The cannabis root contains important medicine that can fight cancer and inflammation, pain and fever, and so much more.
Using the roots of cannabis for medicinal purposes is a tradition that reaches deep beneath the surface of history. Sadly,this traditional medicine has been lost in many western cultures after decades of prohibition stigmatized its use. Recently, however, researchers have begun to investigate the ways in which we can use every part of the cannabis plant to treat a variety of ailments and conditions.
If you’re planning to grow your own cannabis plants, you’ll want to know the extent to which you can use this wonderful plant. You may already know about the stems and buds and leaves, but dismissed the roots. However, they have their important medicinal uses!
Menstruation, Childbirth, Menopause
Roots have been used across the world to help with women’s pain in labour and during menstruation. These contain friedelin, a compound that is also used as an aphrodisiac in India, Sri Lanka, Java, and West Africa. Friedelin is able to balance estrogen levels during menopause and to encourage menstruation. Lignans are also present in the root and these can be used in treating cancer.
In Chinese medicine, women going through a difficult labour were once given a juice or decoction made from cannabis root. The juice would also be used to encourage expulsion of a retained placenta and to stop postpartum hemorrhage.
The anti-inflammatory properties of friedelin have been explored recently by modern science, but they were no secret to the Persian philosopher Ibn Sina in his Canon of Medicine from the 12th century and to medical practitioners in Argentina. They were used either orally or topically. Research has shown that the cannabis root is similar to paracetamol in its abilities to break a fever. You can boil them down to create a juice.
As far back as 1542, Leonard Fuchs, a German physician, wrote of the healing properties of cannabis root in treating burns. In 1640, John Parkinson, an English botanist, agreed with Fuchs’ findings. He wrote about its anti-inflammatory qualities and the soothing effects the root has for burns. Again in 1758, in France Mercandier wrote about the healing properties of raw cannabis root for burns.
To use for burns, pound the raw root into a juice and combine with an ointment, such as aloe vera or petroleum jelly, to help it become spreadable. And apply topically.
As mentioned, cannabis root has anti-inflammatory qualities so it can help with pain in joints and across the body. Cannabis root contains monoterpenes that react with the receptors in your body to relieve pain. In particular, carvone and dihydrocarvone interact with the TRPM8 ionotropic receptor to alleviate pain and soothe your joints. These are the same monoterpenes found in spearmint, and give both plants their cooling sensations. There is some evidence to suggest that these may be able to help with osteoarthritis.
Cannabis bud and leaf help with inflammation, so it makes sense that the roots would as well. Friedelin and epifriedelinol are compounds in cannabis roots that have anti-inflammatory properties. Parker and another English physician, Nicholas Culpeper, both uncovered in the 17th century the anti-inflammatory properties of a decoction of cannabis root. Later in the 18th century, Dr William Salomon, Dr Robert James, and Husain Khan all supported the conclusion that cannabis root can help with inflammation.
Modern science is just remembering what we’ve already known for centuries and this important medicine is getting the spotlight it deserves. If you’re an advocate and grow your own plants, make sure to harvest the roots for their healing properties.