Although the state of cannabis prohibition worldwide has been changing drastically in recent years, consumption of the herb still remains a taboo subject in many different regions. In some countries, simply possessing a small amount of weed is enough of an offence to lose a job, get kicked out of school, or receive accusations of being an “out of control” drug addict. And these are just a few examples of the active social stigma against cannabis.

Cannabis possession can land individuals in some very serious situations that may cost them large financial sums or even time in jail. With such a negative view of cannabis still circulating, it is no wonder that many consumers choose to keep their relationship with weed a strict secret. Sure, they might have a close group of friends that they meet up with to indulge, but aside from that - many people choose to keep it on the down low.

This kind of secretive behaviour does make sense. Risking a job or tarnishing your social image due to judgement from others doesn’t seem worth making your weed smoking entirely public.

TELLING YOUR SECRET

Telling friends is one thing; the relationship between friends is often very non-judgemental and open. Most of the time, this is because friend groups engage in a similar behaviour. This can also be said about the relationship between siblings. However, one of the most intimidating and often risky reveals for both adults and teenagers is telling their parents or guardians that they smoke weed - and may have been doing so in secrecy for years.

The very thought of sitting one or both of your parents down may seem utterly terrifying; it may even be enough to make you want to go and smoke a joint to ease the tension that arises due to the very thought. But it doesn’t have to be this way at all.

It really does depend on your approach, how healthy your smoking habits are, and how educated you are on the topic. If you enter this conversation with no knowledge other than smoking weed gets you high and makes you feel good, then it’s highly likely your parents may raise concern and disappointment over your herbal consumption.

In complete contrast, if you come to the table equipped with science, statistics, and raw honesty, this encounter may leave you feeling more open and closer to your parents than ever before. This article has been forged with the intention of arming weed smokers with a few facts and snippets of advice to use during this situation, ultimately explaining why it's a fantastic idea, most of the time.

honest conversation parents cannabis

EXPLAIN WHY YOU WANT TO BE HONEST

During this conversation, it’s probably best to establish exactly why you want to tell your parents that you smoke weed. The main reason for this conversation is to allow an opportunity to take some weight off of your shoulders and to build a more solid and trustworthy relationship with some very important people in your life. Explain to your parents how much you value your relationship with them. Don’t use this fact to try and win over some empathy, simply tell them the truth of how you feel.

Many smokers out there have probably been in the position of hiding or lying about their consumption to keep it a secret from their parents. At face value, this may seem much easier and more protective than telling them and feeling some negative emotions arise on both sides. But in the long run, this delayed honesty may provide instant gratification, but really isn’t worth it.

Sneaking out the back door in the middle of the night or turning up to meals with red eyes and very little to say isn’t healthy when it comes to an honest relationship. It’s a fact that we feel better when we are being honest with others and, equally as important, ourselves. Chances are, your parents may feel distant and even feel suspicious of you disappearing routinely in the day and night.

They may very well appreciate and be in need of such refreshing honesty. Perhaps, it may even reestablish trust and closeness in the relationship. This will certainly be the most emotional part of the entire conversation, and probably the most productive.

USE SCIENCE

Now that the truth has come out about your cannabis use, it’s time to stand your ground and deliver facts and evidence to defend your position and actions. But before we delve into this, let’s address something important. Although weed is probably the least damaging recreational drug out there, it certainly can have detrimental effects when abused, just like any other substance. If you think you have problems with cannabis, and your parents believe this too, they may state some very valid points and it might be time for you to listen.

If you have a healthy relationship with the herb and are functioning normally and achieving your goals, you have every right to be smoking and can use these facts to justify your actions. One of the most relatable and powerful points you could present during this part of the conversation is the following. Are your parents okay with you drinking alcohol? Or, even more importantly, do they drink alcohol?

Science cannabis study toxicity

If the answer to either of these questions is yes, then it is time to pull out some ammunition from scientific literature. Many people who are opposed to cannabis-use probably have no idea of the science behind the herb. Most of these opinions are more than likely formed from social rhetoric and decades-old propaganda. Many are wrongly told that cannabis is a dangerous drug, causing it to be illegal in the first place. All the while, substances such as industrial tobacco and alcohol remain entirely legal and easy to access.

A POWERFUL STUDY

A scientific study published within the journal Scientific Reports employed methodologies to measure what drugs pose the highest risk of mortality among a long list of substances. This list included drugs such as alcohol, cannabis, cocaine, heroin, nicotine, MDMA, methadone, and amphetamine. Of all of these substances, the researchers classified four of them as high risk, those being nicotine, cocaine, heroin, and alcohol. The only drug out of all of those mentioned that was classed as low-risk was cannabis. In fact, it was found that cannabis is around a staggering 114 times less deadly than alcohol.

Using this slice of evidence as an argument during a conversation will certainly make its mark. You will have to ask your parents whether they would feel better if you were out at a party or rave getting hammered on alcohol, or chilling with a group of friends smoking a few joints and eating a meal together. It isn’t hard to guess which they might prefer, especially after presenting this evidence. Alcohol is known to cause aggressive, irrational, and often dangerous behaviour. Cannabis does almost the opposite. This safer choice displays responsibility.

HISTORY OF USE

At this point in the conversation, you have probably laid some solid groundwork and have presented a very reasonable and rational case for your actions. However, there is far more that you can address to further educate your parents. It’s time to drop some severe truth bombs that may very well change the way they see cannabis, and the way they see the institutions that have been telling them lies about it all along.

We have delved into the scientific literature to muster evidence, now it’s time to pay a visit into the past. Despite the fact cannabis is currently illegal in various places, this hasn’t always been the case. In fact, the cannabis plant has only been illegal for a tiny sliver of human history. Outside of this short prison sentence, it has been employed for numerous purposes for literally thousands of years.

AN IMPRESSIVE HISTORY

Not too long ago in the year 1850, cannabis was added to the United States Pharmacopoeia, which listed the herb as a valuable and effective medicine for many disorders, such as rabies, anthrax, opiate addiction, gout, convulsive disorders, tonsillitis, and many more. From 1611-1762, settlers of North America were highly encouraged to grow cannabis for its industrial uses and penalties were imposed on those who refused. Even as far back as 2900 BC, Chinese Emperors wrote of the medicinal properties of the herb.

PROPAGANDA

So what happened along the way to make it illegal? Well, the safety of cannabis certainly wasn’t the real issue. It was in 1930 that a vicious and factually-void campaign was launched to demonise cannabis and stain its reputation. A man named Harry J. Anslinger, Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, played a major role in this affair. He inaccurately stated that cannabis consumption leads to insanity and causes people to engage in criminal activities.

A few years later, newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst joined in on such slanderous claims. He used his newspaper to spread propaganda and lies about cannabis being linked to violence. Many sources state that Hearst's investments in the lumber and paper industries motivated his lies, as cannabis may have caused him financial damage.

The 1936 propaganda film Reefer Madness also caused some huge damage to the reputation of the herb. Funded by a small church group, the film depicted scenarios in which people who smoked cannabis went insane. All of these acts caused great damage to how the public perceived cannabis. Later down the line, it was eventually removed from the US pharmacopoeia and classified as a controlled substance with no accepted medicinal use.

history cannabis propaganda pharmacopoeia

MENDING THE IMAGE

So, what does all this mean? Well, it serves as evidence to display to your parents during this conversation. It shows them that much of what our society believes to be true about cannabis are the remnants of lies spun from human greed and ego. What they think they know about cannabis may be based on utter lies and fabrication.

USE HEALTH AS AN ARGUMENT

At this point, your parents may very well be fully convinced that your choice to smoke cannabis is based entirely on reason, facts, and sensible decisions. However, it won’t hurt to continue adding to your evidence-based claims. Perhaps one area of cannabis that can appeal to everyone, whether they want to get high or not, is how the herb interacts within the human body.

Cannabis has been explored in-depth; many chemicals within the plant display medical potential. From cannabinoids CBD and THC, to a whole array of terpenes and other substances, consumers don’t even have to smoke to enjoy the benefits of cannabis, nor do they have to ingest THC. Many forms of psycho-inactive edibles, capsules, and oils are available to simply take as a health supplement.

What’s more, the way cannabis interacts with the body has in some ways revolutionised our view of the biological machine. It turns out that there are molecules produced by our body that are almost identical to cannabinoids; these are known as endocannabinoids. Because of such a similarity, cannabinoids like THC act on the same receptors as these endogenous molecules. These receptors are on the surface of many cells within the human body and make up a system known as the endocannabinoid system. Molecules from cannabis work through this system to achieve some profound therapeutic effects.

Data now show that molecules within cannabis have the ability or potential to help treat and relieve the symptoms of diseases and disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, some cancers, seizure disorders, chronic pain, inflammation, insomnia, and much more.

CONSIDER BOTH SIDES

Now that you have presented your case, it’s time to lend an ear and listen. Respectful and free dialogue is the only way that a fair and just conclusion can be reached. Your parents have given you the chance to tell the truth and express your thoughts on the matter. Even if their opinions are not based in fact and you don’t agree with them, it is only right to hear them out. If all goes well, you will reach a middle ground that meets everybody's needs. Not only will you have potentially formed a closer relationship due to this encounter, you may have completely changed the way they see cannabis.

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