You never want to intentionally harm your pet or children, 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 to a toddler and a cat owner, I wanted to keep them away from the grow area and my storage area for dried flower and other cannabis items such as edibles or concentrates.
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, use a grow tent or train 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 cat and son out of that area. This will not only reduce risk of plant damage, but also reduce hair in the grow area as well. Another good tip for reducing hair in your grow tent is to cover your intake with panty hose or stockings. This will act as a filter to keep hair, dust and debris out.
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
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 0.75 – 1.25 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 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. This reduces risks of your children getting into your buds. You can find a small pantry style cupboard at Canadian Tire for about $50 and a lock for $10 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
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). This will help to reduce the risks of accidental ingestion by your children or pets. They can’t get into them, if they can’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.
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