The Subtlety of Subjectiveness


The subjective nature of Cannabis will continue to baffle mainstream science and medicine – even without prohibition.

The mainstream media, with newspapers being a good example, are owned by a handful of mega-corps and the NYT is probably the longest example of a mainstream brainwashing propaganda mill….a recent op-ed popped up on our radar that has some interesting points that we’d like to expand on.  (Article Link

The author is a doctor and a head guy somewhere with palliative care.  He seems to be authoring something that is “pro-marijuana” so you would think his op-ed is also pro-marijuana.  He also seems to want to make a distinction between a “patient” and a “non-patient” without defining it in specific terms.

Firstly, Cannabis use is extremely subjective so giving advice or suggestions around ingestion and dosing is a highly subjective undertaking.  Even doctors with tremendous intellectual knowledge regarding cannabinoids, still fall short if they do not have experiential knowledge of how the plant, the strains, the different methods of cultivation all play a part in how the end result affects an individual.  Nothing with nature is exactly constant or replicated so with Cannabis, we need to understand that there are two sides of nature at play, the plant, and us, the human.

The author of the opt-ed used terms like “control” and “ability” when referring to the liberty that is granted to someone when they begin using an entheogen.  This liberty can be defined in many sub-categorical ways but in the end, using Cannabis to manage any aspect of your health, life, or well-being offers an individual more liberty and increased sense of wellness than they would have otherwise had.  The subjective aspect of both our human nature, our bodies, and that of the Cannabis plant and consciousness are all factors in how well a particular strain, medium, or method of ingestion works.

Ironically this author works in palliative care, where Cannabis can offer tremendous benefit.  Self dosing is a much more simple dynamic when the patient does not run the risk of toxifying their bodies or causing some form of physical overdose.  Cannabis can feel uncomfortable on the psyche the first few times using it, but rarely causes physical issue.  The most common experience we’ve compiled in terms of physical discomfort is nausea and a distorted equilibrium that generally incorporates spinning.

Talking about “weed” and talking about “dispensaries”, the author painted a picture that the people that he saw being dealt with by the dispensary staff, were being treated with respect for privacy, respect for everyone’s level of knowledge, and that the staff was able to make the “patient” feel cared for and educated about how to use their Cannabis medium.  This sounds like a great thing but the author needs to realize and understand that the vast majority of dispensaries and the staff they employ have zero understanding of privacy and zero understanding of how to deal with the subtly of subjectiveness that encapsulates the Cannabis experience.  The universal response to any any “advice” that comes out of the mouth of any “budtender” or dispensary employee is “sounds circumstantial”.

This is the crux of the subjective nature of the Cannabis experience.  Any evidence that it does, or does not do this, or that, is defined by what’s called “circumstantial evidence”.  This type of evidence is specific to the time and place in which it was produced and is usually not well documented.  Things like “Yea, this strain is great for headaches” or “The indica in this strain makes it really great for back pain”.  This is what’s called making generalizations about circumstantial evidence.  Of course, within the Cannabis eco-system, there is more of this type of evidence than of hard scientific evidence that certain things work for certain ailments, however, this is because of the cartels being adverse to Cannabis development and adaptation.

A major aspect of Cannabis Culture is “open source”.  To be non-proprietary about what you learn works best about your value system or your relationship with the plant.  Perhaps you found a particularly effective fertilizer regimen that you feel is superior to everything else that is currently in the ecosystem.  Do you put your recipe and regimen on a blog or forum or magazine or do you proprietize your system so that it can be leveraged for profit or gain?  This is the great cultural shift within humans and how we define wealth and success.  The open source nature within us is coming to the surface and we in the Cannabis Community are attempting to spotlight areas of altruism and selflessness where ever they are noticed.

There is no fault in making an honest living out of a self-created system or product.  The specialization that comes from human inventiveness always improves the whole at a macro-level.  It’s the level of adaptation to innovation and it’s rate that is varied when technology or discovery is stifled through proprietization and commodification.  Think of solar power, electric cars, and many other innovations that would be much further along if they were populated by Cannabis-centric people.  Sharing innovative techniques or products offers a fast-track to evolution.

The trick is to want to see everyone succeed – to want everyone to have a sense of success within the ecosystem.  We all have specific capabilities and inspirations – just like the plant has unique traits and unique active compounds in unique ratios.  We’re all specializing together, but we’re all evolving together and this is where the chance to be altruistic or be generous towards the well-being and success of others’ is a major component of TRUE success and TRUE happiness for you.

The simple gesture of giving your feedback to a database about how a particular strain affects a particular medical condition or challenge is a great step in the right direction.  After some time goes by and enough data is compiled, the statistical side of science will jump in and show us that there are patterns that we cannot ignore and that some “______Insert here______” work best for “______Insert here______” and we can really start “connecting dots” with some level of empiricism.

Until then, we’ll have to continue to contend with doctors writing opt-eds about weed and retail outlets that sell them.  Great article overall, we hope more “marijuana writers” become Cannabis Activists in the coming months as we co-evolve our opinions.

Links:  What I Learned at the Weed Dispensary – – David Casarett – director of hospice and palliative care at Penn Medicine and the author of “Stoned: A Doctor’s Case for Medical Marijuana.”

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