Talking to Family Members about using Medicinal Cannabis

Based on factual information from 2017 and 2018, between 80 and 85 percent of Americans expressed support at the time, in one way or another, of the medical use of marijuana—with the recommendation of a doctor. Nearly everyone knows something about the recreational effects of cannabis, but many more may not be aware of how powerful cannabis is as a medicine.

It’s most likely the baby boomer generation that grew up with the most exposure to marijuana and its colorful reputation (and associated pros and cons) with the 60’s anti-war protests, the sexual revolution and drug culture of the decade, plus the historical, culture-shifting events surrounding politics and society. The 70’s brought a continuation of the movements and struggles of the 60’s, but with more pivotal changes and triumphs that would shape the remainder of the 20th century.

It’s also the multitude of baby boomers (mostly over 65) within the demographic that’s ironically most reluctant in supporting the use of cannabis for either medical or recreational purposes. As this generation continues to work through their own challenges of aging gracefully, they may find that medicinal cannabis is a valuable resource that can help them cope with and manage the wide range of aches, pains, and physical complications more effectively that come with aging.

So when it comes down to having conversations with friends, family, and especially parents, keep in mind that as much as it may sound like an impossible conversation to have, a few minutes of honest dialog may help improve someone’s quality of life immeasurably if there’s a medical condition that can be improved with medicinal cannabis, whether it’s for a condition you have or a condition of they’re coping with.


Yes…Cannabis is real medicine!

Information on medicinal cannabis is all over the place—online, in the newspapers, written about in magazine articles, and even discussed on TV talk shows. If you’re having difficulty convincing a loved one or convincing yourself that there is a benefit to be gained by using medicinal cannabis to treat many approved medical conditions, or in conjunction with prescribed medications, consider a simple trial use of a cannabis-infused oil, balm, or lotion to treat local pain. Here’s why:

Cannabis-infused topicals:

  • Help with localized pain management.
  • Absorb through the skin.
  • Don’t enter the bloodstream, so there’s no “high” experienced.
  • Can be applied without limit directly to the area causing pain.
  • Relieves skin irritations and itching quickly.
  • Relief from and even complete elimination of Psoriasis and its symptoms.
  • Inflammation reduction that can be aggressively targeted to specific areas.
  • Arthritis relief through the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabis.

These, plus other benefits can be obtained and experienced using medicinal cannabis in a prescribed manner. By acknowledging the fact that medicinal cannabis is real, with powerful compounds that can help manage symptoms that might otherwise be completely debilitating, convincing a family member who’s been reluctant to try it might not seem so daunting a task.


What’s in a name…

Sometimes, people respond differently to a name that gives more credibility to a product. In the case of the name “cannabis”, by teaching patients to call it by that name, they will have a better understanding and appreciation of the long history that connects and substantiates cannabis as a medicinal product.    


Using Medicinal Cannabis is Different from Recreational Use

If you’re talking with a family member about using medicinal cannabis, you can hopefully ease their anxieties by reassuring them that medicinal cannabis has been a breakthrough to help people suffering from many medical conditions improve their quality of life and that the stigma attached to using cannabis is not as drastic and one-sided as before.

One of the things you need to convey to them is that the marijuana they are taking is legal for the medical condition(s) they’re treating. If they feel a certain way about the substance from a political or moral viewpoint, reassure them that in this case, it’s a matter of health and an improvement for their lives that they’re able to include it as part of their therapy.  

If you’re the one who’s embarking on a regimen of medicinal cannabis to treat a medical condition, take the conversation to a personal level. By discussing things like why you’re choosing an alternative method of treatment, the dosage and potency of the cannabis you’re taking, and how you hope it will help alleviate your symptoms, they will more likely understand its importance and value to you as a means to improve your health.  


Feast on the Facts

In discussing the use of medicinal cannabis with a family member, some talking points you could consider in making a case for taking the drug or to substantiate your reasons for taking it are these:

  • There’s no risk of overdosing, and medicinal cannabis is safer than consuming alcohol.
  • There are five compounds in cannabis that are also incorporated in other prescribed medications.
  • Since 1968, the University of Mississippi has participated in research that’s been approved by the government and supported by a cannabis growing enterprise.
  • Based on a report from 2006, smoking cannabis could have a positive effect on safeguarding the lungs from the effects caused by cancer.
  • Delta-9-THC is a compound that’s found in cannabis, and a synthetic version of it was approved in 1985 for medical use in the United States.
  • Cannabis can begin reacting at the cellular level within a few minutes after inhaling it.
  • Swallowed cannabis can be even more powerful when processed by the liver.
  • One of the compounds found in cannabis is Vitamin A, which benefits skin health, vision, and bones as well as supports immunity and helps to lower cholesterol.


Keep up the conversation

Starting a conversation is hard to do, but there’s no reason to feel embarrassed by it. With the advances that have been made to understand the potential that the plant has for relieving discomfort, there’s almost no medical condition that cannot be helped with a form of medicinal cannabis.

One of the best things you can do, however, is come to the table with as much information as you can to help others understand the reasons and benefits of incorporating medicinal cannabis into theirs or your medical treatment.

It’s simply another tool in the medicine chest to help patients that are either family, friends, or yourself, get relief from the pain, discomfort, and negative side effects of diseases and prescribed medications.   

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