How the term "recreational" is often misused in cannabis conversation

How far removed are we that to be well is seen as recreation? Why is it living in a stress-induced state the norm? Why is it that the idea of a plant considered for it’s medicinal benefits cannot exist independent of a pharmaceuticalized industry?

These are the questions I often ask myself when contemplating how people approach cannabis and how it hinders us from stepping into position of power, owning how we define our health and wellness for ourselves.

While I see the benefits of having tested and regulated cannabis markets due to the commercialization of cannabis, I can’t help but meditate on how cannabis is being positioned. It should all be considered medical, and used with the understanding that it is healing the body.

When we think about the diseases that invade the body, we have to understand the root cause of those diseases: which is the physical equivalent of some spiritual, emotional or mental imbalance that influences the body.

For communities of color, these diseases are often times symptoms of circumstance, and what’s worse is they are preventable. But in order to prevent disease, you have to know what’s available to you and how to properly use it.

Cannabis can be a preventative approach to disease, in the same way as our food choices or how we choose to spend our time outside of simply working to make a living. Where one might see yoga as recreation, others see a deeply transformative practice of sustaining the mind, body and spirit. Where one sees smoking with friends as recreational use, others may see communing and sharing quality with us, thus fulfilling the human need to be acknowledged and appreciated. This implies that all things we put in our bodies, on our bodies, the things we do for our bodies, and anything outside ourselves can be recognized as something serving to thrust us toward being better, healthier versions of ourselves or hindering us from it.

It’s peculiar really. We as a human race have been in contact with the species known as cannabaceae for thousands of years. What we’ve gathered, and I’m sure anyone who has studied the plant and our relationship to it, is the most common thread in the stories told about the plant throughout history is that it brings us to a state of balance both with ourselves and in relationship to the outside world.

Yet, we debate the appropriateness for the plant and to what degree. More often than not, cannabis is divided into to categories of use: Medical and Recreational. The problem with that is that it doesn’t serve the consumer. It doesn’t serve to tell the rich history of cannabis. And it doesn’t serve in allowing us to reevaluate the views we have on health and wellness in a broader sense. It’s limiting.

Recreation is usually used to emphasize an act of leisure, relaxation, fun, enjoyment, entertainment, amusement. But are these not all things that in some way contribute to good health?

Rec·re·a·tion

/ˌrekrēˈāSH(ə)n/

noun: activity done for enjoyment when one is not working.

However, upon further study we find it has a much deeper meaning: to be of consolation our mental and spiritual capacities.

Origin

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This being said, when you’re using cannabis, what are you renewing within yourself? What is it that you’re “creating again?” Is it clarity of thought? Is it balance in the mind and body? How are you using it? Are you asking yourself why you’re using cannabis? What is the atmosphere like? Is it conducive to healing? If it’s not, how can you change your approach to create habits that are not about simply wasting time but maximizing time? Maximizing your creativity?

Cannabis is a wellness tool, a healing herb, that extends beyond the self-depreciating labels that limit us to our productivity and dismisses everything outside of that as “recreational” considering the most widely accepted understanding of the term. I invite you to dive deeper to harness your creativity, ability to outgrow old ways of thinking and being to be renewed, to redefine cannabis on your terms and be present and intentional in creating your relationship to cannabis, whether for it medicinal properties or creative expression.