How to talk to kids about cannabis

We are all aware of the fact that there is no manual on perfect parenting but when it comes to cannabis, things can get especially awkward. Legalization is fast approaching and kids are not stupid.

Sooner or later, that child you care about is going to come in contact with cannabis or someone using it; when they do, it is important they understand what it is and what it isn’t. Who better to explain cannabis that someone they trust… here’s how:

Tip 1 : First and Foremost, be honest…

I once had a friend of mine explain a child’s perspective with such simple beauty and truth; he said, “kids don’t know what the heck is going on but they always know a lot more than you think they do.”

They know that it is different than a cigarette because its smells different so lying is obvious and completely pointless.

The truth is that trust starts here.

A parent’s job is not just to raise a child but to prepare them for the world that awaits. The best thing that you can do as a parent is tell them how you honestly feel and about your own experiences. It will have a huge influence on the choices they make.

Growing up, my parents were open about cannabis, alcohol and other drugs. My mom always told me, if I I’m going to take any kind of drug, make sure it is safe and grows in the ground; but to remember, no white powders under any circumstance.

I remember being offered drugs in high school and hearing my mom say no white powders in my head, I always just lit up a doobie. You might not know it at the time but your kids are actually listening.

Tip 2 : Get them to associate it with medicine…

Brave Mykayla - a childhood leukemia survivor

Cannabis is medicine; telling a child that is not only accurate, it is a message that a kid will understand. If a child is taught to treat cannabis the same way they would Tylenol, a lot of issues can be prevented. There are numerous rules that kids are told surrounding medicine, pills and prescriptions such as:


They know that medicine is administered by adults

When they are hurting, children know to tell an adult because they will figure out the best course of treatment. If the symptoms are bad enough, that adult decides to either go to a doctor or they take the appropriate medicine to help. Explain to your child that just as they would never help themselves to any cold syrup without asking, they should never touch anything with cannabis in it without talking to an adult under any circumstance.


No mans land to a child

Medicine cabinets are not play areas, plus, bottles and things that are supposed to be up there shouldn’t be played with if they are left out. Telling a kid that your cannabis and where its stored needs to be treated like a medicine cabinet will make sense.

Medicine comes in different forms

Kids know that prescriptions can come in pill form, liquid or even in an inhaler; they also understand that this medicine enters the body in different ways and cannabis is no different. If a child understands that cannabis is medicine and that the way you take it depends on the result you are looking for, they are more likely to understand the difference between inhalation, edibles and topicals. It will be easier to resist the temptation to see that package as a sweet and leave that cookie in the cupboard alone.

Tip 3 : Explain that they are developing and you are not

Kids today feel pretty ripped off. They see an adult do something while telling them it is not ok and wonder why. The best thing to do is tell them; the reason why an adult can use cannabis is because they have developed. There is a time for a kid to be a kid and unless its for a specifically medical reason, using cannabis is meant for adult brains and bodies.

Its mainstream and come October 17th, its going to be fueling the economy. Never an easy conversation but undoubtedly a necessary one, be upfront and honest, treat it as a medicine and explain that unless it is for your health, cannabis should only be used by adults. Your kids are going to come in contact with cannabis sometime, so, they need to be prepared and know how to approach it.