Are you thinking about becoming a Maryland or Delaware medical marijuana patient but not sure how to talk about it with your family? Well you may find yourself around the Thanksgiving dinner table with an opportunity to tell your family and friends about your thoughts regarding medical cannabis. It’s natural for some to feel worried about how the conversation about medical marijuana at Thanksgiving might go.
There are a few things to keep in mind about a conversation regarding medical marijuana. Perceptions about medical marijuana and marijuana in general have greatly changed over the past several years. Survey data collected from U.S. adults between 1969 and 2018 show a drastic increase in the percentage of those who say marijuana should be made legal – from 12 percent to now 62 percent and counting.
So, the conversation may go very differently than you think it might because public opinions regarding marijuana have changed quite a bit. For general information about whether medical marijuana is right for you, schedule a certification consultation with one of our Maryland or Delaware medical marijuana doctors.
Share The Facts About Medical Marijuana
While you may have a certain opinion about medical marijuana, it doesn’t mean that your entire family feels the same way. The best way to have a conversation about medical marijuana at Thanksgiving is to share the facts of your views without being argumentative. Try to listen and understand where people are coming from because many have traditional views that stem from their upbringing during the “Just Say No” era, for example.
Steve Downing, former deputy chief of the Los Angeles Police Department once said, “The war on drugs was a failure. I should know as I once led it. Our policies have done more harm to people and community than marijuana. We demonize people. We unnecessarily criminalized people.” This is a perfect example of someone who’s views have changed dramatically on the topic like many in your family may have as well.
Has The War On Drugs Worked?
If you look at the war on drugs from several views it has been a failure. The war on drugs was supposed to limit the supply of illegal drugs in this country. Instead, it has created lucrative black markets for violent drug cartels. A RAND Corporation study suggests marijuana accounts for about 20 to 30% of drug cartels’ revenue. Legalizing cannabis would slash that revenue from the bad guys.
Unfortunately, the United States incarcerates more people than in any other country in the world. Hundreds of thousands are arrested for the possession of marijuana each year. Washington D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier has said, “Marijuana smokers are not going to attack and kill a cop. They just want to get a bag of chips and relax. Alcohol is a much bigger problem.”
Benefits Of Medical Marijuana
Instead of just focusing on the political discussions about drug policies at the Thanksgiving table, you should also talk about the benefits of medical marijuana. As you know, medical marijuana has many benefits. More and more state governments are also recognizing the medical benefits of cannabis. There now are 36 states in the country that have recognized the medical use of cannabis and 4 U.S. territories as well.
Scientists all over the world continue to conduct in-depth clinical studies which proves the ability of marijuana to help with ailments such as cancer, epilepsy, AIDS, PMS, glaucoma, fibromyalgia, arthritis, chronic pain, nausea, muscle spasms, and more. All of this is possible because of our body’s endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is a complex network of receptors located throughout our bodies. The system’s main function is to maintain bodily homeostasis—biological harmony in response to changes in the environment. These receptors are in areas such as the brain, skin, bones, digestive system, nervous system, and more.
Medical marijuana has parts of the plant called cannabinoids like THC and CBD. These cannabinoids are processed through the endocannabinoid system to induce pain relief, help with stress and anxiety, relieve nausea symptoms, and many more things.
Most have now heard of CBD – the chemical compound that doesn’t contain psychoactive properties and therefore doesn’t create the feeling of being high. There is no denying that CBD is therapeutic for pain, insomnia, inflammation, and epilepsy, to name a few. Specifically, the FDA has even approved a CBD based drug called Epidolex that helps those-particularly children- dealing with epilepsy. The FDA has also approved three cannabinoid-based medicines derived from isolated synthetics: Marinol, Syndros, and Cesamet. These all help patients, such as cancer patients, with nausea and appetite issues. So, even the FDA is beginning to recognize the medical benefits of cannabis.
Medical Marijuana For Pain
One area to particularly focus your conversation about medical marijuana at Thanksgiving is its ability to help with pain. And don’t get this confused with just physical pain. Medical marijuana helps millions of Americans every single day with psychological pain and issues they may be dealing with. It does all of this without the habit-forming properties of many pain and anxiety medications.
Many who are sensitive to NSAIDs like Aleve or Advil due to issues with their kidneys, ulcers, or GERD find marijuana more effective and without side effects. Those with multiple sclerosis or general nerve pain have few options to remedy their pain and the prescribed opiates that do exist like Lyrica and Neurontin are highly sedating. These patients find that using medical marijuana allows them to perform activities they were previously unable to without feeling disengaged and lethargic.
Medical marijuana is often used for PTSD and anxiety instead of medications such as benzodiazepines, anti-depressants, or anxiolytics. For a lot of people taking these types of medications, there can be a great deal of side effects. These side effects include drowsiness, sedation, flat affect, sexual dysfunction, dependency, nausea and constipation, and even suicidal thoughts.
As you can see, these side effects leave a lot of people taking traditional medications for PTSD and anxiety at risk for worsening mental health symptoms. So why does medical marijuana help PTSD and anxiety sufferers? THC in medical cannabis interacts with the endocannabinoid system in our bodies which is known to play a big part of our ability to deal with fear, stress, and anxiety.
While this list is not meant to be exhaustive, it should provide many tips to share around the Thanksgiving table about the benefits of marijuana. Ultimately, the decision about whether medical marijuana is right for you is your choice. While you may feel it is important to go over your thoughts about medical marijuana with your family, it ultimately isn’t up to them. You need to do whatever is best for your health and wellbeing. Hopefully, though, this may make it a little easier to have a conversation with your family about medical cannabis at Thanksgiving.
And, if you feel you may benefit from medical marijuana a Maryland or Delaware medical marijuana doctor at Green Relief Health can help you through the medical cannabis certification process.