How to Talk to Your Family Members About Cannabis
Since cannabis has become a much more popular substance in recent years, it is more likely that it is being used more than it is being talked about. Many medical patients have turned to the drug rather than using pharmaceuticals because the benefits of cannabis outweigh the downsides to using it. Medicine prescribed by doctors has many side effects to them, but with cannabis, there are only a few and most people don’t experience them. There are also so many different ways to consume cannabis, whether it be actual weed, edibles, capsules, and so on, cannabis has become much more attractive to people who suffer from illness both mentally and physically.
In this generation, the stigma of cannabis has started to disappear but still, our parents or grandparents have not come around to this idea. It can be a challenge to renew their feelings on the drug because of the mindset they have had for so long.
However, there are ways to have this discussion without turning it into a full-on battle. Here are some ways to approach the situation that will help make it an easy and mature conversation.
Explain why you want them to know
Start out the conversation by explaining why you want to have this discussion and how you’d like to approach the topic. Explain why this is important to you and that you want to be able to have these types of discussions in the future. This could be a starting point for you and your family to be more open with each other on many topics.
Remember that honesty is the best policy, so when it comes to talking to your family about cannabis, you should keep that same thought in mind. Being honest about why you use cannabis and how it helps you can go a long way. Rather than beating around the bush with excuses, just give them the heartfelt truth. Since cannabis is not legal everywhere yet, be sure to explain that you aren’t going about it in a sketchy way and that you are using it for the benefits only. Being completely honest will gain you a lot of respect and set the tone for the entire conversation.
My father is almost 14 years sober, and I thought I would never be able to have this conversation with him. Eventually, it sort of just came out and he reacted in the best way possible. He asked me how often I used it, and if I was careful about what I was buying. All good questions that I happily answered. He now knows I write about weed for a living and that I use it pretty often for my mental health. Thankfully, he just wants the best for me and has been super supportive and wonderful about it.
Use facts about science and mental health
Talk to your parents about all of the studies that have come out showing how cannabis can be helpful to those with mental health issues. Do your research and be prepared with examples and facts to demonstrate your point. Explain to them how marijuana isn’t any different than taking prescription medication from a doctor, other than the fact that there are fewer side effects to cannabis versus pharmaceutical drugs. Showing them actual scientific facts should help them understand that the idea of using cannabis as a medication is normal and much more common now.
Talk about policy
There are 10 states that have expansive laws on the legalization of marijuana for recreational use including, Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington. There are also 33 states that have laws allowing medical marijuana usage for medical patients. With these sorts of laws being put in place, it is pretty clear that cannabis is truly helpful to users. Show your family that you’ve done the research and you understand the policies behind the industry.
Listen and understand their thoughts respectfully
If you truly want to have a mature conversation about cannabis, you have to be able to listen to the other party’s arguments or thoughts on the subject and respectfully answer their questions. If you want this person to respect your thoughts, you have to be able to reciprocate the same respect to them. Show them that you care about their feelings on the subject and want to find a way to be on the same page.
Show them proof it works for you
Whether it be insomnia, focus, or just overall happiness that you suffer from, find a way to prove that cannabis has been helpful to you. You could say, “haven’t you noticed I’ve been happier lately?” or “it’s nice to be getting some sleep.” Whatever your specific issue is, show them that cannabis has been helpful to you in some way.
Explain that there are very few downsides
Cannabis has very few side effects compared to actual medication you would get from a doctor. If you are not an avid user, it can make you paranoid or anxious, but if you do the research into the strains you are buying, you can avoid that. For most people, cannabis actually helps with anxiety and will keep you calm after using it. Explain from your personal experience how it has helped you compared to things you have tried in the past.
Know that not everyone will understand or agree with you
Although the stigma of cannabis has started to be less, there are still people out there who will never understand or agree with you. If that happens to be your family, then be cautious of what you say and how you say it. Some people won’t change their minds, but some will. You won’t know until you try, but do understand that not everyone will agree with you. Hopefully, people will start coming around to this idea, as it definitely does help a lot of people with physical or mental illnesses.
To sum it up, the best way to have this discussion is, to be honest, and open with your family, but listen to their side as well. Have facts and answers ready for any questions they may ask, and show them proof that it helps you in some way. Keep in mind that most families just want what is best for their kids and if that happens to be cannabis than hopefully, they can understand that too.