Experts explored the role that cannabis can play in wellness on the opening day of major industry event.
The three-day virtual Prohibition Partners Live event, which kicked on Tuesday 18 May, brings together industry leaders to open up the global discussion about cannabis.
In a panel, hosted by Elana Goldberg, CEO of The Cannigma, co-founder of cannabis advocacy organisation, We Go High, Jessamyn Stanley and Dr Amanda Reiman, vice president of community development at Flow Cannabis Company, explored how cannabis can enhance aspects of wellness such as yoga, meditation and beauty.
The health and wellness industry was valued at approximately US$ 3.31 Billion in 2020.
With the stresses of the coronavirus pandemic, the desire for people to look after their own mental and physical health has never been higher.
Stanley commented: “Our health is not just a physical experience, especially as we’re going through such a period of social unrest, we’re recognising that our health is not just how we are physically, it’s how we are mentally and emotionally.”
Dr Reiman argued that cannabis fulfils wellness functions such as relieving anxiety and depression and improving sleep, but also provides relief in ways that society doesn’t recognise as wellness.
“Laughing at a movie for two hours after a long day is absolutely a part of wellness, but we’re taught not to recognise that,” she said.
“We have to reframe the conversation around what it means to seek wellness and fun…and cannabis can be a tool for that.”
The panel also discussed how many adults are now turning to cannabis rather than alcohol to help them relax, particularly in the US, where recreational legalisation is becoming more prevalent.
Stanley, who argues that all cannabis is medicinal, highlighted the need for more universal information about dosage, which is individual to each consumer.
“All cannabis use is medicinal… all other perceptions are related back to prohibition and so much of it is tied up in our cultural politics,” she added.
“If we had more research into dosage that would certainly help.”
Stanley, who is also a well-known yoga instructor, says cannabis can help “take the armour off” to help people get on the mat and engage in wellness practices such as yoga and meditation, commenting: “Yoga and cannabis have been in a relationship stretching back thousands of years.”
But many consumers are still wary about being honest about their use of cannabis for wellness purposes due to the existing stigma.
“The fear of being associated with the image of being a stoner and not a meaningful part of society dictates so much of the conversation,” said Stanley
“There are so many different ways of using it, it doesn’t mean smoking joints or having an edible, it could just be a tincture or something that you take before or after practice. Even just implementing something relatively small can make such a difference.”
She added: “When people are able to be open and honest about [their] usage, that feels like the most powerful form of social justice and that is what I hope to see more brands understand as well.”
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