The medical cannabis movement is sweeping through the nation with such momentum that even conservative legislators are evolving to see the benefits. All cannabis use appears imminent west of Colorado and north of Virginia while medical cannabis is plowing through the South. This is exciting news, but we must remain diligent and see this to the end. There is one phrase that is slowing cannabis law reform; “Recreational Cannabis.”
“Recreational cannabis use” is the most detrimental phrase our industry faces today. Over half the U.S. population supports “recreational use” of cannabis. Unfortunately, those who don’t support recreational use, oppose it vitriolically. “Recreational cannabis” is exactly what the opposition is fighting to prevent.
The flip side to this is that over 80% of Americans support medical cannabis use and over 85% support freedom in healthcare decisions. All of these statistics are trending upwards.
In the South, “recreational cannabis use” is a non-starter and a debate that cannot be empirically won. On the other hand, “medical cannabis use” is a debate we win. And we don’t need to manipulate our messaging to change the debate, we need only to correctly identify ‘medicinal use.’
Cannabis and The Human Body
Cannabis is imperative to maintaining a healthy body. Cannabinoid ligands fuel and balance the human endocannabinoid system, a system that regulates the immune system, mood, sleep patterns, appetite, and pain sensation. Just like vitamins, the human body needs cannabinoids to function properly. Due to cannabis prohibition, most Americans suffer from endocannabinoid deficiency syndrome. Endocannabinoid deficiencies manifest themselves in the form of autoimmune diseases, depression, bipolar disorders, neurodegenerative conditions, inexplicable pain, and sleep disorders.
The American Medical Association(AMA) and US Food and Drug Administration(FDA) considers all of these as legitimate medical conditions. They approve and sell thousands of different drugs developed to treat all of them.
Now, let’s delve into the mind of a ‘recreational’ cannabis user.
Recently, I’ve been interrogating self-proclaimed ‘recreational’ cannabis users to find out what’s so fun about smoking weed. Their initial answer is always the same; “I don’t know, I just like it.” But after digging with some questions, it always turns out the same.
Recreational cannabis users are using cannabis for medical purposes, they just don’t realize it.
Here are the post prodding answers and the medical condition that the ‘recreational user’ is treating using cannabis. I’ve also added common drugs and medications that are the AMA and FDA’s more popular treatments.
“It makes me relax.” – Anxiety. Xanax, Klonopin, Valium, Prozac, Cymbalta, Wellbutrin, and the generics.
“It helps me sleep.” – Sleep disorder/Anxiety. Ambien, Lunesta, Unisom, Nyquil
“It calms me down.” – ADHD/Anxiety – Ritalin, Adderall, Vyvanse
“It helps me think.” ADHD – see above
“It helps my stomach calm down.” GI, IBS, IBD. Pepto, Pepcid, Prilosec, I don’t know the RX drugs for this.
“It helps me talk to people.” Social anxiety – Alcohol
“It makes spending time with my spouse more fun.” – Sexual dysfunction/Anxiety. Viagra, Cialis, that new female viagra.
These are all medicinal applications.
I encourage all “recreational” cannabis users to reevaluate their use. If there is a prescription or over-the-counter drug designed to treat something that cannabis helps you with, that’s medical use. If they sell something at GNC or Vitamin World that cannabis helps you with, that’s medical use. You may not use these other medications because you already know that cannabis is a superior treatment, you just didn’t realize it.
Our society defines recreationally using a drug or medicine as “abuse.” Exclaiming that you use any drug recreationally is the first step into a 12 step. If you still don’t think that your cannabis use is medicinal, please call it ‘therapeutic’ so that you don’t look like an addict and hinder the entire movement. When we have medical, I promise that you’ll be able to find a doctor that will write you a recommendation.
By Daniel Macris, founder and ceo of Halcyon Organics.
© 2016 Halcyon Organicsr