The Informational Gap
I work for a dispensary. While this is a recreational dispensary, we do have people, more often than I expected, coming in to treat their medical needs with the products we sell. Not only that, I have been stunned by the number of people who come in actually seeking out medical advice!
While I consider myself fairly well versed in the properties and many medical benefits of this plant, I’m not a doctor.
Then one day, my business partner Nik Alexander attended an educational class hosted by Dr. Joseph Cohen, a physician in Boulder, on the facts of the endocannabinoid system. Among a myriad of ideas behind the evolution and benefits of this system, Dr. Cohen stated that the CB1 receptors are actually more abundant than any other receptor in the human body. He also stated that CB2 receptors help aid in the functions of our immune system. AND, the endocannabinoid system isn’t even discussed in medical school!
So if our doctors aren’t even taught about this system: what are we supposed to do?
In my job, it’s still considered taboo to give medical advice; as the retort I so often hear is that I have no medical expertise. That’s fair. Maybe. However, our doctors, by in large as it pertains to Cannabis, also have no medical expertise. I completely understand that doctors should not in good conscience recommend something they don’t understand. But there is an egregious disservice in our education system when one of the most influential aspects of our body’s functionality isn’t even brought to the attention of those who aid in their health. If they’re not ready with answers: what choice do we have?
My most recent encounter was a nurse, obviously more versed in the medical field than myself, who came in wondering about CBD to potentially treat her brother’s epilepsy. Their dad unfortunately remains vehemently apposed to Cannabis and refuses to acknowledge the studies that have been done. While her brother is 21, he still resides in their dad’s house where consumption, even for medical use, is out of the question.
He is so enveloped by the lies brought on by the abhorrent situation that is the drug war, he is unwilling to listen to new information while his son suffers liver damage and daily seizures. And this nurse has no backing through her education to support these ideas because, well, they’re never even addressed.
What it’s going to take, if people still won’t listen to, or are incapable of understanding scientific research, is one of the most difficult ideas in conversation—empathy. Through persistent, concentrated dialogue, we will break through the barrier that is the denial of this plant’s many benefits. And by having empathy for others, we can accomplish the near impossible in dealing with others; getting someone, potentially, to change their mind. People operate off of the conditioning they’ve experienced. Acknowledging this instead of attacking it can make all the difference.