Keeping Your Kids & Pets Safe
Your top priority should always be keeping your kids and pets safe when growing and using plant medicines. You never want to unintentionally harm your children or pet, so why not learn about ways to drastically reduce that risk. Most of this is common sense but I definitely feel that it is worth talking about. As a mother and a cat owner, I wanted to keep them both away from the grow area. I also keep my plant medicines in a locked cabinet where kids and pets cannot access them.
Pets Can Become Pests in Your Garden
Both cats and dogs can cause damage to your plants. Some cats and dogs are known to eat marijuana plants. They’ll eat leaves and even buds off the plant. Most animals will mellow out if this happens but its never a good idea for your pets to ingest your plants because it can harm them depending on the amount. Plus, it damages your plants that you worked hard to grow. In outdoor grows, both animals can urinate or defecate on or near your plants. Cat urine is very high in ammonia and nitrogen which can be damaging to your plants. Dogs also love to dig and may want to ‘help’ you dig your garden bed.
The best way to reduce the risk of your pet damaging your plants or accidental ingestion is to keep them away from the grow area. You can build a barrier or fence, use a grow tent or teach them to avoid the area. For our first grow, we didn’t use a tent so we built a gate with a lock to keep our son and cat out of that area. This helped to give us piece of mind that our son or cat couldn’t get into the grow area, unless we were in there too.
Gardening Safely Around Your Children
I know it’s a taboo opinion, but I think your child or children can be around your cannabis plants. Since they’re only plants, I feel it removes the stigma and also shows them that it’s just plant. When it’s growing still, why not allow your child to see you doing gardening. This is not unsafe in any way.
It is obviously your own choice whether or not you feel comfortable with them being around your cannabis plants. You would obviously want to supervise them if they’re younger so they don’t pull any leaves off or touch bud sites.
It is a good idea to have your grow setup in a separate room that can be locked or blocked off from children and teenagers alike. This reduces their interactions with the plants to either none or only when you’re around. If you lock the room, make sure to keep the key with you to avoid them using it to get into the grow room when you’re not around.
Safely Storing Your Cannabis Products and Microdoses
It is a good idea to cure and store your dried cannabis in mason jars. I find that the 32 ounce wide mouthed jars work best. You can fit between 1.00 – 1.50 ounces in these jars. The jars need to be stored in a dark, cool place for optimal long term storage. This keeps the buds from degrading and losing potency.
You want to store your cannabis or psilocybin like any other medicine; Out of the reach of children. I recommend buying a small pantry for storing your jars because you can put a lock on it to keep your children out. I keep my psilocybin microdoses in the same pantry (on the top shelf) because it is lockable. This reduces risks of your children getting into your buds. You can find a small pantry style cupboard at Canadian Tire for about $50CAD and a lock for $10CAD or less. This is a worth while investment to protect your children and pets.
Some other options to store your bud and paraphernalia in are a safe/lockbox or a lockable cabinet. Depending on the location in your house, some people use locking display cabinets to display their glass pipes, bongs, etc. This option is best displayed away from where children especially teenagers may see.
Extra Precautions for Edibles & Microdoses
You should always take extra precautions with anything that your children or pets can accidentally ingest. Always keep psilocybin mushrooms stored out of reach of your children and pets. You can lock your microdoses in a lock box or cabinet where your children cannot access them. This is the safest way to store them. It will help to ensure that they don’t have any access to your microdoses.
Cannabis infused edibles can look just like normal desserts, drinks or food, so be careful and clearly label them and store them in a locked cabinet, pantry or seperate mini-fridge (preferably one that can be locked). You can buy a small lock and put edibles into a lunch bag and lock the zipper. This will create an extra line of defense in keeping your children away from your edibles. Also, avoid accidentally leaving edibles or infused products out within reach of pets or children. Even if it’s only for a few minutes, always keep them out of reach. This will help to reduce the risks of accidental ingestion by your children or pets. They can’t get into them, if they don’t get access to them.
Educate Your Children
It’s a good idea to talk to your children about cannabis. You can use an age appropriate approach. You want to be tactful but honest with them. Younger children can simply be told that adults medication is not for children and are off limits. You can tell them that this rule is in place to protect them from harm.
As kids get older, they may have exposure to cannabis at school, online or elsewhere. You can talk to your older kids about what cannabis is, it’s effects and why adults might use it. Children respond well when you speak to them like an adult and be honest with them.
Once they are teenagers, you’ll want to stress to them that it’s best to wait until they’re of legal age to try cannabis for themselves. Answer any questions they may have to the best of your ability. Make sure to research and give your children reliable facts about cannabis. You don’t want to give them false information.
Luckily, there’s lots of information available. But, be sure to check who is funding any studies as sometimes they are studies with biased information due to who is funding it. For example, a study about the effectiveness of medical cannabis funded by a big pharma company will likely contain skewed results. This is because they don’t want people using cannabis when they can profit from other forms of medicine to treat the same ailments.
Giving Teens the Tools to Say ‘No‘
It is a good idea to talk to your teenagers about peer pressure. It will likely happen to them sooner or later. So, why not teach them effective ways to say no to their peers. We all know that they may not always say no, but we should at least give them the tools to do so. There are a few good ways to say no without making them feel like they will be ridiculed.
- “No thanks, it makes me really sleepy”
- “No thanks, it increases my anxiety”
- “No thanks, I don’t like the way it makes me feel”
You’ll want to also talk to your teenagers about the effects of cannabis, in case they do give in to peer pressure (as teens do). Teach them about safe consumption and how to use responsibly. Let’s be real, teenagers are going to experiment. At least if you teach them how to safely consume, they’ll be able to do it safely.
Be Your Child’s Safety Net
Always let your child know that if they do happen to give in to peer pressure, you’ll be there if they ever need you. Remind them that their safety is the most important thing to you. If an unsafe situation ever arises, they’ll know that they can call or text you to get them out of there. You can even create an unsuspecting phrase that they can text you and that is code for you to go get them. You can then call them and say you need them to come home because of xyz. This can help them save face with their friends and peers and a great harm reduction tool.