Dear Cannabis – December 2020

First off I’d like to introduce myself to those who don’t know me. I’ve been a medical cannabis patient for over 6 years and have been consuming dried flower almost everyday with exceptions of when I travelled out of the country and there was no access to it. I’ve been learning a lot about cannabis in that time and have never been employed in the cannabis industry nor am I a medical professional. 

The discussion began with my family doctor in finding other ways to treat chronic pain as I knew higher dose opioids weren’t the solution and would likely lead to a future disaster. My doctor wasn’t sure how the dosing works with cannabis so he referred me to one of the clinic’s in Toronto for more information and that led me to get authorization to use cannabis for medical reasons in 2014. 

How I Started To “Review” Cannabis

Upon opening my first order I saw a small square insert about reviewing cannabis part of a community website, which was Lift & Co. I didn’t know much about terpenes, flavonoids or other cannabinoids other than THC and CBD so I focused on how each named flower made me feel and posted a short write up. I began to read more information over the years on cannabis and talked to others via social media about quality and value, and eventually extended my write ups further when I launched my own website on June 30th 2019.

My goal of the website was to inform others of my experiences in an organized way and try to help others understand why quality matters. Of course, these opinions are just a small snapshot of what’s out there as I haven’t tried everything and each individual may experience different outcomes as our bodies have a unique endocannabinoid system (also known as ECS).

What’s This Grey Area You Say?

I’m not talking about the random grey hairs as I age each year, I’m talking about what some people in the cannabis industry have tried to convince me about. Out of the 6+ years of writing about my experiences online I’ve had about 10 licensed producers offering me free cannabis, all to which I’ve declined. 

My last encounter was a direct message just before the summer from someone I’ve met in the industry and they asked if they could call me about something, I said sure, thinking it had nothing to do with such matter and unfortunately this person tried to convince me it was okay as I was a “friend” and doing so isn’t against the Cannabis Act. While this is true, sharing cannabis from a friend to a friend is okay, but doing so indirectly with them working at a licensed producer (LP) is a “grey area” and the wording is vague and not an issue I was told.

I firmly stand against this behaviour as this gives other licensed producers a disadvantage who are following the regulations and my opinions have always been my own based on my own purchases. When I explained my concerns I was told that they assumed my reviews weren’t and would have to talk to the other “reviewers” they spoke to. A few short weeks after this I noticed on Twitter that a handful of people were all talking about the same product, one which received a very long reply from someone working at that LP discussing why the product is dry and how it is what it is. 

I’ve told others over the years to voice their opinions online as sharing what you know is always valuable to others. Don’t ever think you have little influence because you have a small following, be concise, be kind and open to learning more, but don’t let someone put you down for giving an honest “review”. 

Moving Away From The R Word

It’s been two months of vaping once a day on improving my eyes to the best that I could without relying on a high dose of opiates to keep the pain away and I decided to move away from the R word, review. That doesn’t mean I won’t write my thoughts on future things I buy, but my focus will be more on saying my opinion rather than review as I’m just an average person talking about weed and each batch may vary and might not be the same each time.

I’ve removed all of my YouTube videos that I began attaching to my write ups earlier this year, mostly due to the fact they had to be age restricted and didn’t look great if a person wasn’t signed into YouTube and it took longer to piece together a write up. 

I was aware my presence on social media was nearly 40 hours a week at times before selling my first home and preparing to move to a new location while dealing with ongoing eye issues, which was later labeled as dry eye disease and something else I can’t pronounce made me less active. Over the summer I moved to the Niagara region, lost a friend to suicide a month after moving in and sank into a period of self reflection. Some of you reached out to me or said words of positivity and I appreciate that very much. To those that didn’t, I understand many of us have a lot going on and I hope that you’re taking care during these uncertain times. 

What’s Next

In 2021 I’ll be going back to the basics when talking about cannabis, no long form opinions unless I really enjoyed it and since I’m consuming less than half a gram a day, the purchase of a 3.5 gram jar lasts me a week or more which has led to less content. Until my eye issues fully clear up things will stay at a slower pace. Maybe I’ll start posting more cannabis photos for you to enjoy.  

Another focus will be article writing to help others understand cannabis better and staying off social media for a bit longer. I haven’t been on it for more than 5 minutes a week since the summer began, if that!

Sending my best wishes to everyone and hope next year is a better year for all!

As always, thanks for reading,

Shane (VapeTheBud)