Talking with your parents about using cannabis might fill you with anxiety, but there are ways to make the conversation run smoothly if you’re willing to broach the subject with honesty and intelligence. While the history of cannabis use in the U.S. is a complicated one, that trajectory is rapidly shifting. Adding your voice to the chorus of others who credit cannabis for discomfort, decreased stress, improved sleep, and more creativity only helps to make conversations about cannabis easer, both in your family and on a national level.
If the thought of your parents catching you with marijuana or even CBD oil brings up images of sneaking around in your younger years, you’re not alone. Roughly four in 10 cannabis users are secretive about it. But in order to shed the misinformation and negative stereotypes that may have led your parents to dissuade you from using cannabis in your youth, it’s important for educated and well-adjusted cannabis users to come clean (and come out of wherever you once engaged in cannabis use in secret).
One of the best ways to debunk myths and “stoner” stereotypes — like a lack of motivation or going into psychosis — is to come to your parents armed with evidence that proves the opposite. When it comes to a lack of motivation, it’s worth noting that some strains will produce different effects in the body. While indica strains might make you feel relaxed, sativa will have the opposite effect, leaving you energized, and perhaps more creative. The idea that cannabis lowers IQ is also a myth, as determined by a 2017 study that showed cannabis use in even adolescent users did not cause IQ decline or impair executive functions.
Another myth to debunk is the idea that all cannabis gets you high. Cannabidiol, or CBD oil, which is a compound of the cannabis plant that lacks psychoactive properties, is rising in popularity as treatment for a number of ailments from stress to normal inflammation.
DESCRIBE HEALTH BENEFITS
The medical benefits of cannabis are abundant, with countless scientific studies to back up your claims. Some of the health benefits of cannabis include:
There are studies on the efficacy of both THC and CBD oil for discomfort, as well as emerging research on other wellness trends like enhanced athletic performance and even skin conditions. Gone are the days when cannabis was almost always smoked. These days, vapes, edibles, tinctures and balms are just as popular, each delivering its own health benefits to suit your unique concerns.
USE IT TOGETHER
Take your conversation a step further and consider using cannabis with your parents, or offering them a cannabis-infused gift that you think may help them. Whether they’ve told you about their sleepless nights or achy back, chances are there’s a product that can help. Most of all, don’t assume that your parents don’t already know the benefits themselves. Research shows that more baby boomers are turning to marijuana than ever before. The fastest growing demographic of cannabis users aren’t millennials — they’re seniors.
Erica Garza is an author and essayist. Her work has appeared in Time, Health, Glamour, Good Housekeeping, Women’s Health, The Telegraph and Vice. She lives in Los Angeles.