While cannabis has only been legalized for a few years now, the growth of cannabis users should not be underestimated. In fact, the research on 28 August 2022 conducted by US Gallup consulting firm shows that 16% of Americans smoked cannabis in the last week before the poll initiation, while only 11% of the respondents smoked nicotine in the same period. This phenomenon proves that more people are adopting cannabis as their daily necessity.
However, this behavior transformation does not indicate that cannabis has been completely accepted by society. We can still witness cannabis users battling stigmatizations that linger to this day, socially excluding them from their surroundings. This situation is significantly prevalent in the countries implementing more punitive cannabis laws that exercise severe punishments for consuming cannabis.
These adverse stereotypes are predictable because the stigmatization of cannabis has been rooted for ages. Prior to the age of Christianity, cannabis was widely consumed for its medical properties. It was even considered an important analgesic, antidepressant, and sedative.
However, this early reputation had to deteriorate due to the rise of the ‘hippie’ culture that triggered the use of cannabis solely for recreational purposes. Furthermore, in the early 20th century, cannabis development also faced a declining number of studies resulting from the inconsistency in determining its chemical components and potency.
With this minimum underlying scientific research on cannabis, the public started criminalizing cannabis users and heavily correlated them to infringements, such as rape, murder, and stealing. As a result, a stricter law on cannabis was initiated and supported by high-ranking officials taking advantage of the pre-existing propaganda to gain publicity. These anti-cannabis political campaigns that exaggerate cannabis psychoactive impacts successfully mold the negative perceptions of cannabis users.
Despite being heavily stigmatized for years and years, cannabis eventually finds a glimmer of hope. Thanks to the significant influence of the recent mass media that depicts cannabis in a positive light, cannabis stigma has begun to fade away.
The increasing acceptance from the public has initiated changes in the laws associated with cannabis usage, promoting less stringent restrictions. More states have been legalizing cannabis, primarily for its medical use, but a small portion of these states even allow cannabis for recreational purposes.
However, the fight to eliminate the cannabis stigma is far from over. There will always be two opposing sides: one that defends cannabis for its potential medical benefits outweighing the side effects, and the other that focuses merely on the negatives. Therefore, cannabis users and businesses must be prepared to face the lingering stigma and discover a way to build a positive argument about cannabis usage.
Whether you are an active cannabis consumer or business owner, let’s discuss how you can help end the cannabis stigma.
#1 Start the discussion
If you are not willing to start the discussion, who will? As a cannabis user or business owner, initiating a conversation about cannabis consumption should be on your agenda. Amid the heavy stigmatization, there lies a lack of understanding and, worse, misconceptions. You may consider starting this alignment journey in areas with a higher acceptance of cannabis, meaning the states where cannabis has been legalized. This way, you can effectively communicate your messages to a more open-minded community with less prejudice.
#2 Get personal
While providing scientific evidence is great, you will be able to catch people’s attention even more by giving real-life testimonials as a cannabis user or business owner. You can list down all the medical benefits you receive from consuming cannabis. Many people may have known widespread benefits, such as reducing pain, relieving anxiety, and stimulating appetite. However, they may not be aware of the less commercial ones, which include relieving insomnia, treating fungal infections, and promoting bone growth.
Cannabis vaping is the fastest way to obtain these effects since it goes to your lung directly instead of digesting the substances by your stomach first. But it’s quite important to choose a qualified cannabis vaporizer to ensure user’s health and a comfortable vaping experience. Aside from these benefits, some cannabis users also experience increased creativity that can help them finish their work in an extraordinary way. Which benefits have you been experiencing? Get ready to show and tell!
#3 Verbalize the ‘negatives’
If you only discuss how cannabis helps you, some people may get defensive and begin to counter your argument. Now, it is time for you to clear out the misconceptions regarding cannabis side effects.
One of the most popular myths surrounding cannabis consumption is the death toll. Your mission is to clarify how consuming cannabis is not the culprit. Instead, ‘bad high’ is what people should avoid. However, the fun fact is that ‘bad high’ is not considered a life-threatening situation, as stated by Peter Greenspoon, MD, a primary care physician at Massachusetts General Hospitals. He even uttered that there had been no case of death due to cannabis consumption.
This ‘bad high’ phenomenon is tightly associated with anxiety and panic attacks, commonly occurring when consumers are registered with an incorrect strain of cannabis irrelevant to their symptoms. For instance, cannabis consumers that aim to alleviate their anxiety should go for the relaxation-inducing Indica strain. Meanwhile, those that plan to energize themselves should consume the Sativa strain that will increase their alertness and creativity. By explaining this concept to the non-users, you will be able to accentuate the differences among cannabis strains .
#4 Stay productive
This tip is relevant to cannabis consumers. Consuming cannabis can reflect negatively when you can not complete anything on your to-do list. The appropriate way to eliminate cannabis stigma is to keep yourself productive and active physically and socially. By showcasing this positive behavior, people will be able to acknowledge how cannabis can be a healthy part of anyone’s life.
#5 Modernized your cannabis consumption
The most recent development in cannabis products has introduced ‘cool’ cannabis tools to make you appear more sophisticated is cannabis vape pen. It can be your go-to device to consume cannabis with style and there are a range of cannabis vaporizer options available for your choosing, including the OG 510-threaded cartridges or disposable cannabis vape devices. They also come in different colors, materials and technologies inserted that you can match with your personality. Stand out and stay classy!
Cannabis stigma is definitely not an overnight issue to fix. However, with the combined efforts of all cannabis consumers and business owners, we may be able to achieve a future where cannabis is welcomed by society with open hands. This journey can start with you!