Guest Blogger, Renee Evans, RN / Photo by Babe Reynolds Photography

A Need For Naturopathic Approaches

Being a nurse for 12 years, I have seen transition and need for naturopathic approaches. For the better part of my career, I have been an Emergency Room nurse, ranging from small-town ER to a Level One Trauma Center. Each site brought about a completely different perspective when it came to conventional defined practice, disease, clientele, and approach on health and wellness. At times, my team joked, “There is a reason why hospitals have revolving doors. We see the surface, not the whole picture.”

The term “Bounce-Back” refers to a patient who has been discharged from an acute care facility and readmitted within 30 days. The revolving door statement became very profound when I started to see how current medical modalities were addressing acute issues but also masking symptoms of an underlying problem.

I began a mind, body, and soul journey after having a personal health scare. At about the same time, I stumbled across CBD in my search to maintain my dog’s quality of life during his last few months.

A New Perspective

On May 28th, 2017, we were up at the family cabin when my 12-year-old Miniature Pinscher, Xzander, became very lethargic and ill. Since his birthday was on the 25th, I thought “he overdid it on his birthday cake.” Unfortunately, we ended up in an ER vet clinic where he was diagnosed with severe “inflammatory response” in his gastrointestinal organs.

He was given subcutaneous fluids and medications to help with the pain and inflammation. After a few days passed, he still had no energy, no appetite, and was in severe pain. After two long car rides, ultrasound, and surgery, the diagnosis confirmed our biggest fear. It was devastating to the core. The vet told me to take Xzander home, as they were not sure how long he had to live. Instead, we decided to fight this.

Like a knight in shining armor, CBD walked into our life. I started researching CBD for canines and found this to be an alternative option for him. We gave him his first dose of full spectrum CBD oil that day. Within 24 hours he was eating, drinking, and to my surprise, running and playing with my other dog, Sula.

I thought, “could this truly be the CBD?” The more I researched, the more I learned about CBD for humans and animals. For the first time in my life, I learned about the endocannabinoid system (ECS), it was like a lightbulb turned on inside of me.

As a nurse, (and knowing the propaganda behind hemp, marijuana, CBD, and THC) I was very skeptical! Witnessing what was happening with Xzander, I knew his story and truth needed to be heard by others. Although terminal, Xzander lived another eight months with real quality of life, which I believe was related to the use of CBD. It may have been borrowed time, but it allowed us to help others by sharing his story.

CBD For Animals And Humans

All Animals Have An Endocannabinoid System (ECS)

Researchers have studied the effects of CBD for decades. What they have discovered is that even the smallest sponges in the ocean have an endocannabinoid system (ECS).

The ECS is a vital molecular/chemical system that helps your body maintain homeostasis. Our bodies need to maintain homeostasis to function at their best.

Homeostasis is the concept that our bodies actively regulate and maintain conditions needed for optimum cellular performance. One can better understand homeostasis by looking at body temperature regulation, the exact reason why we shiver and why we spike a fever, this is due to our body trying to maintain balance with physical and chemical responses.

Three Components Of ECS And CBD’s Role

Cannabinoid receptors exist on the surface of all cells, endocannabinoids are small molecules that activate cannabinoid receptors, and metabolic enzymes break down the endocannabinoids after being used. They all work together to promote homeostasis.

Synthesized on demand (when needed), endocannabinoids (endo meaning “within the body”) are fat-like molecules within the cell membrane. Endocannabinoids are naturally produced by cells in our body and are present since birth. Throughout the aging and disease process, we lose our naturally produced endocannabinoids.

The number one reason it is imperative to supplement cannabinoids, as we lose them over time, is to help our body maintain homeostasis. CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is a natural compound (cannabinoid) present in cannabis, but unlike THC does not cause a psychoactive effect. Found to influence the ECS, early research indicates that cannabinoids like CBD hold a lot of potential.

As mentioned above, endocannabinoids are found throughout the body: brain, organs, connective tissues, glands, and immune cells. Endocannabinoids allow communication between organs and cells, helping stabilize the body’s internal and external environment. When there is an injury, endocannabinoids are found decreasing the stress response at the site of the cell injury to help stabilize inflammatory response, and calming the nearby immune cells to prevent the release of stress/inflammatory chemicals in the body.

Supplementing your natural endocannabinoids with CBD (a cannabinoid) may help keep our body’s endocannabinoid system in balance, therefore providing a better chance for overall wellness. As an ER nurse, I have seen life and death more times than I would like to admit. Given the opportunity to take something that might make such a powerful impact on our own lives, why wouldn’t we?

I believe it is critical for everyone to supplement with cannabinoids, as we lose so many due to aging and disease. Now is the time to get educated, put skepticism aside, and see what CBD can do for you. Give yourself permission to be supported on a cellular level, to promote natural defense, so your body can perform like the miracle it was intended to be.

Renee Evans, RN, is a Twin Cities-based advocate for CBD. For the past several years, Renee has been on a mission to educate people about the many benefits of CBD.

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