Opinion: I have seen the future, and it is green

Feb 23 2018, 5:30 am

Early in life, I was led to believe that cannabis was unhealthy and destructive (like many of us were). But in my early 30s, I became curious when I learned that cannabis could be used as a medicine.

This curiosity led me down a path to understand how cannabis could be part of a healthy lifestyle, and I have learned to use it to improve my own wellness.

Here are a few lessons that have helped me appreciate this plant for its personal health benefits, despite what I had previously been led to believe.

Cannabis legalization is the freedom of knowledge

The unhealthiest thing about cannabis is the lack of education and understanding around it.

Cannabis prohibition has blocked further research into all of its properties and benefits, and has prevented individuals from accessing the knowledge needed to make informed decisions around healthy consumption. Now, with legalization just around the corner, we have the opportunity to learn how to use cannabis to support our health.

Only once I began to learn the basics about cannabis was I able to make the right choices around the best ways I could consume it to meet my personal needs.

Cannabis is like food

It’s easy to become sick by eating the wrong foods, but education around nutrition and an understanding of which vitamins and minerals your body is deficient in can lead to better decision-making.

Cannabis is made up of compounds called cannabinoids that can help balance our bodies’ systems. Consume too much and the experience may become uncomfortable. Taking the time to understand what’s right for you is the first step to a positive experience with cannabis.

bethany rae cannabis

Image: Bethany Rae

Cannabis is a complex and highly personalized medicine

Cannabinoid therapy is being used as a treatment for a variety of diseases and conditions, many of which have stumped us for generations.

This conversation was enough to grab my attention. The challenge when using cannabis for medicinal purposes is that each individual has their own unique biochemistry which affects the way cannabis interacts in each body.

Some generalizations can be made. For instance, a sativa strain is more likely to provide a more energetic effect than an indica strain, but even then some people may find all strains to be a sedative. This amplifies the importance of getting to know your cannabis basics and beginning your exploration by starting low and going slow.

Education is the answer to the growing pains

At the end of the day, widespread knowledge of how to consume cannabis safely is the ultimate form of harm reduction. Cannabis has always been a part of our society, but legalization is forcing it into the spotlight and helping us engage in these important conversations.

Even if you don’t consider yourself to be a cannabis consumer, there may be someone in your home, workplace, or community who may experience health benefits from the knowledge of safe and healthy cannabis consumption.

Bethany RaeBethany Rae

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