how do I make my family understand cannabis is medicine?


Lorena Cupcake, named “Best Budtender in Chicago”, has answered hundreds of questions from cannabis buyers and patients during her time as a budtender. And now they are turning that experience into a monthly column of advice. Ask a budget tender. Do you have a question for Cupcake? Send your questions to

Dear Budtender,

How can I normalize my family’s cannabis use so that my relatives understand that this is my medicine?

Dear cannabis patient,

I’m glad we’re addressing this issue because the need to defuse and expose stigma around cannabis is an almost universal challenge. Although I’ve been fortunate enough to pass the bong with the former flower child who raised me, employers and health care providers have often made it clear that my daily regimen is viewed as a vice. During my time as a budtender, I helped many medical patients find discreet methods of consumption in order to avoid nosy neighbors and judgmental relatives from becoming nosy.

If we are to move into a future in which no one has an unjust impact on the medicinal or recreational use of cannabis, part of that struggle begins at home. This means tough conversations with adult family members who could bring their high expectations to the table, as well as age-appropriate conversations with children.

Early conversations with children could focus on understanding that certain medicines are not suitable for them and that certain storage areas are prohibited for their own safety. However, over time, cannabis can be used as a teaching tool in mission to teach young people how to take care of themselves and develop healthy coping mechanisms. At the same time, it can be used to encourage our extended family to develop more understanding and empathy.

How to start a conversation

If you’re not sure where your family members are on cannabis, you can test the water by referencing the latest news events. For example, you could address the November elections, in which many states voted to withdraw drug laws and pave the way for legal cannabis. If you address the subject in a way that is not directly personal, you may be able to assess whether the old-fashioned views have been updated before revealing any private medical information. With seven in ten Americans supporting legalization these days, you may find they are more supportive than expected.

Like other mothers in the weed community, DC-based cannabis educator Jay Mills knows the importance of starting conversations with those around you. Explaining the medicinal benefits of cannabis to her skeptical family led to the creation of her first book, a self-published cannabis reference manual. Your parents are both doctors. In their interviews, “Education was really key,” she said. “I needed to have diagrams, research, and references. It was the only way to get through to them. “

To reprogram the misinformation that was passed down generations during the War on Drugs, Mills suggests educating loved ones about the many proven non-intoxicating benefits of cannabis, and suggesting that you should even start discussing hemp-based CBD can begin. “I’d talk raw or topical about the benefits of this where you don’t even talk about the psychological side effects just to introduce the idea that this thing can be medicine.”

After experimenting with cannabis-based remedies for headache and joint pain, their parents became lawyers themselves. “My father and mother both call me for advice and advice to patients who might want to recommend them for cannabis treatments,” she said. “Your staff continue to consult me ​​for therapeutic recommendations related to cannabis.”

How to talk to your children

Of course, parents and siblings are not the only family members we may have to discuss cannabis with. While Mills doesn’t smoke in front of her seven-year-old son, it’s normal to see her whipping up infused skin products in the kitchen or his grandparents picking up creams and oils for their pain. By the time he grows into a young man, she hopes to have laid the foundations for him to be more comfortable sharing her high-end stash than smoking middles with his friends. “I would like to smoke with my child,” she laughed. “If I don’t, someone else will.”

To get there the key may be in ongoing conversations about all aspects of taking care of the physical and emotional state of your body. “I talk to my son about his sanity all the time,” she says. “When you are not feeling your best about your mental health, when you are feeling stressed, when you are feeling depressed, we can go to therapy. Sometimes you need some things to make you feel better. And [cannabis] is one of the things but also sunshine, exercise, vitamins C and D and art. “

Perhaps the most compelling argument of all is that cannabis is a valuable tool for taking care of yourself. Most likely, your family would understand if you need physical therapy to recover from an injury. You would understand if you had to take antibiotics to clear an infection or wear a cast on a broken limb. Once you understand that there are very real mechanisms that cannabis uses to treat the roots of various diseases – and that you don’t just pour a happy, stoned feeling over pain – I really hope that people who care for you will want to that you take care of it yourself in a way that is safe, effective and does not harm anyone.

Connect with your community

If you encounter setbacks during your conversations, remember that there is immense pressure in our society to keep up appearances when it comes to our physical and mental wellbeing. Many conditions that respond extremely well to cannabis, such as endometriosis, fibromyalgia, and depression, despite their significant impact on daily life, are often minimized and ignored as “everything on your head”. If your family members cannot understand why you need cannabis to function, they may not have the full picture of the challenges you are facing. That alone can be isolating and hurtful.

In that case, I recommend looking for resources like support groups for the disabled, online communities for people with your specific medical condition, or a therapist who specializes in living with chronic illnesses. As someone who also uses cannabis to deal with medical problems, I can assure you that you are not alone and that there are other people who will understand and support you.

Featured image from fizkes / Shutterstock

Do you need advice on how to incorporate cannabis into your diet or lifestyle? Write Cupcake at for the February column.



Robert Dunfee