Many in the cannabis movement-cum-industry are tireless crusaders who are reminiscent of activist legend Jack Herer, crossing the continent to educate patients, professionals, policy makers, and the average consumer.
These efforts are often intended to give citizens and voters the insight and understanding required to appreciate—and responsibly leverage—the healing properties of the cannabis herb. This obviously includes those who help to pass ballot initiatives by sharing credible, science-based information with friends, family, and social media.
Mind, Body, Spirit
In late January, Green Flower Media held a two-day educational event dubbed the Cannabis Health Summit. It featured 18 speakers, all delivering engaging TED Talk-style presentations that totalled more than 13 hours of lectures. To participants, the experience was like attending an intense hybrid college graduate course in botany, psychology, political science, public policy, chemistry, medicine, and business.
Such a number of speakers, delivering this volume of information, obviously covered a wide range of topics. However, several themes emerged as takeaways for participants. One of these was a comprehensive mental framework and approach for the consideration of cannabis therapy and its medical efficacy that encompasses mind, body, and spirit. Think terpenes meets yoga meets high-quality vaporizors.
More Than Cancer & Epilepsy
If one considers that cannabis medicine helps not only physical ailments such as pain, inflammation, and nausea, but also deftly combats psychological conditions like anxiety, depression, and PTSD, it soon becomes apparent that pot is a plant that possesses a special relationship with the human body. This includes the vast network of targeted receptors within the endocannabinoid system.
If theories that modern humans overwhelmingly suffer from endocannabinoid deficiency are true, it means that we must supplement our bodies—which endure extremely high levels of processed food, pollution, and stress—with phytocannabinoids from sources such as cannabis. At the risk of waxing philosophical, it could be argued that cannabis has a relationship with the human spirit.
Several speakers addressed issues that exceeded the topic of physical health, also discussing personal happiness, contentment, and the optimization of one’s career and family life. Other presenters dropped heavy science in terms of cannabinoids, terpenes, trichomes, the entourage effect, and endocannabinoid deficiency. Viewers were inundated with solid information, and even enlightenment, from insightful frontline experts, including doctors, researchers, and activist leaders.
Readers who are in the least bit curious about any of these presentations are in for a treat. Those who missed this event can purchase the entire Cannabis Health Summit from Green Flower Media, either streamed in high definition ($67) or as a set of DVDs ($97).
Investment in Education
Those habituated to getting all of their online education free of cost, via sources like YouTube, should consider how much they pay on a monthly basis for products and services such as cable TV, lunch with coworkers, drinks at a bar, or pizza (yea, I went there). At the sake of over dramatizing the issue, this collection of bleeding edge presentations, freshly curated and captured in 2016, is a bargain—and worth depriving yourself of something else if you’re on a tight budget (as are many patients).
Knowledge is power, and power is required to win the culture war in which the cannabis legalization movement currently struggles. We can keep whining about prohibition and lack of freedom, or we can put our money where our mouth is and invest in an education that can result in legalization that will literally change society and reinvigorate the economy in a way that few comprehend.
I can’t think of a better way to leverage a work commute than listening to the audio portion of the lectures from this event. Even if one’s drive is only 10 minutes per day, using that time to get educated about the physical and psychological efficacy of this herb is a great way to defy prohibition and help ensure that the current wave of legalization doesn’t cease. Listening to these presentations when cycling, running, or at the gym is a great way to positively multitask.
Defy Stigma & Ignorance
A point of clarification: This isn’t a pitch for Green Flower; it’s a pitch for education. Cannabis health education. The only reason that a few states in this great country have legalized adult use of this natural herb—and we’re currently enjoying a wave of permitted use slowly emerging across the country—is because a majority percentage of voters became educated and voted as such. They realized that cannabis legalization was not only good for them, but beneficial to their communities and society overall.
The next time you’re wishing you had a better selection of, or less expensive, cannabis—or that you lived in a state that permits adult use—remember that these reforms occur only when voters, and sometimes politicians, get educated. Help spread the word. Don’t underestimate your influence.
First, however, ensure that your own knowledge is solid. Dive into educational content like the Cannabis Health Summit or read Whaxy.com. Follow researchers, doctors, and experts on social media. Become obsessed with acquiring knowledge of the cannabis plant and how it synergistically interacts with the endocannabinoid system of the human body.
Learn amazing things, like how all mammals have an endocannabinoid system, meaning that medicating pets with cannabinoids and terpenes to help them achieve and maintain health equilibrium is real. In fact, it will soon be a multi-billion dollar market. Americans love their pets, and if cannabinoids can make a pampered pooch happier, healthier, more energetic, or extend its life, consumers will spend their hard earned disposable dollars.
In the end, it is less important where readers gain their knowledge than the fact that they simply get it. Cannabis as medicine is a complex and nuanced science that even the world’s foremost experts—many of whom spoke at the Cannabis Health Summit—do not fully understand. Much more research is necessary.
It is only by educating voters that the current wave of legalization will continue to roll across the United States, eventually providing safe access to laboratory-tested, high-quality cannabis for both medicinal and adult use to the more than 317 million inhabitants of the country, including children and seniors.
However, until more stigma and misperception is wiped out, public debate will continue to center around fear mongering, misinformation, and propaganda. Voters will continue to be mired in ignorance and possibly make what is the wrong choice—not only for society and their fellow humans who are very sick, but also for themselves.
Fear not. Word is getting out. Average Americans, who typically relegate cannabis to nothing more than a cartoonish whimsical meme related to the munchies or Cheech & Chong are finally beginning to understand. Major media outlets such as CNN, FOX, and MSNBC are airing documentaries related to the medical, economic, and social benefits of cannabis.
When many of the world’s foremost experts gather to share their knowledge and experience, it is a relatively rare opportunity for viewers to expand their understanding of cannabis and how it serves both patients and society.
Gooey Rabinski is a senior technical writer and instructional designer who has contributed feature articles to magazines such as High Times, SKUNK, Heads, Weed World, Cannabis Health Journal, Green Thumb, and Treating Yourself. He is the author of Understanding Medical Marijuana, available on Amazon Kindle, and a contributing writer at Whaxy.com.