Get Smart: Why Every Parent Should Understand Cannabis
As we move closer to cannabis legalization, the issue of cannabis and youth is increasingly on my mind. You see, my son turned thirteen last week.
I recently had an unexpected career change after I was approached by a friend who was looking for a marketing manager for a startup, the catch was it was in the cannabis business. Coming upon Flower & Freedom in my professional life has been a surprise in more ways than one. I never imagined that I would be discussing cannabis consumption as a part of my career, but here I am. All of a sudden I find myself in the middle of a movement with huge socio-cultural implications that, whether you realize it or not, affects us all.
In the background, these changes have been brewing for many years, but with the view from my everyday vanilla life, it feels like it has happened overnight.
The Future of Cannabis Consumption
By now you may have realized that I am relatively inexperienced when it comes to cannabis. As part of my induction at Flower & Freedom, I had the opportunity to attend a cannabis education course in Vancouver. Here I learned about the basic science that underscores its medicinal uses, the chemical interactions within the body, and a very thorough botany lesson to boot. I also learned that young people have increasingly been opting out of the common method of smoking cannabis (well hallelujah! Let’s high five for this win parents), in favour of alternative methods of consumption. Yet, when I recently heard the “don’t smoke and drive” ads on the radio, it struck me just how out of touch we are on the subject.
I’m now much more aware of the reality that my son is going to grow up in a world where, instead of getting someone to ‘bootleg’ at the liquor store for beer, kids will be conspiring on how to get cannabis concentrates to ‘dab’ from the local cannabis retail store. To be perfectly honest, until very recently I didn’t even know what a cannabis dab was (it’s a method of consumption that uses concentrated forms of cannabis, which are heated to a high temperatures, and have a very strong euphoric effect) and although it’s not likely to be something I will ever consume, if it can be purchased at various retail outlets, it’s something parents should be aware of.
Cannabis Legalization Brings New Realities and Limits
Like some of the Flower and Freedom audience, this is all very new to me and so it’s important to recognize that as a society we have more experience with alcohol consumption and therefore we have a general understanding of our limits. In contrast, many adults do not have experience consuming cannabis for anything other than being ‘high’, which comes with the baggage of cultural and social stigmas alongside some wildly inaccurate ‘facts’. I believe that we should be actively engaging in conversations on platforms such as Her(B)Life, Flower & Freedom and the like so that we can discuss the benefits and the pitfalls of cannabis consumption.
I now know that there are aspects to cannabis that can have incredible health benefits - part of my role at Flower & Freedom is exploring how cannabis can be consumed as a tool for fitness - but like anything, I do think that cannabis can be over-consumed.
how can we be student and teacher at the same time?
It’s our job as parents to ensure our children are prepared for the world they live in, yet the prospect of being the first wave of parents that need to have this conversation in a legalized landscape weighs heavily on my mind.
How do we even broach the subject of cannabis with the current perceptions of the plant being so drastically different from when we grew up? Where do we start? And how can we be student and teacher at the same time?
I started by educating myself and learning about the different products that are available on the market already. Regardless of whether they’re legal or ‘grey’, if they’re available for purchase at cannabis retail stores, I should know about it. I also visited a cannabis store for the first time, with a knowledgeable colleague who walked me through the myriad of products and their various uses.
For me, it’s less about knowing everything about cannabis and more about challenging the pitfalls of over-consumption. I am learning more and more every day about the therapeutic properties of cannabis in its many different forms, and I’m honestly amazed at what this plant has to offer, I can certainly see the benefits of legalization, but I can also see the potential for misuse among youth and I plan to be ahead of the conversation with my son.
It’s time to get real with this plant because access to cannabis is right around the corner.
Amy Rogerson is the Marketing Director at Flower & Freedom, where she explores the role of cannabis as part of a healthy and active lifestyle.