Couch potato. Lazy. Uneducated. Addicted. These are all stereotypes that weed and CBD users face on a regular basis. From friends to family to coworkers to complete strangers. Those who choose to use weed recreationally, and even those who choose CBD for medicinal purposes, must face stigmas associated with smoking and/or supplementing with cannabis.
For these people, stigma is not just a theoretical words, it is something they encounter because of their cannabis use on a daily basis. Friends, family, and coworkers are all guilty of judging loved ones’ choices to use cannabis. With recreational usage, many associate cannabis with laziness, criminality, heavy drug use, unemployment, and much more. CBD encounters some of the same stigmas as recreational cannabis, especially when met with people who do not understand its role in health. Furthermore, many stigmatize CBD as ‘just a placebo’ or as an ‘illegal drug’, putting those trying to spread knowledge about CBD in a position of perceived falsehood and illegality. Stigmas regarding cannabis hurt those who truly benefit from having cannabis in their lives.
Though stigmas have noticed a shift with the millennial generation, many millennials still don’t feel comfortable posting pictures with cannabis on social media or talking about it with parents. While pictures with alcohol cover social media, cannabis is still viewed as something that should be left behind closed doors. Many fear taking a first or even second job at a dispensary or other cannabis affiliated company because of how it would look on a resume. Stigmas are changing, but it is a slow process that can’t come quick enough for many.
But here are some ways you can combat the stigma in your daily lives:
When speaking about cannabis, medical or otherwise, the right attitude is necessary for you to not only be taken seriously, but for you to actually be able to have a conversation without devolving into a screaming match. Be open to conversation. Be ready to sell your point of view, but also don’t forget to listen to the person you’re talking to.
Being approachable and open to conversation gives you the opportunity to educate people about the legitimate benefits of using cannabis, the job opportunities provided in states where cannabis is legal, and even your personal experience with cannabis. Mainstream news and media often portray cannabis is a bad light, so informing individuals whose main consumption of cannabis ‘knowledge’ comes from tainted ‘news’ sources is a huge way to combat stigma.
3. Responsible Use
As mentioned above, traditionally cannabis users have been stereotyped as stoners, lazy, and unprofessional. Demonstrating that yourself and others successfully use cannabis in healthy ways on a daily basis can chip away at the stoner stigma. Let people know that CEOs, moms, lawyers, and even stud
ents are using cannabis to protect their health. Furthermore, turning towards non-smoking forms of cannabis use – especially in public – can fall into the responsible use category. Avoiding being perceived as a ‘toxic smoker’ or a nuisance on the streets by choosing edibles or oils when in public.
These are three simple ways that you can combat stigma in your daily life. Your platform doesn’t have to be huge, just start with friends and family, and see how that impacts you already. Stigma takes a long time to change on a grand scale, but you can start with your personal circle. Be an advocate for responsible cannabis use, recreational or medical, and show that cannabis does not always have to be associated with crime, addiction, and poor financial decisions. We will be providing more resources in our links and on our blog so keep an eye out!
If you are struggling with crime, addiction, or poor financial decisions please seek help.