Updated: Apr 4
The kid in me would have never imagined that writing about cannabis would become her career. You see, I was taught to regard the plant as something to be frowned at. Part of the stigma came from it being illegal in some parts of the world.
As my horizons became wider, I started seeing cannabis in a different light. I saw it simply as a “plant” that, when harnessed properly, could seriously benefit people.
So here’s to my younger self and my current state of being, may this list remind you why everything is worth the double-take.
You don’t have to be the “cool dude”
A cannabis user, whether on a recreational or medical level, is not required to mimic the lifestyle or look of a stoner. Hippy music, nose rings, and other stereotypical connotations of a stoner aren’t prerequisites in using the plant.
You could be a housewife, a lawyer, a rap artist, or simply as your authentic self and still enjoy the benefits of cannabis consumption.
Cannabis is more than a recreational plant
Studies have shown that cannabidiol or CBD (a cannabis-derived compound or cannabinoid) has the potential to alleviate anxiety, depression and benefits people who have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It also aids individuals with certain spectrums of epilepsy.
Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC (another cannabis-derived cannabinoid), responsible for the “high” people associate with cannabis, has a comprehensive list of wellness benefits as well.
Cannabis follows several disciplines on medical use
If you’re using cannabis for medical purposes, proper dosage and regular consultations with a medical professional will ensure that you are taking only what you need for your condition.
Alternatively, if it is for recreational use, you have to make sure it is not something to be abused. As opposed to “smoking all day” now and then, there are many more benefits to micro-dosing regularly-- such as reducing stress, getting better sleep, and ensuring more focus and productivity.
Since wellness is what you’re after, it’s best to set limits and keep things balanced.
It is safe, but take note of some side effects
Lots of people can handle cannabis like a champ. However, you may have to be careful and consider its side effects.
Too much can cause certain physiological reactions such as red eyes, a dry mouth, coordination problems, and slower reaction times; while CBD’s side effects may include appetite changes, weight loss, or dizziness.
Taking care of yourself-- such as factoring in the dosage and keeping yourself hydrated-- goes a long way in preventing unwanted side effects.
Cannabis is a complex plant
Cannabis takes up different forms, strains and is commercially produced in various ways. Aside from being rolled into a joint and smoked like a cigarette, one can also use it with pipes, vapes, bongs and more.
Some forms can be inhaled, ingested, or applied topically. Explore how you want to consume cannabis but be conscious of its cost, legality in your region, and availability.
Know your strain
Cannabis is normally classified into the categories: Indica, Sativa and hybrid. Beyond that, dispensaries have further divided them based on their effects and how they would cater to consumers.
The strain you choose depends on the effect you desire, and what you think your mind and body needs at that moment.
Know your legal boundaries
Since cannabis is still on the path to legalization for some countries, it’s best to be wary of the legal implications of using it. Know the risks and move cautiously; the goal is to keep yourself safe.
We have entered an entirely new age of cannabis culture, where younger generations have an opportunity to look at cannabis in a different light. Perhaps, besides cannabis, interesting exchanges of opinions on once-thought eccentric ideas will soon happen.
Svrakic, D. M., et al. (2012). Legalization, decriminalization & medicinal use of cannabis: a scientific and public health perspective. Missouri medicine, 109(2), 90–98.
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Health Europa. (2020, April 09). 20 health benefits of cannabis that everyone should know. Retrieved April 01, 2021, from https://www.healtheuropa.eu/health-benefits-of-cannabis/92499/
Health Europa. (2020, September 16). Leafcann: Common misconceptions about cannabis. Retrieved April 01, 2021, from https://www.healtheuropa.eu/leafcann-common-misconceptions-about-cannabis/98605/
Whitley, R. (2021, January 20). The continuing stigma around medical marijuana use. Retrieved April 01, 2021, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/talking-about-men/202101/the-continuing-stigma-around-medical-marijuana-use