What Do I Tell My Kids About My Medical Marijuana Use?

Allan MacDonell
Allan MacDonell - Content Writer

Feb 07 2021 - 6 min read

The upgraded quality of life provided to a parent by a doctor approved medical marijuana program makes life with Mom and Dad better for the kids as well.

The children surely notice when Mom or Dad’s attitude and outlook take a 180-degree turn for the better due to the benefits of medical cannabis products. “What the heck happened to Mom and Dad?,” the child might wonder. “Have they had some sort of miracle visitation?”

Do you, as a parent, let your offspring marvel at your medical marijuana induced adjustment to reality as if it is a magical spell brought about by a buzzing kindly spirit? Or do you tell the kids the unvarnished miraculous facts of life enhancement as produced by responsible use of medical marijuana?

The Pros and Cons to Telling your Kids About your Medical Cannabis Use.

For some circumstances and personalities, it may be best not to be transparent about your medical cannabis program with your kids. Maybe you are divorced and share custody of the children. You fear the ex-partner may present your medical cannabis use as evidence you are unfit to parent.

Your child might be enrolled in a law enforcement cadet mentorship that encourages reporting the cannabis use of friends and family for that cannabis consuming friend or family member’s “own good,” whether or not that cannabis use is legally prescribed and conducive to wellbeing.

The children in your family might prefer that you listen to their struggles with ordinary adolescent confusion rather than being asked to wrap their minds around the what and whys of your medicinal marijuana consumption.

Maybe you worry about piquing too much interest in the porous line between recreational and medical cannabis consumption in curious kids who are at an exploratory age.

Whatever your hesitancy, revealing your medical marijuana use to your children is your own choice, up to a point. The conversation between your kids about your medical marijuana experience need not be forced. Keep in mind that, most likely, your consumption of medical cannabis products will eventually come up for family discussion. Talking or not talking about why you use medical marijuana and what medical marijuana achieves for you will become mandatory.

Don’t be caught off guard when your kids introduce the topic of your medical marijuana use. Be prepared.

Parents choose cannabis over alcohol

What if your Kids Ask About your Medical Marijuana Use?

Kids have a way of asking loaded questions when parents are not quite ready to have the loaded discussion, about sex usually and about medical cannabis product use as well . If your child inquires about your medical cannabis use, and your impulse is to deny the facts, don’t.

Be truthful in the home, not only because of any moral or ethical imperative. Simply put, in denying your medical marijuana use, your kids will know you are lying. If not right away, they’ll sort out your medical cannabis consumption soon enough, especially if there is more than one of them.

After a child has pinned you in a medical cannabis lie, deceiving them in the future will be much more difficult. So if the kids ask, admit the truth about your medical marijuana use. Save the lie for some fact that there is some value in keeping from them.

Don’t Let the Revelation of your Medical Marijuana Use be an Awkward Situation to your Kids.

Nothing makes for a halting, uncomfortable conversation about therapeutic benefits of medical marijuana like your kids finding your stash on the toilet tank and asking what’s going to happen now that they have eaten five CBD gummies.

Actually, Mom or Dad driving erratically while on a high dose of THC sublingual softgels and being told by the family preteens to pull over or be reported to the highway patrol might make for just as contentious a parley.

And there will be no starting off the safe, sane medical cannabis conversation on the correct footing after being caught firing up a concentrated cannabis oil one hitter under the bleachers while one of your kids is out on the field with the marching band.

In short, be responsible for your cannabis consuming behavior at all times. The revelation that you are a medical cannabis enhanced parent will be much more dignified and easier to make when you follow all child protection protocols.

How Old Should your Child be Before Hearing About your Medical Cannabis Use?

How much and what you chose to reveal about your medical cannabis use to your children may depend on the child’s age.

A toddler or preschooler may be satisfied with a fiction that the medical cannabis products the child has discovered on your bedside table were dropped there by an elf from an adult fairy tale. Just because your child still believes in Santa Claus doesn’t mean the sprout won’t sniff out your evasion on the subject of you seeking relief from intractable health challenges through responsible application of medical cannabis innovations.

If your progeny are old enough to ask about medical marijuana use, they are ready for an introduction to the concept of medicine.

Pennsylvania medical marijuana education center (PAMMEC) logo.
What do Kids Understand by the Terms “Drug” and “Medicine”? Where do they Learn about these Things?

Despite the fact that medical cannabis is now legal in more than half of the United States, controversy and confusion still abound. Your children, whether at school from teachers and fellow students or from online and broadcast media neo-prohibitionists will have been bombarded by age 10 with the myth that cannabis is exclusively a drug abused by stoners.

Your responsibility as a parent does not extend to countering every false claim made against marijuana that your child will hear. Your role as a parent who benefits from doctor guided medical marijuana use is to assure your children that cannabis for you is assuredly a means of treating a specific chronic health condition that without medical marijuana decreases your ability to participate in life.

In short, you use medical cannabis to participate in reality, not to escape from reality. If you want to go the longer route, you will perhaps explain to your child that cannabis can be a medicine like any other, and that just like any other medicine it can be used properly and improperly. That sometimes doctors are in an unfortunate position of being only able to legally prescribe more harmful medications, even if they prefer not to.

Explain your Health Challenge to your Child and how Medical Cannabis Eases it.

Raw data and easily understood analysis and explanations on how medical marijuana works on specific ailments are readily available on Leafwell and elsewhere.

Many authoritative, expert reviewed articles on why medical cannabis products can be preferable to potentially toxic and addictive pharmaceutical drugs have been posted both here and elsewhere online.

Take a moment to click through and read a few short articles advocating for medical marijuana’s efficacy and safety. Absorb the incontrovertible positive facts of medical marijuana treatments. Note how scientifically established benefits of medical cannabis products align with your medical marijuana experience.

A few moments of preparation will have the facts and realities of medical cannabis’s benefits ready on the tip of your tongue. There will be no fumbling, no confusion or sense that you are making excuses. Medical marijuana has made great progress in the past few decades.

Cannabis health products appear on the verge of greater progress in coming years. There is pride in being part of this new wave of cannabis wellness. When the time is right, share your gratitude for medical cannabis advances with your children.

One baffling hesitation that might prompt a parent to conceal medical marijuana use from an adolescent child is the concern that the teen may be an underage recreational user. The parent using medical marijuana might prefer not to, by example, encourage marijuana use in a young developing human. How can a parent be open about their medical marijuana benefits while discouraging a child’s marijuana experimentation and not be guilty of hypocrisy?

Learn the facts about regulated medical cannabis and let the facts speak for themselves. Become conversant on the laws applying to medical cannabis use in your region. Explain again the precise functions of medical cannabis products in easing your specific health issues.

One of the best ways to approach cannabis when it comes to a curious adolescent is to look at it objectively and scientifically. If they are receptive to the idea that cannabis is generally less damaging than alcohol, sedatives and prescription painkillers, and that it’s generally best for those aged under 25 ought to avoid recreational cannabis to reduce the likelihood of negative effects on the brain, then that’s a good start.

Also explain that there are many adults and children suffering from serious conditions like epilepsy and cancer, who require medical cannabis.  That there are many people who use cannabis to function normally, and not necessarily to get high. An informed teen is able to make better decisions.

There is plenty of time ahead for your child to determine if the cannabis way is a path that fits their future. As a parent using medical cannabis in a temperate, appropriate way, assure your child that you will be present, accountable and supportive as your child finds their path forward.

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Written by
Allan MacDonell
Allan MacDonell

Contributing commentator Allan MacDonell’s work has been featured in publications ranging from Dazed and Confused UK to the New York Times and Washington Post. He is the author of Prisoner of X, Punk Elegies and Now That I Am Gone, and was a founding editorial director at online outlets including Buzznet, TakePart and Kindland. MacDonell views teaming with Leafwell as an opportunity to encourage the emerging role of legal cannabis as a highly effective medical treatment.

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