45% of cannabis users don’t tell anyone that they use.
Actually, I have no idea if that number is accurate. I tried to get data, but it doesn’t exist.
What I do know is that they are out there, because I was one. And sometimes I still am.
I spent the better part of my life as a people-pleaser. In my mind, it has always been more important for the people around me to be happy than me. And when it came to my love for weed - well I found it was better to keep quiet. Until now.
I worked in government contracting and IT security, enjoyed my weed in very small doses, saying no when I wanted to say yes. It wasn't okay to say I love weed, at least in my world, at that time, it was frowned upon.
It would take me years to embrace me - I'm a weed-loving introverted empath, highly sensitive spiritual being, young empty nester, wife, first-time boxer dog mom, cannabis educator, candle maker, digital marketer, blogger, and wanna-be crafty lady. Wheh! That's a mouthful! But seriously that's who I am.
The fears I had about using cannabis were not unfounded. It’s still illegal, companies drug test, your kids can be taken from you, you can be arrested - and it's all based on where you live. That is crazy to me!
I was scared to admit I was a cannabis user even after I moved to Colorado! Lol
I wish I could say there was a specific moment that I said - enough is enough - I’m tired of hiding this huge thing about me but it was several events over several years’ that led me to finally start my blog and own my cannabis-loving ways.
I have also always been a person to let other people’s opinions (even strangers on the street) impact almost every decision I have ever made. It’s crazy stupid, and it’s only been over the past year that I stopped giving an f%&k.
I know personally, it’s not easy to admit or tell people about your choice of medicine. And I should also say that I don’t think silent users need to shout off the rooftop “I use cannabis,” but
I do believe silent users need to find their community, people who understand, and people who respect their choice.
Being a silent user shouldn’t condemn you to a life of loneliness. So, here are the four steps I have taken in my life to get more comfortable and talk about how cannabis helps me live life to the fullest.
Learn About Weed
I think it's easy for people to say oh I just get some weed and I smoke it. But honestly, weed is a bit more complicated especially if you are trying to use it for specific reasons. I didn't get comfortable with even learning about weed until I was in a legal state. And I started with budtenders, which I wish I hadn't. Weed is very versatile and there is more than we don't know than we do know.
One thing I have learned about weed - what works for one person may not work for the other.
The cannabis plant is designed to work with our bodies - most people don't get how or why. Check out my blog article on the endocannabinoid system, the second element within the Seven Elements of Weed.
Start Sharing Your Knowledge with People You Trust
It’s surprising how many people are curious and want to understand how cannabis may help. I started talking with people I'm close to like my sister, my mom, and a couple of very close friends.
It wasn’t easy. But I trusted them; most of them had used cannabis at one point but didn’t anymore. Most of them also used on a recreational level - not that I don’t use for recreational purposes (who wants that awful hangover), but my main uses for cannabis are for wellness reasons like chronic pain, IBS, depression, and anxiety.
It was amazing how easy it was to tell them how weed was helping and giving me my life back.
Not all of them get it, but they are happy for me because I’m doing and feeling so much better.
Talk to one most opposed person - a friend or family member
Sounds incredibly scary, huh?
But this is important because if you can talk to someone who is opposed to cannabis and you can present compelling facts and personal truth, it makes you a little stronger.
It doesn’t mean you will convert them to be cannabis believers, but it helps you form articulate thoughts and reasonings to share. The hardest person for me to tell about my weed use was my grandmother. She is an incredibly amazing woman, tough, smart, and very religious (Catholic).
I will admit that it took me two years to tell her. I didn’t start having a conversation with her until 2019. I know she doesn’t fully understand, but she respects me, my choices, and how I live.
At the end of the day, I know she is not thrilled, but she sees me happy, and she sees how good my life is.
And really, you don’t need anyone to approve of how you choose to care for your body, they need to respect your choices, like you respect theirs.
Talk to a stranger
This step took me three years to accomplish, and it can be the hardest thing to do.
I talked to my first stranger about the pros of cannabis in 2019. Yep, you read that right.
And if you have never openly talked with a stranger about cannabis - I can only say it was freeing.
We both talked openly, she asked questions, made statements as to what she didn’t like about weed, and I explained to her there are ways to use weed without the high.
She was receptive to what I was telling her; it was a surreal conversation, one that left me feeling so excited! I ran out to my car, grabbed my business card, and told her to visit my site.
I think the two most important things to remember are 1) not everyone will appreciate what you have to say and 2) be patient with yourself. Start talking when you are ready.
The stigma of cannabis and cannabis users is still alive and will never go away unless we all take one action - talk about cannabis. If we can about a night of drinking or taking prescription pills - we can talk about using a plant.
Share how cannabis has improved your life, how you use, how it makes you feel, how cannabis has been around for thousands of years, and how the cannabis plant doesn’t have to get you high if you don’t want it too.
It’s scary to put yourself out there to promote something that is still illegal on the federal level.
Then you add all the confusion with each state having different laws.
But please don’t let the crazy laws stop you from being who you are and taking care of your body - your way. Cannabis, when used correctly, is powerful medicine!
I would love to hear from you! Have you ever struggled with telling people you use cannabis? Have you never cared and always been open? Let me know by leaving a comment below, or send me an email.
All images courtesy of Media from Wix.