Article by Jesse B., High! Canada
It is well known that cannabis is a healing plant, having gained mainstream and political acceptance for its medicinal virtues first and foremost. Something that’s been little recognized is that its capacity goes beyond simply healing just in individuals. By incorporating medicinal cannabis as a society, we have the potential to heal our relationships and connections, to grow and be a healthier community. As we near the end of prohibition for ‘non-medicinal’ purposes, it turns out it’s all probably medicine anyway. Let’s discuss how cannabis works as an agent for social healing.
I heard a friend say recently,”If you consume cannabis when you’re on your own, you’re medicating or self-medicating for something. Social consumption is the only true recreational reason to consume.” Unlike alcohol which can lead to violence when consumed in groups, cannabis consumption usually leads to greater levels of peace and harmony among those who consume together.
The social and recreational consumption of cannabis brings feelings of greater wellness to most and brings greater health to the people who consume.In relationships, the communal consumption of cannabis regularly facilitates deeper mutual understanding, feelings of connectedness and harmony. Consider that beyond just healing and managing trauma, greater empathy and compassion are common side effects of consuming cannabis for most people involved.
We know that when people get together and consume cannabis, it is exceedingly rare to for a fight to break out, unless perhaps alcohol or other drugs are also involved. Cannabis is often a simple facilitator of connections, the only caveats being if someone has gone too far and is uncomfortably stoned, anxious (we have CBD for those now) or asleep to talk or engage. The social benefits are myriad when consumer awareness and education are prominent.
The links between cannabis and the treatment of Post Traumac Stress Disorder are well reported. It has been shown to be medically valuable and prescriptions are given to many Canadians for this purpose specifically. The links between military combat and PTSD are also well known, and for those suffering from psychological and often sadly physical pain, the benefits of this medicine are again widely reported. Given this, let’s do a thought experiment and go beyond the individual and consider cannabis as a healing element for society on a large-scale, interrelational and multi-generational level.
Imagine for a moment a soldier. This person has dedicated their life, laid it on the line to protect the rest of our country. Returning home PTSD occurs all too often, by a multitude of names, it always has. We owe these great people the highest respect and appreciation, access to fairness always; however, there was a me of prohibition, many decades long, where medical uses for cannabis remained illegal. Even if this was a good potential medicine for soldiers returning from war, it was widely unknown and generally not an option.
What if there had been access in those earlier days? If there was, would the lives of soldiers and their family lives have been different? Their marriages? Friendships? Would their children’s family lives be different, if perhaps the full, secondary, or even tertiary force of PTSD on all of them had been tempered somehow? We can be grateful for the mercy of cannabis for our younger, more recent veterans, but much trauma existed in the past that tragically many are sll recovering from in various ways. It is true that PTSD has other treatments, however cannabis can be a part of a treatment plan ultimately requiring less medicine overall for some patients, and bringing about a greater improvement in quality of life than the range of other medications it can often at least partially replace.
For all of us, regardless of what we have been through, let us consider the powers of cannabis as an agent of peace on many levels, and the ways in which an enriched endocannabinoid social system can be a great positive in ways we have yet to even acknowledge as we near the end of prohibition.