Dr .Bridget Cole Williams is here to break down the stigma in cannabis. With 20 years of experience, Williams is an established board-certified family physician, author, and CEO of Green Harvest Health, medical cannabis and integrative clinics located in Ohio.
With 39 states now medical and 19 recreational on the ballot, cannabis will continue to be a controversial and growing subject in our communities. She states, “In fact, 34% of patients are seeking integrative holistic care outside of their traditional medical providers.”
Williams recently released her new book titled Courage in Cannabis, bringing together 18 diverse authors who specialize in cannabis to discuss how it changed their lives for the better. The book is currently available in Amazon, Walmart, Barnes & Nobles, and bookstores across the country.
Sheen spoke with Dr. Bridget Cole Williams to discuss her new book, and how cannabis can improve your life as well.
When did you first get the idea for Courage In Cannabis? What was your intention?
The Courage in Cannabis book was created because when I first started seeing patients in the cannabis space, men would tear up when I handed them their card, saying they no longer had to be ashamed. They no longer had to hide their cannabis use and they could now tell their children they were patients not “potheads.” Women would become emotional stating they could return to church. They could share they had a medical card and be less fearful of being dismissed from church now that they were legal patients.
Legal medical cannabis programs are much bigger than access to cannabis and rights. I learned it was about healing from shame and guilt. It was the opportunity to share with others how cannabis helped them medically, emotionally, and physically. These stories needed to be documented before they were lost. People may want the research and numbers to prove cannabis works but what influences people and what they remember are the stories. That is what Courage in Cannabis is all about.
How can cannabis improve one’s mental health & well-being?
Cannabis helps one’s mental health and wellbeing by creating homeostasis in the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS oversees every other system in the body, with the primary goal to create balance. Cannabis connects with these receptors to enhance this goal. By increasing the function of the natural endocannabinoids our body makes, it is effective in decreasing anxiety, improving sleep, minimizing depression and simply enhancing relaxation and restorative time. Balance is key to well-being and cannabis can play a significant role in connecting with the ECS to improve that function.
What’s your own experience with cannabis & how does it improve your life?
Because I observed cannabis misuse growing up and the restrictions and requirements of my occupation, cannabis use personally was something I had avoided. However, because I had a patient early in my career that demystified the plant, is how I found myself in the cannabis space and wanted to help others utilize this plant for multiple conditions.
One of the ways that I have enjoyed cannabis for myself is through CBD for balance and sleep, as well as for skincare. I started formulating products for my brand and clients a few years ago and what I have loved is creating skin care products and seeing how they can decrease acne, smooth wrinkles and brighten skin tone. I love the medicinal side of cannabis which I create through Green Harvest Health, but I’m very excited about Embody, my lifestyle brand and all the possibilities that await.
What is the premise of Green Harvest Health?
Green Harvest Health was created because I wanted to provide empowering medical care for cannabis patients . We are not a “card mill” like some other options available. We spend time with our patients, create treatment plans and provide follow ups to help guide patients in their journey. We have integrative options like life coaching and herbalist consults as well. Our goal is to have empathy for the patient’s journey, educate them on the plant, its use and how it intertwines with their medical condition and empower them to reclaim their wellness.
What’s the biggest misconception with cannabis?
The biggest misconception is that cannabis is just for getting high. Many of my patients have little interest or choose to avoid the euphoric feeling and are seriously seeking a medical alternative to pharmaceuticals.
What else are you looking forward to?
I’m looking forward to many things in the new year. I have a few new projects in the works, but mostly, Courage in Cannabis Book 2 is in production and I could not be more thrilled. We have more authors with amazing stories that will educate and inspire others. We are looking to launch in April 2023.