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The Healing Magic of Cannabis

The Healing Magic of Cannabis

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The Healing Magic of Cannabis

254 pages
3 hours
May 1, 2009



The Healing Magic of Cannabis unveils the secret at the heart of marijuana's medicinal power. Getting high engages the healing power of the mind, furthering healing, vitality, and recovery.

The Healing High:
FEELS GOOD, promoting wellness.

RELAXES YOU, dissolving worry and restoring equilibrium.

MAKES YOU LAUGH, refreshing perspective and cleansing emotions.

UPLIFTS YOUR MOOD to see the possibility of healing.

INSPIRES FAITH that you are moving towards healing.

The Healing Magic of Cannabis describes how to use cannabis, including preparation and hazards of smoking, along with recipes. Also covered are methods for making tinctures and topical applications, including the advantages and disadvantages of each.

The Healing Magic of Cannabis explains how cannabis alleviates pain, soothes discomfort, and can interfere with the biological progression of certain diseases. It provides clear information on cannabis' use for fifteen medical conditions and common ailments from menstrual cramps, back pain, arthritis, and insomnia to epilepsy, AIDS, and withdrawal from addictive drugs.
May 1, 2009

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The Healing Magic of Cannabis - Potter, Orfali & Joy

The Healing Magic

Of Cannabis




Oakland California 94609



E-ISBN: 1-57951-082-5; 978-1-57951-082-4

Copyright 1998 by Beverly A. Potter

Published and Distributed by:


Post Office Box 22900

Oakland CA 94609


All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the author or the publisher except for the inclusion of brief quotations in a review.

To our friend,


whose vision

birthed this book,

and whose daring brought

books about cannabis

and other entheogens

to independent minds

around the world.

Thank you, Sebastian.

We miss you

and your good works.

Other Books By Dr. Beverly Potter

Question Authority to Think for Yourself

Overcoming Job Burnout: How To Renew Enthusiasm For Work

Finding A Path With A Heart: How To Go From Burnout To Bliss

The Worrywart’s Companion: 21 Ways to Soothe Yourself And Worry Smart

From Conflict To Cooperation: How To Mediate A Dispute

Get Peak Performance Every Day: How to Manage Like a Coach

High Performance Goal Setting: Using Intuition to Conceive & Achieve Your Dreams

Brain Boosters: Foods & Drugs That Make You Smarter

Drug Testing At Work: A Guide For Employers And Employees

The Way Of The Ronin: Riding The Waves Of Change At Work

Turning Around: Keys To Motivation And Productivity

Preventing Job Burnout: A Workbook

Youth Extension A-Z

Beyond Consciousness: What Happens After Death

Patriots Handbook

Spiritual Secrets for Playing the Game of LIfe

Simple Pleasures

Other Books By Dan Joy

Better Sex Through Chemistry: A Guide To The New Prosexual Drugs & Nutrients

Counter Culture Through the Ages: From Abraham to Acid House


We thank those who spent time reading passages of The Healing Magic of Cannabis as the manuscript was being developed and appreciate the thoughtful feedback from Graham Bonnar, Markus Hawkins, Linda Lawrence, Cate Leggett, Galen Newman, and Simone 3rd Arm. Well-deserved gratitude goes to Erik Linden, who provided important material, tireless administrative assistance, and much good cheer during the project’s early stages. When technical questions arose regarding psychopharmacology or chemistry, we were extraordinarily fortunate to have access to the world-class expertise of Alexander Shulgin, Ph.D. We were lucky to have Nancy Freedom available for timely delivery of thorough copy-editing. We are especially grateful to the ever-present Tucker the Talker, who provided the crucial canine perspective on the issues addressed in this book and proved that a dog is truly an author’s best friend. Lastly, our heartfelt appreciation goes out to you, dear reader, with our sincere hopes that The Healing Magic of Cannabis brings healing magic into your life.


Information presented in this book is made available under the First Amendment of the Constitution. It is a general overview of medicinal cannabis and should not be considered medical advice. The publisher and authors do not claim medical authority. Always consult your doctor or other qualified health practitioner before using cannabis medicinally. The publisher and authors do not advocate breaking the law. Medical marijuana has been legalized in certain states through voter initiatives. The reader should realize, however, that even in areas where initiatives for medicinal use of cannabis have passed into state or local law and even when the cannabis has been purchased from a cannabis buyers club, the purchase and consumption of that cannabis may still be a crime under federal law. Individuals wishing to use medicinal cannabis should consult an attorney about its status in their area before doing so.




1The Healing Mind

2Psychoactivity As A Magic Healer

3Cannabis Mellows

4Cannabis Is Uplifting

5The Healing Giggle

6Faith, Hope, and Cannabis


7Preparing Cannabis

8Inhalation Methods

9Cannabis Foods

10Tinctures, Ointments, and Compresses


11Cannabis Soothes What Ails You



14Back Pain

15Chronic Pain





20Menstrual Cramps

21Migraine Headaches

22Movement Disorders

23Multiple Sclerosis

24Nausea, Appetite Loss, and Low Body Weight

25Skin Conditions

26Withdrawal From Drugs

CONCLUSION: Listening To Cannabis




RONIN Books for Independent Minds


Cannabis has been used by human beings around the world for medicinal, nutritional, recreational, spiritual, and industrial purposes for thousands of years. This book focuses on the specifically medicinal or healing uses of cannabis. The word cannabis, for the purposes of this book, refers to strains of the plant whose leaves and flowering tops contain active concentrations of this herb’s sixty-plus unique medicinal and psychoactive compounds, called cannabinoids, the most widely acknowledged of which is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. Not at issue here are the stems of the plant from which fibers are obtained for industry and craft, the roots of the plant which are toxic, the seeds of the plant which have nutritional value, and strains of the plant that have industrial or other value but are not psychoactively or medicinally potent.


Healing is often somewhat erroneously equated with medical cure. The concept of healing, however, includes but is broader than that of cure. Cure is a physical phenomenon, whereas healing can occur on any or all levels of a person’s being—body, mind, and spirit. Healing—which may or may not encompass physical cure—is the process of positive, empowering, and progressive reconciliation and transformation in a person’s relationship to his or her reality, condition, history, and circumstance, inclusive of any diseases. When it comes to disease conditions specifically, healing refers to positive change in the impact of disease on a person’s life, feelings, consciousness, decisions, and actions. In healing, a person’s experience of disease, and the effects of disease on the body and mind, change for the better, whether or not physical cure is affected.

Healing, therefore, can take many forms. It can include making peace with oneself, one’s past, family and friends. It may manifest in better relationships or a more peaceful acceptance of a disease condition—whatever restores balance and harmony to one’s life. Healing can occur through an effect as simple, although powerfully, as the easing of pain. Pain relief can bring forth profound transformation in the effects a disease has on a person’s outlook and abilities to enjoy life, connect with others, and achieve.


Cannabis, as far as we know, does not operate as a cure per se for any particular physical condition. The spectrum of ways through which cannabis can serve as an agent of healing, however, is vast and varied, encompassing an enormous range of disease conditions. Cannabis can relieve pain where other drugs or techniques have failed, opening the door to all of the healing benefits and increased life options of pain relief. Through its soothing and enlivening mental effects, the psychoactivity of cannabis can by itself be extraordinarily healing, cleansing the outlook and renewing enthusiasm for life. Cannabis also has direct, beneficial physiological impacts on certain diseases such as glaucoma, migraine, multiple sclerosis, and epilepsy. These positive physiological effects, while less than cure, are certainly healing properties.

This description highlights the three basic channels through which cannabis serves healing. These are: 1) palliative, the overall soothing and the easing of pain; 2) psychoactive, or changes in state of mind; and 3) biological, the direct interference with disease processes on a physiological level. The nature of these categories and the interactions between them will be explored in the section of this book dealing with specific medical conditions.


The concept of healing used in this book is broad enough to encompass the notion of truly recreational activity. The original meaning of the word recreation, after all, refers to transformation, or re-creation, to creating again. Truly recreational activity, then, is regenerative, life-giving, transformative—in other words, healing. So when cannabis is used in a genuinely recreational capacity, such usage is a form of healing. And the well-directed medicinal use of cannabis is also healing—in other words, transformative, regenerative, or recreative. The word healing thus points toward what both medicinal and recreational use of cannabis can be, at their very best. By focusing on the process of healing, then, this book bridges and unites the recreational and medicinal approaches to the use of cannabis. The notion of healing, referring to positive transformation on the level of spirit as well as body and mind, also encompasses the entheogenic—spiritual or religious—approach to the use of cannabis.


Healing can happen even in the face of death. For instance, healing can occur in the context of an apparently irreversible terminal condition through arrival at a deeper acceptance of death, dissipating the fear and denial that surround death, enhancing enjoyment, appreciation, and positive use of precious remaining days and hours, and increasing communion and intimacy with others to warm the last hours of life.

Psychologist Dr. Timothy Leary, a pioneering researcher into the positive potentials of psychoactive and entheogenic substances such as cannabis, provided a remarkably colorful and potent demonstration of a healing approach to dying during his final months. He emphasized the awe, mystery, and excitement available through facing the adventure of dying directly, and invited millions through the media and possibly hundreds through personal visits to share in his celebration of this experience. The principles behind his dying process—which was most certainly assisted by psychoactive medicines, including cannabis—were described in his final book, Design for Dying, co-written with R.U. Sirius.

Cannabis can serve as a remarkable agent of healing for dying people, easing pain and fear of death, enhancing appreciation and enjoyment of the present moment, engendering a more spiritual attitude toward death, and encouraging conviviality with loved ones and caretakers. William B. O’Shaughnessy, M.D., a 19th Century pioneer of the medical use of cannabis, referred to the healing in the face of death that the plant afforded his patients as strewing the path to the grave with flowers.


The sense of the word magic used in this book bears reference neither to sleight-of-hand trickery, nor specifically to the use of occult or sorcery technology such as charms, spells, and incantations. Webster’s New World Dictionary of American English, Third College Edition offers some more relevant definitions: any mysterious, seemingly inexplicable, or extraordinary power or quality and, quite simply, producing extraordinary results, as if by magic or supernatural means. Thus, the phrase healing magic of cannabis refers to the extraordinary power or quality of cannabis as a tool for healing, and to the extraordinary results that can be achieved through its use in this capacity.

The phrase healing magic of cannabis also bears deeper additional meanings. Occultists define magic as change or transformation affected in accordance with personal will. A classic symbol for this transformation is the alchemist’s conversion of lead into gold. This transformation can occur in the arena of the material world—for instance, the body—or in the realm of consciousness. It is well-known that cannabis can be used to make desired consciousness changes possible information is achieving increasingly widespread dissemination, that the use of cannabis can also bring about desirable changes in the body in certain disease state as described in Part Two of this book.

According to the definition of magic as bringing about desired (or willed) change or transformation, healing magic can be considered the process of bringing about desired healing changes or transformations. The healing magic of cannabis, therefore, refers to the extraordinary, magically powerful results that can be achieved by the use of cannabis as a tool for unlocking the healing power of the mind.


In the ancient Chinese Taoist philosophy, healing, magic, and spirituality were inseparable. Similarly, the ancient Sumerians, whose geo-cultural is considered the cradle of civilization (and who used cannabis in the practice of divination), saw no separation between these three fields of human understanding and endeavor. This book, while based on modern medicine and psychology, brings this kind of ancient, integrative understanding to bear on its subject matter. This is an understanding in which spirit, magic, and healing are united. This book applies such understanding in a practical way to the medicinal and healing use of cannabis, discussing how cannabis can be employed as a medicine for the body, mind, and spirit.


The psychoactivity of cannabis is a major asset to its ability to promote healing. Findings in the field of mind/body medicine reveal that positive changes in mental state can have an enormous healing impact on the physiological level. Elevation of mood—the promotion of optimistic outlook accompanied by relaxation and the blossoming of hope, faith, and humor—is the central fountain from which the healing potential of cannabis’ psychoactivity springs. Through its psychoactive properties, cannabis can ease tension, reduce stress, elicit relaxation, and foster optimistic thinking and positive mental attitudes. It can empower healing visualization practices, strengthen faith, and promote humor and laughter. All these qualities of mind support the body’s natural inclination toward wellness.


The Healing Magic of Cannabis is addressed to two categories of people. First are those who want know if and how cannabis can be useful for their medical condition or that of a patient or loved one. Second are those already using cannabis for healing purposes who seek to deepen their understanding of how their medicine works and desire to maximize its positive potential. Most particularly, this book intends to help those using cannabis medicinally to amplify those changes in consciousness that can catalyze and facilitate the physical healing process. Even though the learning process by which a person comes to navigate, channel, and manage the mind-changes facilitated by cannabis is usually intuitive, occurring largely outside of conscious awareness, it can nonetheless be brought into consciousness. Then it can be directed and amplified by conscious will, focus, intention, and discipline. This process can be thought of as a form of magic—bringing about desired change through application of will.

By no means does The Healing Magic of Cannabis intend to recommend cannabis for everyone—not even everyone who suffers from one of the conditions for which cannabis can be useful. No book or treatment regimen can fully account for the precious uniqueness, the singular individuality of body, mind, and spirit, that is evident among all human beings. No medicine is for everyone, and cannabis is no exception. In a culture where the approach to health is dominated by modern Western medicine, which often tends to gloss over individual differences as it seeks a reliable treatment for everyone (or nearly everyone) suffering from a particular condition, it can be easy to forget an important fact: The magic of healing is always performed by the unique bodies and minds of unique people. Appropriate treatment can vary as widely from person to person as much as people themselves differ. Therefore, a treatment that succeeds for one person may fail for another, no matter what that treatment is. A doctor or caregiver who is ideal for one person might be completely inappropriate for another, just as one person’s well—chosen life partner would be a ruinous mismatch for another.

This book is meant to help readers make an informed decision as to whether to undertake integrating cannabis into their healing process, and to help them make the most positive use of cannabis if it is already a part of their regimen. If you use the material in this book, work

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