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Cannabis Column | December 11, 2021

Helpful Tips for Your Weed Talk: Talking to Your Kids About Using Cannabis

Do you want to talk to your kids about smoking weed this holiday season?A family eating dinner It's that time of year when kids are home and everyone is getting together to celebrate. Parents who use cannabis for wellness purposes might feel the need to discuss their use. Due to decades of prohibition, cannabis users often face stigma. But you should not feel ashamed of using cannabis to improve your wellbeing. We know it can be hard, but what better way to bond with your children than to have a safe and candid cannabis conversation? Not sure how to talk to your kids about smoking weed this holiday season? This article offers suggestions on how to have a low-stress conversation about wellness-oriented cannabis use with children.

13 Tips On How to Talk to Your Kids About Cannabis

The idea of talking to your kids about cannabis can be scary. To support a low-stress, positive, and informative conversation, we recommend the following 13 tips:
  • Make sure your kids know you love them no matter what.
  • Research and prepare to communicate about cannabis laws in your state, province, or country.
  • Research science-backed resources to answer common questions about cannabis.
  • Keep your conversation age-appropriate.
  • Communicate clearly to your kids that you're not telling them they should use cannabis but that you want them to have information to make a well-informed decision.
  • Ask your kids what they've heard about cannabis so that you can address misinformation.
  • Discuss how cannabis works in the body.
  • Discuss the risks of smoking weed.
  • Discuss why some families use cannabis as a wellness tool while others view it as an illicit drug.
  • Discuss using cannabis for wellness purposes, versus using cannabis to get high.
  • Ask your kids if they have questions and answer any questions they have.

Four Topics to Address When Talking to Your Kids About Cannabis

Before you jump into your weed talk, we suggest spending a few minutes on each of the four topics below.

Talking to Your Kids About Legal Cannabis Consumption

When talking to your kids about cannabis, you should communicate where cannabis can be consumed and who can legally consume it.People on beach at sunset In the United States, cannabis is federally illegal. That means that even if a state has decriminalized cannabis consumption, weed remains illegal on federal land, even if the federal land is in a state where cannabis is legal. Examples of federal land include national parks, military bases, national monuments, and government offices. Cannabis laws are changing. When talking to your kids about smoking weed this holiday season, educate them on the nuances of legal cannabis consumption. We recommend answering the following questions about legal cannabis consumption:
  • Is cannabis consumption medically or recreationally legal where you live?
  • If cannabis consumption is legal where you live, who can consume cannabis and how do they legally purchase cannabis?
  • If cannabis consumption is legal where you live, what are the consumption limits and laws?
  • What are the penalties for breaking cannabis consumption laws?

Talking to Your Kids About How Cannabis Works in the Body

To have an empowering conversation about cannabis with your kids, discuss how the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and cannabis work in the body. Here's a quick ECS overview: The ECS is found in all animals except insects. The primary role of the ECS is to maintain
  • Father tossing his baby in the air
homeostasis, which is the stability of an organism’s internal environment in response to changes in the external environment. The homeostatic role of the ECS is summarized as “relax, eat, sleep, forget, and protect.” In humans, the ECS is made up of endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors found throughout the body and brain. As we discussed in Is Cannabis Good for Pain Relief?, the ECS is made up of:
  • Cannabinoid receptors 1 (CB1), found in the brain, nervous system, peripheral organs, and tissue,
  • Cannabinoid receptors 2 (CB2), primarily found on immune cells, although they are also found on bone, spleen and liver cells, and
  • Endocannabinoids (anandamide and 2-AG) that bind to CB1s and CB2s.
When you consume cannabis, you introduce exogenous cannabinoids into your system. The exogenous cannabinoids bind to the cannabinoid receptors and activate a variety of effects within the body. That’s why cannabis can you sleep at night or weed can help you recover from a workout.

Pros and Cons of Smoking Weed

Cannabis can be consumed through a variety of ingestion methods: orally, through inhalation, topically, or through mucous membranes. Different ingestion methods carry different benefits or drawbacks. Smoking weed is still the most popular ingestion method, so it makes sense to address it individually. When talking to your kids about smoking weed this holiday season, try to highlight the pros and cons of smoking weed. While no one wants their children smoking, representing both sides of a topic will empower them to make healthy decisions.

Pros of smoking weed:

  • Immediately absorbed into the body so you feel the effects quickly
  • Easy to regulate dosage, especially when vaporizedPeople on a hike laughing together

Cons of smoking cannabis:

  • Smoking is harmful to the lungs and respiratory system
  • Users feel effects quickly, which can be overwhelming if a strain is too strong or if a person ingests too high of a dose of cannabis
  • The effects of do not last as long as other ingestion methods

Perceptions of smoking weed

People who smoke weed are professionals, parents, athletes, and people looking for to improve their wellbeing. But decades of prohibition have created a significant stigma against cannabis users. When have the “weed talk” with your kids, it's important to share reasons people may have a negative perception of cannabis:
  • They don't know cannabis can be used for wellness
  • They don't know why cannabis became illegal in the United States
  • They may associate cannabis with criminal activity
  • Friends on the beach with a fire
  • They may have had a negative experience with cannabis
  • They are lumping harmful synthetic weed in with a plant that has been used by humans for over 5,000 years
In our article Why is Weed Illegal? we share the history of cannabis prohibition in the United States. When you talk to your kids about smoking weed you may want to read the article together aloud. Imagine the holiday memory that would make, "Hey, remember that holiday season when we were kids and we read about why weed was illegal? That was cool!"

Use the Jointly App to Get More Out of Cannabis

Have you started your cannabis wellness journey? Jointly is a new cannabis wellness app that helps you discover purposeful cannabis consumption so you can achieve your wellness goals with cannabis and CBD. On the Jointly app, you can find new cannabis products, rate products based on how well they helped you achieve your goals, and track and optimize 15 factors that can impact your cannabis experience. These 15 factors include your dose, the environment in which you consume cannabis, who you are with when you ingest, how hydrated you are, the quality of your diet, how much sleep you got last night, and more. Download the Jointly app on the App Store or the Google Play Store to get started on your cannabis wellness journey.
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