Medical marijuana is getting lots of media coverage lately, and with its legalization spreading globally more and more people will be using it not just for fun, but to self-medicate. I regularly treat people who tell me they use it to alleviate everything from anxiety to insomnia to depression.

Chinese medicine has used marijuana in a healing context for thousands of years for many conditions but they didn’t send patients home to smoke a joint by themselves on the beanbag. Their use of the plant was based on a deep holistic understanding of its intelligence or ‘shen’, its cosmic significance and its interaction with the constitution, chi and even destiny of each individual patient. The healers also worked with chi themselves to empower the transformative potential of the plant and override any toxicity. We can’t access that kind of treatment any more and, without that depth of knowledge and chi-training, self-medicating with marijuana can make your symptoms worse. However, there is another option – Western research has confirmed that acupuncture works with the endocannabinoid system of the body, and in my rehab programs we specialize in an acupuncture treatment that heals anxiety and depression and delivers that great stoned feeling! The best of both worlds.