Talking to family members about cannabis can be challenging. Here are some ways to encourage a dialogue.
Telling your family that you consume cannabis can be a scary thing to do. If you’re lucky, you have a family that is unconditionally loving, consistently supportive of your personal decisions (even if they disagree) and genuinely accepting of who you are. For the rest of us, navigating the expectations and obligations of our loved ones can be a struggle that lasts well into adulthood. Sharing more intimate parts of your life can make you feel vulnerable, judged and even isolated but if the time has come to tell your truth, being mentally prepared is the best option.
Check in with yourself about what the purpose of the conversation is and what you hope to get out of it. Are you just telling your family because they have no idea and you want them to finally know? Do you have a family member that could benefit from medical marijuana and need to reveal your use to help educate them? Would you like to contribute to reducing the stigma around cannabis by showing your family that even a regular person like you enjoys it?
Whatever the reason, prepare to answer questions that could range from general questions about cannabis and how it works to more personal inquiries about what you’re using, how often you’re using it and why. Brush up on your marijuana 101 so that you can confidently inform others in a way that they can understand and figure out how much of your routine you want to disclose. You don’t have to tell your grandma that you’re smoking multiple blunts a day if you don’t want to but some information might offer some insight that could give her a new perspective.
Still, even with the best intentions and a brain full of facts, there’s a chance that the cool aunt or uncle you thought would be fine with this information might not be as laid back or accepting as you had imagined. It’s a risk you take in divulging this type of information but it doesn’t have to be the end of the world or your relationship with them unless that’s their own choice. It’s not your job to convince anyone to accept the choices you make, but you can ask that they respect your decision while you all try to figure out how to productively move forward now that they know.
The most important thing to know is that it’s completely up to you whether or not you decide to tell your family about what’s going on in your personal life. It’s a conversation for adults to have with other adults in their lives on a need-to-know basis and you can choose how much detail you provide. You know your family and know why you have or haven’t told them about your cannabis use. There are no trophies for doing something that you know will put you in a dangerous situation, compromise your safety or make your living arrangement uncomfortable. Once the cat is out of the bag, it cannot go back in, so make sure it’s something you want to do.
For some people, having the talk with their family can be a liberating experience that brings them closer and opens the door for more honest conversations. Your mom might be interested in trying an infused topical or microdosing edibles for her carpal tunnel after learning how it has helped you reduce soreness after a workout or ease the agony of menstrual cramps. A cousin could be inspired to do more research about the benefits of CBD for anxiety once they find out you manage your stress with tinctures. But, you’ll never know until you try.
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