DEC 23, 2017 7:39 PM PST

How to Talk to Your Loved Ones about Medical Cannabis

WRITTEN BY: Loren DeVito

In the last months of the years, dozens of holidays are celebrated across cultures, which means lots of food and quality time spent with family and friends. And while the holiday season can be a joyous one, it can also be quite stressful for many. Family members and friends may ask about your work, your personal life, and, often, your health. And it may be easier to discuss these matters with people you are close with but it can be difficult when catching up with someone you haven’t seen in a while – or someone who has differing opinions or beliefs, someone perhaps who opposes use of cannabis, even for medicinal uses.

If you are a new medical cannabis patient, this situation may represent unfamiliar and uncomfortable territory. And even if you choose to keep your cannabis use to yourself, it may be worth considering alternative ways to approach this conversation. We’ve compiled a list of suggestions aimed at de-stressing these holiday situations below:

Share Your Personal Journey to Cannabis. How did you first become interested in medical cannabis? Did your state recently legalize its use? Had you heard anecdotal stories about its success for your condition? Did you read up on the research? Your loved one may better understand your situation if you are honest in explaining how you decided medical cannabis would be right for you.

Dispel Some Common Myths about Cannabis. If your loved one is from a generation in which cannabis use was portrayed as “evil” or believes it makes you lazy or a burden to society, try to patiently dispel some of these myths. And that cannabis has proven medical benefits. It wouldn’t hurt to mention that a few cannabis-based products are actually FDA-approved and that additional therapies are closer than ever to getting onto pharmacy shelves.

Explain the Legal Cannabis Industry. Those who are not familiar with the legalized cannabis industry may still think of marijuana that is sold in baggies on the street. And they may not know that there are different types of strains and phytocannabinoids that produce a wide range of effects. For example, explaining the difference between psychoactive THC and non-psychoactive CBD may be very helpful in dispelling the common myths of the “high.”

Describe the Different Methods of Cannabis Consumption. A loved one who may be concerned about smoking (perhaps an ex-smoker) may try to point out that using cannabis can be harmful to your lungs (whether this is actually the case or not is probably not worth arguing). Even if you choose to consume cannabis through smoking, it might be helpful to explain that there are so many other ways to consume cannabis – topicals, tinctures, edibles, vaping, and the list goes on. If your loved one is interested in using medical cannabis, this may be very important for them to consider.

Show Them the Research on Cannabis. For some people, you can talk until your blue in the face and they still won’t let up with the questioning. In these cases, it may be the most helpful to show them the research studies on medical cannabis. It will probably be best to summarize the results from clinical studies and mention supporting data from pre-clinical (animal model) work. It that still doesn’t satisfy their curiosity, point them to PubMed or ClinicalTrials.gov so they can do some research of their own.

We hope these tips may be helpful for you. Watch this video for some additional advice and check out these free resources available from Americans for Safe Access:

 

About the Author
  • Academically trained neuroscientist with extensive experience in science and medical writing across a wide range of therapeutic areas.
You May Also Like
NOV 07, 2019
Cannabis Sciences
NOV 07, 2019
Zebrafish Development Thwarted by Blocked Cannabinoids
Cannabinoid receptors of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) are vital pieces of the puzzle for the ECS to function correctly; the ECS needs cannabinoid recep...
JAN 15, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
JAN 15, 2020
Smoking Weed Before 16 Impairs Driving Ability Even When not High
A new study has shown that people who start smoking cannabis on a frequent basis before the age of 16 tend to be worse drivers later in life than those who...
JAN 31, 2020
Health & Medicine
JAN 31, 2020
Medicinal Marijuana May Not Aid Sleep Problems Long Term
A new study published in BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care suggests that medical marijuana may not aid sleep problems resulting from chronic p...
FEB 05, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
FEB 05, 2020
Should You Be Using Marijuana While Pregnant? Researchers Weigh In
Recreational marijuana use becomes increasingly common as legalization spreads across the country. That includes women who are pregnant and women in the mo...
FEB 25, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
FEB 25, 2020
Marijuana Use Among Seniors Over 65 Skyrockets
Following its legalization, cannabis and its products have become increasingly popular- and not just among young people. Researchers from New York Universi...
MAR 24, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
MAR 24, 2020
Florida Won't Cap THC for Patients Under 21
Medical marijuana has been legal in Florida since 2016 when more than 70 percent of voters approved the related measure. In March 2020, Republican lawmaker...
Loading Comments...