Yes, Parents Do Use Cannabis
Given the long history of marijuana prohibition in this country and the many decades of media-driven “reefer madness” stigmatization, it’s understandable to feel still uneasy about cannabis use as a parent. Maybe you want to or already use marijuana, but feel anxious about it for one reason or another. Would you feel less nervous if you knew that 54% of those using cannabis in the US today are parents?
Nevertheless, there’s still a stigma surrounding marijuana use. While many parents use marijuana, they still tend to be discreet about it, especially if their children are under 18.. If you’re planning to try cannabis out for yourself but still worry about judgment from neighbors, friends, or parents, here are some tips to keep it discreet.
Try Using Vape Pens to be Discreet
Perhaps the most discreet way for a parent to use marijuana is by using a vape pen. They’re portable vaporizers designed for marijuana flower or THC concentrates.
When it comes to flower, vapes are referred to as “dry-herb vaporizers.” These vapes are designed with a small oven-like container where cannabis flower is placed. Then, the vape heats the flower in the chamber to just below the point of combustion. This will produce a vapor that can be inhaled. It doesn’t burn the flower, and thereby it produces very little tar. BUT, dry herb vaporizers will have a stronger cannabis smell than dab pens.
The more common types of ‘vape pens’ are dab pens which are usually much smaller than dry-herb vapes. Like dry herb vapes, dab pens heat the product to just under the level of combustion, but they use THC concentrates, or “dabs,” rather than flower. Often, these concentrates come in detachable cartridges, making them an easy and discreet way to use marijuana. You may also see them marketed as wax pens, weed pens, dab vapes, or more.
While marijuana vape pens may be incredibly discreet, they are not perfect. They come with their own unique set of pros and cons. Here are a few:
- Marijuana vapor does not produce as strong of an odor compared to smoke, ● Vape pens are small and portable, making them easy to hide from children, ● It is much less likely for small children to use a vape pen accidentally, unlike edibles, ● Vape pens are simple to operate.
- Inhalation is still hard on your lungs.
- Many dab cartridges don’t contain full-spectrum cannabis, meaning you won’t get the benefits of the hundreds of other cannabinoids (aka, the entourage effect).
Vape Pen vs. Flower High
While the psychoactive effects of both vape pens and cannabis flower are produced by THC, the high differs subtly. The most significant difference is that THC concentrates used in cannabis vape pens are more potent than flower. These oils are usually about 90% THC. Top-shelf, high potency marijuana flower is usually around 18% to 30%. If your experience with cannabis is limited to flower, you should go low and slow with a vape pen at first. One puff of the vape might be enough compared to several hits of the joint.
How to Safely Store Vape Pens and Batteries
You must store your marijuana vape pen correctly, especially when it comes to the device battery. After using your vape pen, you should make a habit of disconnecting the battery from the cartridge. It’s best to keep your batteries somewhere dry, preferably in something fireproof. They should get their own specific spot, don’t simply throw your vape pen in with loose coins, keys, or other metallic objects because the battery can short or even explode.
When it comes to the cartridges themselves, you should always store them somewhere dry and cool. The ideal temperature is approximately 70 F. Also, don’t lay them on their sides. They should be stored standing up vertically to avoid any potential leaks.
How to Safely Clean Your Dab pen
Part of proper storage also includes regular cleaning of your vape pen. While doing so is crucial for maintaining your device over a long period, the process is easy:
- Dismantle the vape pen,
- Using a Q-tip and isopropyl alcohol, clean the vape battery,
- If using a dab pen, be sure to scrape any residual THC concentrate from the vape chamber,
- Depending upon your device, it may be possible to remove the mouthpiece. If you can, it can be cleaned by soaking it in a container of hot water.
How to Safely Store Other Cannabis Products
One of the chief concerns of many parents is that their cannabis will end up in their children’s hands. As such, the best thing to do is to lock your marijuana away. Many lockable stash boxes are available to you, many of which are smell-proof. If you typically eat edibles, you may consider getting a lockable fridge box. Any of the storage boxes meant to store other medicines safely will likely work for marijuana too.
When it comes to preserving your non-edible marijuana products, you’ll want your storage area to be dry, dark, and around room temperature (70 F). For preservation’s sake, the best kind of material for your container is glass. You should also avoid storing your cannabis buds in the freezer. Frigid temperatures tend to cause the trichomes to break off of the buds.
Planning Your Use Around Parenting Activities
Most parents agree it’s best to use cannabis after putting children to bed. Many parents are apprehensive about using marijuana during the day, given how much responsibility falls on a
parent daily. Besides, using cannabis once the kids are put to bed is a great way to kick back, unwind, and relax at the end of a long day. After all, you’ve earned it.
If you’re planning on trying edibles or concentrates for the first time, don’t do it unless you have a sober adult around. The strength of these products can take a person by surprise.
You should never get behind the wheel after using marijuana. Not ever. And it’s a terrible idea to take an edible before driving somewhere, thinking it won’t kick in until later. If you get into an accident, you’ll be high as a kite by the time the police get there.
Plan your responsible cannabis use like you would responsible alcohol use.
How Long Does a Marijuana High Last?
In most cases, the effects of cannabis will last anywhere between 30 minutes to 3 hours. It varies depending upon the product you’re using, its concentration, and the amount consumed in a given instance. If you’re smoking weed, the effects typically wear off in less than two hours. High potency concentrates may produce a longer-lasting high. The high from edible marijuana, on the other hand, can last several hours when the THC concentration is significant.
Unfortunately, even though marijuana is legal in some form in 36 states, a stigma still surrounds its use. This is especially true for parents that use cannabis. However, millions of parents use cannabis responsibly and safely every day in America. Most parents agree that cannabis is a safer euphoriant with fewer health risks than alcohol. In the case of medical marijuana especially there is no reason to be scared of being a user. It is an effective and safe alternative for various medical conditions. So if possible seek a cannabis consultation with certified medical marijuana doctors to see if you can obtain a medical marijuana card that will give you access to it.
Cannabis, unlike alcohol, won’t potentially kill a parent or leave mom too hungover to care for her kids. This is why there’s a big push to destigmatize cannabis use in parents, and it’s working. California cannabis laws were set to protect the parenting rights of medical marijuana patients. Other states are passing workplace protections and even paving the way for cannabis in hospitals, nursing homes and hospice settings.
We can all do our part by using cannabis safely and responsibly, storing it properly when not in use, and keeping it out of the hands of our little ones. Hopefully, a decade from now, the current stigma around cannabis use will be a thing of the past.