How to Talk to Your Kids About Legal Cannabis

 It’s important to talk to your child about cannabis in a recreationally legal state because even though it may be legal for adults over the age of 21, cannabis use can still have potential risks and negative consequences, particularly for children.

Here are some reasons why it’s important to talk to your child about cannabis use, even in a state where it is legal:

Potential for misuse: Just because something is legal doesn’t mean it’s safe or appropriate for everyone to use. For children, cannabis use can have negative effects on brain development, memory, and learning ability. It can also increase the risk of mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression, and may lead to addiction.

Social pressure: With cannabis being legal, there may be more social pressure for children to use it, which can lead to experimentation and potential harm. It’s important to discuss the pressure children may feel to fit in or experiment with drugs and alcohol, and to provide them with the knowledge and tools to make responsible choices.

Understanding the law: It’s important for children to understand the legal status of cannabis use in their state, and the potential consequences of breaking the law. Even though cannabis use may be legal for adults, it is still illegal for those under 21. Understanding the law can help children make informed decisions and avoid legal trouble.

Safety concerns: Cannabis use can impair judgment and reaction time, which can increase the risk of accidents and injuries. It’s important for children to understand the potential risks associated with cannabis use and to make safe choices to avoid harm to themselves or others.

Open communication: By talking to your child about cannabis use, you are creating an open and honest communication channel that can help build trust and strengthen your relationship. If your child has questions or concerns, they know they can come to you for guidance and support.

Overall, it’s important to have ongoing conversations with your child about cannabis use, particularly in a recreationally legal state. By providing accurate information and emphasizing responsible decision-making, you can help your child avoid potential harm and make informed choices about drug and substance use.

Talking to your children about legal cannabis can be a challenging, but important, conversation. As the era of legal cannabis ages, more and more parents are finding the need to discuss cannabis with their ever curious offspring. 

(Photo Robina Weermeijer Unsplash)

How can cannabis affect young brain development?

One of the goals in talking to your children about cannabis is to help them understand why it’s inappropriate for children to consume. The active ingredient in cannabis, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), can have significant effects on a child’s developing brain. Children who use cannabis can experience negative effects on their memory, attention, and learning, and may also experience long-term impacts on their mental health, such as an increased risk of depression, and anxiety. In addition, children who use cannabis are more likely to experience negative effects on their overall health and wellbeing, including respiratory problems, impaired motor skills, and decreased appetite. This is why talking to your children about cannabis at a young age can give them the best approach if and when they decide to use cannabis as an adult.

(Photo Toa Heftiba Unsplash)

When is the best age to discuss cannabis with my children?

When it comes to cannabis specifically, many experts suggest waiting until children are at least in their pre-child or early child years, around the ages of 12-14, to have more in-depth conversations about it. By this age, children may have already been exposed to information or images about cannabis, so it’s important to provide them with accurate information and to address any misconceptions they may have.

Here are a few tips for having this conversation with your child:

Start with open and honest communication: Begin the conversation by letting your child know that you want to talk about legal cannabis in Oregon, and that you’re open to discussing any questions or concerns they may have. Let them know that you’re not here to judge them, but rather to provide them with accurate information and guidance.

Understand the legal context: Before you begin the conversation, make sure you’re familiar with the legal status of cannabis in Oregon. It’s important to know that while recreational cannabis use is legal for adults aged 21 and older in Oregon, it is still illegal for minors.

Address potential risks: Discuss the potential risks associated with cannabis use, such as impaired judgment, memory, and learning ability. Talk about the negative effects of long-term use and how it can affect a child’s health, mental health, and academic performance.

Discuss responsible use: It’s important to emphasize that if your child chooses to use cannabis when they are of legal age, it should be done responsibly. This includes following state laws, consuming in moderation, and avoiding driving or operating heavy machinery while under the influence.

Answer questions: Encourage your child to ask any questions they may have about cannabis use and answer them as accurately and honestly as possible. Be sure to explain any terms or concepts they may be unfamiliar with, and provide examples or scenarios to help them understand the potential consequences of cannabis use.

Establish open communication: Let your child know that they can come to you with any questions or concerns about cannabis use or other substances. Encourage them to talk to you before making any decisions related to cannabis or substance use, and assure them that you are always there to support them.

Remember, it’s important to have ongoing conversations about cannabis use, as well as other substances, to help ensure your child understands the potential risks and consequences and can make informed decisions.

(Photo R+R Medicinals Unsplash)

How can I explain my medicinal cannabis use to my children in a legal state?

Explaining medicinal cannabis to children in a legal state can be challenging, but it’s important to approach the conversation in a way that is age-appropriate and easy to understand. Here are some steps you can take to explain medicinal cannabis to children:

Start with the basics: Begin by explaining what medicine is and how it helps people when they are sick or in pain. Use simple language and examples that your child can relate to.

Discuss illness and pain: Talk to your child about different types of illnesses and conditions that can cause pain, and explain how medicine can help people feel better. You can use examples of common childhood illnesses, like a headache or stomach ache, to help illustrate your point.

Introduce cannabis: Explain that there is a type of medicine made from a plant called cannabis, which some people use to help them feel better. Emphasize that this type of medicine is only available with a doctor’s prescription, and it is only used to help people who are sick or in pain.

Address potential confusion: Depending on your child’s age and experience, they may have heard about cannabis in a different context, such as recreational use. If your child is confused, take the time to explain that while cannabis can be used for different purposes, the type of cannabis used as medicine is very different from the type used recreationally.

Answer questions: Encourage your child to ask questions and provide honest and accurate answers. Use age-appropriate language and avoid overwhelming your child with too much information at once.

Reinforce the importance of following rules: It’s important to emphasize that medicinal cannabis is only used by people who are sick or in pain, and it is only available with a doctor’s prescription. Emphasize the importance of following rules and not sharing medication with others.

Remember, explaining medicinal cannabis to a young child can be a challenging conversation, but it’s important to provide accurate information in a way that your child can understand. By approaching the conversation with honesty and openness, you can help your child better understand the role of medicine in helping people feel better.

There are a few books available that explain medicinal cannabis to children. Here are some options:

“The Gloops and the Special Plant” by J.R. Fox – The Gloops and the Special Plant is a teaching tool for starting the conversation on what cannabis is, and what the end of its prohibition means. It tells a parallel story to our own, while teaching about human rights and respect. “Where the Gloops live, there grows a very special plant. This plant has not always been understood. In fact, once upon a time, the Old Kings wanted the plant gone forever. Inside this little book is a BIG story about Molly, her family, and all of the Gloops who stood up for what they believed in, and won! The world of the Gloops is not so very different from ours… So, maybe by learning about them, we can learn about us too!”

“Cannabis and CBD for Health and Wellness” by Aliza Sherman and Dr. Junella Chin – This book is geared toward teenagers and provides an in-depth look at cannabis and CBD as medicine, including their uses, benefits, and potential risks.

“The ABCs of CBD: The Essential Guide for Parents (and regular folks too)” by Shira Adler – This book is geared toward parents and provides an overview of CBD and its potential benefits for children with various medical conditions.

“Stinky Steve Explains Medical Marijuana: An Educational Children’s Book About Cannabis” by Maggie Volpo – Millions of people use cannabis, also called marijuana, for a wide range of medical reasons. However, because there is still social stigma attached to cannabis use, many people who care for children hide or lie about their medication. Stinky Steve is here to help adults discuss responsible medical cannabis use with the children in their lives. Let Stinky Steve facilitate a conversation about cannabis use and safety in your home!

Remember, it’s important to preview these books before sharing them with your child to ensure they align with your personal beliefs and values. Additionally, it’s important to have open and honest conversations with your child about the use of medicinal cannabis and answer any questions they may have.

(Photo Jeremy McKnight Unsplash)

What should I do if my child is already using cannabis?

If you discover that your child is using cannabis in a legal state, it’s important to handle the situation with care and address it in a calm and non-judgmental way. Here are some steps you can take to address the issue:

Talk to your child: Schedule a time to sit down with your child and have an open and honest conversation about their cannabis use. Be sure to approach the conversation in a non-judgmental way, and try to understand their reasons for using cannabis. Listen to their perspective and provide them with accurate information about the risks and consequences of cannabis use, particularly for young people.

Set clear boundaries: Even though cannabis use may be legal for adults in your state, it is still illegal for minors. Make it clear to your child that using cannabis is against the law and that you do not condone it. Set clear expectations for your child’s behavior and consequences if they continue to use cannabis.

Seek professional help: If your child is struggling with cannabis use or addiction, it may be necessary to seek professional help. This can include talking to your child’s doctor, a substance abuse counselor, or a mental health professional who specializes in addiction.

Monitor your child’s behavior: Keep an eye on your child’s behavior and look for signs of ongoing cannabis use or other substance abuse. If you suspect that your child is continuing to use cannabis, it may be necessary to seek further professional help or support.

Keep communication open: It’s important to maintain open communication with your child and let them know that you are always there to support them, even if you don’t condone their behavior. Let them know that you are willing to help them find resources or support to overcome any issues they may be facing.

Remember, discovering that your child is using cannabis can be a challenging and difficult situation, but it’s important to handle it with care and to prioritize your child’s health and well-being. By taking a proactive and supportive approach, you can help your child make positive changes and avoid potential harm.

In conclusion, talking to your kids about legal cannabis is an important step in helping them make informed and safe choices. By being honest, using age-appropriate language, addressing their concerns, and setting clear boundaries, you can help your kids understand the risks and responsibilities involved in using cannabis. 

Raising kids can be hard! It’s a good thing cannabis is legal here in Oregon. When you’re ready to (responsibly) unwind, check out our fantastic selection at any of our stores.


India Cannabis

Historical Cannabis Use in India, Pt. 1

Cannabis has been used in Ayurvedic and Indian medicine for at least three thousand years to treat a variety of health conditions, including nausea and wasting syndromes. It is also prescribed for general health and longevity. To this day body builders in India use cannabis as a part of their training regiment to gain muscle mass, promote digestion, and build strength.

The spiritual aspects of cannabis are considered so profound in South Asia that many religious groups including Buddhists, Naths, Shaivites and Goddess Worshippers have incorporated it into meditation practices, as a means to stop the mind and enter into a state of profound stillness, also called Samadhi.

Cannabis holds a prominent place among Tantrics in India, Nepal, Sikkim, and Tibet to this day. In the Mahayana tradition of Buddhism, it is said that Buddha subsisted for six years on nothing but hemp seeds. Various spiritual texts, including the Buddhist Tara Tantra, list cannabis as an important aide to meditation and spiritual practice. In the Tantric Buddhism of the Himalayas and Northern India, cannabis still plays a significant role in meditative rituals to facilitate deep meditation and heighten awareness.

Cannabis is even mentioned in the Indian creation myth, where it is named as one of the five nectars of the gods and designated a “Reliever of Suffering.” In the original myth, the gods churn the Ocean of Milk in search of Amrita, the elixir of eternal life. One of the resulting nectars was cannabis. In the Vedas cannabis is referred to as a “source of happiness.”

In India today, cannabis is often made into a drink consumed by local people and is said to be the favorite drink of Indra, the king of the Indian gods.

Cannabis is most closely associated with the worship of Shiva, one of the three principal deities of India. Cannabis is considered Shiva’s favorite herb due to its spiritual properties. It is commonly consumed by Shaivite yogis, ascetics and worshippers of Shiva, as an aid to their sadhana (spiritual practice). Wandering ascetics, known as sadhus, are often seen smoking cannabis out of a clay chillum as a part of their spiritual practice.


An Introduction to Cannabis Edibles Pt. 1

With all the options available to medical marijuana patients today, many are choosing to explore methods of medicating beyond the traditional pipe or paper.

Marijuana infused products, commonly referred to as ‘edibles’, provide another option to patients who cannot, or choose not to smoke their cannabis. Edibles come in many different varieties, including tinctures (alcohol and glycerin based extractions), cooking oils, premade dessertsdrinkssnack foodscandiesand even chewing gum. There are even some companies that offer a medicated meals-on-wheels service for patients that physically cannot leave the house!

Edibles Provide A Safe Alternative To Smoking

Many patients believe that ingesting their cannabis is a healthier alternative to inhaling it because there is no exposure to carbon-rich smoke. Some patients, such as those on supplemental oxygen, turn to edibles when smoking is no longer an option. For patients with eating and digestive disorders, edibles are not only a great source of nausea-reducing CBD, but also a vital source of nutrients and calories. The same is true for cancer patients suffering from nausea caused by their treatments, and expecting mothers dealing with hyperemesis (morning sickness). A few patients choose edibles because they are a more discreet way to medicate, while others simply prefer the effects of ingesting cannabis to the effects of smoking.

What conditions are edibles most recommended for?

Because most edibles (with the exception of alcohol tincture) are exposed to some kind of heat during the cooking process, many of the inactive cannabinoids such as THC-a and CBD-a, are converted to THCCBD and CBN. The cooking process, as well as the high levels of THC found in edibles, work together to create the perfect treatment for many disorders, including chronic pain, muscle inflammation and spasms, autoimmune disorders, nervous system disorders, insomnia, and nausea (provided the patient is well enough to ingest the medication).

While anyone can enjoy the benefits of edibles, patients suffering from crohn’s disease, anautoimmune disorder of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract that affects as many as 700,000 Americans, find this method of medicating extremely beneficial. Because Crohn’s Disease occurs in the GI tract, edibles distribute useful active and inactive cannabinoids at the root of the problem, instead of having to rely on the bloodstream to carry them from the lungs.

Will ingesting cannabis affect me differently than smoking it?

Yes, without a doubt. However, exactly what effect edibles will have on you depends on several factors: the type and potency of the edibles you are using, your tolerance, your body chemistry, and even how much you’ve had to eat. Because the effects of eating an edible differ greatly from the effects of smoking, many first time users are caught off guard by the stronger potency and long-lasting effects.

Despite CBD’s anxiety relieving properties, many people experience a heightened sense of anxiety and paranoia when they initially ingest an edible. This is caused by various factors, but tends to mostly deal with fact that most people are not used to ingesting cannabis yet and have feelings of uncertainty, which leads to anxiety and paranoia. This seems to fade away the more you eat them, and get used to the effects.

You see, when you smoke marijuana you only receive a small amount of the cannabinoids in each hit, although it will be felt instantly. Where as, edibles tend to hit you much more slowly. This allows the cannabinoids to be released in waves, as they are processed by the stomach and digested.


Terpenes and Terpenoids

What are Terpenes?

Terpenes (TUR-peen) are a large class of organic hydrocarbons produced by a wide variety of plants, and are referred to as terpenoids when denatured by oxidation (drying and curing the flowers). They are the main building block of any plant resin or “essential oils” and contribute to the scent, flavor, and colors. Some are even known to have medicinal value.

Terpenes are the main class of aromatic compounds found in cannabis and have even been proven to interact synergistically with cannabinoids to provide for a range of different effects. While many people believe that it is the sticky glands of THC (delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol) that provide cannabis with its peculiar aroma, it is in fact the more unstable monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes that are responsible. In fact, it is the smell of the specific sesquiterpene, Caryophyllene oxide that drug dogs are able to detect when probing for cannabis.

Terpenes have been found to be essential building blocks of complex plant hormones and molecules, pigments, sterols and even cannabinoids in cannabis. Terpenes also play an incredibly important role by providing the plant with natural protection from bacteria and fungus, insects, and other environmental stresses.

More noticeably, terpenes are responsible for the pleasant, or not so pleasant, aromas and flavors of cannabis. Although, over 200 terpenes have been reported in the plant, only a small minority has actually been studied for their pharmacological effects.

A study conducted in 1997 by the Swiss Federal Research Station for Agroecology and Agriculture entitled “Essential oil of Cannabis sativa L. strains” characterized 16 terpenoid compounds in the essential oil of different cannabis strains. The most abundant of which was myrcene. Other terpenes that were present in higher concentrations included alpha-pinene, limonene, trans-Caryophyllene and caryophyllene oxide.

Understanding the importance of terpenes allows for a true “cannasseur” to broaden their approach to searching for new strains based on smells and tastes, rather than purely effects.

Smells and Theraputic Effects

Here you will find some of the more common scents manifested in the cannabis plant, along with their notable theraputic effects.

α-PINENE – (Pine Needles) – Anti-bacterial, Anti-fungal, Anti-inflammatory, Bronchodilator
β-CARYOPHYLLENE – (Black Pepper, Cloves) – Anti-bacterial, Anti-cancer, Anti-fungal, Anti-inflammatory, Anti-septic
BORNEOL – (Camphor) – Analgesic, Anti-insomnia, Anti-septic, Bronchodilator
CARYOPHYLLENE OXIDE – (Eucalyptus) – Anti-fungal, Anti-ischemic
CINEOL – (Tea Tree) – Anti-bacterial, Anti-depressant, Anti-inflammatory, Anti-ischemic, Bronchodilator
CITRONELLOL – (Roses) – Anti-cancer, Anti-inflammatory, Anti-insomnia, Anti-spasmodic
HUMULENE – (Hops) – Anorectic, Anti-cancer, Anti-bacterial, Anti-inflammatory
LIMONENE – (Citrus) – Anti-anxiety, Anti-bacterial, Anti-cancer, Anti-depressant, Anti-fungal, Bronchodilator
LINALOOL – (Lavender) – Anti-anxiety, Anti-bacterial, Anti-convulsive, Anti-depressant, Anti-insomnia
MYRCENE – (Lemongrass, Mango) – Analgesic, Anti-cancer, Anti-inflammatory, Anti-insomnia, Anti-spasmodic
NEROLIDOL  – (Wood, Citrus Rind) – Anti-fungal, Anti-insomnia
PHYTOL – (Green Tea) – Anti-insomnia
TERPINOLENE – (Lilac, Apples) – Anti-bacterial, Anti-fungal, Anti-insomnia, Anti-septic

Terpenes Work Synergistically With Cannabis

A 1974 study entitled, “Effects of marihuana in laboratory animals and in man” suggested that there may be potentiation of the effects of Delta(9)-THC by other substances present in marijuana. The double-blind study found that marijuana with equal or higher levels of CBD and CBN than THC, induced effects two to four times greater than expected from their THC content. The effects of smoking twice as much of a THC-only strain were no different than that of the placebo.

This suggestion was reinforced by a study done in 2003 by J Pharm Pharmacol called “Medicinal cannabis: is delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol necessary for all its effects?” The scientists compared the effects of a standardized cannabis extract with that of a pure THC (with matched concentrations of THC) and a THC-free extract. They tested the three extracts on a mouse with multiple sclerosis (MS), and a rat brain with epilepsy.

Scientists found that the standardized extract inhibited spasticity in the mouse and caused more of a rapid onset of full muscle relaxation compared to THC alone. The THC-free extract caused no inhibition of spasticity in the mouse, although it did exhibit anticonvulsant activity in the rat brain. However, the standardized extract outperformed the pure THC in all circumstances. Therefore, the effects of THC were modified by the presence of other components, and thus, THC is not necessary for all the possible medicinal effects of cannabis.

Ethan B. Russo further supported this theory with scientific evidence in his 2011 study, “Taming THC”, in which he proved that non-cannabinoid plant components such as terpenoids serve as inhibitors to THC’s intoxicating effects, thereby increasing THC’s therapeutic index. This “phytocannabinoid-terpenoid synergy,” as Russo calls it, increases the potential of cannabis-based medicinal extracts to treat pain, inflammation, fungal and bacterial infections, depression, anxiety, addiction, epilepsy and even cancer.