Older Latino households are often more traditional. This means that they are more skeptical of new concepts and treatments that can benefit their health.
The younger generations are thus faced with the challenge of explaining to our parents and grandparents that the old ways of thinking are not exactly the healthiest and that there are natural products that can help with lifelong problems.
Whether it’s stress, anxiety, skin care, muscle cramps, or inflammation, there are many new alternatives that can help.
Take the example of drinking on the weekends.
If you tell your Latino parents that you are going out for a drink to relax from the stress of the week, this seems natural to them and is even a social norm.
However, if you tell them, “I’m going to try this CBD product,” you’ve crossed the line.
It’s interesting to see how, even though cannabis and its derivatives are legalized in 18 states across the country, it still carries a negative stigma. In fact, there are households where those who consume such products are still referred to as “marijuaneros.”
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical found in the plant Cannabis sativa L. It was discovered in 1940 and accounts for up to 40 percent of the plant’s extract. Its consumption as an active ingredient (i.e., without the tetrahydrocannabinol [THC], which makes the psychoactive effects we know in popular culture) has been widely researched for its health benefits.
Who knows when CBD products will make it onto a positive episode of “La Rosa de Guadalupe.” It could be years before our older generations look favorably on CBD.
But rather than dwell on the connotations, I suggest we open the minds of those still with crickets in their eyes and educate them on how they can benefit from these products.
Recently, my mother, who to this day thinks cannabis is equivalent to hard drugs, started applying a CBD-infused lotion that helps her with her muscle cramps. How interesting to think that she sees this particular product as a source of wellness, yet if she saw someone smoking marijuana, she would quickly associate it with cigarettes.
I am hopeful that, little by little, she will connect that they are the same product and can be used for wellness, rather than categorizing it with negativity.
For now, we can hope that those who have a CBD store can continue to break the stigma of “marijuaneros.” For those interested in trying the products, here are three small Latine CBD stores that are claiming this space and pushing their product with a positive message to the mainstream market.
Ojo De La Sol (Oakland, CA)
CEO Dania Cabello’s mission statement for her salve and bath salts products gives a different perspective on the use of cannabis. “This effort began as a project rooted in healing familia that has grown to reach athletes, elders, and people struggling with chronic pain,” she says. “As a former professional athlete whose body was significantly impacted by harmful western medicine practices, I have spent over a decade working with cannabis studying its medicinal effects to create products that are highly effective and gentle on the body.” In doing so, this small business owner is changing the outlook of medicine with the help of CBD.
Canna Bella Lux (Chicago, IL)
This Latine-owned small business gives a self-care outlook that includes cannabis tools as part of their spa days. We’ve included this shop because it highlights a different type of customer – the bubblegum pink enthusiast. By this, we mean that this website has products that aren’t usually sold in cannabis stores. It focuses more on a “femme-forward” approach. Puerto Rican and Italian CEO Tiffany Woodman’s mission statement is “a safe place for women and others who might not gravitate to cannabis because of the stigma or the atmosphere and offerings at a smoke shop.” Yaz queen!
Xula (Mexico City, Mexico)
We’ve recently interviewed the founders of this project. What’s exciting to us is their approach of using nature to heal us (this includes helping us with our periods!); in our interview, they expressed: “Our main advice to anyone reading this is to remember that you are ancestrally connected to herbal care and healing. It is not only in our DNA, but the herbs and plants on this earth are here for us to be in harmony with. We believe this is a great metaphor for life as well.” What a positive approach to those curious about cannabis’ benefits.