Article written by
Ruth LemonVP of Operations
Content reviewed by
Dr. Lewis JasseyMedical Director - Pediatric Medicine
Table of contents
For many people, the decision to use medical marijuana isn’t an easy one. There could be many reasons, but often that uncertainty lies in how family might react. If that’s a concern of yours as a potential or current medical cannabis use, know you’re not alone. It’s not always easy talking with your family about being a medical cannabis patient. The good news is, with the right approach, it doesn’t have to be as difficult of a conversation as you might expect it to be.
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Talking with Family About Being a Medical Cannabis Patient Can be Difficult
It can be difficult to talk to family about something like starting medical marijuana treatment, especially older family members, those with conservative views toward marijuana, or children. The most important thing to remember is that you’re making this decision for yourself, and in the end, you don’t need your family’s approval to try something new to find a better quality of life.
There are several reasons this conversation might be difficult though. One common reason, however, is that you’re approaching a family member who has a negative view of marijuana in general. Whether this is a parent or grandparent who was brought up during the worst of cannabis prohibition and Reefer Madness, the challenge is the same. Convincing them that you’re truly doing this for medicinal purposes and that they don’t need to fear you falling into substance abuse and drug addiction.
Another reason you might not want to tell your family is because cannabis is still federally illegal, classified as a Schedule I drug. This is a cause for concern for many, even in states with a fully functioning medical marijuana program. However, the federal government has interfered with state-legal medical marijuana less and less, and usually their concern is businesses operating outside of state regulations, not patients.
Remember, whatever the reason you’re nervous to talk about medical marijuana with your family, it doesn’t have to be as difficult as it sounds. If you have a good, medical reason for using cannabis which you can explain to them, they should understand.
Choose a Comfortable Setting and Approach Family as Individuals
The question of whether to talk to your family as a whole or individually is up to you in the end. But when you have a diverse family, where some might be supportive and even interested in knowing more, others might be concerned for the reasons mentioned above. In these situations, it’s often better to talk to individuals at first.
When you plan to have this talk, remember to do it in a setting that is comfortable for both you and your family member. You want this to be a talk where you can productively talk about medical marijuana, your treatment, and your family members concerns.
Remember not to belittle their worries and encourage them to ask questions and speak freely. After all, they are family and they only worry because they care about you. Instead of getting frustrated or getting defensive, take your approach somewhere they have less room to argue. The science.
Highlight Scientific Research and the Benefits to You Quality of Life
One of the best things you can do when talking to family about being a medical marijuana patient is to have your research ready. You could start off with general studies, highlighting the plant’s health benefits in various medical conditions, or you could go straight for informing them on how it will help you specifically.
If you’re diagnosed with a condition like MS, anxiety, epilepsy, or arthritis for example, find scientific studies and articles that back up your reason for turning to medical marijuana. Chances are, it’s all the same research that led you to the conclusion it was worth trying in the first place. Let science speak for itself: an open minded and intelligent family member is not likely to argue much from there.
If they do, or they suggest you’re using your condition to your advantage to use marijuana or they are concerned about you smoking, remind them that not all medical marijuana is psychoactive, and it’s not always smoked. CBD and CBN products and even THC topicals are all non-intoxicating and tinctures, topicals, edibles and vapes offer alternatives to smoking.
Lastly, highlight how using medical marijuana compared to or alongside other treatments could drastically improve your quality of life. For most medical marijuana patients, this is the reason they turn to the alternative medicine. Your family members care about you and they want you to have the best life possible. Once you’ve gone down the list of benefits, compared to the almost non-existent risk, you’ve probably changed their mind.
Remember, talking about medical marijuana with your family doesn’t have to be difficult. If you’re concerned about talking to your family, don’t be. You’re not the first and you’re not going to be the last person worried to have this conversation.
Leafwell aims to help you educate yourself and your family, so you can make an informed and confident decision when it comes to using medical marijuana.
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