Do your cannabis products contain ingredients to be considered medicine?
When I was first starting out in my Naturopathic Medical Practice about twenty years ago, I had a new female patient who was one month pregnant and had a general visit with me for additional nutritional support.
She was healthy looking and excited about her first pregnancy. She brought in her bottle of over-the-counter prenatal vitamins made by a well known company and handed it to me so that I could read the ingredients and make sure it had the proper amount of nutrients in it like folic acid. I read the list of vitamins and minerals and in the list of ingredients there were artificial colors.
I asked her if I could open up the bottle. She said yes. I unscrewed the cap, looked inside the bottle and saw pink tablets. My first thought was, is this a marketing tool so that pregnant women would choose the company’s one daily prenatal vitamin because it was pink? I felt disgust toward the manufacturer. Why put artificial colors/dyes in a prenatal? It did not make sense to me.
A prenatal vitamin is meant to help nourish the mother and her baby during pregnancy providing the essential nutrients in their specific amounts to prevent birth defects and to give the mother and baby good nutrition. Wouldn’t you expect that from a prenatal vitamin? So, why are artificial colors in something that is meant to offer proper nutrition for the expecting woman and her growing baby?
I read the ingredients out loud to her and told her that there are better prenatal vitamins available without the artificial colors also available over the counter. She was surprised that a nationally known brand of vitamins would put an artificial ingredient in their prenatal vitamin.
This was over 20 years ago, and the artificial colors Red #40 and Blue #1 are still found in the prenatal today!
On the contrary, since 2010, more than 20 countries in the European Union are required to label foods containing artificial colors with the warning: “may cause hyperactivity in children.” In Europe, more vegetable-based dyes from carrots and beets are used in foods.
FD&C : Red No. 40, Yellow No. 5, Green No. 3, Blue No. 1
In the Journal, Environmental Health Perspectives, an article titled, Diet and Nutrition: The artificial Food Dye Blues, it states, “Food dye consumption per person has increased fivefold in the United States since 1955, with three dyes—Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6—accounting for 90% of the dyes used in foods.” These dyes contain the compound benzidine, known to be a human and animal carcinogen; this means that they cause cancer. If a compound can kill a mouse, then it probably is not good for us humans as well and if we consciously omit artificial anything from our diet and environment then this is a step in the direction of health.
Reading the ingredients on packaged food, drinks, vitamins, supplements, cosmetics, skin care items, soaps, detergents, skin care products, candles (most are made from petroleum. Beeswax candles are the best to burn) and Medical Marijuana products is necessary if you want to take full control of your diet and know exactly what you are putting into and on your body and into your environment.
People with allergies, asthma, attention deficit disorder (ADHD), mental health disorders, history of cancer, seizures and neurological disorders like multiple sclerosis and anyone exposed to any high levels of environmental toxins would benefit from having a very clean diet free from chemicals and artificial ingredients.
Every human can only benefit from eating cleanly.
Why is a little artificial coloring such a big deal? Well, we are exposed to many chemicals and artificial compounds daily even when we are cautious with our diet. A little chemical here, a little artificial color there, some preservatives over here can add up. Some people are sensitive to anything artificial, others have allergies or an immune system that is compromised and limiting the amount of toxins in the diet is important.
If you do not read the ingredients of the foods you are eating, then you do not know what you are eating. There are ingredients in foods that you would be surprised are even in there. The old adage, “If you cannot pronounce the ingredient name, then do not ingest it.” Also, do not put it on your body or in your home.
If you are eating or drinking something or using anything that is artificially colored, then you are using something made in a laboratory derived from petroleum. That’s right. Artificial colors are made from petroleum and then humans consume or use these products.
Fruit roll-up snacks, Jello, chocolate pudding, pickles, relish, yogurt, breakfast cereals, baking/cake mixes, nacho or hot flavored chips/snacks, sports drinks, sodas, teas, juices, macaroni and cheese and packaged dinners can all contain artificial colors.
But, sports drinks are supposed to be good for us, aren’t they? You work out, you eat lean protein, go easy on the carbs, but you are consuming chemicals in your sports drink daily. And that yogurt that you think is a healthy food is actually artificially colored.
The United States is behind the times in producing and allowing people to consume products that are far from being called food. What’s worse is that many artificial dyes are found in children’s foods.
Artificial dyes are only one of the thousands of chemicals found in foods.
If you are producing and selling a pot cookie or gummy with artificial dyes in it, can it still be called medicine?
Cannabis is from the Earth. People gravitate toward it because it is plant medicine and in its original, simple dried form, it has tremendous effects on health. It’s not artificial. To truly honor this plant, let us create and consume Cannabis products that are as clean as possible in their ingredient list.
Kimberly Landino has been a Naturopathic Physician for over 20 years. She has been recommending Medical Marijuana to patients in Arizona for the last four years. Prior to this, she used the modalities of nutrition and diet, counseling, acupuncture, meditation, yoga, botanical medicine and more in her Naturopathic Family Practice in South Phoenix, Tempe, Flagstaff and in Tuba City, Arizona.
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