Mad Lilly Marketing Manager, Danielle Meyers, had a chance to e-meet Bradley King, cannabis coach, father, husband, actor and life coach living in Georgia.
When did you first become aware of cannabis and how did you use it?
In high school I started hanging out with the kids who did drugs. I was smoking out of bongs and completely over consuming at the time. After about a year, I had fallen down the rabbit hole as I like to say and by the time I was 16 years old, I found myself in rehab. My relationship with drugs and alcohol had become out of control and I was going down a bad path that my parents thankfully caught in time.
I realized that while rehab was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, it was also the smartest. After getting sober, I was able to live out my early adulthood in a way that helped me focus on my mental health and deal with my trauma from multiple assaults I experienced in my late teens.
How did you eventually start consuming medicinal cannabis?
I hadn’t used cannabis for 10 years before I attempted to try it again. During that time though, my anxiety and PTSD had gotten so bad that I finally decided to use antidepressants. While they were helpful in the beginning, they gave me a horrible numb feeling and I just didn’t feel like myself.
My daily anxiety was still heavy, and it wasn’t until one of my friends mentioned medical cannabis in a conversation about it that I had even considered cannabis. Never did I think that the “weed” that got me high in high school could actually be helpful to me as an adult and in a medicinal way.
After that, my friend began to educate me on the basics and that catapulted my own journey of educating myself on the plant and its benefits.
When in your cannabis journey did Bradley the “Cannabis Coach” arise?
I have been a certified Life Coach for over 8 years and I absolutely love what I do.
One day, a client of mine suggested that we consume cannabis during a session and after laying out some important ground rules, we were able to have one of our most productive sessions to date.
After that, I recognized that I could also help people utilize cannabis as a tool in their recovery and overall wellness.
My mom, of all people, helped me come up with the name. While I coach with cannabis occasionally, the majority of my clients don’t consume it. It really depends on what each individual needs.
How did becoming a father play into your life of advocacy and coaching?
I realized that not only did my career depend on ending the stigma around cannabis, but that I needed to be an advocate for parents. Many of the cannabis influencers that were active when I started my social media were posting things like who could take the biggest dab or roll the heaviest joint. It just wasn’t who I was or wanted to be as an advocate fully.
Once our child came into our lives, I realized what moms and dads go through...and how cannabis can be such a relief in so many ways. But plenty of people still think that we’re irresponsible or are over-consuming in front of our kids.
The use of social media is a great tool and while likes and comments are fun, it’s the messages I receive that explain how one of my posts changed their day, or their whole attitude on parenting. That’s what makes this advocacy worth it to me.
How did you eventually explain cannabis to your son?
Around the time he turned 9, he had seen some of my cannabis-related items on the table from the previous evening and asked what they were. His curiosity had finally peaked, because before he hadn’t really questioned ‘dad going outside for a few minutes’.
I decided to be very open and honest that this was a plant that daddy used as medicine. I explained it was not something that he could have at this age, and made it clear that this was for my anxiety attacks and PTSD episodes that he had seen me go through before.
While he had a ton of questions, eventually he ran out of them and asked to go watch TV. Ever since then, we have been able to normalize it in our household.
My biggest realization was that if you don’t treat it seriously or something to be ashamed of (like many of our parents had), they won’t put fear and judgement on it, but rather see it for what it is – a medicine.
What are you most excited to see in the future for cannabis?
I see my son as the generation of advocates that cannabis needs for ultimate legalization. It’s why working with parents and how they teach their kids can be just as vital to this process as convincing other parents and adults of its legitimacy.
He’s already getting involved in some social media posts where he stands up for my responsible use of cannabis, and even puts down some haters! I’m very proud and happy that I have raised someone who understands the meaning and uses of cannabis. I want to inspire other people and parents to be those advocates that we need for plant medicine to be regarded as just that: medicine.