Here’s How to Talk to Your Parents (or anyone) About Cannabis

If you’ve been experiencing this kind of tension for years or if you just want to be able to talk freely with your family, there’s a good chance that the time has come. Especially if you suspect that the rents are ingesting cannabis themselves. Perhaps it’s even time for you to break out your stash and have that first sesh as an adult with them.

Approach gently. Cannabis is such a hot topic these days that there’s bound to be a topic for you to springboard off. From new local laws to the recent passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized hemp in the U.S. once again, broach the topic from a non-personal point of view, explore legislation and get a feel for the room.

If you’re met with stony silence, don’t go for the family sized joint you prepared in advance. Instead, keep the conversation positive, talk about the benefits of cannabis and let it go if things get weird. If you’re a die-hard weed activist, you may want to keep pushing, but just know that pulling out paraphernalia in that type of situation isn’t going to end well for anyone.

Unfortunately, most primary care physicians know almost nothing about the receptors in the body that respond to the active compounds in marijuana, or about what kinds of pot to buy for which diseases. So if your mom is waiting for the go-ahead from her doctor before she starts lighting up to deal with her glaucoma, let her know she could be waiting a while. She should feel free to ask her doctor’s opinion, but keep in mind that they are likely not up to date on the research. Even in states with legal markets, many doctors are afraid to recommend pot because it remains federally illegal.

We are living through crazy times, and it’s completely bananas that the federal government still considers marijuana to have no medical value while a majority of states have legalized pot for medical use and the FDA is fast-tracking trials of a cannabis drug. This situation sucks, but ideally in a decade or so we’ll have a lot more research, regulation and legal access to this very important plant. Then, and only then, will more doctors suggest using it.

Many smokers out there have probably been in the position of hiding or lying about their consumption to keep it a secret from their parents. At face value, this may seem much easier and more protective than telling them and feeling some negative emotions arise on both sides. But in the long run, this delayed honesty may provide instant gratification, but really isn’t worth it.

Sneaking out the back door in the middle of the night or turning up to meals with red eyes and very little to say isn’t healthy when it comes to an honest relationship. It’s a fact that we feel better when we are being honest with others and, equally as important, ourselves. Chances are, your parents may feel distant and even feel suspicious of you disappearing routinely in the day and night.

They may very well appreciate and be in need of such refreshing honesty. Perhaps, it may even reestablish trust and closeness in the relationship. This will certainly be the most emotional part of the entire conversation, and probably the most productive.

In the future, you’ll probably think of shopping for medical marijuana as akin to shopping for frozen yogurt. You go to the store with your friends; everyone chooses and mixes different flavors and toppings; and when you walk out, it’s hard to even recognize that you’re all eating a single product. Peanut butter froyo mixed with cheesecake froyo topped with chocolate chips is most definitely not the same thing as plain yogurt topped with kiwis and blackberries. In the same way, cannabis can be broken down into separate compounds that create different smells and perform different functions. THC, the compound that gets you high, is the most famous of the plant’s components, but several other compounds have huge medical potential and are not psychoactive. CBN, for example, seems to help people sleep. THC-V seems to suppress your appetite. CBD seems to be a powerful analgesic and anti-convulsant.

So if your uncle is suffering from some intractable medical issue like Parkinson’s or MS, but he’s totally freaked out at the prospect of using medical cannabis, make sure he knows that not all of the options will get him stoned.

Now that you have presented your case, it’s time to lend an ear and listen. Respectful and free dialogue is the only way that a fair and just conclusion can be reached.

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