TEDx Portland 2019 — Dr. Rachel Knox Delivers POTentially Life-Changing Information

Dr. Rachel Knox

Dr. Rachel Knox walked onto the stage at the Keller Auditorium in Portland, Oregon with two important distinctions. She was the first speaker for this 9th year of TEDx Portland and…she had a secret.

It isn’t a secret that would grab anyone’s attention from the front page of a scandal rag, but it was something juicy enough that Big Pharma would have liked to apply a bit of duct tape.

Dr. Knox and her family of research physicians have been investigating the 6th, long neglected system in the human body. Unlike the Circulatory, Pulmonary, Skeletal, Muscular, and Nervous systems, knowledge of the Endocannabinoid System has been buried for generations, hidden away in dusty medical case histories stored deep in university libraries and gradually lost to memory as physicians and those skilled in naturopathic remedies and their patients eventually encountered death and took their wisdom with them. So diligently had information about the Endocannabinoid System been erased that this essential system appeared no where in Rachel’s medical textbooks.

Cannabis Leaf

Who would have thought that the human body and the bodies of many animals would be set up to produce and respond dynamically to cannabis? Yet, that is the virtue of the Endocannabinoid system, as Dr. Knox described it “a 600 million year old messenger and receptor system… that is totally unlike, supreme to, and in control of all the rest.”

While not echoing Dr. Knox’s assertions, the National Institute of Health acknowledges that “modulating the activity of the endocannabinoid system turned out to hold therapeutic promise in a wide range of disparate diseases and pathological conditions, ranging from mood and anxiety disorders, movement disorders such as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease, neuropathic pain, multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury, to cancer, atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, stroke, hypertension, glaucoma, obesity/metabolic syndrome, and osteoporosis, to name just a few.”

Dr. Rachel introduced the audience at the Keller to Jill, a patient suffering horribly from Parkinson’s disease, which is “a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement,” according to the Mayo Clinic. Even after taking a handful of prescribed standard pharmaceutical medications, Jill appeared on screen as a fragile woman, trembling uncontrollably in her upper limbs, head, and torso. As the camera rolled she moved into the kitchen, and, taking up a knife dipped it into some cannabis oil and spread it on a cracker, which she promptly ate. Twenty minutes later, the trembling was gone and Jill stood straight and still.

This is not an ad for cannabis oil, but it is an open question about this other system webbed through our bodies. If the endocannabinoid system, through its own production of cannabinoids and when aided by the use of cannabis plant products, can produce positive results in all the areas mentioned, why is it that no statues to cannabis have been erected at city halls and hospitals across the country? The answer is two words — Big Pharma.

In his article “Down the Rabbit Hole: The Rise of Western Medicine”, Tigger Montague outlines the scheme succinctly. “The American Medical Association (AMA) began in 1847, but it was a small, weak organization until John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie took on a “philanthropic mission” to help the AMA, marking the point when allopathic (Western) medicine took a huge turn. Since there were many types of doctors and healing methods, Rockefeller wanted to eliminate these competitors, thus ensuring that drugs would be the main course of treatment.”

Big Pharma — Touting tablets, demonizing natural sources of healing.

Those last eight words are the key, as Dr. Knox explained. In building a medical education and delivery system that would use cheap-to-produce prescription medications to treat patients, these canny business men ensured that all substances, like cannabis, that were unpatentable, would be deemed “quackery” and that their purveyors would be labeled snake oil salesmen. Found as early as the mid-1800s in the regularly edited Pharmacopoeia of the United States of America, all mention of cannabis was dropped by 1942.

The body, however, didn’t mothball its essential system during these Dark Ages and continued to beg assistance from the endocannabinoids that the body produces on its own, CB1 and CB2. CB1 cannabinoids are found mostly in the brain and the reproductive organs where they “modulate and moderate the perception of pain.” CB1 is the mechanism that will cause a careless cook to pull her hand away from the heat of a burner set to High. Elsewhere, CB2 works with the immune system and largely resides in the spleen. In fact, though, receptors of the ECS (Endocannabinoid System) are found throughout the body, where they defend against the shock of trauma, stress, and pain.

Recently, as we have watched the legalization of marijuana in an increasing number of states, the potential of phytocannabinoids — products made from the cannabis plant — as viable treatment options has been growing. As in the case of Dr. Rachel Knox, who, with her family, is doing all she can to spread the word, more researchers, physicians, and thousands of desperate patients are extolling the benefits of this secret system and its plant partner.

Writer, ESL instructor, editor, traveler, seasonal ex-pat— my life is both an intentional and serendipitous circumstance. Motto — “Buy the ticket, and go!”

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