Reading clinical studies proving Cannabis is good for just about everything and anybody can become a tiresome act. Cannabis stands out as a potential solution for many of the current quandaries faced by humanity. Consensus over the legalization of Cannabis has been driven to the tipping point, in part due to the Opioid crisis. Cannabis is often used as an alternative to alcohol for recreational pleasure seekers that still want to get loose and have a good time but are concerned about the negative effects of long term alcohol use and alcoholism. The damage that the abuse of opiates and alcohol can do to the human body, to families and to communities is apparent. People have realized the potential of Cannabis as an alternative through their own personal experience. Through the stories of the people that use Cannabis daily we can find a treasure trove of information describing the value of Cannabis beyond the financial rewards that can be gained through taxes or sales and the clinical studies about biological information. We can also gather valuable information about how people use cannabis and why.
I mentioned in an earlier blog that one of the most crucial medical benefits of cannabis is that it reduces stress and affects the way that we perceive stress. Bottom line, a radically diverse group of people use cannabis because it makes them feel better and relaxed. I fall into this classification. Drinking to chill out always caused me more problems than it was worth. I grew up with my Grandfather and Dad showing me plants in the forest that could help with this or that. Chewing on a Sweetgum branch to clean your teeth for example. My Mother sold Aloe Vera in the 80’s and I drank an ounce everyday, it tasted like crap but I felt good. The point being that when I was introduced to Cannabis for the first time, I readily accepted it as a valuable plant with tremendous medical benefit without any moral hang ups or fears. I also noticed that when juxtaposed against the way that an alcohol buzz or taking a pain pill affected my perception it was no where near as debilitating to my ability to function.
Cannabis is one of the most studied plants on the earth. The American Medical Association lobbied to prevent Cannabis from being made illegal in the 1930s. Cannabis has been in the global pharmacopeia for nearly ten thousand years. As far as I’m concerned, the argument is over. Cannabis is good medicine. I can’t wait to read the studies on how Cannabis can prevent a lot of problems from developing in the first place. Specifically, as a food staple, now that recreational states have created a free marketplace for cannabis in food. The right to use Cannabis is a human right, the same as it is to grow and eat a tomato or to grow and use an aloe plant to soothe a burn. We know that we can feed our animals with it, treat our ailments with it, make clothing from it, use it for packaging and even make building materials with it. Based on all of those uses, prohibition of Cannabis seems totally absurd. 84 years after federal Cannabis prohibition began, fifteen states and the District of Colombia, in wide open rebellion, have legalized Cannabis recreationally. One logical conclusion which can be drawn is that a certain group of folks still fear what will happen if people use weed to get “high”; yet, all the while, think it’s perfectly fine to get “drunk.”
Remember what happened during the 13 years of prohibition while Alcohol was illegal? We had the development of organized crime like we’d not seen in this country before. We had the invention of the Speak Easy, the old Thompson machine guns, bootleggers, moonshiners, juke joints and a roaring good time. I’m pretty sure that drinking increased dramatically in certain regions of the country at the time and started in other places that it had never been before. One good argument against alcohol prohibition turned out to be that it violated the fundamental American right to pursue happiness. Cannabis prohibition does the same thing and making it illegal hasn’t done a single thing to stop the production of Cannabis either. People that wanted cannabis to smoke it for fun or needed it to serve their medical needs felt it necessary to risk their freedom in order to facilitate the growth, distribution and consumption of this plant. The most vocal opponents to Cannabis were no different from the teetotalers that started all the hoopla and got alcohol banned having never touched a sip.
From behind the bar at Alpine Dispensary, I have been able to participate in the ongoing conversation with our customers about how Cannabis has improved their lives and what they’ve had to do to secure their medicine over the years. I’ve also heard a lot of stories about incarceration, probation and alienation because of their Cannabis use. Each day it is a privilege to meet new people that are curious about Cannabis. I also appreciate the experienced aficionados and activists that test our Budtender’s knowledge on terpenes and cannabinoids. Even the most timid of curious newcomers can try a topical and patiently listen to the Budtenders explain the complexities of Cannabis science. When the newcomer can flex their hand better in five minutes than they have in fifteen years, in spite of a pickled liver and taking a handful of pills everyday, an internal switch fires and we chalk up another convert to Cannabis. Through meeting these people and witnessing what cannabis has done for them I have realized that If I do have a purpose on the Earth, it is to help dispel the myths about the forbidden “Devil’s Lettuce” and how using it can lead to ruin.
Now that we have a full line of THC Delta 8 products, our over the counter conversations have become a little more complex and confusing. We have two groups of folks that inquire about it specifically: people that come to the bar because they have heard that THC ∆8 can get them high and people that have heard it is a legal way to get the stronger pain relief they need and potentially replace their opiates. We try to explain to both groups about the other benefits of cannabis and how cannabinoids are best used in combination, but they don’t really care, often times stating that they tried CBD but it didn’t do anything. So, they simply procure some THC ∆8 bud, gummies, capsules or drops and head back to where they came from. Nine times out of ten they come back again wanting more within a week or two or send in an email wanting more information about what they did purchase so they can order it from alpinedispensary.com. Either way they are more receptive and inclined to listen to a broader interpretation of Cannabis because the THC ∆8 worked better than CBD alone. It is through fearless experimentation that we find these things out.
I did decide to take a different approach to this blog in order to share some pieces of my personal story with Cannabis and also to encourage you to share yours. Our lives are our testimonial to Cannabis. First time users of Cannabis have often read about the many benefits of Cannabis but are overwhelmed by the endless information stream. By sharing our stories, we help alleviate these fears and hold the light “high” for those coming out of the darkness. Come down to one of our Helen, Ga stores, visit us online, or call 1-855-420-HEMP to speak to a Budtender during store hours. We will be happy to answer any questions that you may have about our products and guide you to the solutions that meet your needs.
J.C. Dyer, Mojo Coordinator