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We're living in the golden age of cannabis acceptance.
A whole universe of cannabis products from cannabis oils and concentrates to a buffet of edibles and cannabis drinks has arisen over the last couple of years to service the fiending masses.
However, as much as many of us would love to believe that the stigmas surrounding cannabis products are gone forever. The sad reality is that for many (especially those in the older generations), weed is still seen as a 'gateway drug' - a drug bent on ruining the futures of today's youth and turning them towards a path of crime and deviance.
While this is the furthest thing from the truth, cannabis was demonized heavily in the mainstream media for decades. It's been used as a tool to marginalize and oppress minorities with overreaching, unjustifiable punishments, which ironically ended up being the thing that actually ruined the lives of countless people.
The laws may have changed, but changing the perspectives and long-held beliefs of some people can be much more challenging.
Recently, House of Cannabis experts sat down with Jordan Wagman (bestselling cookbook author and a veteran chef with over 30 years of experience), to talk about how cannabis has changed his outlook, as well as how he's using his cannabis-infused cuisine to change the minds of others.
Everyone follows a different path through their lives, and we're all working towards the same goal - health, wellness, and prosperity.
The career you choose is something unique to your interests and talents, but the health and wellness portion is something that many of us struggle with for substantial portions of our lives.
For Jordan, Psoriasis changed his life. He was living in constant pain for many years. He traveled the world, seeking any treatments that he could find that might ease his daily symptoms.
Unexpectedly, Jordan found the greatest relief in cannabis products - made from a plant that he'd been using recreationally since his youth. Not only does he believe it eases his physical symptoms, but Jordan is adamant that cannabis helped him achieve new levels of positive mental health. He tells us,
“I truly have found my mental health, once I started consuming cannabis. I’ll say this to you, I never realized that I took cannabis when I was [a young man] for health and wellness. I only thought it was because I listened to the Grateful Dead, or because I had long hair and I was a ‘troublemaker’, but in truth, there was always a health and wellness component. I just wasn’t aware of it.”
With this in mind, it could be considered that many people that are regularly using cannabis products, whether it's for fun or for a specific purpose, may actually be self-healing and not even realizing it.
This means that although many users may not necessarily be treating their cannabis products like a medication, it may still be providing them benefits that they aren't even aware of.
As the science of cannabis products continues to evolve and expand, we're learning that the benefits of cannabis for each individual user depends on more than whether or not they're using sativa, indica, or hybrid cannabis strains.
Even Keswick's best cannabis strains can't be broken down into such generic categories. One area of cannabis research that's yielding incredibly interesting and useful information is terpenes. They're a compound that's created by the same part of the cannabis plant that also creates the plant's cannabinoids - namely the resinous trichomes.
Terpenes exist in many other plants and foods that we consume (over 20,000 have been identified in nature), but there are over 100 different terpenes that have been identified in cannabis thus far, which is pretty incredible.
Using specific terpenes in combination with cannabinoids is believed to create certain types of specific physical reactions when used. Jordan explains,
"Terpenes have a great impact on my body. Mind, body, soul – there’s that connection. I found my mental health when I found my physical health. So, the fact that I can take limonene or a very citrusy type of [terpene] profile, rub it on my hands, breathe it in, and calm me down – that has this amazing impact. When I combine that with different cannabinoids, then we create what we call ‘the entourage effect’, which really is all of the parts of the plant working together in harmony to create this amazing euphoric feeling.”
Taking the time to understand and explain the science of how cannabis products work, how different terpenes can potentially affect us, and which products function best for each person is critical to introducing new users to cannabis.
Through a better understanding of the Entourage Effect, new users can relax and enjoy the cannabis products they're trying, as well as shed the outdated stigmas they may be holding regarding the effects of cannabis.
In addition to continually exposing new potential cannabis users to further education, it's just as important to take the time to get to know them.
Everyone has a story, whether they're a cannabis consumer or not. Take the time to learn the stories of those who aren't familiar with cannabis, and what things led them to being interested in cannabis products enough to even open a dialogue?
Once you know a bit about their story, share yours with them. Why are you using cannabis products? Not everyone needs to be using it for pain relief or to help them sleep, but if you're using cannabis products for entertainment, tell them about why.
What feelings does cannabis give you? Why do you enjoy it? What are your favourite cannabis products? Why them, instead of others? Be open, honest, and transparent. Jordan adds,
“People have this story. People have this connection to the plant. It’s not only about ‘how high can we get’. It’s not only about the burnout, stoner and pothead image. Cannabis users today, we’re talking about people who are contributing members of society, we are successful people, regardless of how you define success.”
Humanize cannabis products for those that are leery. If they know you, they'll know that you don't fall into those old, negative stereotypes, so tell them about how and why cannabis products have positively impacted your journey.
The best way to remove stigmas is to show how false they are, and the most efficient way to do that with loved ones is to try and help them understand your story.
Even if they aren't eager to jump into trying cannabis products yourself, a good dialogue can be enough to get their internal wheels turning. Opinions don't often change overnight. Give them time to come around.
The more patient and understanding you are with them, the more they will be with you. Together, even if they don't end up using cannabis products, you can help them overcome the negative notions they've been carrying for cannabis.
Any of our House of Cannabis stores in Ontario are ready and eager to get to know you, as well as those you're trying to introduce to cannabis.
Let us help. Our team has all the in-depth education needed to answer any questions that new users need to make the right first cannabis product purchases.
No matter what you might be in the market for, we've definitely got something you'll like: pre-rolled joints, edibles, cannabis drinks, topicals, vape pens and cartridges, cannabis oils, concentrates, rolling papers, and of course, Keswick's best cannabis strains.
Our House of Cannabis store in Keswick, as well as all our locations across Ontario, are working hard to continue eliminating negative cannabis stigmas. This way, we can all move forward into the future as a team and take advantage of cannabis' benefits together.
As Jordan says,
“We’re here to change the world, and cannabis changes your world.”