With the holidays around the corner, it is likely you will be spending more time with your friends, family, and loved ones. Sometimes the reality of these life-long relationships is that our own beliefs and opinions might begin to differ from some of the people we hold most dear. Cannabis tends to be one of these hot topics, so we have compiled here some talking points on how to broach the subject with people in your life who may not have the same opinions about the plant-based therapy.
The Current Political Landscape
Medicinal cannabis is now legal, or in the process of becoming legal, in 37 states and the District of Columbia, while a handful of others have legislation proposing legalization in the works. A 2019 report showed that at least two-thirds of Americans support the legalization of cannabis. A recent 2021 report showed that a majority of Republicans are in support of legalization. A week ago, information leaked about a pending Republican-sponsored bill to legalize and tax cannabis.
Why is it Hard to Talk About Cannabis?
For many years, cannabis has been a misunderstood and stigmatized herb. The war on drugs has done more harm than good, especially for patients who needed or were looking for alternative forms of treatment. Cannabis is a schedule 1 drug, which means that it is classified as having no known medicinal value and at high potential for abuse. It has also been dubbed “the gateway drug” to other stronger substances.
However, science is now revealing that cannabis has immense therapeutic potential. One detailed report highlighted the following potential benefits of taking cannabis as medicine to include relief from:
- Pain and inflammation
- Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting
- Multiple sclerosis-related spasticity
Cannabis has several other potential benefits. Different states have varying conditions that qualify for medical marijuana treatment in their medical marijuana program. You can check out here how one individual utilized cannabis to overcome a substance-abuse disorder.
Stigma has made it challenging to have a constructive conversation around cannabis. The scheduling of the herb compounds the problem. Fortunately, this might be coming to an end soon.
Who to Talk to About Medicinal Cannabis
You can talk to anyone about cannabis. However, it would help if you were cautious with the message that you want to put across. When talking to kids about cannabis, you want to make it simple and to the point. For adults, we recommend talking to those who will be most receptive to having an open dialogue. At the end of the day, you are only advocating for freedom of choice and not trying to compel everyone to use cannabis. Here are a few tips to get you started:
1. Have the right information
Prepare adequately for this talk by researching the potential benefits versus risks of cannabis therapy. Learn a few things about the primary cannabinoids (THC and CBD), terpenes, and how they interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Be up to date with relevant studies on cannabinoid therapy, especially for the conditions you would like to share. Be sure to check out our own published study on anxiety and depression.
2. Choose the right setting
Make sure that you have set aside ample time to answer any questions that they might have. It is advisable to start with the information that they have and build the conversation from there. Let them tell you what they know about cannabis, what they think about it, and any concerns about the plant.
3. Don’t shy away from sharing your cannabis journey
Most people are touched by personal stories that they can relate to, much more than they would with scientific research or statistics that are out there. If you have tried out cannabis before, let them know your “why” and how your experience has been so far. If you need more anecdotal evidence, you may find some reassuring stories here that you can share.
4. Make the discussion friendly
This is not a lecture, but a discussion. Be open to hearing their perspective about cannabis and admit when you are unsure about something, yet committed to seeking clarifications. Resist the urge to oversell, as this may raise eyebrows about your real intention.
5. Group Setting Vs. One-on-One
You understand the personalities of your friends and family and therefore are best placed to decide whether to deliver this information one and one or in a group. If you have an open-minded family, then maybe you consider bringing up the discussion over a shared meal. Be prepared to receive all sorts of feedback and answer endless questions. For a more conservative family, you might opt for a one on one session. Although this takes a longer time, it may be more effective.
6. Dispel the myth that cannabis is all about getting high
When most (naïve) people think about cannabis, all that comes to mind is getting stoned. It is important to dispel this myth and let your audience know that out of the one hundred plus cannabinoids in cannabis, only one (THC) causes euphoria. THC isomers such as delta 8 and 10 might also cause intoxication. Other cannabinoids such as CBD are non-euphoric but offer a myriad of therapeutic benefits such as relaxation, pain and anxiety relief, and anti-seizure benefits.
Where Can One Get High-Quality Cannabis Products?
An ideal way to wrap up this conversation is to share where one can source high-quality cannabis products. The cannabis market, as you may already know, is largely unregulated. Therefore, it is necessary to show your loved ones how to steer clear of unscrupulous vendors. And in the spirit of celebration, you can start them off by offering some thoughtful CBD gifts to get them started on their own cannabinoid therapy journey.
About Realm of Caring
Realm of Caring Foundation (RoC), is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that was established by parents in 2013 to support families who were out of medical options. By creating educational resources, conducting research, and assisting families with data-rich answers to their questions, RoC continues to be a leader in the cannabinoid (cannabis/hemp) field. RoC’s no-cost Care Team has served more than 67,000 clients worldwide and supports a network of over 2,000 medical professionals. To learn more about participating or to donate to this cause, visit www.realmofcaring.org or call 1-888-210-3772.