We Won't Go Quietly

Last week the United States Food and Drug Administration issued warning letters to four major CBD manufacturers across the US to update the context of some of the statements made on their websites claiming cannabinoids have certain medical value, or may treat certain conditions or ailments. As a writer in the industry, I am well aware there are certain ways the government requires us to talk about cannabinoids because they are not dietary supplements and the FDA specifically forbids calling cannabinoid products dietary supplements. Businesses cannot sell cannabis-based products under the pretense of treating or curing any ailment – despite the fact that it does.

However, even the government is clearly undecided on the issue, as the Department of Health currently holds Patent #6630507, which specifically states the medicinal and therapeutic properties of cannabinoids, yet the Department of Justice and the DEA, refuse to reschedule cannabis leaving it as a Schedule I drug “with no medicinal purpose.” Now, by issuing this letter to CBD companies, the FDA and the federal government is establishing a precedence. (Yes, this time they have even targeted anecdotal verbiage.)

Telling Our Stories

The longer I’m a part of this industry, I can’t understand why our stories aren’t being told on a bigger platform. While we may not have years of clinical data (only because research is restricted in the US) to back up our results, we have our health… which is all most people are looking for anyway. As a cannabis adviser in Denver, I met and spoke to hundreds of people about how they were using cannabis and what they were using it for, and rarely was the answer “Oh I just like to get high.” Whether purchasing on the recreational side of the market or the medical side of the market, everyone always had a reason for medicating with cannabis which was much deeper than just obtaining a mental disconnect.

Today, as a fitness-minded, cannabis consumer and freelance writer, I have a unique opportunity to work with multiple industries and research cannabis from angles I would never have researched for my own purposes. Regardless if I’m writing here for MJFitNut, a medical clinic, a dispensary, a CBD website, or a writing agency, one thing always remains the same… the people I meet through freelancing all have a story to tell about how cannabis has improved their health, their wellness, and their lives, as well as ignited a passion strong enough to start a business.

My friend, and colleague, Corinne Tobias is a perfect example. Corinne found relief from cannabis, but as she continued to consume the herb, a plethora of other health benefits followed. Learning how to harness the power of the plant for her own use, Corinne became so excited about her results, she decided to start teaching others. Now, as an accomplished writer with three published cannabis cookbooks and working as cannabis coach, Corinne has turned her passion for the plant into a successful entrepreneurship at Wake ­­+ Bake, a website dedicated to do-it-yourself cannabis edibles, topicals, salves, and tinctures.

My husband and I have our own story. Every writer contributing to this site, has their story. Every patient I’ve worked with has a story, too. Yet, besides a few children with severe epilepsy, cannabis success stories are rarely told on mainstream media, cannabis success stories are left in the fringe of blogs, YouTube videos, and Facebook. Our stories could save lives… but our stories remain in the shadows of an industry built on a very misunderstood herb.

Keep telling your story. If you don’t have a cannabis story of your own, share someone else’s, while the federal government may not recognize our stories as valid information individually, collectively we have a much bigger impact.