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Reader Question: How Do I Convince My Girlfriend Marijuana is Medicinal?

A hand holds a half smoked joint as the smoker inhales the medicinal benefits of marijuana.


Reader Question: How Do I Convince My Girlfriend Marijuana is Medicinal?

Dear Angela,

Thank you for your piece on Crohn’s and weed. I’ve had it for a long time and have been using it for a long time and it is entirely necessary for me to function. I’m curious though if it has ever gotten in the way of a romantic relationship? My girlfriend and I have come full circle, but the cultural stereotypes were hard to break through. There is also the (perhaps legitimate) concern of the consumption becoming excessive. While I know that excess for one person is regular for another, where do you draw the line? I know you mentioned saying you don’t only smoke for the symptoms, but I’m curious. Thanks for what you do, I appreciate it. 


Matt in San Francisco

Dear Matt,

No, it has never gotten in the way with a romantic relationship with me, the Crohn’s has. I couldn’t even think about relationships let alone care about having or maintaining one when I was at my sickest.

I find that many of us still hold on to the antiquated guilt associated with cannabis use, a guilt you wouldn’t feel if your doctor had prescribed you steroids or painkillers (common in Crohn’s management) rather than you having to overcome the societal stigma of an effective drug maligned by propaganda. As a recovering Catholic, I understand it is hard to let yourself be too happy.

But, if someone can’t support you by just reading the studies or trusting you to make the decisions that are best for your health—since, after all, it is your body and you know what helps and what hurts it—then maybe you should rethink the relationship.

I don’t only smoke for symptoms, but I, as well as many other patients using cannabis therapy, feel like smoking marijuana recreationally is good for both my physical and mental health. It keeps me positive and making good healthy decisions. While there is science to medicine, don’t think that just because you are having fun it isn’t good for you. We are psychosomatic beings. I believe the mental effects of having fun are better for you than any pill you could take to dull the pain or reduce your inflammation.

Cannabis also encourages you to eat when you lose your appetite, so it helps you bring more nutrients into your body, something pretty difficult to do during a Crohn’s flare up. It helps you sleep and eases your pain. Most importantly though, it makes you happy, something sick people usually aren’t.

For me, the effects are pretty instant from smoking or vaping. My partner is completely aware of all this and 100% supportive of me using as much as I feel is necessary.

As far as a romantic relationship goes, someone who really loves you will recognize that every single aspect of you treating your Crohn’s with marijuana is necessary to your physical health and quality of life– both of which would be suffering incredibly if you were taking steroids, anti-depressants and painkillers. Or they will at least make the effort to understand and accept it before moving on.

However, maybe she thinks its excessive because you make it look like you are partying, not just medicating. Maybe you should try using things that “look” more medicinal to her and save the bong for parties. For whatever reason, I have never had a problem taking a tincture or cannabis-capsule in front of my friends and family but I rarely let anyone on the more conservative side of the issue see me smoking it, mostly because it is easier for them to comprehend that I am taking medicine if it doesn’t look “fun”.

A lot of people associate marijuana with leisure, like drinking alcohol, and have a hard time bridging the gap when you explain to them that just because you are having fun doesn’t mean you aren’t healing.

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