Honesty is the best policy to maintain healthy relationships with our parents. But for some of us, being open about our cannabis use can be a daunting conversation. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced user, navigating the discussion on cannabis use can be challenging, especially if you have parents that are not familiar with cannabis, or hold conservative views about the plant. Thankfully, we have 7 tips to help make your conversation with mom and dad a little easier.
- Don’t go into the conversation guns blazing – The last thing you want to do is make your parents feel attacked or belittled by spewing facts at them. Remember, you’re trying to get them to hear you out and see your point of view on cannabis use. Make understanding the goal and give your parents opportunities to have their voices heard as well.
- Give them the benefit of the doubt – Give your parents an opportunity to tell you what they know about cannabis. If they grew up throughout the 1960s and ‘70s, they may tell you about their own experiences with cannabis when cannabis use was spreading rapidly, or they may tell you that they never took an interest in it for a number of reasons. This additional context will help you better understand their perspective which makes for a better discussion.
- Do your research – Anticipate what your parents’ concerns might be. They may be concerned about the health implications or uncertain about the laws surrounding cannabis use. Demonstrate to your parents that you are an informed and responsible user by using science and statistics to support your position. Statistics Canada is a great source to find the latest information on cannabis and provide credibility to the claims you make.
- Talk to them about the alternatives formats – If your parents are not familiar with cannabis, they may only be familiar with joints as its the most stereotypical and traditional way of consuming. The idea of smoking can be a turnoff to them or may raise health concerns. But smoking isn’t the only way to reap the benefits of cannabis. Teach them about different product formats of cannabis including edibles, capsules, and oils as healthier alternatives to consumption.
- It’s not just THC – If your mom or dad is not familiar with cannabis, they may not even know about CBD, the nonpsychoactive compound extracted from hemp. Introducing CBD to the discussion can help you better articulate the benefits of cannabis and even open them to the idea of how cannabis can actually support their own health and wellness. From chronic pain to migraines and nausea, CBD has been acclaimed to support a number of various conditions that can be beneficial to older adults. Positioning cannabis as a wellness product can help your parents be more receptive to the idea of consumption.
- Consider why you use cannabis – Be prepared to have an explanation for your recreational cannabis use. Your parents are going to want to know what you get out of it and even if the truth is that you simply “enjoy it,” flesh this explanation out. You may be more creative or energetic. Or it might be the way you love to wind down on the weekends when you’re watching your favourite movie. Honesty is the best policy and if your parents are concerned that you’ll be a “couch potato,” its important to advocate for yourself and the functional benefits you enjoy when you consume.
- It may take some time – No matter how smoothly the conversation goes, it may still take some time for mom and dad to accept the idea that their adult child is consuming cannabis, especially if the idea of cannabis is still taboo to them. Remember, their perspective may be rooted in their own personal upbringings, experiences, culture, religion and even years of propaganda that has stigmatized cannabis. Give your parents some time to digest the information at their own pace. It may take more than just one conversation for them to fully come around but let them know they can lean on you if they have any questions, thoughts or concerns.
At the end of the day, telling your parents that you consume cannabis can be intimidating. But remember, communicate respectfully and give your parents a chance to be heard and understood as well. You’re more likely to reach a middle ground and you may even change the way they view cannabis altogether.
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