Dr Caplan’s Cannabis: The First, Simple Victory


Modern culture showers us all with messages about our health. The exercise companies and products want us to exercise more. The nutrition world wants us to take vitamins and vegetables, fruits and funky fixes. The diet world has their place in the zoo of competing messages about how to be healthy, too.

As consumers, we have so many ways to be healthy. We can follow the messaging of the companies, we can align with one or another “influencer” and try to be like them, we can even follow educators and try to collect the secrets that they seem to hold, too.

Many of these different channels of messages, though, are about passive receiving of a message or absorbing someone else’s directions/suggestions, and a motivation to act on it… or else.

One of the amazing evolutions that I’ve witnessed among cannabis patients is a strong path of self-empowered healthcare. Let me share a story that highlights this:

Patient Story

Just the other day, a friend of mine shared that his wife, who has Diabetes, decided to “get back on the train” with her primary care doc. It had been many years since she has had healthy blood sugars, and she simply didn’t like the blood draws, needle sticks, and regular insulin injections which sometimes come with good care of Diabetes. What motivated my friend’s wife to return to care? A session of cannabis consumption with friends (the insiders call this a “sesh”). It wasn’t a company ad, not a magical tweet from someone rich and famous, but a realization, through quiet self-reflection.

Agency Brings Better Health

As a primary care doctor, having seen and cared for many thousands of patients, I have seen how this plays out. Almost as a rule, when outside forces are the motivation — a diet, an exercise plan, even a plan for fun activities or hobbies — the path eventually fades and is lost to follow up. On the other hand, when the idea comes from you, yourself, the chances of success are so much greater. This is true of many aspects of human nature. In business, in art, in literature, and certainly also in Medicine.

Cannabis, Self-Care, and Attention to Health

Despite the whirlwind of claims against the cannabis, it’s extremely common, bordering on universal, for cannabis consumption to lead to better health outcomes. For some people, it’s simply about better sleep. With better sleep, you become a well-rested, more productive, often happier, definitely less stressed person. For others, cannabis is a way to effectively unwind at the end of a rough day. Replacing alcohol, cigarettes, or other unhealthy coping tools, cannabis simply brings satisfaction without long-term baggage. There are many such ways in which cannabis creates the opportunity for self-healing, physically, but… cannabis also sets the stage for powerful psychological self-care too.

The psychological levity and light-heartedness that euphoric cannabis can provide, even temporarily, creates a powerful mental setting for observance. People consuming cannabis often notice aspects of their thoughts or bodies in novel ways. For many, this self-reflection is positive and healthy. For some, however, it can be a peaceful time, a safe space perhaps, to observe aspects of health that deserve more attention and care. For the wife with Diabetes, it was a quiet recognition, in the midst of a calm cannabis experience, that if she didn’t have better control of her Diabetes, she may not be able to function the way she wanted, over time.


As cannabis consumption returns to normal, across the globe, I would expect greater attention will be paid to the self, as more and more people self-reflect, while under the influence. This increased focus on self-consideration, in the backdrop of the chemical ambiance of calm, satisfaction, and comfort, tunes nicely to an increased attention on self-directed wellbeing and health.

…What do you think?

tl;dr: Even if cannabis consumption ONLY promotes more attention to health, this may lead to better health outcomes for those who consume!