How to Talk to Teenagers About Smoking Marijuana

How to talk to teenagers about smoking marijuana can seem intimidating. However, open and thoughtful communication is key to helping guide your child to make healthy choices regarding marijuana use.

This article offers parents guidance on discussing marijuana with teenagers. It suggests open, non-judgmental conversations to express concerns from a place of care. Key points include updated facts on usage methods, THC potency, and adolescent health risks. The goal is compassionate communication to help teens make positive choices.
Stay tuned if this issue is relevant to you. We will prepare you for this important conversation.

How to Talk to Teens About Smoking Marijuana

Understanding Teen Marijuana Use

How Many Teens Smoke Weed?

Marijuana is the illegal drug most commonly used by teens. Here is the percentage of teens who have tried marijuana:

  • 10th graders: 35%
  • 11th graders: 44%
  • 12th graders: 45%

Which Drug Is The Most Commonly Used Drug Among Teens?

Marijuana is the most commonly used drug among teens today. With increasing legalization, many teens believe marijuana is safe. However, research clearly shows that regular marijuana use during the teen years can negatively impact learning, memory, attention, decision-making, and mental health.

Signs of Marijuana Use in Teens

As a parent, knowing the signs of marijuana use can help you spot problems early and get teens needed support. Common signs include:

  • Red, bloodshot eyes
  • Giggling or loud, rambling speech
  • Lack of motivation, fatigue
  • Smell of smoke on clothes or breath
  • Secretive behavior about possessions or activities
  • Increase in snacking, craving sweets
  • Presence of paraphernalia like pipes or vape pens

If you notice any of these signs in your teen, have an open conversation to understand what is going on.

Preparing for the Conversation

Before talking to your teen about marijuana, especially edibles, it’s important to educate yourself and set the right tone. This will lead to a more productive discussion.

Talk to Teens About Edibles and Marijuana

Discover the latest on today’s potent marijuana products, particularly edibles. Infused with high levels of THC, these food items resemble candy or snacks and boast enticing flavors. However, their delayed onset can lead teens to ingest dangerous amounts, resulting in paranoia, anxiety, panic attacks, or hallucinations. Recognizing these risks emphasizes the need for caution, especially concerning edibles.

Choose an Appropriate Time and Place

Don’t just launch into the subject, but plan a time to sit down together without distractions. Pick a comfortable spot at home when you are both free to talk openly. That shows you consider the conversation important and want your teen to truly listen and participate. Avoid lecturing right after they get home or before bed when energy may be low.

Set a Calm, Non-Judgmental Tone

Approach with openness and curiosity to foster honest dialogue, avoiding defensiveness. Assess their knowledge of marijuana and provide additional insight. Express concern from a caring perspective, not criticism. If they admit to trying it, seek understanding without judgment. Keep communication open to maintain their trust and offer support in exploring healthier coping strategies if needed. Your tone is crucial in guiding teens toward wise decisions.

How to Start a Talk with Teenagers About Marijuana?

Starting the conversation about marijuana use can feel awkward, but open communication is important. The key is expressing concern in a supportive way.

  • First, explain why you want to discuss the issue. You might say, “I’ve been concerned about some things I’ve heard lately about teens and marijuana. I care about you and want you to have reliable information to make healthy choices.” Making your care and worry clear frames the discussion as coming from a place of love.
  • Next, ask open-ended questions to encourage real conversation instead of a lecture. “What are your thoughts about marijuana?” and “What have you heard from friends about it?” show you respect their perspective. Listen without judgment and ask follow-ups like “Why do you think that?” to better understand where they’re coming from.
  • Finally, stay calm and avoid accusatory language which could make them defensive. Saying “I smelled smoke on your clothes the other day” might shame them into silence. Better to say, “I’ve noticed you coming home smelling like smoke sometimes. I’m here if you want to talk about what’s going on.” Make it clear you’re on their side.

The most important thing is creating an open channel for communication, not just dictating rules. With care and patience, the conversation can have a big impact.

What Should You Say?

It’s normal for teens to be curious about marijuana. However, they must understand the risks before trying it. Let your teen know you care about their health and future.

Health Risks

  • Can stunt brain and lung development
  • Impairs memory and concentration
  • This can lead to lower motivation and mental health issues

Legal Risks

  • Remains illegal for teens in all states
  • Drug offense can limit college and career options

Academic Risks

  • This often leads to lower grades and higher dropout rates
  • Harms ability to reach full potential


  • Teens may think it’s harmless since cannabis legal in some states
  • But research confirms serious health and brain risks for youth

Express concern coming from a place of love and wanting the best for them. Open conversations build trust and stronger family connections

Weeds Parents Guide: Listening Openly

A key part of discussing marijuana use with your teenager is listening openly. Allow your teen the space to share their thoughts and feelings without fear of judgment. As they speak, make an effort to hear them out fully before responding. Interrupting can make teens feel like their perspectives don’t matter.

  • To listen actively, make eye contact, and put away any distractions. Nod along or give verbal cues like “uh huh” to show you are engaged. Then restate what you heard in your own words to check your understanding. For example, “It sounds like you think marijuana isn’t as risky as other drugs. Is that correct?”
  • Validate emotions behind their views without approving of marijuana use itself. You might say, “I understand this issue matters to you and you feel strongly about it. However, my concerns about marijuana use still stand because of the risks to your health and safety.”
  • Keeping judgment out of your tone allows for an open dialogue where your teen feels respected, even if you disagree. This sets the stage for a thoughtful discussion about marijuana and your family’s expectations.

Avoiding Conflict

When talking to your teen about smoking marijuana, it’s important to avoid unnecessary conflict. Even if the conversation becomes heated, try to remain calm and composed. Ultimatums or harsh punishments like grounding them for months or taking away their phone are not likely to be helpful responses. Instead, focus on problem-solving. For example, you could say “I know you’re nearly an adult and need to make your own choices, but smoking marijuana could get you into legal trouble or interfere with your brain development.

What is an appropriate punishment for smoking pot?

What would be an appropriate punishment for smoking pot that could deter you without severely impacting your life?” This opens up a discussion about setting clear expectations and proportional consequences.

Work together to find punishments like temporarily limiting social events or requiring community service hours. The goal should be keeping your teen safe and on track for success, not just doling out punishment. Staying solution-oriented can help avoid escalating tensions while still addressing the issue.

Ongoing Support and Resources

Maintaining open communication with your teen as they grow older provides opportunities for continued discussions about drug use. Keep lines of communication open by asking open-ended questions and listening without judgment. Provide additional resources like educational websites, hotlines, or local organizations that offer drug prevention and cessation programs for teens.

Sites like, Teenline, and local community health centers can provide helpful perspectives. Keeping these resources on hand supports ongoing conversations about healthy choices.


When looking to structure a conversation with your teen about smoking marijuana, it is important to create an open dialogue where they feel heard and understood. Avoid lecturing or attacking as this often causes teens to shut down. Instead, come from a place of care and concern. Ask open-ended questions to understand their thoughts and experiences. Share facts non-judgmentally about marijuana’s impacts on the developing brain. If they admit to using, seek to understand why rather than punish. Help them reflect on their goals and how substance use could get in the way. Conclude the conversation by reiterating your support and willingness to continue the dialogue. Leading with compassion is key to a constructive discussion.