High During the Holidays: Addressing Cannabis with Family
I often get sucked into my everyday routine. It’s easy to feel as if there are not enough hours in the day. But as the holidays approach, nearly everyone sets some time aside to visit his or her family. No matter the circumstances, I believe these are some of life’s most meaningful moments. However, for better or for worse, they also tend to be some of the most stressful. Second cousins you haven’t seen in years, the awkward uncle, etc. While many use alcohol to ease the situation, others prefer to relax with cannabis. A safer alternative to alcohol, cannabis sparks creativity, extends patience, promotes self-examination, catalyzes laughter, and facilitates friendship and love. In the words of Steve DeAngelo, “cannabis does not cause a loss of self-control; it enriches the most precious parts of our lives.”
Opening the Dialogue
Depending on your family dynamic, the use of cannabis may not be widely accepted. This situation typically forces an element of discretion or a potentially awkward conversation into the equation. Despite your reservations about sharing your cannabis use with your family, you may find that doing so results in the unexpected. Most people are actually quite curious about cannabis now that legalization has occurred in select states. Others may feel relieved after learning they weren't the only ones slipping out to the garage for a quick smoke. Thousands of American's are in the proverbial cannabis closet, hiding their cannabis use from families, employers, and clients. They remain conflicted about why such a therapeutic substance remains federally illegal and socially taboo. It all starts with a discussion. There is a wealth of fact based information online outlining the therapeutic properties of cannabis and the positive effects legalization has had on the community and the economy.
Acquiring Your Cannabis
For those of you traveling to meet your families for the holidays, this will beg the question; how do I acquire cannabis in an unfamiliar place? If you have the luxury of living in a legal state, this will be relatively easy assuming you are of age. The dispensary is by far the safest and easiest option. However, for the majority of Americans, this is not possible. The less glamorous options are connecting with a local caregiver or traveling with cannabis. Although it remains federally illegal, thousands of people fly with small amounts of cannabis each year. Selecting the most discreet consumption method can also make the trip more manageable.
Dosing in a Safe Place
The late night backyard session is always an option, but if you're trying to maximize your Thanksgiving day meal, you may need to toke up during the day. If you can't consume at home, find a quiet park, secluded beach, or empty walking trail to get away from the world with your stash and enjoy a quick smoke.
When All Else Fails
When discretion is of the utmost importance, I recommend alternative consumption methods that don’t involve smoking. Evidence of cannabis smoke lingers in the air, on the skin, and in the mouth – not ideal for most family environments. Therefore, I recommend the use of edibles, portable vaporizers, tinctures, patches, and topicals. These products offer the desired therapeutic effects with a discrete application. Edibles are an especially great choice for those seeking long-term relief. Relative to other consumption methods, the effects of edibles have the longest duration – often in excess of 8+ hours. However, keep in mind the delayed onset time associated with edibles. For instant relief, I recommend the use of portable vaporizer or one hitter pipe. These compact units deliver cannabinoid rich vapor to the user with the press of a button. The minimal smell associated with the vapor dissipates quickly, which is ideal for keeping your cannabis use to yourself.