I don’t know that I’ve ever gone back and written a preface to a post. As a millenial, I’ve been gifted the ability to be a part of a generation that questions everything. When DARE taught us weed would kill us, we snuck behind the high school bleachers to pass around a joint (nope, still alive).
Remaining hippie population aside, a large percentage of the generation preceding us wasn’t/isn’t as inquisitive. Reefer Madness is still very real for very many people. People don’t trust what they don’t understand, and so the main reason why I continue to research and write about Cannabis is to try and bridge that gap. Trying to make science sound not so science-y, and sometimes sharing stories. Like this one, about how topical Cannabis gave me the ability to share my work with my conservative family. I’ll cut to the chase: if you’re trying to explain Cannabis to someone that’s afraid, start with a topical. The effects can’t be denied, and a localized pain test won’t get anyone high.
It’s true, I have a love affair with almost all methods of Cannabis administration, each for their respected reasons. I love topical Cannabis a little bit more though. The reason is quite simple, yet it has nothing to do with the pain relieving, inflammation reducing, muscle spasm dissolving potential of topical cannabis (check your cannabinoid content [THC, THCa, CBN] before expecting all three). It’s not even that topical Cannabis became my gateway into the medical realm the day they relieved P’s contorted hands of the fists his injury had gifted him.
I love topical Cannabis a little bit more because it gave me the ability to share this plant with my family. When I first started growing, phone calls with my Mom started to exhibit one very specific pattern: I’d mention the garden, and she’d ask me how my tomatoes were doing. It’s not that she wasn’t supportive, she just didn’t understand.
Christmas 2015 – twenty-three months into California but only a few months into researching and crafting – I flew to North Carolina. My Mom spent most of her career as a nurse on a hospice Alzheimer unit, which pretty much makes her a superhuman death doula with terrible knees, of which she refuses the doctor’s suggestion to replace. I didn’t tell her what was in the lotion as I handed it to her, just instructed her to note her pain level and that I’d check back in a few minutes. As quickly as it worked its magic, she knew.
A month later I’d return to the east coast again, this time for my Uncle’s 50th. My Mom had uneasily given me permission to “say whatever I wanted” in response to the inevitable wall of “so what do you do now?” I’d get. In retrospect, accidentally word vomiting “I grow weed” to a family friend that’s known me since diapers (and also happens to be retired NYPD) probably could have played out a little smoother. To this day, his reaction of disgust might be the worst I’ve ever offended anyone, and I hid in my Aunt’s upstairs office for 15 minutes, crying. When I finally emerged though, something awesome happened – like true Italians, we sat down at the table (pretty sure over dessert) and talked about it.
TBH I was SO off on my facts (“you breastfed your babies THC!” - lol, tangent but to clear this up: breast milk, especially colostrum, contains high levels of endocannabinoids like anandamide and 2-AG. While the human body recognizes Anandamide and THC interchangeably, they are not the *same* thing, neither in molecular structure nor creation. The human body cannot create THC).
BUT! I knew enough of the basic facts to peak interest, and then my mom did the coolest thing:
“I USE THEM!” she chimed in, “got one in my purse right now,” she added.
And so there we all sat, passing around a lotion to see if it would help with everyone’s aches and pains.
This past Thanksgiving, I sat beside my mother at that same table. My uncle walked over with a cousin from the other side of the family, and introduced me as the one that grows weed in California. I’m pretty sure he was bragging. Topical Cannabis, bringing families together since probably the beginning of time.