With the wave of cannabis decriminalization laws in recent years, people across the country and around the world are examining the physical and mental health benefits of cannabis.
This positive trend has also brought an opportunity to help your family members and loved ones replace addictive or harmful pharmaceuticals. That can sometimes require challenging family discussions. After decades of stigmatization, older family members, in particular, may be skeptical of the therapeutic benefits of cannabis — or may have simply never heard of them.
That skepticism is healthy. As with any supplement, it’s important to see a doctor and discuss the matter carefully before starting medical cannabis. Here’s how to talk to a family member about taking the first step: by having a productive conversation about the benefits of cannabis.
Decide on Your Own Goal for the Discussion
Before you talk about cannabis with a family member, think about why you’re talking about it and what you want to accomplish. There are many possible reasons you might want to have this discussion, such as:
- You think CBD oil would help with their condition or their health in general.
- You’re concerned about the side effects of their treatment, and think cannabis might be a healthier alternative.
- You believe cannabis might help them achieve one of their goals.
Plan for Your Relative’s Preconceptions
Once you decide on the reason for your discussion, think about how to talk about cannabis with your relative — and just as importantly, how not to talk about it. For example, let’s say your great Aunt Ida has trouble sleeping, and you want her to try CBD oil to treat insomnia.
You don’t need to convince Aunt Ida that using cannabis for its psychoactive properties can help mental health, or explain the benefits of THC. It would be more effective to tell her about the differences between CBD and THC products. Tout the therapeutic benefits of CBD, while emphasizing that CBD products don’t have psychoactive effects. Once you explain that CBD can help with her insomnia without getting her high, it will be easier to convince her to talk to a doctor about its possible benefits.
Listen to Your Relative’s Concerns About Cannabis
It’s natural to have strong feelings about health — particularly the health of someone you love. You might be anxious to get a parent to try cannabis for pain relief because you’re worried about what pharmaceuticals are doing to their health. Or maybe you have a relative who has been struggling to control diabetes, and you think CBD supplements would change their life.
This anxiety can make you see their beliefs about cannabis as obstacles to overcome for their sake. You might decide to throw articles at them or rattle off cannabis facts until they’re forced to “see the light.”
While this approach might make sense in theory, it rarely works in practice. Instead of a nice conversation with a family member, they’re thrust into a debate. More likely than not they’ll feel attacked, and what could have been a productive conversation will turn into a pointless argument.
How to Talk to Your Family About Cannabis – The Recommended Approach
Instead of lecturing your relatives, listen to them. Learn how they feel about cannabis, and ask some follow-up questions to make sure you understand their beliefs. Avoid the temptation to immediately correct them if their position is misinformed. If you take some time to understand where they’re coming from, they’ll be willing to listen to your perspective in return.
Additionally, avoid overselling cannabis. Even if you had an extremely positive experience, each person’s medical case is different, and cannabis is not right for everyone. Don’t try to turn them into a believer — just encourage them to speak to a doctor as a first step in considering cannabis treatment.
Open Up About how Cannabinoids Have Benefitted Your Health
Before your talk, understand that y our family member may have very little experience with cannabis. Sharing your experiences can help them start questioning any negative beliefs they have about cannabis and cannabis users. When they hear how it has positively impacted your wellbeing, they’ll be more likely to consider how it might help them as well.
Starting with your story will also make your relative more receptive to any scientific information you share. For example, if you talk about your struggles with stress and how THC has helped, then share an article about a THC stress relief study, they’ll be more likely to remember that article. By linking the article to your own story, you’ve given them a reason to remember it.
Follow Up With More Cannabis Information
Your family member may need some time to process what you’ve told them and learn more. You can help them by asking if they have any questions and researching answers to their questions.
If your relative is skeptical of the health benefits of cannabis for a particular condition, this summary of recent cannabis research is a great resource.
You could also create a Google Alert for a topic, such as “cannabis health” or “cannabis AND glaucoma,” so you’ll be able to share relevant cannabis news as it’s published.
However you do your research, be sure not to overdo it. You’re here to help your relative, not to pester them. Be patient, and if they really don’t want to hear what you have to say, respect their wishes. They’ll come around in their own time if cannabis is right for them.
Recommend Cannabis Products
The sheer number of cannabis products on the market today can be overwhelming for new users. Recommending a product (or even treating them to their first cannabis product) will ensure your relative has a great first cannabis experience. Here are a few suggestions:
For a stress relief flower, you can’t go wrong with Carolina Dream. It features a high CBD content and aromatic notes of fruit and lavender. This flower will gently relieve your stress and make bad moods float away.
For external pain relief, this is one of the simplest and most effective topical treatments available. Packed with 1000mg of CBD, this all-natural product is fantastic for soothing sore muscles, joint pain, arthritis, and even migraines.
For a holistic healing experience, Clary Sage Relief Balm is a fantastic product. Combining full-spectrum CBD with arnica extract and essential oils, this balm will nourish the skin and the senses. Oils of clary sage, rosemary, and lavender provide a soothing aroma while fighting pain and inflammation. It’s a truly powerful and pleasurable introduction to cannabis.