Spirit of the Tiger

TCM (and Daoist) perspective on Cannabis

Recommended Posts






Anyway, my point is that in that reference, it noted that the Chinese long ago delineated the differences between the male and female cannabis plants. The female plants were good yin tonics best used by women and the male plants were good yang tonics best used by men (I'm paraphrasing). What then was interesting was looking at a variety of different paradigms and comparing their viewpoints. The western biochemical view was fascinating in that it seemed to support the ancient Chinese perspective. The predominant cannabinoid in female plants is THC which has an affinity for CB1 receptors which are found mainly in the central nervous system. In male plants, cannabidiol is the main cannabinoid and has an affinity for CB2 receptors, which tend to be found more in white blood cells, the spleen and (I think) marrow.


Therefore, stimulation of the CNS in effect is something that stimulates yang and would subsequently challenge and tonify yin. And stimulating the immune system and cellular repair would be more akin to activating yin, which would in turn challenge and tonify yang.


Granted, this is based on my rather rudimentary understanding of Chinese medical theory, but I did find it compelling even if just looking at the the male plant and it's immunomodulatory potential. Given the growing acceptance of cannabis as medicine, I am hopeful more research will take a look at the often ignored male cannabis plant.



We have also used cannabis root to counter the chronic effects of the flower.

Cannabis root is good for gout.


When hot smoke is inhaled it instantly starts to affect the lung qi and yin. At the same time the liver becomes stagnant over time because of the overload of toxins. These are the first organs to become affected by smoking herb.

As time goes on, that damage to the lung qi begins to reach the spleen qi weakening the bodies defenses and digestive capabilities, and the heat from the smoke bot only damages the lung yin, but also begins to affect the kidney yin.

This is evident in some chronic (no pun intended) smokers who suddenly wake up with night sweats.

IMO smoking herb invigorates the yang qi with it's hot, pungent nature giving the effect of spontaneous creative waves and intellectual insights.


Sourc: http://yinyang.tribe.net/thread/de25a0a2-0ec1-463f-b635-1165e2efdc7a



Yahoo Answers Question:


According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, how would marijuana negatively affect your chi, shen, yin, & yang?

I've smoked my share of marijuana and quit last june and have never been the same since... and have been looking to regain the balance that I had prior to my poor decision to start smoking mj. SO, assuming that marijuana effects people similarly, how would the use of marijuana affect chi, shen, jing, and yin/yang balance? And how would YOU gain back balance after use of such a horrible drug?


Best Answer - Chosen by Asker

I've been studying under a very good spiritual acupuncturist (Adam Atman) who has a lot of experience with patients using substances. He did a radio show on this topic, and I flagged him down to give me a more detailed explanation on the subject. What follows has also matched the experiences of the two most perceptive individuals I know that smoke (I unfortunately never have tried so I lack some context to explain here).


The only problem I saw with answering this properly, is that slightly different classification systems exist for the energies that compose an individual (ie. jing chi shen ling tao). My own preference is the 8 energetic bodies, since that was what I was taught in the mediation I've practiced since childhood, and Bruce Frantzis made it be one of the best quantified representations in his book Relaxing Into Your Being (plus I think it's more accurate). Since this question isn't about that topic though, I'll skip over the long discussion with the differences between the two.

However I need to define some terms:

Jing: Your basic energy, this is composed of your physical body, your etheric field (aura or chi body), and the lower half of your emotional body (the primal emotions generated by the organs).

Chi: Your more advanced energy, it is composed of your higher (sentient) emotions, your mental body (or energy), and the first half of the energetic level when you start to open up psychic capacities.

Shen: Your "spirit" energy, this is composed of the higher half of your psychic energy body, the energy when cause and effect or karma is stored, and the early parts of what is considered your true essence.

Ling: This is basically synonymous with your highest energetic body or soul (although some disagree with the classification).

Tao: This is the highest level of existence, or the universal consciousness that composes everything, which taoist masters spend years trying to connect with (and some Tibetan Buddhists).


Anyhow, the basic effect of marajuanna is that is transfers energy from your chi body to your shen body, leading to an expansion of consciousness and occasionally if done enough an activation of the ling body, which is where the effects of being high come from.

Since this is a forced artificial effect, it naturally has to end, and once is does, the energy recontracts back to the Chi body. A few problems arise from this:

The first is that (typically 3 hours afterwards) the Chi Body starts to fill with gunk (to people who can see the energy it looks like a grey residue), which somewhat pollutes the body.

The second is that this transfer drains the chi, which can lead overtime to various physical complications (Adam has observed many patients with weak chi have their immune system give out from continous pot smoking). Additionally, since the Jing is the normal place gone to for the Chi to restore itself, a common side effect of smoking is the munchies (as the body wanting to restore it's Jing).

Overall, this causes a decline of chi overtime if done too much.


Next off, the primary organ system affected by smoking pot is the Liver, in that it expands and grows out. The liver has the characteristic of having one of the most noticeable energy fields when it "expands" (ie. it's linked emotion is anger and when someone gets angry a presence can be felt in the room not commonly gotten with other emotions). The liver is a wood element yin organ, and due to the 5 element controlling cycle, when it excess it invades the yin earth organ, which happens to be the spleen. Since the spleen governs hunger (in the Chinese system) this also accounts for the food cravings generated after pot smoking and the liver expansion.

Liver energy expansion isn't actually necessarily bad. Some individuals have too much which is tightly bound and very tense, so for them a liver energy expansion can be extremely balancing, but as highlighted before in the case of individuals with weak chi, smoking pot makes you sicker.


It's actually a normal process for the Chi to be replenished as you sleep and then feed the Shen during the day. Depending on the equilibrium someone has in place, smoking pot can be helpful or detrimental, although I have never seen a case where large amounts of smoking were not detrimental.


The best things I know of to regain your balance after smoking too much pot are

a) smoke less (or don't)

B) have a good diet that nourishes the body

c) sleep well

d) practice decent chi gung daily.


I should note that other drugs cause a similar energetic transfer to happen, but normally are much worse and more dangerous than marijuana (ie. stuff like meth exposes you to actual psychic attacks). While I'm making marijuana out to be quite bad, it's often harmless and doesn't deserved to be lumped with all the other horrible drugs out there.



Hope that helps; I did a lot of research to double check this answer for accuracy before I posted it!


Adam Atman LaC

Relaxing Into Your Being by Bruce Frantzis


Good website from a TCM POV on marijuana:



Herbal Formula sold to balance effects of cannabis, How it works:



Interesting to note also the name of the website is Get Your Dreams Back. Marijuana does take away your dreams.





Western Medical Perspective:







Really good website also... on detoxification principles. Dont have to buy anything just read how to detox quickly so you wont experience withdrawals.

Thisi is of course if you do it "too much."


But I am inclined to think any smoking or heating of marijuana above raw temperatures ie 118F will alter the chemicals such that it will cause many of the "psychedelic" effects people get from it. Whether that's healthy or even necessary for the therapeutic effects is debatable. I'm also inclined to think maybe for special cases it might be beneficial in the short term and not when it is not indicated.


Also another resource that is outdated but still plenty of good info: http://www.freewebs.com/herbalcomedown/


Discussion would be appreciated.



Edited by Spirit of the Tiger
  • Like 2

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I created this post to share information that I have found researching on the internet in regards to cannabis firstly to help someone quit smoking. It is my belief that cannabis is not "bad" but smoking it does produce a specific effect which can be quite toxic and it's medicinal effects limiting. I think ingesting marijuana in raw form is really therapeutic even as a leafy green it might prove a useful food.





As soon as you heat any herb or plant or even soak it in alcohol/vinegar or acidic medium (heck any 'chemical' medium), it will induce a chemical change and therefore change it's properties whether they be healthful or beneficial. I am a raw foods enthusiast but that doesn't mean I don't recognize beneficial effects of cooked or heated plant material in medicine.


So I hope some of you might find this useful in your life and/or practice.

Edited by Spirit of the Tiger
  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites


Wow really interesting information in that second video (edit: interesting OP too!).


for those who don't care to watch it:


juicing raw leaves allows a patient to consume 60 times the CBD (canniboid molecule) than they would if the marijuana was dried or heated because it does not get the patient stoned even with that amount.


The CBD is the only thing known to cause nerve receptors to exchange information in reverse which is beneficial for bringing the body back into proper function.


an acre of cannabis sucks 5 times the amount of carbon from the atmosphere than 1 acre of trees.



Great progress on bringing this plant back into use! I think our entire planet and its inhabitants are severely out of balance without using its endless potential benefits, which are exponentially more in the modern world.

Edited by Harmonious Emptiness
  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yea I think it's important that smoking the herb is different in that it adds an extra element of fire toxin from the smoking and a poison esp. if taken in excess.

Edited by Spirit of the Tiger

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I was told that cooking with it is okay...bring to a boil in really high fat milk (like mare's or goat's milk) then let it simmer for about 20 minutes. Mixing green tea in also, towards the end (so it's not too bitter), is supposed to have a 'triple threat' kinda effect.


Might want to check other weed recipes if you're going to try, this is just from memory.


I would love to try it myself, but having not smoked for like 8 years I don't have a contact for any dealers. :lol:

Edited by Scotty

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

well.. I think you would have to be careful. Lol I dont want to advocate "getting high" just like I wouldn't advocate "getting drunk"..


but yea.. I am inclined more towards the raw consumption and even so it can have toxic effects esp if consumed in excess and if contraindicated just as most herbs and specific herbs that do have some level of toxicity.


That's not to say there might not be unique benefits when consumed in a way other than raw but you know, only if it's "indicated" for smtg beneficial and the toxic effects can be countered.

Edited by Spirit of the Tiger

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites


juicing raw leaves allows a patient to consume 60 times the CBD (canniboid molecule) than they would if the marijuana was dried or heated because it does not get the patient stoned even with that amount.



I think you mean THC (in the form of THCa) rather than CBD. But yes even so consuming by juicing as it is referred to in this video means juicing the Leaf rather than the buds of the female plant which also has much more CBD.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks SotT, thats cool info


there aren't many plants that Every part of which can be used medicinally. I used to smoke, but quit, and i'm glad i did. Its still an awesome plant and a friend to people and can be a guide and ally for some, i think. Hehehe if they can withstand the laziness and the munchies!!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites