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.
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 are accepting cannabis as part of their lifestyles. But how do we approach this topic with our children?
Talking to Your Kids About Cannabis
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.
Cannabis Legalization and Fading Stigma of Cannabis Use
As of September 2020, cannabis is legal for recreational use in 11 states, and legal for medical use and cultivation in 33 states. In Massachusetts, the first recreational stores opened for business in 2018. Since then, the industry has expanded, and Boston has even become a destination for cannabis tourism.
Additionally, an increasing number of studies point to cannabis’s safety as 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 recreational cannabis.
Cannabis and Parenthood
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 enriches your life, you do not need to feel guilty about using cannabis 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 like 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.
How to Talk to Your Kids about Cannabis
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.
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.
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 cannabis was also medically 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 Responsible Cannabis Use
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. 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.
Go Slow and Low 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, and discourage your children from using cannabis until they are of legal age. People have different individual reactions to different cultivars, and parents should encourage legal use and habits if and when their children are ready to try cannabis.
Connect with Your Kids by Relating Cannabis Experiences
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 exciting story about an experience you had in nature while using cannabis. As recreational legalization has spread across America in recent years, a more holistic understanding of cannabis has spread with it. Cannabis products 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. Above all, your kids may appreciate that cannabis makes you happy.
High-Quality Cannabis for the Best Experience
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.