A news report on medical cannabis in 2014 is usually not much different than the news reports presented in 2004, 1994 or even 1984. The viewer always sees the same thing: stock footage of people with long hair smoking huge joints and exhaling vast plumes of smoke into the camera. This sensationalist, tabloid journalism is supposed to accurately convey medical cannabis, but is really a total misrepresentation of what it has become.
In reality, the continual expansion of medical cannabis has brought with it a wide array of products and delivery methods, the vast majority of which are conventional healthcare products:
Yes, you can still buy some bud and have a smoke, should you wish, but you can get your cannabinoids in a whole slew of healthier ways.
Yet most in the mainstream media appear incapable or unwilling to show this side of medical cannabis. Perhaps they think that describing alternative and socially acceptable delivery methods would encourage use.
Well, they’re probably right. But perhaps the media needs to think a little more deeply about this issue: and whether encouraging use of a CBD skin lotion is really something to be afraid of.
The mainstream media’s stubborn refusal to say anything nice about cannabis – ever – surely must change in the next few years. It feels inevitable now. This inevitability partly stems from the growing library of scientific research confirming the medical benefits of cannabinoids, partly from the testimonials of patients with serious health conditions… and partly from these alternatives to smoking which have come to market.
While I’ll discuss the science and patient testimonials of medical cannabis in other articles, I’d like to address this third aspect today – because these alternative delivery methods have really changed the ball game in two huge ways:
1) It Means You Don’t Have To Smoke Cannabis
The idea of smoking a health supplement is a very strange and unappealing idea for most of us. It just isn’t something we want to do. Therefore, providing conventional and safer delivery methods opens up medical cannabis to millions of people who otherwise wouldn’t be willing to try it. It brings cannabis into the medical mainstream.
Let’s face it, the first major taboo of cannabis is that it’s smoked. The image of young people smoking joints has done severe damage to the reputation of cannabis – and as we’ve become ever more health conscious as a society this damage has only increased.
I should add that, generally speaking, smoking has justified that taboo status in modern society, thanks to the disastrous effects smoke has on the lungs and the body at large: especially in the case of tobacco smoking, which is among the biggest mass murderers the world has ever seen.
And while cannabis is still typically smoked (or vaped) when used recreationally, when used medicinally things are changing fast. This is, of course, entirely logical: by using tinctures or lotions you won’t be bringing toxins and carcinogens into your body – and if you’re already seriously ill why would you want to poison yourself?
2) It Means Non-Intoxicating Cannabinoid Treatments Are Now Available
Smoking is the first taboo of “marijuana”, the second is the high. Products which are made predominantly from CBD can be consumed without that high. Products loaded with THC can also be used as skin lotions and suppositories without any intoxication.
Not only that but with awareness growing about THC-Acid (or THCA) – the non-intoxicating precursor to THC – products will surely be soon hitting the shelves rich in THCA. These will likely include shakes, smoothies, juices and food items. In this non-intoxicating form THCA has health benefits which should not be underestimated.
Breaking these two taboos that have long plagued cannabis will go a long way towards repairing its reputation. Ultimately this is a profoundly medicinal plant, and now that the general public are starting to believe that medical cannabis is real and not just an excuse for hippies to get some weed, the public perception will see a 180 degree change.
It’ll go from being a dangerous narcotic that you want to keep away from your kids at all cost to something you store in your medicine cabinet.
Cannabis & Toxins
I want to write a little something more about the toxins associated with cannabis smoke. It amazes me how respectable science journals and supposedly trustworthy media sources continue to miss this point:
There is a world of difference between a substance being toxic and a substance when set alight being toxic.
Here’s an example to show you what I mean: I could set light to my TV and then breathe in the fumes that came from the fire. There would, indeed, be toxic compounds taken into my lungs. But you would never say of a television that “it is toxic”. Televisions aren’t toxic – smoke is toxic.
By setting light to anything you’ll be releasing toxins in the smoke – and this is true of cannabis smoke as much as anything else. Smoke is just bad for us, plain and simple.
However, there is no evidence that salves, capsules and tinctures containing cannabinoids are in any way bad for us. On the contrary, plenty of evidence has accumulated proving that cannabinoids are phenomenally good for human health: for both the seriously ill and for those of us who don’t want to become seriously ill.
Yet, the media continues to look on with suspicion. It continues to see cannabis, or “marijuana” as they still insist on calling it, as a bad drug exacting an enormous toll on society.
Gradually that old image is being replaced with a more accurate and honest one, and playing its part in the transformation is the wealth of medical cannabis products lining the shelves of dispensaries and online stores; products presented in inoffensive, non-threatening packaging… and without a joint anywhere to be seen.
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