Being Your Own Cannabis Advocate
I have a serious pet peeve when it comes to Cannabis and Health.
The kind that makes my blood boil, my heart race, and my palms sweat.
Unfortunately, I see it time and time again - often from those in the highest realms of influence, the ones with the furthest reach.
"We don't know enough about this plant to answer that."
Hold up a second, y'all. Cannabis has been growing both wild and cultivated for roughly 8,000 years. It's not often I toot the human race's horn, but we're not that bad - and people tend to forget that our ignorance towards the healing power of Cannabis is a result of the greed and racism that has ruled modern society for the past century. I know math can be hard, but ~100 years out of ~8,0000 leaves a lot of time for us to learn some things about this plant.
In case you're not convinced at our ancestor's ability to understand Cannabis' value in their health, (FYI life is better when you don't doubt the ancestors), a quick search of "Cannabis" on the National Center for Biological Information database returns over 21,000 studies. Science knows a lot about this plant. Everything? No - Mama Ganja is a complex lady - but, we know enough to understand how she works, which explains why she works, which opens so many doors to allow her to work.
Unfortunately, research papers to the non-PhD can be a bit of a headache. I've gotten better over the years, but truth is, I would spend weeks digesting a single study - forwarding it to my sister for her cliff-notes version, and then re-reading it again. It's a dedication not many in this sometimes seemingly wide-open industry have time for, which too often results in the spread of mis/half-informed information through the vast expanse of technological mycelium. It's a bummer.
So, how do you identify trustworthy Cannabis information?
1 | Avoid Forums | They're deep, dark rabbit holes of people's opinions, and in reality, you're going to walk away five hours later more confused that when you started. Trust me on this one.
2 | Check Sources | Researching Cannabis doesn't always require a dictionary of medical terminology - there are, in fact, great companies doing great work to transcribe Cannabis research for the general population's understanding. To decipher which top-ranked google articles to trust, look at what sources are referred to for the information. No sources listed? Pass.
You're looking for articles that reference medical journals. Often times, hovering your mouse over links will show the source web address - nine times out of ten, a good source is linking back to NCBI or PubMed. You don't need to read the study itself, if they're showing you they've already done it for you.
3 | Fact Check | Read something that sounds sketchy? Take it with a grain of salt and identify your Cannabis information (/all health information for that matter) the same way you would identify a new. wild plant friend. That's to say, find three reliable sources that back up the questionable claim. Become your own advocate and familiarize yourself with paper abstracts - they're essentially a scientist's book report, summarizing their research in a quick and easy-to-read paragraph.