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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

To Be Blunt: Sharing your pot preferences can be tricky

Young couple arguing about their problems at home.  (Getty Images)
By Chelsea Cebara EVERCANNABIS Correspondent


My sister is always complaining about aches and pains: sore shoulders, stiffness from a wrist surgery she got years ago, stuff like that. She’s also pretty anxious by nature. I think cannabis could really help her. I deal with similar issues (though not exactly the same stuff) and it helps me a lot so I keep suggesting it to her, but she never seems to try it. Should I just leave it alone at this point even though I feel like I’m sitting on the perfect solution to her problems? I don’t want to be “the weed guy” or pressure her. – Bro

Hey, Bro!

If you’ve mentioned it to her several times she’s gotten the message by now. She knows this is something that works for you, but she’s got her own reasons to be hesitant, and she hasn’t felt comfortable sharing them.

But she also keeps complaining to you.

Consider that she might be sharing her woes as a way to connect with you, rather than presenting you with a problem to solve. Start by listening and offering her empathy. I know how hard it can be to listen patiently when you feel like you’ve already got the solution. Maddening!

But try mirroring what your sister says in your own words and saying how you imagine she’s feeling, such as “Your wrist is acting up again? That must be so frustrating after all the PT you did.” This allows her to feel heard and understood which, in time, will likely reduce the number of times you have to hear about the same issue.

The most likely way that you will convince her to give cannabis a try is by sharing your own experience with it. You’ve got a head start here since you already deal with related issues. You can talk about how much a bowl helped you relax after a tough day – but resist the urge to proselytize.

Just talk about how your day went and the role cannabis played in it. Normalize cannabis for her as medicine and recreation. Chances are her resistance has to do with the long-standing social and legal stigma against cannabis, or the associated belief that being high makes you feel anxious and out of control. By sharing your positive experiences, you become a living testament against Reefer Madness.

Her hesitance could also stem from unfamiliarity with pot shops and/or cannabis culture, and if that’s the case, you have a perfect brothering opportunity! You can be her guide for her first visit and help her talk to the budtenders and choose appropriate products.

Speaking of appropriate products, it wouldn’t be my column if I missed an opportunity to plug topicals, especially since they could be perfect for your sister. Topical cannabis can provide her with significant relief for her wrist or muscle pain without intoxication. Balms and lotions are the friendliest of cannabis consumption methods. Often, once folks try a non-intoxicating product and see that it’s not so scary, they are more open to systemic cannabis. Topicals: the gateway drug of cannabis!


After all this, she may just not want to try it, and that’s her prerogative. If you build up enough trust with her that she tells you why she is cannabis-hesitant, and you talk her through her concerns and she still says no, you have to drop it. No mentioning it casually, no linking to articles, nothing. As her brother it’s your job to support her choices for her own health, even if that means a little more listening to her complain.