It is a commonly accepted cultural norm for people, including parents, to consume alcohol regularly and in social situations. They even post on social media about it with little hesitation or judgment. So why do parents face so much stigma for sharing about their Cannabis use? After all, it is legal in Canada for both medical and recreational use. It is largely because most of us grew up in an era when the general public was taught Cannabis consumption was a bad thing.
At a recent ‘Women In Weed’ event, hosted by the Van der Pop group, there was lots of discussion around Cannabis use and parenting. In 2017 the group conducted a survey to understand the role Cannabis plays in the lives of women. This survey of over 1500 North American women resulted in some interesting facts about this topic.
As much as 66% of women, for example, hide their Cannabis use. Out of that group, 75% consider their consumption to be for medical purposes. Many of these women who were surveyed are also parents. It shares that as much as 89% of women are talking to their kids about Cannabis and 59% are open with their teens about their own usage.
A considerable percentage of these women, as much as 38%, also feel that consuming Cannabis helps them to be more patient and playful with their kids. Many of the women at the recent event agreed with this statement, saying that using Cannabis responsibly makes them better parents. They felt Cannabis consumption increases the quality of life for both themselves and their families. Some use a popular method called micro-dosing, which means taking small amounts of Cannabis as part of a daily health regime.
The parents at the event emphasized the importance of age-appropriate information and open communication as the most effective form of harm reduction. Furthermore, the Drug and Alcohol Dependence Volume 147 states in addition to general parenting practices, restrictive Cannabis-specific rules can lower the risk of adolescent Cannabis and other illicit drug use rates.
Parents agree it is important to educate kids about how Cannabis can be harmful if you use it before your brain has fully developed and to abstain until they are an adult. Another good learning tool to share with young people is by watching YouTube, from a reliable industry source. Also, being honest with your kids about Cannabis can help to destigmatize consumption overtime.
Many of the parents also discussed how they would prefer their teens experiment with Cannabis in a safe environment, such as at home with adult supervision. The survey also states that 46% of parents prefer their children to consume Cannabis over alcohol.
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References: sciencedirect.com, Today’s Parent, Van der Pop Survey, and The Doctors.