The following is an excerpt from Nishi Whiteley's new book "Chronic Relief: A Guide to Cannabis for the Terminally & Chronically Ill.

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"One of the most important factors of good health is how our body manages oxidative stress. This is a natural process that occurs at the cellular level. When energy is created in the cell, waste products called free radicals are generated.  Free radicals are molecules containing an unpaired electron. Electrons are negatively charged particles that like to be paired with other electrons. If an electron is unpaired, it gets “lonely” and pulls a partner off neighboring molecules causing more lonely electrons and more partner stealing from neighboring cells resulting in a cascade. The body’s response to oxidative stress is to create antioxidants to help stabilize the free radicals from doing damage to the DNA in our cells. However, if there are too many free radicals and not enough antioxidants present in the body, free radicals can go as far as stealing particles from your DNA, which can lead to cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, atherosclerosis, autism, heart disease, Parkinson’s, and stroke to name a few. This damage is known as oxidation. This is the same process that rusts metal or turns an apple brown after it is cut. Too much oxidation is likely to make us sick and old before our time. In the same way that paint protects metal from rusting or lemon juice protects apples from turning brown, cannabinoids protect our cells from oxidation. Antioxidants are produced in the body and occur naturally in food. Antioxidants come in the form of vitamins, minerals, and flavonoids. Commonly known antioxidants include vitamins C and E, Coenzyme Q10, lipoic acid, ginkgo biloba, and lesser known antioxidants such as glutathione.  Much like cannabinoids produce an entourage effect, antioxidants have a “network effect,” THC and CBD are powerful antioxidants—more powerful than vitamin C and E.  In fact, the U.S.Government Patent 1999/008769 is specifically for the neuroprotectant and antioxidant properties of cannabinoids.  About the antioxidant properties of cannabis and cannabinoid compounds the patent states: “… that includes cannabinoids that act as free radical scavengers for use in prophylaxis and treatment of disease.” This patent shows that the U.S. government sees plant cannabinoids as an effective medicine for treating disease and even preventing it."  

"Inflammation is a key cause of chronic neuropathic and rheumatic pain.  The human ECS can be viewed as an intrinsic system of neuroprotection, a homeostatic defense of the brain and spinal cord to excitotoxicity, seizure, traumatic injury and ischemia. Moreover, chronic neuro-inflammation is now believed to be central to the cause of many age-related neurodegenerative diseases.   Endocannabinoids are arachidonic acid-derived lipid signaling molecules [omega-6 unsaturated fatty acid your body requires to function properly ] that are produced throughout the body, not at all confined to nervous tissue as once imagined, and which mostly act as paracrine signals serving a wide variety of homeostatic functions. These range from the neuroendocrine control over feeding and metabolism, to bone remodeling, to pleiotropic [more than one effect] effects on inflammatory immune function, to the more familiar anti-seizure effects."

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Alpha-pinene: anti-inflammatory.  Myrcene: analgesic and anti-inflammatory, muscle relaxant.  Limonene: antimicrobial & aids in absorption of other terepenes through the skin and mucous membrane, anticonvulsant and antimicrobial action can kill pathogenic bacteria.  Caryophyllene: only known to interact with CB2 receptors, anti-inflammatory, analgesic. Linalool floral: analgesic, anxioltic.  Linalool and limonene combined with CBD is being examined as an anti-acne treatment. Applied topically, linalool is being used to reduce acne and skin burns without scarring. Terpinolene: antioxidant, antiproliferative.  Geraniol: protects against neuropathy.  Humulene: potent anti-inflammatory.  Beta-caryophyllene is a sesquiterpenetherapeutic compound for inflammatory conditions and autoimmune disorders because of its ability to bind directly to the peripheral cannabinoid receptor known as CB2.

Among Terpenes are monoterpenes, diterpenes, and sesquiterpenes, which are characterized by the number of repeating units of a 5-carbon molecule called isoprene, the structural hallmark of all terpenoid compounds.