Last month, Revolutionary Clinics was named Best Medical Dispensary at the New England Cannabis Community Awards. This tremendous honor would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of EVERY employee throughout our organization but we’re especially proud of the men and women who deliver the customer service experience we strive for.

Our Patient Advocates, Assistant Managers and Dispensary Managers aren’t just the faces and voices you meet at our dispensaries. They are the hearts and souls of our business. Seven days a week they provide our patients with the knowledge, compassion and advice they need to make informed decisions about their health and wellness. Every patient comes to us for different reasons but many of them have the same concerns. Here are the six biggest misconceptions about cannabis and medical marijuana dispensaries as told by the staff of Revolutionary Clinics.

Misconception: Smoking is the only way to consume cannabis

Reality: There are several ways to consume cannabis besides smoking

Whether you grew up on Flower Power, Cheech and Chong, Dazed and Confused or hip hop, cannabis has been unfairly associated with the stoner stigma for decades. We’ll talk more about that stigma and some of the other “sketchy” parts of cannabis’s reputation later. For now, let’s focus on smoking and the fact that it’s just one of several ways you can consume cannabis. As Team Lead and Social Media Maven Lauren explains: “There are so many wonderful options out there for those who are looking for a smoke-free way to get the effect they are looking for.”  “CannaWarrior” Sarah-Janna agrees and so does Jasmine who adds: “…smoking may be the most common, but it may not be the best way to relieve the negative side effects from certain ailments.”

Because it produces water vapor that dissolves in seconds instead of smoke that can linger for several minutes and absorb into your clothing, vaping is a smoother and more discreet way to consume cannabis. Topicals, such as massage oils, patches and salves are even more discreet since they are odorless and you can apply them under your clothing. A lot of patients who come into our dispensaries concerned about smoking end up purchasing edibles, which are by far the easiest way to consume cannabis. Medical marijuana edibles are tasty and the ones we offer at Revolutionary Clinics have a higher concentrations of THC than you can get at any recreational shop. Edibles are a fantastic alternative to smoking but Patient Advocate Danielle has some important advice based on her experiences with some patients who ate multiple brownies because they don’t immediately feel the effects:  “Go low and slow.”

Misconception: Cannabis will make you lazy

Reality: Some strains of cannabis give you energy and focus

Since many patients believe smoking is the only way to consume cannabis, it’s not surprising that they’re also under the impression that cannabis will turn them into the stereotypical stoner. We hear this one a lot and as Patient Advocate Lee explains: “Indica strains can make you feel pain relief and relaxation but Sativa strains can give you an uplifting feeling, energy, and focus.” At Revolutionary Clinics, we’re constantly educating our patients about the different strains of cannabis and their different effects, which bring us to the next big misconception:

Misconception: Cannabis only has one type of high

Reality: Depending on the strain, cannabis has many different types of effects

Dispensary Manager Ari is no stranger to people who come into our dispensary thinking “one size fits all”: “New patients often say “I don’t want to feel high,” but what they really mean is “I don’t want to have an Indica high,”  he says. Patient Advocate Dan agrees: “In truth there are a number of different strains that can have a range of effects,” For example, the “indica high” Ari is talking about is the classic, relaxed feeling that most people associate with cannabis while sativa can provide the energy and focus Lee described above. Within each of these types are dozens of different strains that have their own unique effects.

To simplify things further, think of cannabis like tomatoes. Within the different types of tomatoes (beefsteak, on the vine, cherry) there are different shapes and colors that have vastly different flavors. It’s the same with cannabis but with another interesting wrinkle that Patient Advocate Kerwin points out: “Every person’s endo-cannabinoid system is different, so cannabis strains effect people differently.” This is why it’s so important to seek credible advice from trained experts before making any cannabis purchase.

Misconception: Cannabis is addictive

Reality: Cannabis is not addictive and is nothing to fear

We’ve written about the fact that cannabis is not a gateway drug before but it’s still a big concern for many people. “A lot of new patients have the misconception that our products are going to have them “zonked out” and they will become addicts. That’s 100% false,” says Patient Advocate Terrence. Assistant Manager Jennifer agrees: “People don’t realize how much information there is about cannabis and how open and accepted it is to purchase it legally.” Information is the key to breaking down cannabis misconceptions and at Revolutionary Clinics, we spend as much time with patient as they need to understand all the different types of medication we have available.

Misconception: If I take cannabis, I may overdose

Reality: It is almost impossible to overdose on cannabis

The opioid crisis has millions of people justifiably concerned about what kind of medication they put into their bodies and whether or not it will create dependency. Assistant Manager Shantey tells us: “The biggest misconception I see is that Cannabis is scary and it will make people have a bad reaction and overdose.” The Center for Disease Control states that a fatal overdose is unlikely but taking too much at once can definitely cause problems. Determining the right initial dose for you and finding the right “sweet spot” is a responsibility we take seriously.

Misconception: Medical marijuana dispensaries are sketchy places

Reality: Visiting a medical marijuana dispensary is nothing to be embarrassed about

When you put all these misconceptions about cannabis together, it makes sense that many patients will feel some anxiety about visiting a dispensary. As Patient Advocate Lindsey explains: “When patients walk in to Rev Clinics, they are always surprised at how professional and knowledgeable the staff is. There is definitely still a stigma attached to the entire experience and industry.” Patient Advocate Joe describes the Revolutionary Clinics experience like: “going to an Apple store and instead of having someone at the genius bar explain the difference between new i-Phones, you have a patient advocate to explain the differences between different strains of flower, vape cartridges, and other products.”

At Revolutionary Clinics, we’re here to make learning about cannabis as easy and enjoyable as possible so we can connect you with the right cannabis product for your situation.  Don’t let decades of Hollywood stoner stereotypes or well-intended, but inaccurate advice from your high school health teacher discourage you from exploring the natural benefits of cannabis. Give us a call at 617-213-6006 to share your questions and concerns with us so we can help you make an informed decision that can make you happier and more productive.