Have you ever wound up in a conversation that sounds something like this… “You can’t smoke marijuana. You’ve got kids! Are you out of your mind?” Or maybe you are a parent who has been thinking about using medical marijuana to treat a condition, but you are afraid of what other people will think. Unfortunately, you’re not the only one.
Many parents postpone getting beneficial treatment that includes medical marijuana because of the stigma that surrounds it.
You don’t deserve to suffer when there is an option that may alleviate your:
- Chronic pain
- Side effects of cancer
Let’s break down the stigma around parents “using pot” and get honest about whether or not medical marijuana might be a good choice for you.
Sometimes It’s All in the Phrasing
When you hear the words “he’s using pot,” what image comes to your mind? A long-haired spaced-out dude like Jeff Bridge’s character “The Dude” in The Big Lebowski? Or Aaron Paul’s character Jesse Pinkman in Breaking Bad?
Either way, neither of these dudes is what you want your kid, your kid’s friends, or your kid’s friends’ parents to think of when they think of you. As a result, many parents avoid even entertaining the idea of using medical marijuana to relieve them of medical conditions and degrading symptoms.
Now, let’s do an experiment and rephrase the sentence “he’s using pot” to “he’s taking his prescribed medication.” What comes to mind here?
- Your dad taking statins to control his cholesterol levels so that he can be around longer for your and your kids?
- Your brother injecting insulin to keep his blood sugar levels at normal levels?
This image is of a responsible human doing what he needs to do to take care of himself, his job, and his family. This man, unlike “The Dude,” has something to contribute to society. It’s funny how different ways of saying the same thing can have such drastically different connotations.
Medical Marijuana Is Medicine
The stigma against marijuana is still so powerful that you can get lost in it.
But the truth is that cannabis has been proven to:
- Relieve pain
- Lessen anxiety
- Treat seizures
- Treat chronic pain
Do you think twice about popping ibuprofen or aspirin to relieve a headache? Do you argue with them if a doctor prescribes you an opioid because of your chronic pain or anxiety? (Unless you are, of course, in recovery from addiction.) When a doctor prescribes medication, there’s no question of whether or not you’re going to take it.
One of the approved uses for marijuana in Florida is chronic pain relief. If you are in chronic pain and have found no way to relieve it, but your doctor says, “I want to give you a prescription for medical marijuana to treat your chronic pain,” would you argue? Maybe you would. Do you need to? Probably not.
If you are living with chronic pain, your whole family is living with chronic pain. Chronic pain slips into every aspect of your mood, your thinking, and your life. Wouldn’t it be better to use prescribed marijuana if it relieved your pain than to avoid it and keep living with the pain?
I’m Worried About My Kids
If you are uncomfortable using cannabis in front of your kids or you don’t want them to see you “high,” you have options.
Although CBD doesn’t have all of the benefits that come with THC products, it can still be very effective in treating certain conditions. In addition, since CBD itself is not intoxicating, and many CBD products have less than .3% THC in them, you can take it and won’t appear high or intoxicated.
Use It After Hours
If you need to use medical marijuana that contains THC, you could consume it after the kids go to bed. Think of it as having a glass of wine after the kids are down for the night. This is particularly effective if your doctor prescribes cannabis to treat your insomnia. Using marijuana to treat a mental or physical condition doesn’t mean that you will become a parent that skips out on their responsibilities or make you a bad role model. On the contrary, it could even make you a better parent and a healthier, happier human!
It’s Not About “Using Pot” – It’s About Why and How You Use It
Look, any prescription or over-the-counter drug can be used inappropriately or irresponsibly, so the issue isn’t about whether or not using marijuana is okay. The issue is how you, as a parent, use cannabis. Here are some questions to ask yourself when making an informed decision about whether medical marijuana is right for you.
- Am I able to be productive while consuming medical marijuana?
- Can I perform my parental duties while consuming cannabis?
- Is using marijuana harming or helping the people around me and me?
- Am I willing to talk to my children about my marijuana use?
Other Factors to Consider
All medicines have side effects. Marijuana does too.
Depending on your marijuana tolerance level and your dosage, you could put yourself and your child’s safety at risk if you:
- Consume marijuana before driving
- Have difficulty walking straight or holding objects without dropping them
- Suffer from short-term memory loss
Studies have also shown that marijuana can negatively impact the brain development of adolescents, so make sure that you don’t leave your prescription lying around or use products that look yummy to eat. Also, if you choose to smoke or vape around your kids, remember that they are breathing in what you are breathing out and can get a secondhand high.
Could Consuming Medical Marijuana You a Better Parent?
Think of how much stress you are under as a parent. It can drive you insane. The amount of anxiety alone can harm your physical health. Medical marijuana can offer much-needed anxiety relief from the pressures of parenting, especially if you were prone to anxiety in the first place. No one wants to be around a parent running around like a chicken with their head cut off trying to control everything.
It’s no fun walking around on eggshells around someone who is always like a landmine about to go off. However, being a calm parent can increase your ability to lovingly respond to your child’s needs and allow you to have a better relationship with them. So, are you ready to take the next step? Contact us for an appointment today!