How to Talk to Your Children about Cannabis

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Editors Note: This is the fifth post in a 5 part series on cannabis and cannabis-infused ingestible products. Please educate yourself on local, state, and federal laws so you know what is legal where you live. If you have questions for Sysamone, please be sure to leave them in the comment section. She will address your questions in a future post.

My 12year old son requested permission to try a cannabis cookie

It’s no secret to my family and friends that I work in the cannabis industry. My children are very aware and have always been aware of what I do for a living. They often see different infused products on my home office desk and also see them in my designated area of the refrigerator. Recently my son asked at what age would it be okay for him to try a cannabis product with me. First off, I am so elated that he asked for permission versus going behind my back to sneak off with one of my products. Finally, I am winning at this parenting game! This made me realize the approach I have been taking with transparency about my work and education on cannabis for my children has been working. If you have children curious about cannabis or are ready to have a conversation about it, here are some suggested ways to go about it;

Transparency is always appreciated and respected regardless of age

When I joined the industry I decided to sit my children down and explain the details of my work. I called for a family meeting. I provided them an opportunity to ask questions or provide their opposition. When I started bringing products infused with cannabis home, I called for another family meeting to explain the products. I created house rules for everyone to follow. No touching products that are labeled CBD or THC. If they weren’t sure, they were required to ask for clarification. An announcement was always made in the home when new products arrived. 

Education on plant, history and current state of market is key

I approached educating my children as if I were educating my own friends just learning about infused products. They learned the differences between hemp and marijuana derived products. They learned the different effects CBD provides versus THC. They learned the difference between medicinally vs. recreational legal states. They understand why people choose to use it for health benefits and why others choose it for fun. They also learned the injustice this industry is accountable for, towards people of color. They also learned that there are two markets, the regulated and the illicit market and not every state and not everyone is for this industry. They understand how to spot packaging of lab tested, safe, clean products vs homemade, untested, unapproved products. It is a lot of information but educating my children the same way I educate my adult friends on the cannabis plant, I feel prepares them better for the day they decide to experiment. 

Be open-minded but also be practical

What am I going to do regarding my child’s request to try a cannabis cookie? Well definitely not allow it, as he is under the age limit. However I know that eventually curiosity or maybe even pressure from friends will push their curiosity to try it sooner rather than later. I’ve asked my children to always inform mom before trying any unsafe products, if they are ever in a situation where they are being pressured into it. If there’s a strong will, there’s a way kids will figure out how to consume against parental orders. I cannot stop other children or even my own children from testing stuff behind my back but I can at least attempt to ensure they fully understand the plant or the infused product before they consume it.

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Sysamone
Sysamone Phaphon is a single mom of two. She’s lived in the east bay area for 15+ years. She is the current CEO and founder of the CBD Nanoemulsion brand, Khuenphu. Sysamone also provides growth marketing consultancy in the technology, healthcare and cannabis industries through a digital marketing agency called A.V.O. Prior to pursuing the consultancy path & building her own company, she was previously the Head of Growth for cannabis manufacturer, Vertosa, where she managed PR, Marketing and brand partnerships. She is also a brand ambassador for Mothercoders, a nonprofit organization helping mothers on-ramp to careers in tech so they can thrive in a digital economy. When she’s not working, she’s playing baseball mom for her daughter’s all girls competitive travel baseball team and lacrosse mom for her son’s competitive travel team. When she has personal time for herself, she loves naps, enjoying infused products and binge watching various series on all the streaming channels.

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