Got kids? Got cannabis? If the answer to both is yes, you need to read our no-nonsense guide to safely consuming and storing cannabis at home.
Following cannabis legalization in 2018, the use of cannabis products in Canada has increased. Perhaps unsurprisingly, so has the number of calls to the country’s poison centres related to potential cannabis-related poisonings. Due to their small size and weight, children are more sensitive to cannabis’ effects, and therefore more vulnerable to cannabis poisoning.
A recent national Ipsos survey commissioned by Parachute, Canada’s national charity dedicated to injury prevention, found that while almost all Canadian parents who use cannabis agree it’s their responsibility to safely store their cannabis products, only one in four do so properly.
So what can you do to prevent unintentional poisoning? Let’s explore the best and safest storage products and consumption routines that will help keep your precious cannabis safely stowed during the early years of your kiddo’s life and offer a few common-sense routines in order to avoid an accidental dosing situation.
Considering that cannabis is now available in an array of products that are colourful, smell good and look nearly identical to goodies that your wee ones would love to get their hands on, having a solid cannabis storage solution is a must. If you’ve purchased your Simply Bare goods from your neighbourhood budtender, you will see that our flowers come in child-proof jars with proper labelling. But if for whatever reason you’re looking to store your flower in something else, we recommend the storage jars from re-stash, which offers a variety of sleeved glass mason jars with a patented kid-proof lid. The wonderful thing about glass, unlike plastic bags and plastic containers, is that harmful toxins won’t leach into your cannabis overtime. Once you’ve found the perfect stash jar, you can stow your goods in a room temperature dark cupboard to preserve maximum freshness.
For edible products such as your homemade cannabutter, be sure to properly label your container and keep it refrigerated in a spot out of reach of children. Curious about how long you can store cannabis without worrying it will go dry, stale or moldy? It all comes down to airtight storage, being out of direct sunlight and low to no moisture. If you’ve hit all these notes, cannabis can remain potent and yummy for months.
It’s important to have a good handle on your consumption timing and tolerance. Instead of parents smoking together, consider taking turns by inviting a trusted friend over to your cannabis session so that one caretaker can remain sober. For single parent families, consider consuming cannabis when a sober back up is on hand, like a grandparent or two. For parents with medical cannabis programs, discuss a routine with your physician that will ensure dosing levels are consistent with safe care-giving responsibilities.
One of the most common antecedents to accidental underage dosing happens when an adult hasn’t established a consumption routine that includes putting your cannabis away before getting high. Let’s face it, some folks can become forgetful during (and after) consumption, so it makes sense to set yourself up for success by following a set of steps that can become second nature. You may also want to consider wiping down surfaces and washing hands that have come in contact with cannabis. Although rare, it is possible for young children to feel effects of THC through skin-to-skin contact.
Eventually you will want to educate the youngsters in your family about the risks and benefits of cannabis use with up-to-date information from a trusted source. That responsibility can fall on you, a family doctor or another expert. The last thing you want is your tween or teen getting bad information from a peer or an untrustworthy source.
Cannabis consumption by minors is illegal, so it is important to intervene if you suspect your child is consuming cannabis, and be prepared to have some tough and tender conversations. Consider reaching out to your child’s learning community for more resources and support regarding underage cannabis use.
The bottom line is children are curious and explorative learners that look to their parents for guidance in most things. Modelling safe and responsible use of any medication or adult product will reduce the risk of accidents, and foster critical thinking skills that are useful in all aspects of life.
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