My great-grandfather was mining gold in Hayfork, CA some 120 years ago. I got to meet him in 1963 when I was 8 years old, and he was 97. While working the mine in his younger days, my great-grandfather (GGF) fractured his left hip in a mine accident. He walked with a limp and had the use of a cane for the rest of his life. When my GGF was sidelined after the accident, his wife nursed his injuries, fed him and took care of him, but she also worked the mine the better part of a year until he was able to work again. He recuperated, he let his body heal, he only moved as nature required, and he did what he could do to help his wife. When the pain became unbearable he rested, he let his body heal. There were no opioids at his disposal, just whiskey that he sipped until the day he died at the age of 99. This was the way it was, "back in the day".
Before industrialization, we human beings were self-reliant, healthy, consumed fresh organic vegetables, we were outside and physically active. The food they ate, the water they drank, and the air they breathed was without impurities. Prior to the turn of the 19th-century, cows ate hemp plants in their free-range organic grass fed diets. Ranchers knew Hemp acted as a nutritional uptake catalyst, which enables the cattle to gain lean muscle mass 1. Cannabinoids’ (CBD’s) are passed to human beings through ingestion of the meat and milk. Children were breast fed with CBD rich mothers milk. People performed hard physical labor, slept due to exhaustion and rested on Sunday. If injured or sick, the family took care of them, divided the work between them, life went on; this was the "good life". Then we evolved, Industrialization began, and new jobs were created that took our population to new heights.
At the same time, medicine was evolving too. The argument can be made that medicine was the new tech of the day. Medical advances after the Civil War included the use of pain medicines, familiarity with prevention and treatment of infectious disease, with anesthetic agents, and with surgical principles that rapidly advanced the overall quality of American medical practice 2. These advances extended our mortality and enabled us to build the transcontinental railroad, work longer hours, and leave the outdoors for factories, and mines.
This was the beginning of the "ease of use" mentality that became the mantra of the day. Now almost 150 years later, we are seeing the clash of these cultures. The outlier, the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M Conference) a nonprofit entity that holds two annual World Congresses, each of which hosts 3,000 to 5,000 physicians and healthcare practitioners 3.
They have prioritized integrating natural "remedies" through organic healthy foods, nutraceuticals, bio identical hormones, and YES, Cannabis to fight the adverse effects of our environment and aging3. Food additives in manufactured foods, over-the-counter (OTC) medications, prescription medications, stress, and our environment have resulted in a plethora of health issues. The Physicians of the A4M conference implement a healthy life style, organic foods, and natural remedies, first when treating chronic disease. These physicians are including CBD based products in their treatment protocol with pharmaceuticals used only as a last resort.
Conversely, the "ease of use" mentality has resulted in both an increase in cancer as well as an increase in the varieties of cancer. We see increased mental health issues 4, a significant rise in genetically-based diseases, autism, and autoimmune disorders, (Auto-immune is the body actually attacking itself), so many issues too numerous to mention. In essence, "ease of use" introduced an ever-increasing fragility to the human condition 5.
We are seeing a resurgence of natural organic based health solutions. This newfound old remedy Cannabis, specifically CBD’s, is the leader in this march back to a healthy lifestyle. Vegetarian diets, elimination of gluten and sugars in the diet, are commonplace and more the rule than the exception in everyday culture.
It has been shown that Cannabis assists and stimulates the body to heal itself. However, it's far from an ease of use alternative;, it takes significant time to reverse the damage that our environment, water, food, and drugs have inflicted on the human body.
Thanks to Cannabis, we are seeing a resurgence of natural holistic alternative health solutions. 25 years ago, we chiropractors were on the forefront of a holistic approach to treating disease. Regardless of the extensive marketing, alternative doctors only treated a fraction of the population in those years. Only a few saw or could afford alternative medicine as a blueprint to a very long healthy life.
Now, instead of organic solutions for a few, it is now the choice of many. People are turning away from organized medicine and pharmaceutical products for the natural alternative. These natural alternatives are in most cases more effective, faster, void of side effects and they cost less. The cost of prescription medications have become fiscally prohibitive to purchase, the side effects untenable, living longer is now commonplace, but to live longer unencumbered by disease is the goal. People are now realizing their quality of life has degraded, and they are looking to Cannabis as a solution while embracing a healthier lifestyle. People and physicians are looking at this combination not only a “cure” for what plagues us but to ensure a longer healthier more active life.
There is no proven downside, negative side effect, nothing to lose implementing natural organic solutions, except time and ease of use. Cannabis works, we know it works, it assists the body in curing cancer, it has been credited with saving children, 5 and has been shown to alleviate diseases that inhibit our quality of life 6.
Not surprisingly, insurance companies and employers are embracing this “medicine” called cannabis as a fiscally prudent to implement. People are taking back control of their health, mothers are saving their children from the horrible consequences of cancer, and grandchildren are giving Cannabis products to their grandparents to stop the on slot of Alzheimer's, senility and dementia. Cannabis is becoming “mainstream” as a way to a healthy future.
We in the insurance industry are seeing the trend and benefits of rewarding the healthy with reduced premiums and other incentives. Companies are spending billions of dollars to increase and maintain the health of their employee culture. Wells Fargo Bank (WFB), Costco, Facebook and Google to name a few, all have programs that support their employees’ use of healthy alternatives. These companies have proven algorithms indicating these attitudes ultimately increase productivity and profits. They see that growth, profitability, and happy stockholders lie in a healthy workforce.
I still perform employment and post injury physicals for Insurance companies. These exams determine a person’s physical strength and ability to perform a certain task safely. This predictive physical testing has saved 100’s of millions of dollars in costs related to workplace injuries. Currently, we perform cardiac, blood and urine testing for insurance eligibility. It won't be long before DNA testing, Blood Analysis, and physical testing are commonplace to enter the workplace. We will see mandatory health baselines employees must follow to continue within the workplace to continue receiving bonuses and other benefits.
In conclusion, the price of admission into the work force will be personal health and wellness. The new culture will be the healthy, and to quote Mr. Spock, a Star Trek icon, people "will live long and prosper" and we have cannabis to thank for it.
1. http://www.globalhemp.com/2004/05/hemp-is-the-not-so-secret-ingredient-in-farmers-cow-feed.html, David Wise of Hemp Fed Beef Company, Posted on May 13, 2004
2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3046560, Arch Surg. 1988 Sep;123(9):1045-50. Medical advances during the Civil War. Blaisdell FW1.