What parents need to know about growing marijuana at home

Published Feb 4, 2020 12:00 p.m. ET
iStock / DerwoodPhotography

Now that cannabis is legal in Canada, there are a whole lot more people interested in growing it, and though to some, it might be a surprise, a good chunk of them are parents. Parents for generations have enjoyed the occasional glass of wine or beer guilt-free, but smoking weed was and still is demonized.

This unfortunate side effect of years of propaganda and prohibition is a nuisance, but that doesn’t have to get you down if you prefer a little green instead. Having kids doesn’t suddenly make growing a cannabis plant a nefarious deed, and despite all the hype, you might be surprised by what you and your kids can learn from enjoying the experience together.

With a few safety precautions, and ideas, growing a marijuana plant can be an exciting, educational, and healthy journey for the entire family, and we’re going to help you out by highlighting some of the most important things that you should know about growing weed around kids, including both the good and the potential dangers that you might not have considered.

1. It’s perfectly safe

Despite the common misconception surrounding the cannabis plant, in its raw form, it won't impact you in the same way that smoking weed might. That means that it is completely safe for your kids to look at and interact with the plant in the same way that they might a flower. Now some get concerned about the potential issue of kids getting high from eating marijuana plant buds, but the truth is that in an inactivated form, these flowers aren’t going to get them high, and at most, might offer a boost of vitamins and healthy oils.

2. Grow lights can cause burns

If you grow a cannabis plant outdoors, then you don’t have to worry about the hazards of a grow room, but indoor set-ups are a little bit different, especially when they include high powered lights. These lights often get really warm to the touch and can cause severe burns so ensure they are placed far out of reach of little ones. They can also cause damage to the eyes after prolonged exposure. Therefore, you might want to provide your kids with the proper eyewear for the task.

3. A cannabis plant makes a great educational tool

Most of us can remember growing a bean plant to learn about the anatomy of it, the growing stages, and how to care for it. Though every single plant is different, a marijuana plant offers that exact same experience with flair. Especially if the kids are lucky enough to have parents well versed on the more scientific aspects such as nutrients, fertilizers, and specialized trimming methods, as most of this information can be useful when learning about any kind of plant species.

4. Fertilizer should be treated like everyday cleaners

There are, of course, a whole bunch of benefits that can come from learning how to treat and handle sensitive chemical like fertilizers or nutrients properly, but if you have young children at home, it’s best to keep everything neatly and quite literally locked away. In fact, most of your cannabis plant related needs and tools should be stored safely behind a high-quality lock. That way, you won’t have any costly mistakes that could potentially cause harm.

5. A marijuana plant can help to clean the air

Some people think of a cannabis plant as a drug that somehow affects everything it comes into contact with, including the air. The overwhelming smell of a growing marijuana plant might seem a bit pungent to some, but the truth is that it’s only a harmless scent. One that many people enjoy thanks to the familiar terpenes from fruits that are found in most weed strains.

One might think that a cannabis plant taints the air, but it actually has the opposite effect, slowly eating up the CO2 within the room, which cleans it. This extra filtration can help to improve the quality of the air which can assist with breathing issues, among other health problems that are poor air quality related. That’s right! No masks are necessary here. Your kids are completely safe smelling the whiff of a maturing marijuana plant.

Safety is key

The most important thing to remember is that as long as you practice some key precautions, there is absolutely no reason not to grow pot as a parent. Though it may be a substance that meets resistance from those who do not understand it, it’s an entirely safe plant and there is no reason that you shouldn’t grow one in your home, on a windowsill, in a vegetable garden, or anywhere else that suits your fancy because children can benefit greatly from having relaxed parents who are clear and open about their use of the cannabis plant.

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