How to Talk to Your Friends and Family About Cannabis

In many parts of the country, consuming cannabis is as commonplace as drinking a glass of red wine after a hard day of work. Yet, in other corners of the U.S., cannabis remains exceedingly taboo — even as laws shift to allow for its consumption medically or recreationally. Many cannabis users conceal their practice for fear of stigma from friends and family, but hiding any kind of substance use can result in disordered consumption, which can sometimes escalate to harmful addiction.

If you use weed, you need to be open about it, especially with those you love. However, if you know your friends and family to be hostile to cannabis, you should approach your conversation delicately so to avoid flaring tempers and hurt feelings. Here are a few tips for broaching the subject of cannabis consumption:

Keep the Tone Casual and the Environment Comfortable

When someone speaks in an aggressive tone, those around them instinctively respond with aggressive speech. Though your loved ones might have hurt you in the past with their outdated opinions on cannabis consumption, you should strive to keep hostility or emotion out of your voice, so you can communicate more effectively about your cannabis habits. You might strive to find an environment in which your friends and family are content and comfortable, which will further reduce the likelihood of anyone immediately becoming belligerent or defensive.

Explain Your Reasons for Enjoying Cannabis

You should start the conversation honestly, by affirming that you are a cannabis consumer. Then, you should launch directly into your reasons for using weed. Again, you should try to keep any negative emotion out of your voice, which will make those around you less likely to become antagonistic.

Aside from substance abuse, most reasons for using cannabis are good reasons. If you like to use weed to relax after a hard weed at work, your consumption is valid. The same is true if you partake of cannabis in social situations to loosen up and enjoy yourself. You might frame this kind of consumption like drinking alcohol, which is a much more widely accepted practice, even amongst cannabis detractors.

If you have been recommended medical marijuana by your health care provider, you can explain that you need cannabis to manage your health and wellness — but you are not required to explain your health condition to your friends and family if you are not interested in doing so. You have complete control over your private health information, and your loved ones should respect that.

Come Prepared With Facts and Research

People who remain opposed to cannabis often do so on moral grounds, meaning they are using their emotions rather than their logic to dictate their opinions. Still, it can be helpful to come to the conversation equipped with the latest research on cannabis, so you can answer questions from friends and family with facts instead of feelings. You should strive to use only the most reputable sources for your research, like academic journals, to reduce the likelihood of your loved ones dismissing your information as untrustworthy. You might also offer links to resources for them to learn more on their own.

Anticipate How Your Loved Ones Will React

You know better than anyone how your loved ones are likely to respond to news about your cannabis habits. Though you might be surprised by the effectiveness of the right tone, environment and information on moderating everyone’s responses, you should still try to predict how individual friends and family will react and develop a plan for addressing their comments, questions and concerns.

The best way to do this is to prepare answers to likely questions in advance. For example, if your loved ones are worried about where you are procuring your cannabis, you should be able to point them to the exact dispensary in Tulsa you visit and explain how their practices ensure the safety of their products. Similarly, if they worry about the prospect of addiction or escalation to more dangerous drugs, you can mitigate these fears by explaining the signs of cannabis use disorder and how you are taking steps to prevent substance abuse.

Continue to Express Your Love and Appreciation

If your loved ones hardly shift their attitude regarding cannabis, that shouldn’t necessarily be grounds for cutting them out of your life. In fact, throughout your conversation, you should express your gratitude that they are willing to talk to you about this, and you should continue to affirm your love and appreciation for their presence in your life. If, however, your friends and family become hostile toward you because of your cannabis habits, you might want to consider putting some distance between you until tempers can cool.

Cannabis use shouldn’t be a secret, especially in places where the practice is completely legal. The sooner you tell your loved ones about your cannabis consumption, the sooner they can accept the drug as a regular and safe part of life.