** Disclaimer: This post will be controversial for many. It might rub you the wrong way. It might even ruffle your feathers. (wait ...isn't that the same thing?) What others cliches could I use here ? 😉
Do cliches make you nutty ?
(confession : they make me nuts! But they are cliches because they are often true. Dang it!)
A favorite : you can't judge a book by its cover.
(how many times have you thought that?)
Well, I am eating those words right now. Big time. I'll explain-promise.
While we're at it, I have something else to confess:
I am officially a legal drug dealer.
Oh, THAT small thing? YES. And before you judge this book by its cover, please let me explain...
(at least not criminal)
... if you had told me a year ago I would work for a medical marijuana company I would have laughed out loud & then I would have kicked you in the shins. 😉
Because I have worked in medicine/traditional pharma for
18 years a long time ...
Because like most people, I had an idea in my mind of what a marijuana user looked like ...
And because (ignorantly) I had created two incredibly narrow categories marijuana users belong to :
1. The first was the recreational smoker.
(affectionately referred to as a pot head)
2. The other was the drug addict.
That’s it ... two embarrassingly narrow categories.
But, I have learned there is a huge, gaping middle ground that I knew very little about it; there is a place for medical marijuana and for thousands of people, it is their only relief.
(holy crap, it's a real thing in Canada now!)
Access to medical marijuana through a physician in Canada is new & groundbreaking (and completely exhilarating for someone who enjoys a good shake up, like me), so when I was offered a marketing job for a medical marijuana company, I just about pee'd my pants.
It was the kind of opportunity that had me jumping out of my skin with excitement AND struggling to catch a full breath because of the weight I felt with the hugeness (it's a word-google it-haha) of the opportunity. And, of course, my inner critic was right there to whisper : don't screw this up, Cate!
Have you ever felt like that?
And, the decision wasn’t nearly as difficult as I thought it would be.
In fact, it was easy.
(and that surprised even me)
There was no one thing that made me say yes to the job-it was a combination of personal knowledge (friends who use for many reasons), science (my degree), and an
obsessive insatiable appetite for learning.
And this post isn’t an attempt to convince you what I am doing is right (or wrong). While I understand it is a morally charged topic, I am not concerned with what other people think, I am at peace with my job.
...I wrote this post because perhaps you are fascinated by it all, just as I am.
If you are interested in what I watched & read, here is a link to a great journalism piece Dr. Sanjay Gupta did for CNN as well as a great book that helped provide context around the history & use of marijuana.
Doubt is healthy. Conversations about the "messy" stuff challenges our assumptions... so in the spirit of opening our minds and learning, I wanted to share with you a list of interesting facts about marijuana you may not know :
Did you know ...?
1. The earliest documented medical use of Cannabis (the plant which has become synonymous with marijuana) was in 2800 BCE by a Chinese Emperor named "Shen Nung". That is a loooong time ago!
2.Originally, Cannabis plants were cultivated and used for food, fibre, fuel, and shelter.
3. In the early 1900's Cannabis (and its derivatives) were prescribed for hundreds of symptoms & illnesses. Only when it was prohibited for political reasons did that change.
4. Two of the main chemicals in marijuana are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). THC is the psychoactive component (the "high) and CBD is the therapeutic component (medicinal properties, without the high) and patients can get strains with very little THC so they get symptom relief without feeling high (high CBD strains are given to children with seizure disorders).
5. Cannabis is typically classified as either an "Indica" or "Sativa"-the most common is a hybrid of the two. In broad terms, the Indica strains tend to relax and Sativa strains tend to stimulate.
6. Your body is full of cannabinoid receptors involved in multiple physiological processes in your body, which is why marijuana is being prescribed for pain, insomnia, anxiety, depression, seizures, appetite, MS, Parkinson's, dementia etc ...
7. The generally accepted stats around addiction rates are : marijuana = 9%, alcohol = 15%, cocaine = 20%, opiates = 23%, tobacco = 32%.
8. Marijuana can be consumed in several ways beyond smoking it : vaporizing, tinctures, oils you can cook with etc ... here is a more complete list.
9. Beer and marijuana may be related: beer hops in the same flowering family as marijuana? Who knew?
10. If you/relatives have a history of psychosis, marijuana is not your friend; it generally makes psychosis worse (a medical term used for some mental health illnesses such as schizophrenia).
And #11 ...the most important one : medical marijuana is absolutely not for everybody; the decision to use should not be taken lightly. Do your research.
Does anything on the list surprise you ?
Do you know someone who uses medical marijuana ?
Talk to me in the comments below ... 😉