Green Flower Nation: How an educational podcast on cannabis is trying to weed out misconceptions around the controversial plant
If there's one thing that the world is more divided over than Donald Trump, it has to be weed. Marijuana, Auntie Green, hemp or Cannabis, this flowering plant has been the topic of debate for years now. While the popularity of cannabis being used in medicine and other things apart from getting high is fairly new, it really is no secret that cannabis is still very mysterious and misunderstood - and a huge reason why is the utter lack of education around it and the Green Flower Nation podcast is trying to change that.
Green Flower Nation, the only educational podcast about weed, explores the impact of cannabis, from medicine to sports to entrepreneurship. What's more, there are 2,000 hours of this content on the podcast that will help you explore opportunities in health, employment and everything else.
The podcast, which is Green Flower Media’s brainchild, draws from their network of over 700 cannabis experts and each episode features special guests, including athletes, entrepreneurs, and medical experts.
With the legalization debate continuously growing and the scales tipping in the favor of the green flower, there's no better time for this than right now, says Max Simon, CEO and co-founder of Green Flower Media and host of the podcast. "What most people don’t realize about the industry is how much opportunity there truly is," he tells MEA WorldWide, commenting on the growing cannabis entrepreneurship. "Each licensed sector of the industry (cultivation, retail, manufacturing, distribution, etc) are all ripe for entrepreneurs, but then there’s all the ancillary business opportunities like software, consulting, marketing, and more. Add the newly legalized Hemp to the field, and this is why cannabis will be one of the top industries in the world," he says.
Like most of the world, when Simon first used cannabis, he had no idea of the magic it held. You're thinking about the giggly kind of magic, but what he is talking about is the medicinal and therapeutic properties. Diagnosed with ADHD at an early age, he struggled immensely through school. When he found cannabis, he was immediately drawn to it and continued to use it discreetly for decades, not understanding its powerful medicinal and therapeutic benefits but still finding relief.
When the wave of cannabis being used to treat illnesses rolled in, he took a hard look at the science, research, and industry surrounding cannabis, and realized there was no source of credible, trustworthy information, education, and training to further its benefits.
His first myth to debunk then became that cannabis is dangerous. "That’s old/outdated thinking when in fact, cannabis is just as safe as widely accepted substances like caffeine. That said, I think people need to respect the potency of this plant," he says. Cannabis and the Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), in particular, is a very strong and powerful ingredient, and it’s important that we educate people on how to bring a new level of responsibility and care to their consumption experience, he says.
"Micro-dosing cannabis can be absolutely game-changing for people dealing with pain, anxiety, depression, sleep, and a host of other disorders. But to get the maximum benefits, most people actually need to consume less – a lot less," he adds.
He also slams any reports that say people can die from a THC overdose. In June, a coroner's report was very sure that an unnamed 39-year-old in Louisiana was killed as a result of vaping an excess of Tetrahydrocannabinol - or THC - the main active ingredient in marijuana and the one which gives users a high. "I have read the press in that situation from every angle and I am 100% convinced that it is a false diagnosis," says Simon adding that not one of the thousands of scientifically validated studies on the toxicology of cannabis came back concluding that THC cannot kill anyone by an overdose. "So that particular report is just “fake news” and not worth discussing," he says.
Many scientific findings have said that cannabis has a negative impact on the human body and prolonged usage can lead to issues. For example, a study from New Zealand conducted in part by researchers at Duke University showed that people who started smoking marijuana heavily in their teens and had an ongoing marijuana use disorder lost an average of 8 IQ points between ages 13 and 38. The lost mental abilities didn't fully return in those who quit marijuana as adults. Those who started smoking marijuana as adults didn't show notable IQ declines.
Simon notes that there is a lot more research required to make any sort of scientifically validated claims that cannabis has grave negative effects on the human body. "Thus far, this is some weak correlation data between cannabis use having a slightly compromising influence on the adolescent brain, and that people with personality disorders should probably stay away. Outside of that, most research actually demonstrates that cannabis is safe, and can be very effective for helping a myriad of different people," he says.
In conclusion, he said that the research on the endocannabinoid system, which is a network of receptors in every human body that directly interacts with cannabis, is actually demonstrating that daily cannabinoid intake is a key ingredient to living a healthy, happy, balanced lifestyle.
While the 'wonder drug' continues to have its detractors and supporters it's good to have a place where one can find knowledge on the subject before making up our minds on its legality or use.
To know more about Green Flower Nation, catch the podcast here.