As great as weed is, not everyone appreciates its skunky simplicity. That’s not necessarily a problem for you when the people who disapprove are people you don’t know or care about. However, it can become a rubbing point if the person (or people) you love and live with don’t enjoy Mary Jane as much as you do.
Luckily, differences in cannabis use don’t have to break your relationships with your loved ones. Heck, introverts and extroverts get together all the time, and many couples happily coexist where one person loves the Beatles and the other doesn’t. There are even healthy unions where partner A loves Coke and partner B loves Pepsi.
The point: having a different opinion about cannabis consumption doesn’t have to cause strain on your relationship with your partner. Sure, it may be a bigger deal than whether cats or dogs are better, but with the “Three C’s” of cannabis consumption, you can have a healthy relationship with a partner who hates pot.
Great communication is probably the number one success point in any relationship. Early in your relationship, you and your SO likely stayed up all night long talking about anything and everything. You might have even gushed to a close friend, “It’s just so easy to talk with them – I feel like for the first time someone really gets me!”
Learning about each other is great for strengthening your relationship, but no one will argue that some topics present more of a challenge than others. One of the hard talking points might be cannabis consumption if one of you uses, and the other doesn’t. But remember: just because it’s hard, doesn’t mean you should avoid talking about it. Instead, if cannabis is a sore subject, frequent judgment-free conversations and check-ins can help smooth over tension.
During your conversations, try to understand why your partner is opposed to cannabis. Is it for religious reasons? Is it the smell? Is it certain behaviors that come out when you’re under the influence? Is it a previous bad experience with pot? Does it have to do with job requirements and restrictions? In particular, job requirements can be tricky to navigate because some employers – active military, local government, and childcare, to name a few – often have a zero-tolerance policy for cannabis consumption. The possibility of random drug testing when dating or living with a partner who uses can be stressful for a non-user.
Once you’ve fleshed out the reasons why your partner doesn’t like cannabis, you have the opportunity to educate them on why you choose to use. If it’s for medical reasons, make sure to highlight how you feel when you do and don’t use cannabis to manage your symptoms. If it’s for recreational purposes, explain what strains you like and why. Sometimes the stigma surrounding cannabis and a lack of education can harden people against cannabis. With a little bit of education (as long as your purpose isn’t to change your partner), you might find that your partner eventually comes round to the idea of you using.
2. (Be) Courteous
Being courteous and thoughtful when you use cannabis around your loved ones goes a long way to bridge the gap between aversion and acceptance. It’s simple: if your partner doesn’t like the smell, you shouldn’t blow smoke rings in their face. If your partner worries about your behavior while under the influence, come up with some ground rules for consumption (i.e., no driving, only use certain strains after hours or on weekends, etc.). You might miss the days when you got to smoke when and where you wanted, but being courteous can help you avoid tension and potential heartache.
Another way to be courteous with your consumption is to keep your stash separate and secure. Using a smell proof bag or stash box not only keeps your cannabis accessories and grass organized, but they are also lockable to keep everything safe. This can be especially important if you prefer using edibles that could be easily mistaken for “regular” food by your partner or children. Being responsible and putting your stash away the right way every time shows your partner that you value both your relationship and the power of weed.
We all know that love and trust are the building blocks of healthy relationships, but learning how to compromise also significantly increases your chance of success. Compromise looks different to different people. It could mean buying 1% milk when one person likes whole milk, and the other likes skim. It could mean buying a Subaru Outback when you want a compact car, and your partner wants a full-size SUV. Or it could mean setting rules and expectations for cannabis consumption. You’ll probably find yourself trying to hash out:
- Where: If the smell is bothersome, perhaps make a rule that edibles or tinctures are allowed in the house, but any smoking or vaping must be done outside.
- When: Some couples compromise that weed is allowed only on days apart or when kids aren’t home.
- What: There are a million different strains on the market these days, and each one is designed to have a different outcome. You might enjoy getting stoned out of your mind, but your compromise might be to only use less potent strains.
- How: How you use cannabis can play a big part in how your partner views cannabis consumption. Dry herb vaporizers produce very little smell that dissipates almost immediately, so they can be a good alternative to the traditional blunt or fragile glassware.
These are just a few potential compromises for common problems between partners who use and those who don’t. You may have to get creative with your compromises, but being willing to bend a little can mean that everyone is happy. As you navigate your relationship with your partner, just remember to communicate, be courteous, and compromise as you work together to come to a consensus on cannabis consumption.