake of eggshells, you may find it interesting to learn that animal husbandry and gardening gurus alike have taken advantage of the benefits obtained through eggshells, including:

  • Composting
  • Chicken feed
  • Pest control in gardens
  • Healthier tomatoes
  • Bird feed

One of the most amazing things about this way of supplementing your diet is that it's not just inexpensive, but you could consider it free. However, another caution is for moderation. More is not better in this regard, but if your calcium level isn't where it should be, augmenting your intake with powdered eggshells is a viable option.

Big Pharma Tries to Monopolize CBD Oil Market

By Dr. Mercola

The cannabinoids in cannabis — cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — interact with your body by way of naturally-occurring cannabinoid receptors embedded in cell membranes throughout your body. In fact, scientists now believe the endocannabinoid system may represent the most widespread receptor system in your body.1

There are cannabinoid receptors in your brain, lungs, liver, kidneys, immune system and more, and both the therapeutic and psychoactive properties of marijuana occur when a cannabinoid activates a cannabinoid receptor. Your body actually makes its own cannabinoids, similar to those found in marijuana, albeit in much smaller quantities than you get from the plant.

The fact that your body is replete with cannabinoid receptors, key to so many biological functions, is why there's such enormous medical potential for cannabis. More often than not, medicinal marijuana is made from plants bred to have high CBD and low THC content. While THC has psychoactive activity that can make you feel “stoned,” CBD has no psychoactive properties.

That doesn’t mean THC is medicinally useless, however. It too has been found to have a number of medicinal benefits, although it does need to be balanced with CBD to lessen its psychoactive effects. For example, recent animal research2 suggests THC has a beneficial influence on the aging brain.3,4 Rather than dulling or impairing cognition, THC appears to reverse the aging process and improve mental processes, raising the possibility it might be useful for the treatment of dementia.5

Drug Company Vies for CBD Monopoly

As reported by Motherboard, the drug industry is now pushing for legislation that would make CBD oil illegal — by turning it into a drug.6 The article discusses a South Dakota Senate bill, SB 95, which would exempt CBD from the definition of cannabis, thereby transferring it from a Schedule I controlled substance to a Schedule IV substance. This would allow CBD products to be sold, legally, in South Dakota, where medicinal marijuana is currently not allowed.

This past summer, lobbyists for GW Pharmaceuticals and its U.S. subsidiary, Greenwich BioSciences, fought for an amendment to the bill that would have limited CBD rescheduling to products approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) — in other words, they wanted only CBD drugs to be legally obtainable.

“Not surprisingly, GW Pharmaceuticals has just such a drug in the pipeline. Epidiolex, a ‘proprietary oral solution of pure plant-derived cannabidiol,’ has already been given to epileptic children in the U.S. as part of a federal investigative study documented recently in the New England Journal of Medicine.” Motherboard writes. Epidiolex is currently under FDA review for approval.

“Since no other pharmaceutical company has a CBD drug anywhere close to market, and the wide range of CBD products already available in medical marijuana states lack FDA approval, if the bill had passed with that amendment intact, patients in South Dakota would have been subjected to a virtual CBD monopoly …

More ominously, The Great CBD Battle of South Dakota appears to be but the opening salvo in a nationwide war between GW Pharmaceuticals and traditional medical cannabis providers …

[U]nder the amendment, South Dakota would … ban myriad CBD products already available in many other states. Even though they cost far less than Epidiolex, and are potentially more effective for patients, since in addition to CBD those "full spectrum" cannabis extracts also contain small amounts of THC and other medicinal components of the plant.”

Study Confirms CBD Benefits for Drug-Resistant Seizures

The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study7 published in The New England Journal of Medicine in May 2017 again confirmed what has long been known: that CBD offers relief for children with drug-resistant seizures, in this case patients diagnosed with Dravet syndrome, a “catastrophic early-onset encephalopathic epilepsy, with a high mortality rate.”

GW Pharmaceuticals funded the study and was responsible for the trial design. The company also supplied the CBD and placebo. The active treatment was an oral solution containing 100 milligrams (mg) of CBD per milliliter, given in addition to the child’s current antiseizure medication regimen. The placebo was identical to the treatment solution, but without CBD.

The dose was gradually increased over the course of 14 days, with a maximum dose of 20 mg per kilogram of body weight, taken twice a day. At the end of the treatment period, the CBD solution was tapered down over the course of 10 days, reducing the dosage by 10 percent each day. Following is a summary of the main findings:

  • Children taking CBD experienced a nearly 40 percent reduction in the frequency of convulsive seizures over the 14-week treatment period, from a median of 12.4 seizures per month to 5.9. In the placebo group, the median convulsive-seizure frequency decreased from 14.9 to 14.1
  • 43 percent of patients in the CBD group experienced a 50 percent or greater reduction in convulsive-seizure frequency, compared to 27 percent in the placebo group
  • During the treatment period, three patients in the CBD group were completely free of seizures. No patients in the placebo group were free of seizures
  • When looking at all seizure types, the median frequency of seizures per month decreased from 24.0 to 13.7 in the CBD group (a reduction of 28.6 percent), compared to a decrease from 41.5 to 31.1 in the placebo group (a reduction of 9 percent)
  • 37 of 60 caregivers (62 percent) said their child’s overall condition improved in the CBD group, compared to 20 of 58 caregivers (34 percent) in the placebo group 

Reported Side Effects

Interestingly, while medical cannabis is typically well-tolerated, with few side effects, a whopping 93 percent of children in the CBD group — as well as 75 percent of those in the placebo group — suffered adverse events in this trial.

Eighty-four percent of adverse events in the treatment group were deemed mild or moderate, and included vomiting, fatigue, fever, upper respiratory tract infection, decreased appetite, convulsions, lethargy, drowsiness and diarrhea. Eight patients in the treatment group withdrew from the study due to side effects.

Of course, these conventional investigators were clueless about the benefit of a ketogenic diet for the treatment of seizures, so that was something that was not evaluated in the study. This is unfortunate, as it would have radically decreased side effects and may even have been more effective than the CBD. According to the authors:

“Elevated levels of liver aminotransferase enzymes (alanine aminotransferase or aspartate aminotransferase level >3 times the upper limit of the normal range) led to withdrawal from the trial of three patients in the cannabidiol group and one in the placebo group.

Overall, elevated aminotransferase levels occurred in 12 patients in the cannabidiol group and one in the placebo group. All these patients were taking a form of valproate [editor’s note: a type of medication used to treat epilepsy] … There were … no instances of suicidal ideation … There were no deaths.”

As mentioned earlier, full spectrum cannabis extracts will not be pure CBD, as they’re derived from the whole plant. And, as noted by CNN medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, “ … [E]vidence is mounting that these compounds work better together than in isolation."8

It’s possible that “pharmaceutical strength” CBD might be too pure, hence the high rate of side effects. Regardless, there’s a significant difference in cost between a CBD drug and natural CBD oil, which in and of itself is of great concern for many patients and their families who now worry Big Pharma is trying to take over the cannabis industry.

Monopoly in South Dakota Avoided, for Now

As noted by Motherboard, “parents with children suffering from Dravet's syndrome and many other serious illnesses have been pushing for access to the "miracle drug" since 2013, when Gupta's “Weed” documentary debuted on CNN.” The program featured a 6-year-old girl beset by some 300 grand mal seizures each week. A CBD-rich cannabis oil reduced her seizures by 99 percent.

Following the airing of “Weed,” hundreds of families moved to Colorado to obtain the herbal medication for their ailing child. Other positive media attention has also helped to loosen the stigma surrounding medical marijuana. In 1969, only 12 percent of Americans favored marijuana legalization. Today, a majority of Americans favor legalization: 53 percent favor legalizing marijuana across the board and 77 percent support legal medical use.9 Even the new surgeon general has cited data on how helpful medical cannabis can be.

Unfortunately, medical cannabis may just be “too good.” Showing promise for a wide range of ailments, the drug industry sees cannabis as major competition, and rightfully so. In South Dakota, a scaled-back amendment to SB 95 was ultimately signed into law. South Dakotans who want legal access to CBD will still have to wait until Epidiolex gains FDA approval, but GW Pharmaceuticals was not successful in limiting the down-scheduling of CBD to FDA approved CBD drugs only.

As a result, GW Pharmaceuticals will not have a monopoly on the market. Still, GW Pharmaceuticals has reportedly contracted lobbyists in several different states10 to fight for its cause, and their combined efforts may well delay implementation of cannabis reform that could improve access to medicinal marijuana. As noted by Melissa Mentele, chairperson of New Approach South Dakota, a cannabis reform group, who herself found relief from chronic pain when she started taking CBD-rich cannabis oil:

“Cannabis patients and caregivers have organized and fought for decades for the government to look at cannabis as a treatment option. Nobody did until hundreds of patients bravely shared their stories. So, we as a community have done the work for them, and now Big Pharma wants to swoop in and use an unfair monopoly and an inferior product to profit off the backs of catastrophically ill and dying people. It is disgusting."

Indiana Cracks Down on CBD Products

In related news, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb recently announced CDB oil containing THC, regardless of the amount, will no longer be legal in the state, and has instructed local police to “perform normal, periodic regulatory spot checks of CBD oil products.” Retailers were given 60 days to sell out or remove such products from their stores.

According to Indy Star, “Most of the CBD products being sold in Indiana contain less than 0.3 percent THC, meaning they can’t produce a ‘high,’” adding that “Advocates of CBD oil say those products don’t have as many benefits as full spectrum CBD oil products.” At present, Indiana law only allows CBD products to be used by epileptic patients, who must register with the state’s CBD oil registry.

Republican state Sen. Jim Tomes has vowed to introduce legislation that would expand access to CBD oil under state law. According to Indy Star, “He’s received calls from people who’ve used the product to treat arthritis, Parkinson’s disease and mental illnesses.” Tomes told the paper, “I just don’t understand why is there such a resistance to allow people to get this product here? You can’t abuse it. It either works or it doesn’t.”  The answer to Tomes’ question appears to be drug industry pressure. As reported by New Hope:11

“Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill Jr. appears to be relying on a discredited opinion from the federal Drug Enforcement Agency on the legality of the hemp-derived cannabinoid, which must come from industrial hemp that contains less than 0.3 percent THC (the high-inducing cannabinoid).

The Nov. 21 advisory opinion was issued from the state capital of Indianapolis, which also happens to be the headquarters of pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly & Co., which is seeking fast-track approval from the FDA for its non-opioid painkiller drug, tanezumab.12

‘As a matter of legal interpretation, products or substances marketed for human consumption or ingestion, and containing cannabidiol, remain unlawful in Indiana, and under federal law,’ Hill wrote in his opinion. This conclusion does not apply to any product that is approved by the FDA.

There are currently two products that contain cannabidiol undergoing clinical trials; Epidiolex and Sativex. Simply put, cannabidiol is a Schedule I controlled substance because marijuana (Cannabis sativa) is a Schedule I controlled substance.’”

Legal Products Confiscated Amid Confusion

There’s plenty of confusion, however, as the attorney general’s opinion and Holcomb’s seizure instructions contradict a 2014 industrial hemp law that allows CBD products in Indiana as long as they contain less than 0.3 percent THC. The primary confusion appears to center around the fact that state law permits CBD as long as it is sourced from hemp and not marijuana.

In an effort to resolve the problem, the hemp industry, led by CV Sciences, has held educational meetings to explain the differences between marijuana and hemp-derived CBD products. The campaign resulted in Indiana state police issuing a statement saying that CBD products are in fact legal in Indiana as long as they’re sourced from hemp. All of this just goes to show that when it comes to cannabis and its derivatives, there’s plenty of confusion to go around, and it’s not always easy to determine the legal status of a given product in a given state.

FDA Issues Warning Letters to CBD Manufacturers

The FDA is also increasing its scrutiny of companies making CBD products. As reported by The Cannabist,13 four Colorado businesses have received FDA warning letters for making “illegally unsubstantiated health claims” on their CBD products. In a November 1 press release, the FDA said:14

“[T]he agency today issued warning letters to four companies illegally selling products online that claim to prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure cancer without evidence to support these outcomes … The deceptive marketing of unproven treatments may keep some patients from accessing appropriate, recognized therapies to treat serious and even fatal diseases.

The FDA has grown increasingly concerned at the proliferation of products claiming to treat or cure serious diseases like cancer. In this case, the illegally sold products allegedly contain cannabidiol (CBD), a component of the marijuana plant that is not FDA approved in any drug product for any indication.”

The warning letters15 also rejected claims that CBD oil can be classified as dietary supplements, as Investigational New Drug (IND) applications have been submitted for the CBD-containing drugs Sativex and Epidiolex (both by GW Pharmaceuticals). This suggests the agency is not just aiming to clean up the cannabis industry’s propensity to make illegal claims; it also raises concerns that the legality of all CBD products is in question now that CBD-containing drugs await FDA approval.  

Medical Marijuana Lowers Prescription Drug Use and Abuse

While CBD has now been reclassified to a Schedule IV substance in North Dakota by excluding it from the state’s definition of marijuana,16,17 it still remains a Schedule I (illegal) controlled substance in most other states. This is tragic, considering the evidence showing medical marijuana lowers prescription drug use. One wonders if perhaps that’s one of the reasons why it hasn’t been rescheduled across the nation.

There are no other truly compelling reasons why addictive narcotics like OxyContin are legal, while marijuana — which is extremely unlikely to kill you even if you take very high amounts — is not. The video above features W. David Bradford, Ph.D., whose study was published in the journal Health Affairs in July 2016.18 As reported by The Washington Post:19

“[R]esearchers at the University of Georgia scoured the database of all prescription drugs paid for under Medicare Part D from 2010 to 2013. They found that, in the 17 states with a medical-marijuana law in place by 2013, prescriptions for painkillers and other classes of drugs fell sharply compared with states that did not have a medical-marijuana law.

The drops were quite significant: In medical-marijuana states, the average doctor prescribed 265 fewer doses of antidepressants each year, 486 fewer doses of seizure medication, 541 fewer anti-nausea doses and 562 fewer doses of anti-anxiety medication. But most strikingly, the typical physician in a medical-marijuana state prescribed 1,826 fewer doses of painkillers in a given year.”

Legalizing Marijuana Could Save Medicare Hundreds of Millions Each Year

According to Bradford, the Medicare program could save $468 million per year if marijuana were legalized in all U.S. states.20,21 Already, $165 million was saved in 2013 in the 18 states where medical marijuana was legal that year. Similarly, a 2015 working paper by The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) states that:22

If marijuana is used as a substitute for powerful and addictive pain relievers in medical marijuana states, a potential overlooked positive impact of medical marijuana laws may be a reduction in harms associated with opioid pain relievers, a far more addictive and potentially deadly substance.”

Not only did the NBER find that access to state-sanctioned medical marijuana dispensaries resulted in a significant decrease in prescription painkiller overdose deaths, it also led to a 15 to 35 percent drop in substance abuse admissions. So, it would seem medical marijuana — far from being the deadly drug it’s been made out to be — could actually save thousands of lives that would otherwise be destroyed by painkiller addiction and its lethal consequences.

It’s a real travesty that the U.S. Senate is more than willing to shell out taxpayer money to Big Pharma for addictive painkillers and the drugs to treat addiction when a safe and effective answer to the pain and opioid epidemics lies right before our noses.

Both CBD and THC Are Far Safer Than Commonly Used Pain Killers

Polls show older Americans are becoming increasingly converted to marijuana use.23 Between 2006 and 2013, use among 50- to 64-year-olds rose by 60 percent. Among seniors over 65, use jumped by 250 percent.24 Pain and sleep are among the most commonly cited complaints for which medicinal marijuana is taken. Considering the high risk of lethal consequences of opioid painkillers and sleeping pills, medical marijuana is a godsend.

As noted by Dr. Margaret Gedde, an award-winning Stanford-trained pathologist and founder of Gedde Whole Health, there’s enough scientific data to compare the side effects of cannabis against the known toxicities of many drugs currently in use. This includes liver and kidney toxicity, gastrointestinal damage, nerve damage and, of course, death.

Cannabidiol has no toxicity and it’s virtually impossible to die from marijuana. It’s also self-limiting, as excessive doses of THC will provoke anxiety, paranoia and nausea. Such side effects will disappear as the drug dissipates from your system without resulting in permanent harm, but it’ll make you think twice about taking such a high dose again. Make the same mistake with an opioid, and chances are you’ll end up in the morgue.

Gedde also notes that cannabis products often work when other medications fail, so not only are they safer, they also tend to provide greater efficacy. In 2010, the Center for Medical Cannabis Research (CMCR25) released a report26 on 14 clinical studies about the use of marijuana for pain, most of which were FDA-approved, double-blind and placebo-controlled. The report revealed that marijuana not only controls pain, but in many cases, it does so better than pharmaceutical alternatives.

Where to Find Reputable Information About Medical Cannabis, Its Uses and Benefits

While reputable information about cannabis can be hard to come by, it’s not impossible to find. One good source is cancer.gov.27,28 This is the U.S. government’s site on cancer. Simply enter “cannabis” into the search bar. You can also peruse the medical literature through PubMed,29 which is a public resource (again, simply enter “cannabis” or related terms into the search bar).

CMCR also provides a hyperlinked list30 of scientific publications relating to a wide variety of medicinal uses of cannabis, and the Journal of Pain,31 a publication by the American Pain Society, has a long list of studies on the pain-relieving effects of cannabis.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse,32 which also has information relating to the medicinal aspects of marijuana, preclinical and clinical trials are underway to test marijuana and various extracts for the treatment of a number of diseases, including autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease, inflammation, pain and mental disorders.

To learn more, I also recommend listening to my previous interviews with Gedde and Dr. Allan Frankel, in which they discuss the clinical benefits of cannabis. Frankel is a board-certified internist in California who has treated patients with medical cannabis for the past decade. Awareness is starting to shift, and many are now starting to recognize the medical value of cannabis.

Unfortunately, that also means the drug industry is doing everything it can to secure its place in the market, and in so doing, eliminating the legal use of natural and far less expensive cannabis products. It’s up to us to make sure we stay involved in the political process whenever marijuana-related legislation is brought up. If we don’t, you can be sure the drug industry will become the only game in town.

Dr. Mercola's Weekly Health Quiz

1 People who consumed the highest levels of this fat were 23 to 30 percent less likely to have gum disease.

  • Avocado oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Macadamia nut oil
  • Animal based omega-3 fats

    Omega-3 fats may help ward off gum disease. Coconut oil is another natural antibacterial alternative that can significantly improve your oral health. Learn more.

2 What is the primary but hidden objective behind mandatory influenza vaccinations for health care workers?

  • Preventing spread of influenza between workers and patients
  • Reducing sick days in the work force during flu season
  • Avoiding financial penalties for failure to meet a 90 percent vaccination rate

    While public health officials insist mandatory influenza vaccination policies for all health care workers protect patients from getting sick with influenza, a far greater incentive for firing workers refusing annual flu shots is the financial penalties hospitals face from the federal government if their vaccination rates are too low. Learn more.

  • Reducing mortality rates among health care workers

3 Historical records reveal the sugar industry buried a 1968 study linking sugar to the following health problems:

  • Heart disease and bladder cancer

    Documents show the sugar industry buried evidence from the 1960s that linked sugar consumption to heart disease and bladder cancer. Learn more.

  • Dental cavities and obesity
  • Obesity and diabetes
  • Diabetes and heart disease

4 Which type of exercise has been found to lower dementia risk by 29 percent over the course of 10 years?

  • Cognitive training focused on memory
  • Cognitive training focused on reasoning
  • Cognitive training focused processing speed

    The first-ever randomized controlled trial to demonstrate an intervention effective at reducing dementia risk found a brain exercise program targeting processing speed lowered the risk of dementia. Learn more.

  • High intensity exercise

5 Which type of chicory salad green, found within the daisy family, is known for its narrow, curly-edged leaves and slightly bitter taste?

  • Kale
  • Endive

    Endives contain kaempferol, a flavonoid that naturally inhibits ovarian cancer cells. Learn more.

  • Arugula
  • Spinach

6 Which of the following conditions are antidepressants NOT used to treat?

  • Anxiety
  • Heart problems

    Paxil, the world's second most prescribed antidepressant, is linked to serious psychiatric effects including suicidal and homicidal behavior. Learn more.

  • Depression
  • Fatigue

7 Which of the following strategies is likely the most important for reducing your chances of having an autistic child?

  • Eliminate exposure to extremely low frequency electric and magnetic fields during sleep by shutting down the electricity to your bedroom or any adjacent rooms

    Klinghardt found the average exposure of an autistic child to low frequency EMFs was 20-fold higher than that of the non-autistic children. He believes women need to take drastic steps to lower their EMF exposure during pregnancy to reduce the risk of having an autistic child. Learn more.

  • Eating a ketogenic diet and avoiding chemical exposures
  • Exercising and eating a gluten-free diet
  • Doing an extensive heavy metal detox before conception

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