Everyone's family treats marijuana differently: Maybe your parents caught you with a joint in high school and have since accepted that you smoke cannabis, or maybe they're curious about the plant for arthritis, insomnia, or stress relief. Even if they grew up with "reefer madness," discussing marijuana with your family over the holidays can be an opportunity to share with them how it can be used as a wellness tool to improve your life, and society at large.
For starters, you don't need to proselytize: While cannabis can be good for your health, not everyone is open to using it. That doesn't mean, however, they wouldn't be able to appreciate the plant's contribution to public health as a whole.
The Numbers Show Marijuana is Saving Lives
For instance, states where medical marijuana is legal have lower opioid overdose fatalities than prohibition states. In fact, opioid overdoses decreased by an average of 25 percent in "green states". Moreover, pain patients often say they would rather use medical marijuana instead of opiates, which offers a safe, healthier alternative to risky pharmaceuticals. Some health professionals have even begun to incorporate cannabis into opioid harm reduction. High Sobriety, a rehab facility in Los Angeles, for example, gives patients the choice to use cannabis as an "exit drug," offsetting the common misconception that it's a "gateway drug."
Tax Money from Marijuana is Making The World A Better Place
You could also share that legalizing cannabis is good for the economy. In California, legal cannabis is expected to generate up to $1 billion in tax revenues and $100 million in annual savings. While state regulators are still hashing out details before the January launch of California's adult use market, legal cannabis is expected to fund environmental cleanup, drug education, and university research on legalization, medical marijuana, and DUI protocols. And not to mention, DUI's happen less frequently in marijuana-legal states. In Colorado, for instance, DUI's dropped 33 percent in the first quarter of this year.
Marijuana Moms are the New Wine Moms
All in all, it's already old news that legalization hasn't lead to youth misconduct, drug addiction, or irresponsible marijuana use. In fact, it's been quite the opposite, with the demographic of cannabis consumers increasing in age - more and more, we're seeing working professionals and parents trying out cannabis products. While Millennials (ages 22-34) still comprise the majority of cannabis consumers, the next largest group are Generation Xers (ages 35-52). Marijuana moms are indeed becoming the new wine moms. Working professionals are increasingly using cannabis to cut back on or replace alcohol, pain meds, and sleeping pills. A survey of 10,000 California cannabis consumers found that 1 in 3 working professional use cannabis while on the job to boost focus or inspire creativity. The cannabis plant's new reputation as a wellness product, rather than just a "drug" to have fun with or a medicine reserved for the terminally ill, is expanding its reach across demographics. People who had never used cannabis before are now coming to see the plant differently.
Not Into Smoking? Beginners Can Try Literally Everything Else
Remind your family that cannabis no longer is perceived as just as weed in a ziplock. From topicals to vaporizers to predosed edibles, and for old-school bud loyalists, pre-rolled joints and quality flower, there's a variety of options for the cannabis naive to initiate a relationship with the plant. A beginner's guide can help new consumers better understand the basics of cannabis, like the difference between indica and sativa, and choose the best product based on their desired experience or effect, rather than having to sift through a list of esoteric strain labels. And if a novice consumer is hesitant to get high, they don't have to: Products like Ritual's 20:1 CBD tincture, Papa & Barkley's Releaf balm, and Select CBD Relax Lavender vape pen will deliver the benefits of cannabis without the psychoactive effect.
You can explain to your family that CBD (cannabidiol) is a non psychoactive chemical compound found in cannabis that's distinct from THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is better known for giving you a heady buzz. However, regardless of the compounds in a topical, you won't get high because they bypass the bloodstream, and provide only muscular relief and relaxation.
Once your family discovers the variety in today's cannabis, your dinner table conversation about the plant can become that much more nuanced and accurate. And if it goes well, perhaps the family can bond over it, too.