Cannabis use has become increasingly accepted by society over the last few years. There has been a wave of cannabis decriminalization laws in recent times. Therefore, people across the United States and all around the world are becoming more open-minded about the potential therapeutic benefits of cannabis.
However, while many people have accepted the use of cannabis for both medicinal and recreational purposes, for some people, there’s still a stigma associated with marijuana. And these people may just be your family. Whether you’re coming out as a cannabis user to your family, trying to convince your mother to use medical marijuana, or merely trying to advocate for the use of cannabis, talking to your family about smoking weed can be intimidating and uncomfortable.
As cannabis laws across the country continue to relax, it’s important for families to have open discussions about smoking pot and cannabis use in general. Everyone’s family is different. However, there are a few things you can do to ensure the discussion is open and mature when talking to your family about cannabis.
Acknowledge the Medicinal Properties of Cannabis
A lot of people (mostly “anti-cannabis” individuals) believe that the medical claims about cannabis are merely an excuse to legalize it so that stoners can get high. First and foremost, you need to have a discussion on the therapeutic qualities linked to the drug.
If you need help getting through to them, ask them to watch Sanjay Gupta’s Weed. It’s a documentary about how the Chief Medical Correspondent of CNN changed his mind about the medical use of cannabis.
Recognizing cannabis as a way to manage and enhance overall wellness makes it feel more acceptable without having to fit into a specific demographic. For example, being a very sickly patient or a “stoner.”
Listen to Your Family’s Concerns About Cannabis
It’s easy to become frustrated and even defensive when having these types of discussions, especially if cannabis is something that you’re passionate about. Things could become even more heated if you’re hoping to improve the health of a loved one. Perhaps you feel as though CBD could help a relative to manage their diabetes.
You might decide to throw research articles at them or go on a tangent about cannabis facts to help them “see the light.” The problem is that these kinds of tactics will more than likely turn the discussion into an unpleasant debate rather than a nice discussion.
It’s important that you listen to your family’s view and acknowledge any concerns they may have. The discussion can branch off nicely from there. You can address these concerns and explain why you think they might not be as problematic as your loved ones may think. At the end of the day, it’s about having a mature conversation rather than a pointless argument.
Discuss the Science Behind It
Discuss the countless studies coming out of places like Israel that look into cannabis use for medical conditions like epilepsy, PTSD, glaucoma, and more. Your family may not be aware of just how much research has been done on the medicinal properties of cannabis.
One of the most relatable points you can bring up is the link between cannabis and alcohol. If your family is fine with you consuming alcohol (and maybe even consume alcohol themselves), then theoretically, they shouldn’t have a problem with cannabis use.
Plenty of research has been done that suggests cannabis is safer than alcohol. Many people are wrongly told that cannabis is a dangerous drug – which is why it’s illegal. However, substances such as alcohol and tobacco remain entirely legal and are easily accessible.
Acknowledge That Mice Are Not People
Now that you’ve discussed the scientific evidence, it’s also important to acknowledge that most studies have been done on animals. While we have tons of anecdotal evidence and a lot of promising research in mice, not many clinical trials have been on humans. And a lot of the human clinical trials that have been done involved very small populations.
That said, anecdotal evidence is still significant. You can also explain to your skeptical family that the reason so few human studies have been done is that cannabis is federally illegal, and the government has made it nearly impossible to do research.
History of Cannabis Use
Once your family learns about the history of cannabis use, it may very well change the way they view the drug. It might show them the lies institutions have been telling them all along.
Despite the fact that cannabis is still illegal in many places, this hasn’t always been the case. In reality, the cannabis plant has only been illegal for a very short time in human history. Prior to this “prison sentence,” it was used for numerous purposes for thousands of years.
Cannabis Is Often Not About Getting High
Some people are still under the impression that the only reason you would smoke cannabis is to get stoned. While this may very well be the reason many recreational users consume cannabis (which is absolutely fine), it’s not always the case.
Explain to your family that cannabis is about so much more than its psychoactive effects. Cannabis is available in various different forms, many of which don’t involve “getting high.” For instance, CBN, which is known to help people sleep, and CBD, which is known for numerous therapeutic effects, don’t have any psychoactive effects.
Open up About How Cannabis Has Benefited You
Before your discussion, understand that your loved ones may have minimal (if any) experience with cannabis. Sharing your experiences may lead them to question any negative beliefs they have on cannabis and cannabis users. When they hear about how it has had a positive impact on your wellbeing, they may be more likely to consider how it could help them too.
You may want to talk about your personal experience with cannabis before discussing the scientific evidence. It may help them to be more receptive to this information. For instance, if you talk about your struggles with stress and how THC has helped, then you could share an article on a THC stress relief study.
Avoid Overselling Cannabis
Even if you have had a very positive experience with cannabis, be careful not to oversell the value of cannabis. Each individual is different, and cannabis may not be right for everyone. Don’t try to turn them into a firm believer. Just encourage them to be more open-minded about cannabis use and how it could potentially help them or their loved ones.