Have you talked to your kids about cannabis yet?
Happy Mother’s Day friends!
With legalization sweeping through the United States in 2021, we are celebrating parents who roll! Unfortunately, cannabis still comes with a ton of stigma particularly for moms, making them feel like they have to hide their cannabis consumption from their friends, family and their kids.
We believe hiding consumption only adds to the stigma and kid’s curiosity. A 2019 survey concluded that 42% of mothers who consume cannabis hide it from their children, and over half (51%) said they hide their cannabis consumption from professional contacts.
In a more recent 2020 Canada wide survey, where cannabis is legalized across the country, 72% of survey respondents said that someone inside their home has smoked cannabis, an increase from 66% in 2019, therefore it may be time for a conversation at home with your family. At Stori, we believe in normalizing cannabis through education and conversation so we prepared an easy-to-use guide to help parents talk to their kids about cannabis when it's the right time.
Why should you talk to your kids about cannabis?
Cannabis stigma will only be eliminated with conversation and education.
You don’t hide your wine or beer from your kids, so why should you hide your cannabis? Parents typically trust their kids to know that the wine and beer in the fridge is for adults, not kids. Parents may have also taken the time to educate their kids that certain supplements and prescribed medications are meant for adults.
So, why is there still so much shame around cannabis and why are so many parents hiding their cannabis in their sock drawer rather than talking to their kids? We know abstinence doesn’t stop sex, and ignoring that cannabis exists will not make it go away. Conversation around these topics can help kids make responsible decisions. So, let's talk about it.
When should you talk to your kids about cannabis?
There isn’t a magic age when this conversation should happen. The best time to discuss cannabis with your kids is when they are able to comprehend and manage the facts. Talking about it is the perfect opportunity to model responsible, informed, substance use. Whether the topic is about cannabis, alcohol, or sex, it’s not a one time conversation that will address the concerns. Rather, it’s about setting a tone that encourages a dialogue which will help provide clarity at times of confusion or doubt.
What should you say to your kids about cannabis?
We’ve created a simple Q&A for parents who choose to talk to their kids about cannabis.
What is cannabis ?
Cannabis, marijuana, weed, and many other names have been used to reference this plant which has many use cases. One interesting fact is that this plant can be used for making clothes, medicine, and even cars. But today we’re talking about how this plant is used by adults for medicine or for fun.
Adults can smoke the cannabis plant or purchase food or drink products that are made with cannabis. Similar to the way wine is made from grapes. Just like grape juice is for kids and wine is for adults, candy may be for kids but candy with cannabis is for adults.
Who consumes cannabis?
All sorts of people may consume cannabis for fun or as medicine. For example, teachers, doctors, engineers, lawyers or nurses may use cannabis after work to relax and have fun, or to help them reduce a pain they may be feeling. But the key point here is that it is for adults because using cannabis at a young age can cause long-term issues and it may not be safe. Just like alcohol is not safe for kids, but when you grow up, you can try it and see if you like it.
Why do people consume cannabis ?
Adults consume cannabis for different reasons. Some adults consume cannabis so they can feel a little different for a few hours (giggly, relaxed, concentrated). Some adults consume cannabis because their doctor has recommended it to reduce pain they may be feeling, similar to how some adults take medications from the pharmacy.
How long does cannabis affect you ?
Cannabis changes the way you feel for a few hours but it depends on how you consume it - this is called onset & duration. When cannabis is inhaled into the lungs, it is absorbed directly into the bloodstream and the effects are quickly felt by the brain and body. Effects after smoking can last up to 4 to 6 hours.
When cannabis is ingested, it takes much longer for it to be absorbed into the bloodstream and for its effects to be felt by the brain and body. It takes about about 30 minutes to 2 hours to feel the effects and can last up to 12 hours.
Is cannabis legal ?
It depends where you live. Cannabis is legal for recreational and medical purposes across Canada but different provinces have different laws around where you can consume or the legal age. In the U.S., cannabis is still illegal for recreational and medical purposes at the federal level but many states have legalized for medical and recreational purposes. Stay up-to-date with cannabis laws at www.canniknow.com.
We hope you learned something new and are now equipped to talk to your kids about cannabis... if you choose to.