Breaking the cannabis stigma

Soundings presentation discusses the pros and cons of cannabis for both medical and recreational use.

On January 24th, the Nursing and Soundings Departments partnered up to host Cannabis for Health: Guidelines and Considerations, in which Director of the American Cannabis Nurses Association, Jessilyn Dolan, presented a lecture about the pros and cons of cannabis, particularly in the medical setting.

Soundings student, Haley Agan, shared her reaction to Dolan’s dissection of the topic. 

“I liked that she went over medicinal as well as recreational use,” Agan said. “She spoke very candidly about it, and that made me feel as if the topic of cannabis isn’t taboo. I hope that we can have many more open and educational conversations in the future with others.”

Dolan pointed that there is so much negative stigma around cannabis and how minority groups are often unrightfully targeted and imprisoned because of it.

“I now realize how much research is still left for cannabis. We need to get research done so we can eliminate the stigma and open the gate to so many safe, healthy options for consuming, using, and learning about cannabis,” Agan said.

Nursing major Connor Murphy, agreed that the negative stigma surrounding weed should be addressed.

“I think it’s also important to hold these conversations to weaken the stigma around smoking weed, because I know for some who enjoy, have a hard time using it and trying to keep it secret,” Murphy said.

Key discussions from the presentation included Third Party Contaminant Testing, Full Spectrum, The Nose Knows, Modes Matter, Low and Slow, and Open Conversation.

Third Part Containment Testing is important to ensure that the cannabis you are purchasing is the real deal.

Full Spectrum are cannabis products that contain multiple cannabinoids like THC, THCa, CBD, CBDa, CBG, and CBN.

The Nose Knows is a way for people to test if a cannabis product might work for them. If they like the smell of it then their body will probably react in a better than if they didn’t like the smell.

Modes Matter is all the different ways cannabis can be consumed. Each way a person consumes it affects them differently, and it’s crucial to make those distinctions.

Murphy had more to say about how these different modes and strands can affect a person.

“Also, learning how different strains can affect you is important,” Murphy said. “And of course learning how cannabis can help with anxiety, blood pressure, glaucoma, so on, I think it should be prescribed more often for medical problems that can be helped by cannabis. It is a better alternative, less addictive, can be home grown for easier access, and get be geared by strains to target certain problems.”

Low and Slow is an idea that the safest way to go about consuming cannabis is a low dosage and a slow amount. Consuming too much too fast can lead to the worst highs. So especially for people first trying out cannabis, Low and Slow is the way to go.

Murphy thought Low and Slow method was “incredibly useful,” not just from a nursing and health standpoint, but also for people that are recreationally using it for the first time.

“I think, especially in college, people who are trying things for the first time do not understand how it’s going to affect them, and they feel pressured to consume just as much as the person next to them, which can be a terrible experience for them,” Muphy said.

Lastly, Open Conversation refers to the need for accessible, professional information about cannabis, rather than constant demonization that results in people seeking out unreliable sources.

Agan sums up her general impression of the event, saying “it was very informative, as well as positive and forward thinking.”

“It helps us build a community of understanding, knowledge, and acceptance,” she continued. “We can utilize the information that Jessilyn provided us, as well as spread what we know to others, to create a safer environment that everyone can enjoy.”

Murphy concluded his thoughts as well, saying it was “really fun” and helps college students like him feel more comfortable.

“Not only that, have a really old guy come up onto the panel and admit he has been smoking sense 16, made me feel more at ease.

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