When We Face Our Inner Self
Malcolm Gladwell in his recent book, “The Bomber Mafia” talks about how we obsess! It is true and I am guilty. Obsession: An obsession is an unbidden, intrusive thought, image, or urge that intrudes into consciousness; attempts to dispel it are difficult and typically lead to some anxiety. These thoughts, images, or urges are recognized as part of one’s own mental life and health so we do not call them obsessions but pursuits. For this blog, we will call them obsessions. I was obsessed about becoming a doctor from age 7 and reached that obsession nearly 50 years ago.
There were other obsessions in between that timeline which included becoming a sports medicine doctor before the word “Sports Medicine” was a standing phrase in the English vocabulary or defined by Wikipedia. Both of these obsessions have gone by and outlived by mother time. So, my new obsession takes hold from raising a family to seeing them, the kids, as they start their own families with kids.
Obsessions are really voids that appear as a black hole that we have to fill at least that is my definition and perception. My newest obsession is my attempt to put America back on a course to understand a critical biological system which was taken from the public-at-large because of a few who were willing to deny the masses for their own potential financial interest.
The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is my current obsession because I believe it is a part of an obsession that I have been trying to solve since the mid-70s. In 1975, I was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) doing something that was not an obsession or passion at that time. I was required to do a year of orthopedic research before I would or could start my surgical sojourn in orthopedics, my then current obsession.
Surgery went on hold and research stepped into that void and gave me the run of my life. With surgical orthopedics now a bygone era after 40 years in the OR, the research bug has reemerged as my current obsession.
Cannabis sativa L, a critical source of exogenous cannabinoids, was not fully understood as part of the ECS biological system. Its medical benefits were taught to me as a first-year medical student in medical school when pharmacology was taught back in 1971. This was just before cannabis was made a Schedule one drug with the passing of the Controlled Substances Act. The pharmacological course that I took at that time preceded the memo which stopped teaching this subject matter on cannabis CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol). This restriction slowed the science which took 20 more years for science to understand the other elements of the ECS and its receptor mechanisms.
I went from an orthopedic surgeon to hemp farmer in 2018 as the Farm Bill of 2018 was well on its way through Congress. Without a farm bill every four years, America would have no food so, therefore, a farm bill of every four years is quite imperative to support the American farmer and for them to feed America.
The Senate had passed their version of the Farm Bill of 2018, earlier that year, on an 89 to 1 vote in favor of passage. Therefore, it was only a matter of congressional progression through the House of Representatives to have this farm bill signed into law and to free hemp as a viable crop for the first time in almost 85 years. On December 20, 2018, the Farm Bill was signed into law which made hemp free at last.
So, on that above date my obsession could continue as it had over the years before 2018 and now into 2022, the time for another farm bill is here. The new wrinkle in the hemp cannabis world is how do we overcome the 85-year obsession that THC in the hemp plant is bad. THC limits of 0.3% by dry weight was given as the definition of hemp with no scientific reason. THC is one important vital cannabinoid which has many effects on the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) receptors which are found throughout our bodies.
A recent TV program named “Weed Six” on cannabis and autism was aired most recently and showed some very promising results in children with autism. This is the 6th program on cannabis generated as a documentary on CNN over the past three years. Obsessed with educating the public-at-large about a plant that has an 8000-year history of positive medical effects until America shut it down starting in 1937 with the Marihuana Tax Act and that was 85 years ago!
The ECS was fully developed by 1992, however, when the Farm Bill was passed in 2018, 87% of allopathic medical schools still did not teach the Endocannabinoid System or have a department of
endocannabinoids in Physiology.
I must take my 2022 ECS obsession and use all of the mechanisms, social media, podcasts, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to educate the public-at-large. Please follow my blogs which can be found at www.dailyvitaminCBD.com under Menu.
Happy New Year and may your obsession be with you!
Please and thank you,
Eric I. Mitchell, MD FACPE