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The times have most certainly changed. Long gone are the days when a curt answer will suffice to address the questions and potential concerns children have about cannabis. With more adults consuming the plant and its many concentrates for both medical and recreational reasons, the importance of safeguarding kids from the potential harms associated with the practice have never been more pressing.

This list of best practices and safeguards is extensive, and one could even argue limitless, but initially there are only three major considerations that need to be discussed: education, discreet use, and proper storage. By employing a sound and healthy strategy in these areas, adults who are consuming cannabis, regardless of the reason for their choice, should well be able to communicate with kids about, and protect them from, cannabis.

Open a Discussion

The first line of defense to safeguarding children from cannabis is to open a discussion with them. It can be counter-productive to use age-old messaging like, “just say no,” as the basis for a conversation about cannabis. Kids these days – all of whom have grown up in a digital age where information is just a click away – need to feel that parents and adults are being honest with them. From that place of honesty and trust, a true conversation about why young people shouldn’t consume cannabis can then be opened.

Backing the discussion with facts from researchers and experts in the field is also a strong suit that can be played. Even within the cannabis industry, there are few professionals who care to counter claims that cannabis can have adverse effects on the developing brain. Without wading into fear tactics, it is important to stress the science of the matter, which shows conclusively that cannabis leads to disadvantages in the neurocognitive performance of the developing brain. This argument can prove especially powerful when talking to curious teens about the topic.1

Practice Discreet Use

A logical means of safeguarding children from cannabis use is to consume the plant and its extracts discreetly. Obviously, discretion can take a few forms. The easiest of those is simply to keep consumption away from kids. When needing to medicate or consume, take a walk, go to the garage for some “alone time,” or wait until the kids are asleep before indulging. Given the restrictions most parents have on their days, most of these tactics are already well understood, and may even be used already.

Discretion can take another avenue, however, particularly if one is consuming for therapeutic reasons and medicating during the day or at times when kids are still awake is unavoidable. In this case, it’s best to turn to technology. Vaporizers eliminate almost all of the smell of flower cannabis, and some, like the Volcano Medic, are even approved medical devices. Many parents choose to medicate with concentrates like oils for this very reason, as they are both effective and discreet.2

Use Locks and Safe Boxes

With cannabis now legal in many states and in a couple of countries (Canada and Uruguay), cannabis being found in the same home that children live in is quickly becoming an inevitability. For parents with young children, or teenagers, it’s essential that cannabis be locked up. This precaution can take the form of a closet with a lock and key, or one of the dozens of new safe boxes designed specifically for storing cannabis. These products now include safes, travel cases and secret stash boxes, many of which are even smell proof.3  

When it comes to edibles, which can at times look like treats and candy, this precaution is particularly important. There have already been many horror stories of babies, young children and teenagers mistaking edibles for candy and being sent to emergency rooms as a result. Similar to alcohol and prescription medication, the best practice is to keep cannabis out of reach and under lock and key. By employing all the strategies outlined above, the challenge that parents have of protecting children from cannabis can assuredly be reduced to a footnote on the relationship.

References:
  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3930618/
  2. https://www.indiva.com/blog/culture/products/how-discreet-is-it-to-vape-your-cannabis/
  3. https://www.marijuanamommy.com/20-weed-stash-boxes-securely-store-cannabis/

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