As medical marijuana is legalized in more states, it is increasingly common to choose it in place of painkillers and other medications. Most of us know at least one person (if not ourselves) who has turned to cannabis to treat any number of ailments. Many of the patients we know are also parents — and, unfortunately, parenting and cannabis have become somewhat of a taboo.
Too many cannabis patients who are also moms or dads have been villainized. Medicating with cannabis as a parent has become synonymous with being irresponsible. From our experience here at HMH, however, we have found this assumption to be completely untrue. And really… Who doesn’t need to medicate a little? Especially after carting the kids around to various activities, feeding them, entertaining them and dealing with the occasional melt down. Here’s a little guide to navigating the sometimes difficult world of being a parent and also being a cannabis patient.
Your child’s safety is of our utmost concern. There have been too many times that kiddos have accidentally ingested THC – which often results in a trip to the emergency room. Of course, no one has ever overdosed from cannabis, but for a child, this can be an absolutely terrifying experience. That’s why we recommend always storing your cannabis safely and out of reach for any small humans. Tuck it away on the top shelf of your closet or lock it away in a small safe. It can also be helpful to not buy edibles that look like candy. If a child finds some delicious, multicolored gummy bears and they can’t read – they will probably be tempted to eat one (if not the whole bag). With toddlers or babies around, it’s always good to keep them in mind when purchasing your medicine.
Communicate with the kids
Communication is key! Chances are your child might be socialized at school and by their friends into believing that cannabis is a dangerous gateway drug. That’s why having a straightforward, honest conversation with your kids is incredibly important. Let them know why cannabis is used as a medicine, tell them about what the experience is like and be available for questions. Talk to them about laws surrounding cannabis. It can also be a good time to talk about making smart, educated, grown-up decisions — you might point out that if they’re being peer pressured into something, it’s probably not a good choice — and how their safety is the most important thing. This will prevent any confusion or resentment regarding cannabis down the road, and might even be an opportune time to bond with your child.
You’re not alone
Remember you are not alone in this! There are countless parents who use cannabis to deal with illness, aches, pains and the like. You deserve to feel comfortable and healthy too — it doesn’t make you a bad parent. It can even improve your parenting skills … suddenly doing a puzzle or watching a Disney movie is a little more manageable. It is also important to recognize a time and a place for medicating. For you, this might be a day off, when you’re staying at home, or after the kids have gone to bed. Of course, it’s against the law to drive under the influence of cannabis. Be careful, be open and continue being the awesome parent you are.
— Words by Taylor Haynes