If you’re using cannabis and other natural products like kratom for medicinal purposes, congratulations on choosing a healthier alternative to big pharma’s dangerous drugs. For many of those with chronic pain, severe mental disorders such as depressions or anxiety, and knowledge about how toxic mainstream medication is, cannabis is the solution for you!
Sadly, cannabis has earned quite the stigma, particularly in the U.S., due to both fear and confusion about what it does and where it comes from.
Ultimately, the demonization of cannabis is rooted in racism. At the turn of the last century, and right after the Mexican Revolution, there was a big influx of migration from Mexico into southern states. These new immigrants brought their cultures, customs, and heritage with them—including the medicinal use of cannabis.
Of course, cannabis grew in the U.S. and was used prior to this, particularly by a number of Native American tribes, but the term marijuana (or “marihuana” in Mexico) was new. Americans were aware of cannabis and it was found in many medicines.
This “new” marijuana was quickly linked to the racist backlash of the era, and rumors began to swirl about the dangerous plant that had been imported from Mexico—even though Americans had been using it for centuries. Sadly, the fear of marijuana was really a fear of these new immigrants, and anti-marijuana laws were passed in the 1930s.
This kind of backstory can be a helpful tool when talking about your medicinal cannabis use with your ill-informed family. Here are five more reasons to talk to your loved ones about your choice:
- Cannabis is Healthier for Everyone
There’s a good chance someone in your family is using prescription pharmaceuticals to treat their pain—or they will be prescribed them in the future. Opening discourse about the dangers of these drugs and the proven effectiveness and safety of medicinal marijuana can save lives. We are in the midst of an opioid epidemic, and sharing information on alternatives for pain management can make a huge difference in your family’s future.
- Stop the Rumors Before They Start
If someone in your family is very poorly informed about the reality of medicinal cannabis, they might ruin your reputation (intentionally or not) by spreading rumors about your “marijuana use.” You can prevent this from happening by being open, informed, and educationally focused in these discussions.
- You Can Be a Resource for Undoing Wrong Teachings
Family members who have wrong information about medicinal cannabis got it from somewhere. It’s very possible to un-learn these teachings, and you can be an excellent resource. After all, who better to learn from than family?
- Modeling Good Behavior
If you’re in the position of being a mentor to someone in your family—perhaps a child, niece, or nephew—modeling good behavior is an important part of your responsibility. It’s great that you’re opting for medicinal cannabis to manage your pain or other health issue, but that does little when you don’t embrace transparency and open communication. Talking to your family about why you’ve made this decision is the springboard for conversation. That’s the kind of openness that helps families grow and thrive.
- Making Others Aware of Potential Risks in Your Home
Particularly if you routinely have children in your home, it’s important to let your loved ones know about any potential risky products you might have. This is likely only critical if you babysit or have children in the home regularly.
You can’t “overdose” on cannabis, and there are no adverse health affects by taking too much of it, but you still wouldn’t want someone taking it by mistake. Just like you’d take precautions if you had pharmaceuticals in your home, you might want to be open with your family about your medicines and storage practices if you’re a routine babysitter.
Of course, a bonus reason for talking to your family about medicinal cannabis is that you might discover someone else is already using it! You might be able to share your new favorite dispensary with them, learn about various ways to treat symptoms, and have something to bond over.
For example, some medicinal cannabis users might not be combining their treatment with kratom yet, which can be a fantastic complement—and you might even get to share kratom coupons with your new favorite family member.
Ultimately, you’re not required to talk to your family about your medications or medicinal cannabis use. However, you’re in the position to teach others about the benefits of cannabis and help to dispel stubborn, lingering myths. The de-demonization of cannabis is in full swing, but there’s still a long way to go, and you could be part of this new era.