Essence Blog

Parents and Cannabis: What You Need to Know

Parents Cannabis 001

Is it okay for me to use cannabis if I have kids?

Should I smoke in front of my kids?

Should I tell my kids that I use cannabis for medical reasons?

These are all good questions.

You have kids. You want to make sure that they’re healthy, safe, and well-provided for.

You also have a medical condition. Treating that condition with cannabis makes your life a whole lot easier.

Or you’re a recreational user who needs to unwind at the end of a long day. Instead of reaching for a glass of wine, however, you reach for your pipe and a gram of Cookie Face.

Of course, there’s the stigma. Decades worth of social conditioning that’s told us that cannabis is harmful, has no medical value, and is a gateway drug to more dangerous substances.

Even though you’ve done the research and know the truth about cannabis, that stigma is still strong.

What will my family, friends, and neighbors think?

Another good question. And the perfect place to begin our post on cannabis and parenting.

Don’t Worry About What Other People Think

The exception to this rule is the state authorities. You should definitely care what they think to the extent that you’re following ALL of your state’s medical & recreational cannabis laws.

Aside from that, anyone’s opinion about you being a cannabis user and a parent is just that: their opinion.

Look, we get it. We all want to be liked and well thought of by other people. It’s part of being human.

But if you’re using cannabis for medical reasons, it’s nobody’s business but yours.

And if you decide to indulge in a vape pen or pre-roll — instead of a glass of wine or a bottle of beer — after the kids are tucked into bed, again, that’s nobody’s business but yours.

You do you.

Set Rules For Yourself Regarding Your Cannabis Use

Every parent knows that you’ve got to establish rules and boundaries for your kids. Otherwise, they’ll run all over you.

But as adults, we also have to set rules and boundaries for ourselves so that we can set a good example for our kids.

Consider the following questions:

Are you going to consume cannabis in front of your kids?

There’s no right or wrong answer to this question. But there are pros and cons.

Pros: If you’re a medical patient suffering from severe chronic pain, PTSD, or some other condition, you may not have the luxury of waiting until after the kids are in bed. Taking your medicine during morning or afternoon hours might mean that you’re able to be pain-free and more present with your family during those hours.

Cons: If you consume large doses of cannabis, it might compromise your ability to make good decisions around your kids. You also might have to field questions from your kids about what you’re smoking/vaping/eating and why (we’ll get to that issue in a second).

Our take: If you’re using cannabis for recreation, it’s generally a good idea to wait until after the kids are in bed before you partake. Stay lucid during the day and let yourself unwind at night.

If you’re a medical patient and you need to consume during the day, consider a more discreet method — like an edible or vape pen — so that you can use it when your kids aren’t looking. Don’t try to drive your kids anywhere while you’re intoxicated, even if that means arranging for them to get a ride from someone else.

Are you going to tell your kids about your cannabis use?

Again, this is a personal decision.

We’ll just say this: legalization is rolling across America. People are already talking about it.

There’s a very slim chance that your kids aren’t going to be curious about your stance on cannabis use, even if they don’t know that you use it.

Whatever you decide, it’s probably a good idea to be prepared to have that discussion in case they do ask.

If you do decide to tell them, we recommend giving them as complete a picture as you can.

Tell them why you started using cannabis. Refer them to the articles and books that you’ve read that helped shape your opinion.

Explain the difference between what responsible use looks like versus irresponsible use.

If your kids are well-informed on the subject, they’re more likely to make smart decisions regarding their own usage when they get older.

Do Not Give Your Kids Cannabis Unless They Have a State Medical Cannabis Card

This should really go without saying.

But smoking a pre-roll and then passing it over to your 14-year-old son / daughter doesn’t make you a “cool parent.”

It’s way worse than setting a bad example for them. Studies suggest that cannabis can have a negative impact on the developing brains of adolescents.

And if you’re caught? You can lose your medical cannabis card (if you have one) and wind up in serious trouble with Child Protective Services, to say nothing of the criminal charges you could face.

However, if your child has a medical cannabis card, and you’re a designated caregiver, that’s an entirely different story.

If you are interested in using medical cannabis to treat your child’s illness — and your child is under the age of 18 — you should consult with a licensed physician.

Once your child turns 18, they’re eligible to apply for a medical cannabis card on their own.

Otherwise, no cannabis until they’re at least 21. Doctor’s (and state’s) orders!

Keep Your Products Hidden and Secure

Keep all your products in child-proof packaging, and keep them out of sight. If your child can’t see or find your cannabis, they can’t accidentally consume it.

Most edibles that you purchase from us will already come with child-proof packaging. If possible, store your product high up on a shelf where a child can’t reach it.

If the edible needs to be kept in the fridge, hide it somewhere in the back where it can’t be seen or easily accessed.

If you feel that it’s not safe to store your edibles in the family fridge, you can get a mini-fridge and keep it in your bedroom.

As for flower, vapes, and shelf-safe edibles, keep those hidden away in your room, either in a shelf, cabinet, or a safe.

Dealing With Secondhand Smoke

We don’t yet know the effects that secondhand cannabis smoke can have on a child, but it’s a valid concern.

If you want to reduce or eliminate your child’s exposure to secondhand smoke, use a vape pen or dry herb vaporizer. Or consume edibles or tinctures – they’re about as smokeless as you can get!

Have more questions about how to juggle parenting and cannabis use? Contact us at any of our three locations – Las Vegas Strip, Tropicana West, and Henderson – and we’ll be happy to assist you!

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