If you’ve ever sat down to Thanksgiving dinner with your family only to get pied in the face during a vicious political debate, this post is for you. The holiday season is officially upon us. For most, this means warm hugs, good food and cheery fellowship with friends and family. For others, this time of year can be a little more aggressive. Indeed, conversations frequently turn to tough topics and hot-button issues during holiday dinners and often result in harsh disagreements and strained relationships.
However, it’s important to still have those tough conversations and create an opportunity for change. For example, the cannabis industry is still highly stigmatized today despite the bounty of research highlighting its incredible powers and health benefits, especially in hemp. As hemp purveyors, Bluebird often encounters outdated opinions and misunderstandings about CBD and its relationship to marijuana. We work hard to correct these misunderstandings when they come up, but it is a continuous process.
If you are just beginning to use CBD or cannabis, you may encounter some pushback from relatives and friends who don’t understand. Here is Bluebird’s go-to strategy when discussing CBD with skeptics:
- Start with the facts. Many people don’t even know what CBD is, let alone where it comes from and what it does to the body. Truthfully, there is enough research, conjecture, and testimony on the powers of cannabis and CBD to keep anyone busy reading for the next decade at least. To start, though, here are some of the key points to cover:
- CBD stands for cannabidiol, which is one of over 100 chemical compounds known as cannabinoids that are found in the cannabis plant.
- The cannabinoids interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which consists of a large number of neurotransmitters and cannabinoid receptors found throughout the body and brain. Many scientific studies have revealed that the endocannabinoid system is closely involved with the human neural, hormonal and immune systems.
- CBD does come from cannabis, but that does not mean it will make you high. Most CBD comes from hemp, which by legal definition is any cannabis plant with less than 0.3% THC. THC is the cannabinoid found in cannabis that produces the psychoactive effect that most associate with consuming marijuana.
- Hemp extracts are federally legal to produce and sell under the 2018 Farm Bill. You do not need to live in a state with a medical marijuana program to buy CBD, and Bluebird Botanicals ships its products all over the country
- Share your perspective. The best way to prove a point is to be a living example of it. Everyone reacts differently to hemp extracts; however, sharing your personal cannabis success story can be a powerful way to get others on board. Be sure to add a few happy tears to your emotional storytelling to achieve the full dramatic effect.
- Provide some resources for individual research. As a dietary supplement company regulated by the FDA, we are unfortunately not able to make specific claims about the benefits of hemp extract and CBD. There are some great hemp education resources available for those looking to learn more, though. Here are some of our favorites:
- U.S. Hemp Roundtable - This is an excellent resource for those looking to get caught up on all the goings-on in the hemp industry. The U.S. Hemp Roundtable is a coalition of hemp companies and national grassroots organizations. Check out their educational repository for a deep dive into hemp legislation, or subscribe to their newsletter for updates on major industry events including the 2018 Farm Bill.
- Hemp History Week - Want more education on hemp? Hemp History Week is the largest national grassroots organization working to restore strong support for industrial hemp farming in the United States.
- Bluebird’s blog - We at Bluebird strive to provide top-notch hemp products. We also strive to provide the necessary education to our customers to help them become informed hemp health warriors. We cover topics ranging from the Internet’s most searched questions about CBD to five ancient uses of hemp. You’ll definitely learn something new!
- Understand that beliefs and stigmas can take a long time to change. Don’t give up if your family doesn’t get on board immediately. Stigmas can pervade for centuries when unchallenged. Don’t berate others for not understanding, but do stick to your guns and take future opportunities to gently bring up the conversation and share your viewpoint again. It may take time and patience, but the payoff of sharing the benefits of CBD with your loved ones will be worth the effort.
- Be grateful! This is THE week to practice gratitude. Even if your family doesn't align with your beliefs, be grateful that you were able to have the conversation. Give thanks for the benefits CBD has had on many. Most importantly, regardless of the outcome of any dinner conversation, remember to be grateful for the presence of your family and friends.
The best part about this strategy is that it can be used with any hot-button topic, not just cannabis. So, if you find yourself sitting down to a rather contentious Thanksgiving dinner this week, remember these steps and you may just get a chance to shatter some of those outdated stigmas!
Wishing everyone a happy Thanksgiving from the team at Bluebird Botanicals!