Bethany Rae, BotaniQ columnist
As I continued to explore cannabis I was surprised to discover that cannabis consumption does not necessarily mean having to get high.
However, the euphoria I often experience from cannabis can be an uplifting, relaxing and a overall, a pleasurable experience.
After years of cannabis prohibition we have, as a society, been made to feel guilt and shame that we might enjoy altering our mood and senses with cannabis.
When I rediscovered cannabis as an adult I felt a bit guilty every time I consumed even when micro-dosing cannabis to relieve an oncoming migraine, for example.
But the more I learned about cannabis the more I realized that the crime was not my consumption, the crime was the knowledge of cannabis science that has been held back from us for generations.
I learned that I have a system in my body perfectly designed to interact with the active compounds in cannabis. My endocannabinoid system (ECS) helps to keep my body in balance and the active compounds in cannabis can enhance this.
Because the ECS reaches throughout my whole body with a network of receptors it explains why medical cannabis, also known as cannabinoid therapy, is potentially effective for so many different conditions.
I personally use cannabis in its various forms to relieve migraines, reduce muscle and joint pain, uplift from depression, reduce anxiety, heal damaged skin and for help sleeping through the night.
That doctors never learned about the endocannabinoid system in school leads me to seriously question many things I’ve been taught or told in my life.
Another surprise was that THC is just one of many different active compounds, also known as cannabinoids, found in cannabis. Other cannabinoids, such as CBD, don’t have the same psychoactive effects of THC, while still offering me a wide array of therapeutic benefits.
This means I can consume high CBD strains, oils and capsules, without experience the euphoria of THC.
I now consume CBD oil drops almost daily. I consume this to relieve mild pain and for its calming, anti-anxiety effects.
Inversely if I consume large amounts of THC, I find I am likely to experience increased anxiety.
There are up to and more than 100 different cannabinoids in cannabis, so understanding that it’s not all about THC, but that THC has its uses, was a mindset I had to shift into in order to understand healthy cannabis consumption.
Bethany Rae is the founder of Flower & Freedom, an education platform and community, empowering people to explore cannabis as part of an active lifestyle. Originally from Australia, Bethany is a cannabis education advocate and international speaker. By removing stereotypes and simplifying the science Bethany makes understanding cannabis in legalization a lot less intimidating. Follow Bethany’s cannabis industry adventures on Instagram and Twitter.