Talking to your parents about cannabis can feel like a daunting task. For many middle-aged and older folks, the misconceptions about cannabis bred during the height of the War on Drugs are still firmly planted in their minds. This can be very frustrating, especially if you know that your parent might benefit from the medical applications of cannabis.
If you’re hoping to persuade your parent to try marijuana for a medical condition, general health maintenance or even as a healthier alternative to alcohol and prescription drugs, we’ve compiled a few tips to help you navigate the conversation.
Undoing a couple decades’ worth of misinformation about marijuana might take more than one conversation—and that’s OK. Before you initiate the discussion, manage your expectations and entertain the fact that the first conversation on the topic may not be the breakthrough you’re hoping for. Patience and persistence are key if you plan to change your parents’ minds.
Starting with a personal anecdote can go a long way when talking to your parents. Why? Well, hopefully your parents love you and support a natural remedy that makes you feel better. Your own positive experience with cannabis can be the trusted first-person account your parent needs to feel comfortable trying it for themselves. Explain why you choose marijuana, whether for medical reasons, mental health reasons or simply as an alternative to more harmful substances like drugs and alcohol.
Before you jump into the conversation, brush up on some facts about cannabis. It’s important to have some solid knowledge about recent scientific research and products in case they have questions. If your parent is suffering from a specific medical condition like arthritis or cancer, the chances are very good that HelloMD has an article about treating a specific condition’s symptoms with cannabis. Use our articles to brush up on your marijuana knowledge so you can be a source of trusted information for your parent. Better yet, print out a few relevant articles to show your parent.
The world of cannabis today is drastically different than it used to be. When your parent grew up, marijuana was whatever type you could get from whoever you could get it from. There was no wide array of products, no lab testing or state-of-the-art production facilities, no legal and medical dispensaries tracking every piece of product that comes in and out of the store. Explain to your parents how legal and medical marijuana programs work in this new era. Helping them understand the safety measures states have put in place may help them feel more comfortable about the idea of trying cannabis.
The cannabis compound CBD can be a great way to introduce marijuana to a parent who’s uncomfortable with the idea of trying cannabis or being high. First and foremost, CBD isn’t intoxicating. This cannabinoid has been shown to be effective against pain, inflammation, stress and more.
CBD-only marijuana products are available in a wide variety of consumption methods, from vaporizer cartridges to tinctures, so your parent will have their choice of how to consume. Being able to get the pain-relieving and relaxing properties of CBD without the high is a plus for many cannabis newbies.
A great option for parents who are averse to the idea of becoming intoxicated, cannabis topicals won’t put them at risk of getting high. Cannabis topicals, as the name implies, are meant to be applied to the skin. Once absorbed, the cannabis and essential oils get to work easing pain, sore muscles, itchy and irritated skin, headaches and so much more. Topicals don’t enter the bloodstream, but rather provide localized relief. If your parent is particularly wary of trying cannabis, marijuana lotions, oils and salves are probably the path of least resistance.
For parents who’ve agreed to try cannabis, but aren’t interested in vaping or smoking, or have medical conditions that limit them to non-smoking options, marijuana tinctures may be the consumption method they need. Not only do tinctures come in a wide variety of strains as well as cannabidiol (CBD) to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) ratios, it’s also very easy to customize and control the dose. When your parent first starts experimenting with cannabis, they can microdose a tiny bit of the marijuana tincture and then work their way up to higher doses as needed. Cannabis tinctures can also be added to food and drinks. And some can even be used as a topical.
Maybe your parent is most comfortable going old school. If that’s the case, get them some high-quality, lab-tested cannabis flower. If they’re most comfortable with a joint or smoking out of a pipe, have them try a nice starter marijuana strain like Blue Dream or a high-CBD strain like Harlequin.
Just remember, you can’t force someone to do something they’re not ready for. Even if you know your parent would benefit from cannabis of some kind, be patient and open, and arm them with medical studies and facts. Hopefully, they’ll come around to seeing how the plant could help them live their best life.
Photo credit: Matthew Bennett