Part the First: Medical Marijuana, the Stigma, and Politics

 (of finding a wonder drug from a groovy little flower.)


Photo by Abdiel Ibarra on Unsplash

Thirty three states allow some form of medical marijuana. Ten allow recreational marijuana. People are making entire careers form cannabis, and entire lives are being changed with it. If you follow my blog, you know I have been dedicating much of my time to build a career around my own personal love of cannabis, and with that, comes the ongoing discussion of medical marijuana. I, like so many others, believe in medical marijuana, and from that, a conversation is born. My respect and advocacy for cannabis led to me getting the opportunity to discuss medical marijuana and the ongoing stigma against cannabis, on a podcast hosted by the wonderful Terry Biggs. In my research for this podcast, I thought it would be wise, not to mention meta, to write an accompanying multi series blog about medical marijuana. This allows a large amount of information to be given to those who enjoy writing, and I can expand on anything that comes up, to guarantee the most information about medical marijuana, and hopefully, the most assistance in dismantling the stigma behind cannabis.

So let us dive right in, shall we?

First, let us discuss medical marijuana, in slight detail. Currently, at the time of this blog, we in the United States have 33 states that offer medical marijuana, (ten with recreational). Of these 33 states, the laws vary regarding how much weed you can use, how it is regulated, and who can use medical marijuana, and for what conditions. Further restrictions include if and how much you can grow for yourself, how much you can buy in one day, what activities you can do, and where you can do them while using cannabis.

State to state, the conditions that qualify a patient for medical marijuana do vary, so I will try to stick to either widely accepted and supported by numerous accounts, such as pain, nausea, and PTSD. In addition to these, I will talk about conditions that I have personally observed in myself or others, such as insomnia, anxiety, depression, social anxiety, dementia/Alzheimer’s, and bipolar disorder.

Photo by Troy T on Unsplash

With all of these, weed has given countless patients relief for one of more symptoms. Many patients, myself included, are able to kick many or all pill medications, and stick to a more natural way of medicating. To make things better, as research grows, we are able to better serve patients, so the quality of medicine and research into its applications not only grows, but the patient is able to reclaim much of their lives, growing their own medicine, and freeing up more of their (frequently fixed income) budget.

Medical marijuana not only provides medical relief, it provides truly affordable healthcare in a world where healthcare is debated about as a fundamental right. No, I am not implying that a flower in the back yard will keep Grandma from needing checkups, but the flower can give everyone in the family various medical treatments, eliminating crippling costs for artificial medicines that offer pages upon pages of dangerous side effects.

I don’t think weed can replace all medicine, nor should it. We have fantastic medicines that help our bodies not only live longer, but in better shape, but weed should absolutely be a key part of that healthcare.

Thankfully, with the growing research with varying degrees of legalization, numerous methods of consumption of medical marijuana have been developed. Grandma doesn’t have to toke up to help her arthritis and glaucoma, and little Timmy doesn’t need a joint to sort out his seizures. Grandma can now enjoy edibles in the form of many fancy candies and cookies and can even use a nice topical cream for when her hands get bad.

Little Timmy can have his anti-seizure CBD drops administered under his tongue in the form of drops, no need for him to spark up a hemp based joint, not that he would be high from the CBD anyways.

Got bad anxiety? You can hit a vape pen, you can eat a cookie, suck on a lollipop, take some drops, a pill, or, even, yes, a bong, in fact, many conditions can be treated in multiple ways. I personally prefer smoking or vaporizing the medicine but will occasionally enjoy edibles as well.

I love topicals, and all the topicals I have used have been wonderful. I have a hemp lip balm I received in my Ipsy bag this month that I love. Medical marijuana is not only the future, it is the present, and it is everywhere, just waiting to sort out whatever ails you.

You may be thinking, “Wow, Abbi, it’s almost as if weed is meant to help us.”

And to that I would say: “You are right, you are so right, my dear reader, and you are so astute to realize that, too.”

Weed is an all-encompassing way of treating a lot of what ails us due to the endocannabinoid system (ECS) we have in our own bodies. Plenty of writers and scientists have written entire articles dedicated to ECS, and I urge you to look them up.  The summary is this- Our body has an entire system that runs from our head to our feet, that allows us to process and utilized the cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. This is the basis for all treatment in our bodies for medical marijuana. Our entire body is well suited to receive the medical benefits of medical marijuana, and therefore it treats so many things in several ways. Our entire body can take various parts of the plant and utilize it for its treatment.

As mentioned earlier, as research grows, we can grow more specialized strains of weed meant to treat various conditions or have various needed levels in different ratios to better serve the patients. Some people need high CBD low THC, some need high CBD and THC, some need high THC, and as we research and learn more about the treatment of ailments using various parts of the cannabis plant, we are able to gain more unique knowledge about the various parts and how to breed more useful breeds.

Somehow, despite our body having so many indicators for being meant to consume cannabis, there is still a stigma against the plant itself. Medical Marijuana has, thankfully, gained more acceptance as a practice, but even with 33 states signed on, many people become very uncomfortable when I pull out “that stuff”.

Weed at a party isn’t just a drug for a party when someone has crippling social anxiety, nor is it a drug when I try to smoke a joint at a park, and yet, in many states, consuming in public is not as well received as taking a pill.

I firmly believe part of the reason the stigma still exists is because we see weed as a fun thing, and no one thinks medicine should be fun, but the thing is, while weed may be treating your *insert whatever is wrong, here*, it is also treating the fact that while something wasn’t feeling right, you felt miserable. It is okay to enjoy your body realizing it hasn’t been at its best, because it suddenly feels better than it has, and it’s okay to realize your body needed the medicine. It is OKAY to feel better on medicine, and it is okay to be high and enjoy life.

Most medicines have a side effect, and the weed side effect of enjoying yourself isn’t, to me, a bad thing.

On the topic of side effects, one may raise the issue of drowsiness, munchies, and giggles. To that, I would counter that those same side effects are in fact desired results with some patients, and secondly, these side effects are hardly as bad as the pill drugs used to treat those conditions. I would rather be giggling, hungry, and sleepy, than I would be drugged up for depression, anxiety, or PTSD, because I remember, barely, the cloud I was in on those medicines, and I sure as hell wasn’t productive enough to keep up with a blog, much less anything else very useful.

Many of the pills used to treat conditions that weed can treat easily, for example, PTSD, anxiety, and pain, are highly addictive, and lead to not only chemical addiction, but a nasty withdraw when the person tries to “get clean” off the chemicals. Why would any rational person take these dangerous pills when natural alternatives are available?

Stigma.

Still, despite the superiority of medical marijuana as a medicine, a stigma exists around marijuana, and despite more and more people being unable to reuse the knowledge in front of them, that weed is in fact, helpful, many less are okay with it being fully legalized.

33 states have legalized medical marijuana at the time of me typing this, and yet still some people still say “oh, I would never smoke it, only if I were dying of cancer.”

You don’t need to be dying of cancer to enjoy weed, Karen, your anxiety meds are killing your kidney.

Photo by Alessandro Zambon on Unsplash

You don’t need to be a child suffering from childhood seizures, your depression meds are killing your sex drive, possibly for life.

And if you DO have one of these conditions, why would you even consider taking those awful pills? Weed works, with much less damage to your body, and alteration to your personality. Even better, the weed isn’t an addictive substance that is destroying your emotional connections, kidney, and stomach lining, all to keep you a drugged-up zombie.

The stigma is only there because a small number of people are more willing to put whatever their own selfish interest is, ahead of the happiness and prevention of suffering, of millions of people. Why would you trust anyone with those types if morals, anyways?

Be sure to check back to see the rest of this multi part blog, where I will be discussing some further science and research behind medical marijuana, such as the Terpene Effect, as well as the ongoing stigma and politician of marijuana.

.

.

.

Abbi

Feel free to follow me on all the social medias: @AbbiGrasso on Twitter, Instagram, Speekin’, LinkedIn, Pinterest, WordPress, Medium, YouTube, WeedTV, and any place else I have forgotten.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s