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This week, I am in Anaheim, Calif., attending the National Religious Broadcasters’ Proclaim 2019 convention. It is the 75th NRB, an annual trade show where Christian media outlets of all kinds – radio, podcasts, websites, television, film companies, and more – join together to highlight their programming, debut new shows and films, hand out awards, network, and talk about the future of the Christian media industry. I am attending because I have been a Christian entertainment writer for more than 20 years. I love seeing old friends and covering new films, music projects, radio shows, and websites.
As the new editor of GodsGreenery.com, I have recently been interviewing many Christians about CBD. I hear a lot of stories about CBD. They are not hard to find. Christ followers are not afraid of CBD. They are using CBD. In fact, one well-known figure at this very show pulled out his bottle of CBD oil when the conversation turned to God’s Greenery. Of the Christians I have talked to, I have yet to find a single person of faith who is adamantly against CBD.
However, I am witnessing a dichotomy here in Anaheim this week. Christians are talking about CBD and using it. Christian media outlets, however, are afraid to be part of the conversation. I think we need to change that. Let me tell you why.
A year ago, I knew nothing about CBD. Zilch. Nada. I vaguely recall seeing signs around town for CBD because I live in Florida, which recently became a state allowing medical marijuana use. I lumped CBD into the “pot” category and thought nothing more about it. Except that as a Christian I should probably steer clear of it.
Then I began seeing CBD everywhere. I do mean everywhere. It was featured in magazines like Allure and Elle. It was all over the news. CBD popped up on Facebook as friends of friends began selling it through multi-level marketing companies. Other friends I ran into talked about the ways CBD oil was helping them or their family. I learned that CBD does not get you high. I learned that people I knew had tried it and found it helped their pain or eased their anxiety.
Today, you can find CBD oil in everything from donuts to bottled water to mascara. Websites rave about its health benefits for humans and pets. Touted as the “Trend Whisperer,” Cowen & Co. surveys 2,500 Americans monthly to see what people will be buying next. Based on its January consumer survey, Cowen predicts the CBD market in the United States could reach $16 billion by 2025. The survey showed nearly 7 percent of Americans already use cannabidiol (CBD). That number was much higher than Cowen expected. Think about that. Based on that survey, one out of every 14 Americans already uses CBD.
I believe Christian media of all kinds should be talking about and reporting on CBD. Why? Because Christians need to be culturally literate about it. The body of Christ needs to know about CBD so each member can make an informed, thoughtful decision about whether CBD is right for them – physically, morally, ethically, or spiritually. We need to be able to talk to our coworkers, friends, family members, and our own children about our stance on CBD. If we are for using it, we need to be able to explain why. If we are against using it, we also need to be able to explain why.
If Christian media does not provide information about CBD through a faith-based lens, where will Christians learn about it? How can we make that informed decision if Christian media has no voice in the cultural conversation? As a wife, a mom, a servant leader, and a woman who loves Jesus and wants to follow Him with all of her heart, what can I intelligently conclude about CBD’s positives and negatives without knowledge from sources I trust? Knowledge that also has God’s wisdom and discernment applied to it? That’s what God’s Greenery aims to provide. But we need others to be part of the conversation with us.
The landscape of CBD is changing faster than I can keep up with it. Laws and regulations are shifting, and Christians need to be aware of them. Products are entering the marketplace so quickly and in such volume it is mind-boggling. Christ followers need to know how to discern which products may provide health benefits and which are just cosmetic or plain silly. Can a CBD donut or a bottle of CBD water actually help me heal in any way? Will CBD oil do anything positive for my body other than possibly live up to its claim not to clump my eyelashes together? Do CBD topical creams actually have CBD in them? What about the oils? What else besides CBD am I getting in the drops I put in my mouth?
We need Christian journalists to help us pull back the curtain and tackle some of the tough questions that go deeper into the cannabis industry. Questions like: If I use CBD, am I contributing to the perception that all cannabis (including marijuana) should be legal and used by Christians? Am I buying the modern-day equivalent of snake oil or “The Emperor’s New Clothes” (meaning there is really nothing there)? Are we getting what we pay for when we buy a bottle of CBD oil, and how do we know? How does using CBD compare to the prescription drugs I take? Does CBD oil lead to addiction or help break addictions? Does CBD belong in a body that houses the Spirit of God?
At GodsGreenery.com, I am committed to providing as many of these answers as I can for my brothers and sisters in Christ. I hope other faith-based media will too. Let’s all learn, so we can intelligently enter the cultural conversation surrounding CBD.
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