Should I Tell My Kids I Smoke Cannabis?


Following a trend of recreational cannabis legalization across the United States, our attitude as a culture is changing toward cannabis and cannabis users. The cannabis industry continues to grow in popularity as our understanding of the plant’s beneficial properties evolves. This positions cannabis sales to potentially top at $72 billion by 2030, according to Forbes.  Cannabis has become increasingly popular among parents looking to alleviate the day-to-day stressors of parenthood. According to “A Naturalistic Examination of the Perceived Effects of Cannabis on Negative Affect” in the Journal of Affective Disorders, cannabis was shown to be effective in reducing stress, anxiety, and depression, including postpartum depression experienced by new mothers. For these reasons and many more, parents, or “cannaparents”, are accepting cannabis as part of their lifestyles.  But how do we approach this topic with our children in a safe and constructive way? 


It may seem daunting to explain to your children that cannabis can enrich your life when treated with respect and administered with care. As the first generation to navigate post-prohibition education about cannabis, today’s parents have the opportunity to inform their children without the scare tactics of past drug education programs, while also setting expectations surrounding responsible use and legal age restrictions. Though we advocate for having a thoughtful dialogue with your children about cannabis, the Department Of Cannabis Control recommends the following to ensure their safety:

  • Do not use cannabis around children.
  • Keep cannabis in the child-resistant packaging from the store.
  • When you’re using cannabis, ensure another adult can look after your children.
  • If you think a child may have taken cannabis, call Poison Control.

Cannabis Legalization and Fading Stigma of Cannabis Use

As of 2023, cannabis is legal for recreational use in 20 states, and legal for medical marijuana use and cultivation in 37 states. In Massachusetts, the first recreational stores opened for business in 2018. Since then, the industry has expanded, and Boston has even become a major destination for cannabis tourism and cannabis experiences Additionally, an increasing number of studies point to cannabis safety when compared to alcohol. In a report published by the National Center for Biotechnology, researchers studied direct deaths by alcohol, heroin, nicotine, cocaine, and other drugs. The article suggested that health risks from cannabis have been largely overestimated, whereas health risks from alcohol have been largely underestimated.  Many cannabis users ask why a glass of wine with dinner is more socially acceptable than responsible, recreational cannabis use. It is at least partially due to alcohol’s legality in America (omitting the prohibition from 1920-1933) versus the formerly unprecedented legal status of cannabis. 

Cannaparent Parenthood

As cannaparents, it can be helpful to consider how recreational cannabis use promotes personal enrichment during your leisure time. Does it elevate your capacity for immersion in music, film, or visual art? Does cannabis help you appreciate nature and the world around you?  However cannabis consumption enriches your life, cannamoms and cannadads do not need to feel guilty about using flower while you also may be parenting. On the contrary, relating your positive experiences with cannabis could help you connect with your child. You can imbue them with an understanding of experience through your eyes, while educating them about responsible recreational use.  Furthermore, the numerous medical benefits of cannabis have been known to help with postpartum depression symptoms, such as low mood, insomnia, mood swings, and irritability. New parents interested in consulting cannabis for various kinds of alleviation should always start by learning about safe use. For example, most experts advise against cannabis use in pregnant or breastfeeding mothers.  If you want to review the basics of cannabis use or are considering first time use, check out our guide for getting started


Cannabis stereotypes in culture are steering away from the negative “lazy stoner” myths and the classification as a “gateway drug.” People across America from ages 21 to seniors can now explore their individuality through recreational cannabis If you are a parent, you might remember the misinformation about cannabis in drug education programs from your childhood. As a responsible adult using a legal substance, there should not be a stigma about an open conversation with your child about your responsible habit as well as the honest effects of marijuana Do you want to practice guilt-free transparency about cannabis at home and educate your kids? Here are some suggestions on how to start the conversation when your kid catches you smoking or even before your child asks why mommy gets high.

Take a Botanical Approach

Explain to your kids that like many other plants commonly ingested by people, cannabis has known beneficial properties. Point out that medical cannabis was also available before the wave of recreational legalization, and has a rich history of recreational use in past centuries. Taking a botanically-centered perspective can help your child understand that cannabis is natural, beneficial, and undeserving of the stigma it gets.

Always Promote Legal and Moderate Cannabis Use

Much like the consumption of alcohol, it can be helpful to point out that there is a time and a place to enjoy cannabis. For instance, driving while experiencing the effects of cannabis is dangerous and illegal based on marijuana laws. Try introducing scenarios when cannabis could be offered socially and discuss with your child whether or not it is a responsible situation for enjoying the drug.  It is also important to speak with them on the effects of smoking on the teenage brain, such as poorer cognitive and emotional outcomes in adulthood, to prevent usage before the legal age of 21.

Start Low and Go Slow with Cannabis Dosage

Overdosing on cannabis can be disorienting and uncomfortable, but it is not life-threatening. Instill the importance of starting with smaller doses and proceeding with caution, while also discouraging your children from using cannabis until they are of legal age. People have different individual reactions to specific cultivars, and parents should encourage legal cannabis use and habits if and when their children are ready. It is also important to state that those who become pregnant should refrain from smoking cannabis. Moms who smoke while pregnant may give birth to babies who experience “withdrawal syndrome” associated with irritability as well as long term effects on their brain development and overall mental health.   

Connect with Your Kids by Sharing How You Experience Cannabis 

Overall, be transparent about how cannabis enriches your life. An honest and open conversation can reduce the likelihood that your child will one day indulge in cannabis recklessly. For instance, tell your child an interesting story about an experience you had in nature while using cannabis or how it alleviates chronic pain. As recreational legalization has spread across America in recent years, a more holistic understanding of cannabis has spread with it. Cannabis products, including THC and CBD, can offer medicinal relief with a lower risk of dangerous side effects than opiates. In fact, cannabis could be an eventual replacement for opiates among patients looking for pain relief. Cannabis could potentially reach more pain sufferers, and provide pain relief without a high risk of addiction, overdosing, or dangerous drug interactions. Whether it is for medicinal or purely recreational uses, parents are welcoming cannabis into their lives. Instead of concealing this habit, talking to your kids about cannabis does not have to be as difficult as it may seem. Start by getting in touch with what you love about cannabis in your life. 


If you are a parent considering cannabis for relaxation, recreation, or to help reduce the symptoms of postpartum conditions, the highest quality products ensure the best experience. No two cannabis users have the same experience with cultivars, so it is crucial to learn as much as you can about high quality cannabis to help you find your ideal cannabis cultivar. Become a Happy Valley Insider for exclusive deals and updates, and be sure to download the Happy Valley Insider App for even more tools to assist you with your experience.


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