Know somebody who could benefit from medical cannabis? Better hone your approach first.
Almost all of us have friends or family members who could potentially benefit from medical marijuana.
Personally, my stepfather is fighting his second round of cancer, as is one of my friends.
Talking to someone about his or her medical condition(s) is not easy. Medical issues can be a touchy subject, and also very personal.
Often, people are embarrassed to talk about their condition(s), which makes it hard to discuss options for treatment. This is true of all treatments, not just cannabis related treatments.
Even if people are open about their condition, they may not be open to learning about cannabis as a treatment option. After almost a century of negative propaganda, generations of people are still in the dark about the benefits of cannabis.
Whatever the situation, we want and need to be able to talk about cannabis, to have honest, open conversations about it with the people we care about most.
How to approach someone about using cannabis as medicine
Approaching friends and family who you think might be on the fence about cannabis, can be an intimidating thought. And the reality is, we’re not doing anybody any favors by refraining from bringing up the topic of cannabis.
There are certain methods you can use to open up the dialogue.
1.) Set and Setting are crucial.
I recently approached an old friend who used to be 100% anti-cannabis when I overheard him talking about potentially using cannabis to help treat his cancer.
I chose to initially talk to a couple of our mutual friends who are in our 'circle of trust' to see what they thought. Not in a gossipy way, but in a way that was obviously out of concern and a desire to help. They supported the idea of opening a conversation with him.
I then chose to talk to him when we were alone. I told him I'd like to help him explore the idea of using cannabis as medicine, and if he wanted to, the door was open to talk with me about it anytime.
Initially, he didn't want to talk. He just smiled and said thanks and we moved on with our day. But the seed was planted – without my pushing him. Within a week he had a bunch of questions for me, and recently, he made his first dispensary visit.
2. Remember, not everyone is open-minded about the idea of using cannabis as medicine.
My 60-year-old father-in-law is a different situation. He was very, very against using cannabis as medicine. He had been taught for decades that cannabis was bad.
Approaching him was a much different matter than approaching my friend. I knew even the word cannabis, or any other word used in place of cannabis, would pull a trigger that would close the door shut on the idea almost immediately.
So how do you get around this? For starters you have to accept that some people may take more time than others to open their minds, and others may never be willing to learn about cannabis as medicine.
If you try to open up the conversation, and they resist, let it be. You planted a seed. Leave the door open on the discussion, and let go.
3. Talk about your own cannabis use and knowledge with people you trust who are around this person you care about.
With my father-in-law, I didn't approach him with the idea of using cannabis as medicine. Instead, I talked to people around him and presented them with facts.
As misconceptions die out, and the myths are replaced with science and facts, promoting cannabis as medicine isn’t such a 'tough sell' anymore. The scientific research is here now, as are the examples of medical cannabis working and improving lives.
Everyone wants to feel better, and eventually if someone hears about cannabis enough, and what they are hearing is credible, eventually they will get curious. That is what has happened with my father-in-law, and countless others.
My father in law isn't using cannabis as medicine, yet. That's due to work related reasons. But I can already tell that when he retires he will be very open to using smokeless forms of cannabis such as salves and other topicals, and his body will be better off for it.
When you put knowledge out there, and are consistent, eventually people start to listen, and become interested in learning more. We all want to feel better and improve their health.
Before you can educate anybody about this plant, you have to educate yourself first.
Anecdotal information only goes so far, and far-fetched claims do nothing to help your cause. Be truthful about what cannabis can do, but also be truthful about what cannabis can't do.
Actually show them the latest research. Articles are a great introduction, as are videos and classes. Ask them their opinion – you’d be surprised how fast this starts a medical marijuana dialogue going.
Two very, very good opportunities are going on here at Green Flower that are perfect for helping educate friends and family about the topic of cannabis as medicine.
Paul Armentano, Deputy Director of NORML, is the special guest on a course called 'Think There Isn't Enough Scientific Research About Cannabis? Think Again!'
Paul is one of the most brilliant minds in the entire cannabis world, with years of knowledge about scientific studies related to cannabis. Anyone who tells you that 'there needs to be more research' needs to be immediately referred to this course.
Another huge opportunity is a three part mini documentary series Green Flower is releasing right now dealing specifically with the topic of 'Cannabis as Medicine.' I encourage all readers to check out the videos, and share them with everyone you know.
Have you talked to a friend or family member who was, or is, on the fence about using cannabis as medicine? If so, please share your story in the comments below so that others can be encouraged and learn from your experience.
Have you ever approached a friend or family member about using cannabis as medicine?