International Youth Day is a special occasion to celebrate the vibrant energy and potential of our younger generation. It also presents a valuable opportunity for open and honest discussions on crucial topics, including medicinal cannabis. As more people embrace the therapeutic potential of medicinal cannabis, it is essential to provide our youth with accurate information and insights. This blog post aims to provide guidance on how to approach and engage in constructive conversations about medicinal cannabis with the youth.
1. Establish a Safe and Non-Judgement Environment
The first step in discussing medicinal cannabis with youth is to create a safe and non-judgmental space. Assure them that their questions and concerns are valid, and that you are open to having an honest dialogue. Avoid using scary tactics or making assumptions about their knowledge on the subject. Instead, actively listen to their perspectives and experiences to gain a better understanding of their perceptions.
2. Educate on the Difference Between Medicinal and Recreational Cannabis
It’s crucial to clarify the distinction between medicinal and recreational cannabis. Explain that medicinal cannabis is prescribed by qualified healthcare professionals to treat specific medical conditions and alleviate symptoms. Emphasize that it is not the same as recreational cannabis, which is used for non-medical purposes and can have different effects on the body and mind.
3. Provide Accurate Information on the Science and Research
Raise awareness among the youth by providing them with accurate and evidence-based information about the science behind medicinal cannabis. Discuss the different cannabinoids present in cannabis, such as THC and CBD, and their potential therapeutic benefits. Share reputable sources of information, such as scientific studies and government resources, to help them better understand the topic.
4. Address Misconceptions and Myths
Medicinal cannabis can be surrounded by misconceptions and myths. Address these misconceptions honestly and transparently. For example, clarify that medicinal cannabis does not lead to addiction when used as prescribed by healthcare professionals. Or not all cannabis makes you “high”; CBD, a major cannabinoid, is not intoxicating and has no “mind-altering” effects.
It may be difficult for some to communicate with youth about cannabis. Feel free to use Drug-free Kids Canada as a great resource for having these difficult conversations.
International Youth Day serves as an ideal occasion to engage in meaningful conversations with young individuals about significant topics that impact their lives. Talking to youth about medicinal cannabis is an essential step in providing them with accurate information, fostering responsible decision-making, and empowering them to make informed choices regarding their health. Together, let’s equip the next generation with the knowledge they need to navigate the complexities of medicinal cannabis and promote a healthier future for all.