woman exhaling smoke

Believe it or not, there are still a ton of people out there who have outdated information and still believe that cannabis is a gateway drug.

If you are a regular cannabis consumer, you no doubt know that the gateway myth is a complete lie.

The latest science will tell you it’s a lie and even the U.S. government has admitted that “most people who use marijuana do not go on to use other, ‘harder’ substances.”

But the idea that cannabis consumption will lead to a life of substance abuse and moral decay has always been at the heart of the prohibitionist message.

This is a message that people have been living with for almost a century and is still ingrained in a lot of minds. These are people who have not had the chance to learn about the mind-boggling benefits of marijuana.

Debunking the myth through science is crucial, but so is flipping the misconception on its head and showing how cannabis really works. We have to show people how it can actually enhance a person’s life – if used responsibly.

Here are 9 ways cannabis can be a gateway to health and wellness.

#1) A Gateway to Happiness

woman with sunglasses, smiling

It is not uncommon for the responsible cannabis consumer to generally feel good about life!

I’m not only talking about happiness in the euphoric sense but something much deeper.

Cannabis, with the right strain and dosage, has been proven to relieve anxiety, depression, and PTSD.

It can also safely help with a lot of other health issues that might interfere with our level of happiness, things like chronic pain, arthritis, multiple sclerosis – and so much more.

Of course happiness is a broad concept that covers a lot of life aspects – don’t be surprised if you associate some of these other gateway effects with happiness, too!

#2) A Gateway to Productivity

men using a laptop next to a waterfall

For a lot of people, cannabis allows them to achieve at the highest level.

As with everything on this list, cannabis can go both ways here. Using too much or hitting the herb at the wrong time of day or without the right kind of intent can be very counterproductive for a lot of people.

But understanding how it affects you and why you use it – as well as the best time of day to ingest – can enhance productivity from more than one angle.

Maybe you consume cannabis for medical purposes that might otherwise keep you sidelined, or you use it to find your creative flow, or to simply decompress at the end of the day while coming up with some ideas for tomorrow’s to-do list.

Once you’ve got your intent figured out, your productivity level then depends on figuring out the best strain, dosage, and method of delivery – finding your ultimate regimen.

For some people this regimen could look like having a microdose or two throughout the day, for others it might be a few puffs in the evening or a portion of an edible in the morning.

With literally thousands of combinations, finding the best regimen for YOU can take a lot of mindfulness, self-control, and of course safe access to quality cannabis products. All of these things require a solid approach to cannabis education, understanding how we as a society can make the most out of this special plant.

Cannabis Health Summit graphic

If you’re wondering how to reach some of these ‘gateways’, be sure to check out Green Flower’s free virtual Cannabis Health Summit!

#3) A Gateway to Creativity and Focus

man conducting symphony

A lot of creative professionals, myself included, use cannabis to get in the zone.

Plenty of artists, writers and innovators have gained from cannabis by finding a balance between this medicine and their work.

Don’t think you have to be the next Steve Jobs or whatever. There are a ton of professionals out there who find all sorts of creative sparks with cannabis.

When I’m working on a project or an article or brainstorming, bringing a little bit of pot into the equation can help me see things in a whole new light. Plus it can help me get into a nice flow state and forget about the fact that I’m spending most of my time alone in a room with a computer.

And although creativity and focus are things that we can never have too much of, you don’t have to be medicating all the time to achieve these benefits with cannabis (see section on productivity).

The important thing is to find a balance in your work between creative and executive functions. Know how cannabis can serve or take away from each.

#4) A Gateway to Better Sex

man and woman engage in foreplay outside

Pot is a well-known aphrodisiac that can really turn sex into a completely different experience.

A little bit of cannabis in the bedroom can go a long way. Sexologist and couples coach Nick Karras went into great detail on the matter when I talked to him for my article on cannabis and sex.

This can be a great thing for couples who have found that their sex lives are lacking or have become monotonous.

And of course having better sex can lead to a stronger, happier relationship. Who wouldn’t want that?

#5) A Gateway to Empathy

woman talks to grandma

Some of the most meaningful conversations of my life have been fueled by a strong current of cannabis-induced empathy.

Empathy is the ability to share and understand the feelings of others. And like creativity, it is something we can use a whole lot more of.

Marijuana’s ability to enhance empathy has saved marriages, healed family conflicts, and even cemented professional relationships.

That may sound strange to anybody who’s never experienced the cannabis high before, but it really works. Maybe you’ve had a different experience with pot – but I’m not the only person who has gained from cannabis in this way.

The psychoactive experience is such that it can allow you to get into the mindset of others, to truly feel and understand another person’s position. It can make a person generally feel more sensitive, curious and appreciative.

That’s powerful stuff.

#6) A Gateway to Self-Reflection

Entrepreneur Cam tells the world how cannabis helped him understand he needed
professional help for depression in this #ComingOutGreen video.

The truth is the psychoactive experience has the potential to teach a lot of things – if approached wisely.

This is one of the reasons why cannabis can be so therapeutic when it comes to things like depression or anxiety.

I tend to bristle at the assumption that people use pot to run away from their problems as opposed to dealing with them. Sure there are plenty of people who indeed use cannabis to basically check out, but there are an equal number if not more who use it to really reflect and be honest with themselves.

I can think of several times in my life where I was facing a serious challenge and a special cannabis session got me into the right mindset, giving me the perspective I needed to make the most out of the situation.

Cannabis has allowed me to listen to and understand my heart, body and mind.

#7) A Gateway to Being a Better Parent

parents playing with their child during sunset

Pot and parenting may be a controversial topic for some, but it doesn’t have to be.

For a lot of parents, cannabis is a godsend.

Maybe it helps you get into the mindset of your kids, or allows you to decompress at night when they’re asleep, or treats a medical situation weighing heavily on the family.

So many powerful examples here of how this plant has acted as a tremendous element of healing, unity, peace and happiness.

Can cannabis make you a bad parent? Sure. So can alcohol or Netflix or working too much.

A lot of cannabis consuming parents find what works best for them and develop their own set of rules to keep the herb from interfering with their responsibilities.

#8) A Gateway to Pain Management

graphic of neck pain

The quality of life can go down pretty fast if you’re in constant pain. Cannabis can help – if you find the right strain.

Physical pain seems to be the thing that people have most trouble with, and a lot of them say that cannabis helps better than anything else.

This is significant in that the opiate situation in the United States and in other parts of the world is absolutely out of control. In the US alone 44 people die each day from pain meds.

That is both tragic and insane.

But in states that allow for medical marijuana, opiate fatalities were down by 25 percent as of August 2014.

Once cannabis education takes hold and more physicians come on board, these disturbing fatality rates should continue to plummet.

#9) A Gateway to All around Health

Every week, researchers learn more about the human endocannabinoid system and how cannabis interacts with our bodies in an effort to regulate a ton of important processes like appetite, mood, sensitivity to pain, and fertility.

In fact, a lot of researchers are starting to suspect that many illnesses and ailments are directly related to endocannabinoid deficiencies.

The idea here is that cannabis can be used to bolster that endocannabinoid system and promote homeostasis. This is why the benefits of marijuana cover such a wide spectrum.

That’s fantastic news and further confirmation of humanity’s relationship with this plant over the past several thousand years!

If you agree that cannabis can indeed be a gateway to health and wellness, share this article with everybody you know – spread the good message!