The issue of parents using cannabis has always been something of a hot potato, although whether we talk about it or not, the fact remains that many parents do smoke pot. Surely, then, it’s better to listen to what these people have to say than it is to brush the whole subject under the carpet. Yet with the mainstream media generally steering clear of the topic, and virtually no scientific studies having been conducted into the effects of cannabis use on parenting, we reached out to a number of parents to get their insights.
Parents And Cannabis: A Father’s Perspective
A father of three from Bristol told Seedsman that smoking weed helps him to arbitrate the many arguments and disputes that inevitably arise among his children. “When the kids are fighting it can be pretty stressful for everyone, and I do have a bit of a tendency to be hot-headed,” he said. “But if I’ve had a smoke it makes me much less reactionary, and I don’t feel the need to jump in and punish them.”
“Funnily enough, my not getting involved tends to help calm things down, as the kids often get more worked up once they see that I’ve taken someone’s side in an argument. So I’d say the best thing about weed is that it helps me to let things slide a little, and only come down hard when someone’s really overstepped the mark.”
Interestingly, similar observations were provided by respondents in the only notable scientific study into the effect of cannabis on parenting. Published in the journal Adolescent Psychiatry[i], the paper contains a number of reports from parents who use cannabis, including who said:
“Both of my two oldest are ADHD and they conflict head-to-head constantly. So, smoking…I’m able to sit down, think and put myself in their shoes and be able to talk to them more and have them understand what I’m doing and why. Rather than just yelling at them and hitting them.”
On a similar note, another parent in the study remarked that: “You know you are supposed to be taught as a parent not to holler, not to scream, not to hit your kid because that’s going to show them that they are allowed to do that when they get older. It’s easier to go and smoke and stay calm and let them do what they want and just kind of ignore it, and let it roll off. I am more patient, more calm with them.”
Another parent told us that cannabis has helped him to relate to his teenage daughter, which is obviously something that a lot of fathers struggle with. “My daughter’s entered that age where she’s becoming a woman, so she’s not exactly my little girl anymore,” he said. “I find smoking weed just opens my mind a little bit, so I can kind of see things from her perspective a bit more. Without it I’d find it much harder to relate to her, which would probably lead to a lot more tension between us.”
Mothers Who Smoke Cannabis
A mother with two young children told Seedsman that smoking cannabis brings numerous benefits, both in terms of interacting with her kids and winding down once they’ve gone to bed.
“When you’ve got young kids, you need to have your logical mind engaged for most of the day – especially in the current lockdown, as the schools are closed. I find that smoking at the end of the day helps me disengage and takes me to another state, where I can connect more with the Yin energy and be a bit more creative.”
On the subject of creativity, she said that being high around her kids also helps her to relate to their child-like sense of wonder.
“Younger children tend to really see the magic in things, like noticing dragons in the clouds and stuff like that. Us adults aren’t always in a space where we can see that magic, but cannabis can really take me to that place, where children are at.”
“Of course, the other side to it is that, especially around young kids, you need to be present and together, and weed can often make me switch off, which isn’t great if you’ve got things to do.”
Another parent told us how, though cannabis, she has found a way to give her teenage son the freedom to learn and grow, without trying to control or overprotect him.
“I’ve always had a very conscious relationship with the herb and I want to share that with my son. Part of that is trusting him to find his own way with it, which has been quite a process because, as a parent, you tend to be a bit more cautious with your kids than you are with yourself.”
“When he first started smoking I felt quite nervous about it, which caused me to re-evaluate my own relationship with cannabis. But as I’ve relaxed into it, I’ve found a way of talking openly to my son about it, which means he feels he can be honest with me. Overall, it’s made him more responsible.”
Naturally, there are many parents who choose not to use cannabis around their children, and at the end of the day there really is no definitive answer as to whether pot makes you a better parent. In all likelihood, it’s the sort of thing that will differ from person to person, although as these testimonies prove, there’s no shortage of parents who have managed to raise their game thanks to weed.
[i] Thurstone C, A Binswanger I, F Corsi K, J Rinehart D, E Booth R. Medical marijuana use and parenting: A qualitative study. Adolescent Psychiatry. 2013 Apr 1;3(2):190-4. – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6706266/