Not everyone is down with Mary Jane, weed cookies, shatter – marijuana in all its forms. Most of us have probably encountered friends or family that make their feelings and opinions about “pot marijuana” very clear – how many times have you been asked about a contact high or “how long does weed stay in your system?” Heck, you might have been one of these people at one point in your life. Normalizing cannabis use is no easy feat because for years and years, the “gateway” drug has unjustly had a bad reputation and has been vehemently used as a scapegoat for so many things under the sun including violence, crimes, and general laziness. As a result, even though cannabis may or may not be legalized where you are (thank god we can buy weed online in Canada), it is still considered taboo in many communities and the people closest to you may not be exempt from this group.
So, what can we do to get our friends and family to see that consuming cannabis is not a negative or dangerous substance, and that there’s definitely no need to sign up for alcoholics anonymous? Breaking the negative stigma around cannabis is difficult, but not impossible. We’ve put together a guide for you to try and help normalize cannabis use amongst friends and family.
Express Your Feelings
Sometimes, all it takes is finding common ground to help others understand why you do the things you do. Everyone has their own reasons for consuming cannabis; some of us love to get in the zone when we’re trying to be focused or creative and some love the calming effects of CBD for anxiety. You don’t need to go into all the reasons why it benefits everyone else – tell them how it has benefited you. Show them the painting you made, the song you crafted, or how you can now go for long runs because your joints don’t ache (maybe even over some weed tea?).
Bring Out the Facts
Let’s explore a classic debate: alcohol versus cannabis. To preface this route, more research has been conducted on the effects of alcohol than there is research for the effects of cannabis. But so far, experts can agree that the effects of consuming weed are not nearly as dangerous than with the consumption of alcohol. Since I am not a scientist or a medical researcher, I will instead drop some quotable facts that you are welcome to use:
On the Brain
Some findings made by scientists at the University of Colorado Boulder:
“The study included the brain images of 853 adults who were aged between 18 and 55 years and 439 teenagers between the ages of 14 and 18. All participants varied in their use of alcohol and marijuana.
The researchers found that alcohol use — particularly in adults who had been drinking for many years — was associated with a reduction in gray matter volume, as well as a reduction in the integrity of white matter.
Marijuana use, however, appeared to have no impact on the structure of gray or white matter in either teenagers or adults.
Based on these findings, the researchers believe that drinking alcohol is likely to be much more harmful to brain health than using marijuana.”
What is gray and white matter and why should we care? Gray matter is the tissue on the brain’s surface that is primarily made up of nerve cell bodies. On the other hand, white matter is the deeper brain tissue that transmits electrical impulses to other cells and tissues, which are from branches protruding from myelinated nerve fibers. Any decrease in the amount of white or gray matter or loss in their integrity can lead to impairments in brain functioning.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) report on Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base states that “epidemiological data indicate that in the general population marijuana use is not associated with increased mortality” (IOM, 1999, p. 109).
While marijuana can have adverse effects on short- and long-term health, there is limited research as to whether or not it can cause death. There are a few recorded cases of people dying from possibly marijuana-induced complications of an existing medical condition, but these are inconclusive.
- Liver disease. Excessive drinking can cause chronic liver disease, which can affect your body’s ability to process substances and detox itself.
- Pancreatitis. Alcohol misuse is a leading cause of pancreatitis of the pancreas.
- Heart damage. Heavy drinking can take a toll on the cardiovascular system.
- Stomach and digestive issues. In large amounts, alcohol can irritate the stomach, causing ulcers, pain, bloating, and irritation.
- Central nervous system damage. This could lead to numbness and tingling sensations in the limbs.
- Erectile dysfunction. Long-term alcohol use can lead to erectile dysfunction.
- Infertility. Long-term or heavy alcohol use may have an impact on both male and female fertility.
- Brain development issues. A 2014 study suggests that consuming weed as a teenager can lead to brain development issues at a later stage. However, the study couldn’t confirm whether these issues are permanent or not.
- Schizophrenia. The link between weed and schizophrenia is complex and not fully understood. However, some experts believe that weed use can trigger the onset of schizophrenia in certain people, particularly those with a family history of it.
Aside from these long-term health risks, you already had me at hangovers.
History Repeats Itself
Unraveling the negative connotation around cannabis and explaining the origins of how it was dragged through the mud is where you’ll want to start. The New York Times wrote an insightful article that dives into the history of marijuana. Here’s a snippet:
In 2013, NPR wrote a thorough explanation of the word in which people said it had racist and anti-immigrant implications. In the piece, NPR cited news articles from the early 20th century suggesting that marijuana – or marihuana – was responsible for inciting violence among Mexicans who smoked it. It was sometimes called “loco weed.”
That imagery was part of an anti-cannabis movement and helped to prompt a crackdown on illegal cannabis use, which culminated in the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. “Suddenly the drug has a whole new identity,” NPR wrote.
False claims and smear campaigns against cannabis, often instigated by government institutions as an indirect means of enacting racist policy, are the real reason terms like “devil’s lettuce” and “marijuana” became such commonplace synonyms for cannabis.
I don’t know about you, but all I have the energy for is to stop myself from eating 17 pizza pops, while wondering how to make weed butter when I’m stoned.
How About the Influencers?
Celebrities like Snoop Dogg and Seth Rogen are famous for their passion for weed, they definitely do not hide behind their cloud of smoke. But who else has made it in life with the help of cannabis? Some of these well-known individuals on the list might surprise you.
Louis Armstrong – what a wonderful world indeed.
Bill Gates – he might not have said he smoked it, but he sure supported the legalization of it.
Steve Jobs – even if you’re team Android, you can still appreciate how he was the mastermind behind the first personal computer.
Maya Angelou – this queen said, “I lost myself in a sensual haze of please.” She knew what was up.
Michael Phelps – he swam and puffed his way to 23 Olympic gold medals.
Oprah Winfrey – you get a joint, you get a joint, eeeeeeverybody gets a joint
Now that you’ve convinced your friends and family that cannabis isn’t so bad after all, this is a great opportunity to show them that it might actually be of benefit to them. Here are a few suggestions:
- Have a co-worker who has a million things on their plate and can’t seem to turn their mind off to get a good night’s sleep? The CBD Magic Tincture is something they’ll want to keep in their bedside drawer.
- Do you have an aunt who suffers from gout and hates how she has to rely on her pain meds? Why not introduce her to our tinctures, perfect as a cup of hot weed tea and helps to alleviate pain.
Same Day Weed Delivery, Curbside Pickup, or Mail Order Canada Wide
What’s a better way to begin normalizing cannabis with your friends and family? Here’s how: visit Chronic Haze for all your cannabis needs, try our pre-rolled joints which should definitely be a great starting choice!
You may be wondering, “Is there a Dispensary near me?” Of course there is! Order with Chronic Haze today for same day weed delivery in Mississauga, Brampton, Etobicoke, Oakville or Milton. We also offer curbside pickup in Mississauga.
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