The holidays provide time for us to reflect and offer thanks for the things that matter most in our lives, and if you’re one who’s fond of saying a few words at Thanksgiving dinner, here are five reasons you might consider adding cannabis to this year’s “Attitude of Gratitude” speech.
Cannabis Can Improve Your Mental Health
Not all of us can claim to have the “holiday spirit” around Thanksgiving. For many people, including those who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, or anxiety, the holidays can be even more difficult than other times of the year. The medicinal benefits of cannabis, thankfully, have allowed those who suffer from those ailments and others to achieve better mental health.
Cannabis Gives You a Better Night’s Sleep
Everyday stress and anxiety can often lead to long nights in bed, staring at the ceiling. Some people can remedy their sleeplessness with over-the-counter medications or alcohol, but both of these “solutions” come with the caveat of unintended health consequences, including long-term dependence, liver disease, and other conditions. Cannabinoids, notably Cannabidiol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), has proven to be just as effective a sleep aid. Cannabis, thankfully, is able to help us achieve a good night’s sleep when we can’t stop our minds from racing a mile a minute.
Cannabis Offers Chemotherapy Relief
Those of us who have experienced, or have watched someone experience, the devastating side effects of chemotherapy can agree that no person should be made to suffer in that way. Thankfully, cannabis has long been recognized as a positive treatment for those side effects, helping patients achieve a little bit of normalcy and dignity in the fight against cancer.
Cannabis Is Safer Than Opioids
Prescription opioids have become such a health hazard that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports an average of 130 Americans die every day from opioid overdoses. This is unacceptable, no matter what you believe about the health benefits of opioids. Cannabis, thankfully, is far less dangerous, and states that have legalized medicinal marijuana – an alternative to prescription opioids – reported a 25 percent drop in deaths related to prescription painkillers.
Cannabis Legalization Continues to Gain Support
That aforementioned drop in prescription painkiller deaths, coupled with the realization that legalized medicinal or recreational cannabis has become a growth industry across more than two dozen states is further proof that cannabis is being greeted with more acceptance in the United States. In a Pew Research Center survey released in November 2019, two-thirds of Americans said marijuana use should be legal. Thankfully, cannabis is becoming more mainstream, and people are seeing the benefits with their own eyes.
At the same time, cannabis-related criminal records are getting the boot in places like New York, which has sealed marijuana convictions for more than 150,000 people and removed criminal penalties for possession of less than two ounces of marijuana. In Nevada, where recreational and medicinal marijuana is legal, Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak signed legislation that allows people to request a court to “seal criminal records tied to any offense that is decriminalized.”
These and other decriminalization policies will make it easier for those who have been incarcerated for minor marijuana infractions to lead their lives without a “criminal” stigma hanging over their heads.
While all of these are reasons to give thanks for cannabis this year, there’s one more that should be overlooked; that sense of community and the shared feeling that you are part of a growing movement that’s making a positive difference in people’s lives. From the outspoken celebrities who champion the benefits of cannabis – we’re looking at you Willie Nelson and Snoop Dogg – to the men and women who staff dispensaries around the country, everyone who supports advancing the changing perceptions of cannabis deserves a round of thanks, and another slice of pie at dinner this year.