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Plant Medicine Education Basics

Welcome to our journey into the heart of natural wellness—plant medicine. Here, we embrace the ancient wisdom and modern science behind the healing power of plants. Our rich heritage of botanical remedies offers a unique fusion of historical insights and scientific research, providing you with an authentic path to healing and balance. We invite you to delve deeper and learn more below about the common plant-based medicines that have been nurturing health and wellbeing for centuries

DALL·E 2024-02-13 18.29.18 - A detailed illustration of the THC molecule, prominently disp


Tetrahydrocannabinol (AKA: THC) is the dominant active ingredient in marijuana⁠—a derivative of the cannabis sativa plant⁠. It has been found invaluable as a plant-based remedy for a range of different medical conditions and symptoms. It’s typically consumed in the form of oils, sprays, tinctures, droppers or soft-gel capsules and can help with:


  • Chronic pain

  • Insomnia

  • Anxiety 

  • Glaucoma 

  • PTSD

  • Low appetite

  • Muscle spasm (in multiple sclerosis patients, for example)


Unlike CBD, which you may be familiar with, THC has a distinct psychoactive effect. It works by binding to the cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptors in the brain, stimulating the release of dopamine (the feel-good hormone) while hindering the functioning of regions of the brain such as the hippocampus and orbitofrontal cortex. Stimulating the release of dopamine is incredibly important; it means more than just getting ‘high’. Lack of dopamine is a significant reason for symptoms like anxiety, low appetite and insomnia. Stimulating dopamine release, therefore, is a natural way to ease those symptoms.


Of course, with THC affecting other regions of the brain too, such as the hippocampus and the cerebellum, it’s worth paying close attention to the side effects. That way, you can use the herbal medicine safely and responsibly. THC can reduce your reaction times, coordination and ability to carry out complex mental tasks. We therefore advise against consuming it before working, driving or operating heavy machinery. 


Modern medicine doesn’t yet know the full potential of THC. Governments and scientists have only recently recognized it as a genuinely effective holistic solution to chronic mental and physical ailments. Thankfully, they are now currently conducting research which aims to test the medical limits of the substance. Needless to say, the future is bright for THC, and for those who are given new leases on life by it.

DALL·E 2024-02-13 18.29.18 - A detailed illustration of the THC molecule, prominently disp
DALL·E 2024-02-13 18.29.07 - A detailed illustration of the CBD molecule, prominently disp
DALL·E 2024-02-13 18.29.07 - A detailed illustration of the CBD molecule, prominently disp


Like how THC is dominant in marijuana, CBD is the dominant active ingredient of hemp—derived from the cannabis sativa plant family. Similarly to THC remedies, it is often consumed in the form of oils, droppers, sprays, capsules and even food. This last decade has seen the holistic CBD market grow exponentially in the US, with 14% of adults now claiming to use CBD products. It’s no surprise. Just like its partner, THC, it has been praised as a natural remedy and preventative agent for several long-term ailments, both physical and mental:


  • Chronic pain

  • Inflammation

  • Epilepsy

  • PTSD

  • Psychosis

  • Nausea

  • Anxiety and depression

  • Migraines

  • Inflammatory bowel disease


CBD is a relaxant, not an intoxicant like THC. It works by engaging with the endocannabinoid system, a network of neurotransmitters that help govern important physiological and neurological functions such as serotonin production, pain processing, emotional regulation and memory preservation. It also serves as an antioxidant, eliminating free radicals (harmful pollutants) that find their way into the body through the intake of oxygen.


While THC has noticeable psychoactive properties, CBD does not, and it is therefore more appropriate for use prior to activities requiring concentration, precision and coordination. In fact, CBD has far fewer unwanted side effects when taken by itself.


To sum up, CBD and THC are closely related but not interchangeable. CBD products will not give you the same sense of euphoria as their THC equivalents, but they also carry fewer side effects as a result. Plus, the two ingredients differ in the ailments and diseases they help treat, although there is some overlap.


Psychedelic mushrooms (sometimes referred to as “magic mushrooms) are a catch-all term for a collection of almost 200 mushroom species containing the active ingredient psilocybin. Unlike artificial psychotropic substances like LSD, use of mushrooms can be traced back to human civilizations thousands of years old. When consumed or, if prepared accordingly, brewed into a tea, this ingredient has a powerful effect on thought, mood, perception and consciousness. It’s these properties that, when consumed in responsible quantities, make psilocybin an incredibly effective remedy for intense pain as well as several serious psychiatric disorders. 


People suffering from cluster headaches, one of the most painful chronic conditions recognized by modern medicine, have found relief in psilocybin—even when consuming quantities too small to produce psychoactive effects. This technique, known as microdosing, is carried out by consuming a tiny amount of the remedy at regularly scheduled intervals. It has been linked to increased creativity, productivity, mood and focus. Many people like using precise measuring equipment to distribute doses into empty pill capsules. It’s up to the individual, though; the microdosing process is one of experimentation and personalization.


Additionally, there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that remedies containing psilocybin can be used, in conjunction with psychotherapy, to help people dealing with OCD, ADHD and PTSD manage their disorder. It has also been shown to restore emotional responsiveness in people with treatment-resistant depression. While this body of evidence is growing, there is still a very real stigma surrounding natural psilocybin-containing mushrooms. That’s why organizations like MAPS work to fight that stigma and champion all the ways psychedelics can change and restore lives.

DALL·E 2024-02-13 18.29.13 - An artistic representation of psychedelic mushrooms, focusing
DALL·E 2024-02-13 18.29.15 - An artistic rendering of medicinal mushrooms, with a focus on


Often confused with psychedelic mushrooms, medicinal mushrooms are in fact a different category of holistic remedy entirely. Rather than producing psychotropic effects, these fungi (of which there are roughly 270) instead offer a range of more traditional health benefits and nootropic properties.


A nootropic is a supplement or substance that boosts an individual’s cognitive functions beyond their normal limits. It can improve memory, creativity, cognitive processing, motivation and more. There are plenty of artificial nootropics on the market, such as Adderall, Ritalin and Provigil; medicinal mushrooms are, however, a completely natural alternative.


One of the most common medicinal mushroom species is lion’s mane, a distinct mushroom with a look which resembles, as the name suggests, a lion’s mane. It has been linked to protection against dementia, heart disease and digestive tract ulcers. Plus, it can provide relief from mild depression and anxiety, inflammation and diabetes. Some studies even support the idea that it can help fight cancer.


Another medicinal mushroom worth paying attention to is reishi. It has been lauded for its immune system-boosting properties and links to fighting cancer—particularly breast, prostate and colorectal. Reishi is also recognized as an antioxidant and can help regulate blood sugar levels.


Cordyceps is also a significant fungus species and the subject of rigorous research among researchers. In addition to supporting heart health and helping people manage diabetes, it has garnered much attention for its performance boosting properties for athletes. It does this by stimulating the production of a molecule known as adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which enhances the body’s capacity for delivering energy to the muscles.  


Every species of medicinal mushroom has different properties and benefits. With so many species out there, it’s important to know exactly which will be right for your needs.

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