Despite overwhelming public support, the stigma surrounding cannabis (I am going to refer to the plant species which includes marijuana and CBD throughout this blog) remains prominent. Several generations have been fed with misinformation about cannabis. Some people hold on to the old attitude that cannabis is about getting “high” and being lazy. This kind of mindset is what many cannabis users continue to face.
Nowadays, many people use cannabis to help with serious medical conditions. Doesn’t it seem odd that the FDA has approved Epidiolex (CBD), an oral solution for the treatment of seizures associated with two rare and severe forms of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome? The government even has a patent (patent no. 6,630,507) covering the potential use of non-psychoactive cannabinoids to protect the brain from damage or degeneration caused by certain diseases. And yet cannabis remains a schedule 1 drug. Interesting, isn't it?
Cannabis has been used medicinally for thousands of years in many cultures. Fast forward to 1910 where Mexican refugees brought, what they referred to as “marijuana” with them as they fled the violence of the Mexican Revolution. The plant became popular among people who rejected conventional society. Cannabis took on my different names ranging from reefer, marijuana, pot and more. “Reefer Madness” was in full effect.
In the 1920s, prohibition was repealed, and lawmakers decided to turn their attention towards marijuana. The plant was used by those who went against conventional society including jazz musicians, blacks and Mexicans. Lawmakers began to see the plant as a threat.
In 1937, marijuana became illegal in America by the passing of the Marihuana Tax Act and removing cannabis from the United States Pharmacopeia. A couple of years later, opponents of the plant began to claim that marijuana caused insanity, violence, crime, and death. 2 Cannabis was listed as a Schedule 1 drug according to The Controlled Substance Act of 1970 due to its “high potential for abuse and no medical use.” 3
The stigma brought on by lawmakers and past down from views heavily influenced by past generations. While still in its infancy, cannabis research is showing promising results. More and more people are becoming educated through facts instead of falsified beliefs.
Studies show that cannabis can be helpful in treating certain rare forms of epilepsy, nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy, and loss of appetite and weight loss associated with HIV/AIDS. In addition, some evidence suggests benefits of cannabis for chronic pain and multiple sclerosis symptoms. 4
So what can we do to break the stigma? Knowledge is a power tool for change. We should continually educate ourselves and others about the realities of cannabis as this may gradually help replace the stoner stigma. Let’s go over some talking points for the most common misconceptions about cannabis!
Misconception #1: CBD will get you high.
Reply #1: CBD is non-intoxicating so it will not get you high as it doesn’t contain the psychoactive component THC. Patients who use CBD oil or cannabis to treat chronic pain or other symptoms typically get relief from it, not a high.
Misconception #2: Cannabis is a gateway drug.
Reply #2: The majority of people who use cannabis do not go on to use other, "harder" substances. Cross-sensitization (A sensitivity reaction to a drug that predisposes a person to react similarly to a different, but related, drug 5) is not unique to marijuana. Alcohol and nicotine also prime the brain for a heightened response to other drugs and are also typically used before a person progresses to other, more harmful substances.
Misconception #3: You can use pharmaceuticals to treat your symptoms.
Reply #3: Some people react to pharmaceuticals differently than others. What may work for one person, may not work for another. Pharmaceuticals can also be addicting. Most pharmaceutical prescriptions have an average of 70 side effects. CBD has an average of zero.
Sadly the stigma still remains but thankfully decreasing overtime as more people, like you, are taking facts over opinions into consideration. Here at Ergo Hemp Co. it is our mission to help educate consumers about the amazing benefits of CBD. I hope this helps spark more educational and conversational dialogue. I truly believe more open conversations will lead to more research, legalization, and better health & wellness for all.
Disclaimer: Most research describing how CBD works is pre-clinical and based on animal studies so studies don’t always neatly transfer to human therapies. These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration (FDA). These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.