What are the Benefits of Non-Psychedelic Plant-Medicine?

Written by: Drew McCaughey

May 5, 2022


Plants and their medicine have been used since ancient times and of course, are still in use in our modern times. Our western medicine has capitalized on their healing properties through pharmaceuticals.  But, what if we could learn and reconnect with natural plant medicine, and how they may complement our body’s systems and benefit from it? We are learning more about the astonishing and mysterious world of the plant kingdom. Drew McCaughey, one of our guest blog writers and highlighted in our Community this month, shares this article on a leading, controversial topic that will help educate us some more. We appreciate and value Drew’s knowledge and the transformational gifts he imparts to us.

What are the Benefits of Non-Psychedelic Plant-Medicine?

This is one of those rare cases where not understanding the relationship between cannabinoids and your endocannabinoid system could be costing you time, money, and possibly the quality of your life.

Remember your body is the tool that helps you approach reality. You cannot fulfill your spiritual needs if you don’t take care of your human body first.

And there are some common misconceptions about cannabinoids and our endocannabinoid system which are creating resistance to supplementing with powerful plant medicine.

Misconception #1 – The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) name was created by marketers wanting to promote cannabis sales.

As a person who was not a cannabis consumer at the time I heard about the ECS, this is exactly what I thought when I first heard about it.

And now I know nothing could be further from the truth!

What researchers have found is that there are cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, such as cannabidiol (CBD), which support the body’s optimal function in powerful ways including promoting the release of specific neurotransmitters in the body.

Misconception #2 – Promoting CBDs as a supplement is just a marketing gimmick designed to get more people high on cannabis.

Again, when utilized properly, the cannabinoids of hemp or cannabis can represent powerful plant-based medicine.

Cannabinoids are about helping your body get healed, not high!

What are neurotransmitters?

Neurotransmitters are the body’s chemical messengers. They are the molecules used by the nervous system to transmit messages between neurons, and between neurons and muscles through the synaptic cleft.

Activating receptors in the ECS can help influence the release of specific neurotransmitters

While there are too many neurotransmitters to list in this article, here is a list of several of the more pleasurable neurotransmitters.

· Anandamide

· Dopamine

· Serotonin

· Oxytocin

· Endorphins

· Norepinephrine

When you are supplementing your body with a high-quality source of cannabinoids derived from hemp or cannabis you are not only helping the body to operate at more optimal levels. You are also helping your body produce more of these pleasurable neurotransmitters.

Influencing non-ordinary states of consciousness or flow states.

Athletes refer to flow states as ‘the zone.’ What it represents is a heightened state of awareness both physically and mentally.

Athletes say things like: “I let the game come to me,” or “everything was just very clear,” or “the game just slowed down.”

Musicians say things like, “the song just wrote itself.”

Artists say things like, “I saw the picture before I started painting it.”

Meditators say things like, “I quieted my mind and just allowed it to unfold.”

In their groundbreaking work, “Stealing Fire, How Silicon Valley, The Navy SEALs, and Maverick Scientists Are Revolutionizing the Way We Live and Work,” authors and behavioral scientists Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal describe sustaining flow states this way:

“Often, an ecstatic (non-ordinary) (flow state) experience begins when the brain releases norepinephrine and dopamine into our system. These neurochemicals raise heart rates, tighten the focus, and help us sit up and pay attention. We notice more of what’s going on around us, so information normally tuned out or ignored becomes more readily available. And besides simply increasing focus, these chemicals amp up the brain’s pattern recognition abilities, helping us find new links between all this incoming information.

As these changes are taking place, our brainwaves slow from agitated beta to calmer alpha, shifting us into daydreaming mode: relaxed, alert, and able to flit from idea to idea without as much internal resistance… This quiets that “already know that, move along” voice of our inner critic and dampens the distractions of past and future. All these changes knock out filters we normally apply to incoming data, giving us access to fresh perspectives and more potential combinations of ideas.

As we move even deeper, the brain can release endorphins and anandamide. They both decrease pain, removing the diversion of physical distress from the equation, and let us pay even more attention to what’s going on. Anandamide also plays a vital role here, boosting our “lateral thinking,” which is our ability to make far-flung connections between disparate ideas…

And, if we go deep, our brainwaves shift once again, pushing us toward quasi-hypnotic theta, a wave we normally produce only during REM sleep that enhances both relaxation and intuition. To wrap it all up, we can experience an afterglow of serotonin and oxytocin, prompting feelings of peace, well-being, trust, and sociability, as we start to integrate the information that has just been revealed

And revealed is the right word. Conscious processing can only handle about 120 bits of information at one time. That is not much. Listening to another person talk can take almost 60 bits. If two people are talking that’s it. We’ve maxed out our bandwidth.

But if we remember that our unconscious processing can handle billions of bits at once, we don’t need to search outside of ourselves to find a credible source for all the miraculous insight. We have terabytes of information available to us; we just can’t tap into it in our normal state.” (Beta state)

And seven decades of research conducted by hundreds of scientists with thousands of participants showed these types of potential gains while being in the ‘states of flow’:

· Up to a 500% boost in productivity – Consider the implications of that for a moment. Translated, it means those who sustained ‘flow states’ experienced production levels on a Monday that their colleagues, not accessing these states, accomplished in a five-day work week! Talk about potentially transforming your entire life!!!

· Up to a 490% boost in learning

· Up to a 200% boost in creativity

Just to name a few! 

Did you catch all those neurotransmitters associated with our brainwave states? 

Obviously, there is much more to the ECS and CBDs. It’s a complex system. 

But this provides a general overview, from one physiological aspect, of how properly supporting your ECS with high-quality cannabinoids could be beneficial.

If this article has piqued your interest in supplementing with cannabinoids, here are two important factors to consider before you spend your money.

  1. The acidic version of the cannabinoid is the most potent, such as CBDA & CBGA, etc.  Click on the link to learn more and while you’re at projectcbd.org I also suggest you click on the ‘Science’ link at the top of that site to further educate yourself.
  2. Always ask for a 3rd party Certificate of Analysis of the specific cannabinoid supplement before you buy.  It’s the only way to know for sure what you are purchasing.

You May Also Like…

Honor Thyself

Honor Thyself

This seems like a pretty straightforward concept. Generally, I think of myself as capable of grasping seemingly straightforward concepts fairly and easily, but not this one.

read more


In honoring Earth Day and the communions of coming to know ourselves more and within all our relationships, Energy Medicine Practitioner, Holistic...

read more
The Tides of Life

The Tides of Life

Moving with the tide is one thing. Flowing with it is another. Most of us get stuck in the sand as we try to shift our position. Some times we get...

read more