By Jointly’s CEO David Kooi
Welcome to Part 3 in this series. My purpose in this series is to lend a hand in defeating the stigma against cannabis consumption once and for all - using Jointly’s unique data - and supported by outside data sources, logic, and mathematics.
In defeating the stigma, I also aim to replace it with something better - the Theory of Purposeful Cannabis Consumption - that provides a framework for a new mindset about cannabis, supported by data and grounded in reality.
The 2nd Law - People Use Cannabis For Many Different Productive Purposes
Before we get into the productive reasons why people use cannabis, let’s start by agreeing on what makes a person “more.” What are the ways in which people improve their wellbeing? What are the ways we can take yourself in your current state - and move yourself to a new and better state. Here are some ways:
You + Relaxation > You (again, read as “you plus relaxation is greater than you”)
You + Exercise > You
You + Doing something creative > You
You + Focusing > You
You + Being with people you love > You
You + Being places you love > You
You + Eating healthy food > You
You + Intimacy > You
You + Good sleep > You
You + Learning something new > You
You + Proper hydration > You
Generally speaking, you take yourself and add any of the above - and you usually end up with a better self. I would call these roughly the “additive” ways of improving your wellbeing.
You can also improve your wellbeing with the reduction or removal of a negative. We’ll state it this way:
You + Pain < You (“you plus pain is less than you”)
You + Alcohol < You (sometimes)
You + Harmful Drugs < You
You + Stress < You
You + Poor Sleep < You
So, if you reduce or remove the negative, you become more.
We could argue small points here or get into data that supports each of the above, but I’ll trust we’re generally in agreement on the above.
People Use Cannabis For Many Different Productive Purposes
The stigma taught us that cannabis is about “getting high.”
In a 2022 survey by New Frontier Data, consumers identified the reasons for their cannabis use:
Relaxation - 18%
Reducing anxiety - 15%
Pain management - 15%
Stress relief - 13%
Improving sleep - 10%
Enjoying social experiences - 5%
Increasing overall wellness - 4%
Treating a medical condition - 4%
Appetite stimulation - 2%
Stimulating creativity - 2%
Improving focus - 1%
Do you see any ignoble aims in that list? Perhaps the evil is in the 5% who use cannabis to enjoy social experiences? The stigma taught us that cannabis was a party drug. However, when you talk to consumers who use cannabis to enjoy social experiences, they more often talk about their social anxiety and how cannabis helps the conversation flow more freely and naturally, unencumbered. Or, they talk about how cannabis helps them be present in the moment to enjoy experiences with their family, partner, or children.
On the Jointly platform, when asked to track their consumption, users are provided with 11 options. Here is what they select:
Relax & Refresh - 22%
Relieve Everyday Stress - 19%
Improve Sleep - 11%
Energize & Uplift - 10%
Ease Everyday Pain - 9%
Enjoy Social Experiences - 7%
Focus & Create - 7%
Stimulate Appetite - 6%
Enhance Intimacy - 3%
Recover From Exercise - 3%
Other - 3%
I’d like to, in particular, call your attention to that “other” option. Only 3%! Maybe evil that supports the stigma is buried there?
Another 2022 Harris Poll revealed that 91% of adults who have used cannabis did so for health and wellness purposes.
I think we’ve arrived at the 2nd Law Law of Purposeful Cannabis Consumption:
People use cannabis for many different productive purposes.
Read the next part of the series: People.