Another ambitious year is upon us. A time for reflection, opportunities to become a fresh, new you living your best life as your most authentic self. But what about that skunk smell percolating from your canna-closet? Are your friends conscious that you are more than just high on life when you hang out? Is your desk stocked with eye drops, so your coworkers are unaware you microdose edibles every day to combat the anxiety you get before leaving the house? Are you over the ritual of Fabreezing the curtains before your mother drops by for Sunday dinner and have been wanting a way out? Let’s be honest, we all have a stigma with this plant. It is up to us to be brave enough to acknowledge it in order to end it.
We now know that 6 out of 10 Americans currently approve of medical cannabis use, so there is progress in the prohibition mindset. However, we deserve to live in a world where cannabis conversation can happen in a non-threatening manner. Where there is no room for cannabis in our closets unless it is for a personal grow. My “coming out” of the cannabis closet happened a year and a half ago, and the one thing I took away from the experience was: why didn’t I do it sooner? Once we get over the idea of fear and rejection, starting that conversation will not only open the door for communication, but it will open the door for more opportunities for not only yourself but those you educate in the process. There are a few factors you will want to consider before flinging the door wide open and letting the smoke pour out this holiday season.
The coming out process will be different for each individual and so should the approach. For some incredible amounts of anxiety and anguish will manifest only to find out, there was no reason to be worried at all. Others may have to reflect on what is most important: their family’s opinion of their health and wellness or their actual health and wellness. There will be negative experiences for some; there is no denying that. Location and culture does play a huge role in the reaction. Obviously for others like myself who was raised in a very liberal area in a very left state have an advantage over others who are living in Iowa and burying their consumption in a basement at 4:20 every day. Be considerate of those with differentiating opinions, and give those sensitive parties time. Maybe your Grandmother hearing that you would prefer some Larry OG with your latkes is not the best way to come out at that particular gathering. The last thing you want is to be part of the stigma when this is your opportunity to smash it into a million pieces. Show them you can enjoy a puff or two after pie and still go to work the next day, on time. Explain how it helps ease your stubborn sciatica and that Cannabidiol (CBD) is the future of our medicine cabinets, and the cannabis plant is actually a superfood that we should be consuming daily. Put your own personal touches on the conversation and be genuine and respectful if you want a genuine and respectful response.
Start with one person. It is not a race. You do not have to shout to everyone at Christmas dinner that you are growing six scrumptious clones of Mimosa that will lift their mood to the high heavens and take their pain away way faster than the bubbly brunch beverage they’re familiar with. Choose someone that you trust and have trusted in the past. Once you tell one person, it will be so much easier each time you have the conversation. You will be more clear and concise and conscious each time you speak your truth. The nerves will turn to excitement and soon you will want to be honest and open with more people. And more people will want to be more honest and open with you. You might be surprised by how many people you enlighten to take their life to reach new highs.
Be prepared for a lot of questions. Since coming out of the cannabis closet, not a day goes by where an individual is not asking my opinion on a CBD brand or if cannabis can help with a particular ailment. I want to make very clear that this does not make me an expert, and coming out to your friends and family does not make you an expert either. Cannabis wellness is a very personal journey, and one can only guide someone to the path of their own enlightenment with the plant. Be clear that there are health benefits and risks to this plant and urge them to find the right education either through cannabis wellness events or educational websites and online classes or asking a reputable budtender in their local area what would work best for them individually. The abundance of knowledge is out there, and every day we are learning something new and wonderful about the plant. There will be curious minds, humans are hungry for knowledge so educate yourself as much as possible on your own consumption and consciousness with the plant before opening that closet door.
A majority of your friends and family will be hearing the positive sides of the cannabis plant for the first time. Be patient and considerate with them, and they will be much more responsive. No one wants to feel like an idiot or that they are being left out of the party. If we maintain a certain level with respect, then the outcome, whether supportive or not, should be unprejudiced. An “agree to disagree” will come up from time to time. The important thing to take away is that if we are putting our best face forward every day to break the stigma of the plant for people and for the future of wellness and sustainability, then we have nothing to worry about. We are living our best life, and the grass is definitely greener on our side.