Parenting

On Being A Good Mom Who Freaking Loves Cannabis

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You’ve heard that weed moms are the new wine moms. (Or, at the very least, that plenty of wine moms are mixing it up with the occasional hangover-free stress relief of cannabis.) You’ve even opened up about how weed is helping you weather the crushing weight of the pandemic. And outside evidence of parents’ shift from wine to weed is piling up.

Why wouldn’t it? When dosed properly, cannabis relaxes most people most of the time. With the right product and intention, weed can be a daytime boost to creativity and focus plus a nighttime facilitator of better sex and sleep. (Yes, please.) With moderate use, cannabis can up moms’ ability to play pretend, color and craft, and generally to channel the parental version of themselves they envisioned before all the mom guilt and anxiety set in. (Did we mention the hangover-free part?)

Based on about a hundred interviews with canna-loving moms, I’ve gathered that our most common uses include help with stress, anxiety, low libido, and garden-variety pain. Any of that sound familiar?

Look, I may not know you yet, but I’d still hazard a guess that at least one of those issues presents a teeny problem from time to time. Maybe more than a teeny problem, and maybe more often than occasionally. You’re a human and a mom—and god knows we’re living in crazy times. I get it. SAME. For me, a working parent of two and a spouse whose goal is to stay halfway sane during this objectively insane year, cannabis has become like my bestie of late—reliably improving my mood while helping maintain my health and ability to parent.

Now, I admit that I haven’t always loved weed. Up until a few years ago, in fact, I low-key hated it—mostly because I didn’t yet understand the ins and outs of the plant. When, as a mom in my 30s, I finally gave cannabis another go, I found that the legal market offered the kinds of options I needed to tailor my experience. Now that I understand cannabis, I legit love it. And I want to help other moms understand it, too.

In that spirit, what follows are tips for conscious and responsible cannabis use as a mom.

First, consider your consumption method. I know this might sound weirdly retro, but if you live in a place where smoking flower (aka “bud”) is an option, and you don’t have lung issues, you might give it a whirl. Here’s why: smoking cannabis flower is the most natural way to consume the plant as well as an—ahem—highly effective one. The effects of smoking tend to come on quickly and last between one and three hours, so you won’t feel like you’re in an altered state all day. And unlike tobacco, moderate cannabis smoking has not been associated with serious lung disease, like cancer.

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If you prefer a smoke-free method, you might check out a flower vaporizer, aka a dry-herb vaporizer which, unlike vape pens, still requires bud. The main difference between the smoking and vaporizing methods is that a vaporizer vaporizes the cannabis instead of burning it—and vapor is much less conspicuous and liable to linger than smoke. For those of us living in close quarters, vaporizing is a nifty and necessary kind of adaptation when kids are underfoot.

Wanna keep it simple? Most markets around the country also carry all-in-one vape pens utilizing liquid cannabis cartridges—these are both easy to use and discreet AF. Just keep in mind that we lack long-term studies on the effects of vaping and that 2019’s (remember 2019?) headline-making lung injuries seem to correlate with black market products. Patronize a legal dispensary and you’ll be safer.

If you’re not into inhalation, go with a low-dose edible or a tincture. For sale in pretty much every dispensary around, these can contain THC (the psychoactive compound mainly responsible for the “high” feeling) and/or CBD (a non-psychoactive compound that may have benefits for anxiety and sleep, among others). Just remember that edibles tend to come on slower and last longer, so make sure you’ve got room in your schedule for a deep dive.

On the other hand, if muscle and joint pain have your number, you might want to go the route of cannabis topicals like creams and salves. With few exceptions, topicals won’t get you high even if they contain THC, but they might just relieve your pain. There’s also a growing list of THC-infused lubes and serums that, for some women at least, enhance sexy sensations and do an amusing little thing that’s been described as “getting your vagina high.” If you’re like a lot of moms for whom post-kid sex is about as appealing as a COVID super-spreader event, you might wanna check these out.

Next, play with your dosage. There’s a motto in the cannabis world when it comes to THC: start low and go slow. Like very low and incredibly slow. That’s one puff of a joint or a bowl or a vape, or somewhere in the range of one to two-and-a-half milligrams of THC for an edible or tincture. If a super low dose helps you get where you wanna be, perfect. If not, you can add one more puff or one more milligram the next time you consume until you’ve found your sweet spot. Btw, higher isn’t necessarily better. When I consume cannabis, I’m looking for the degree of buzz I’d get from a glass of wine, not a line of shots.

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Yeah, my suggestions are cautious. But following them will make it unlikely you’ll have a bad high, aka “green out”—a super uncomfortable experience that could leave you dizzy, nauseous, or with heart palpitations. Busy moms don’t have time for that crap, so start low and go slow with legal cannabis; it’s the smart way to weed mom.

Now, you’ll want to think about choosing a variety of cannabis that’ll get you where you want to go. Just like alcohol, there are hundreds of varieties of cannabis—and they’re not all the same. Variations include: the ratios of CBD, THC, and other similar compounds found in the plant; the way your cannabis was grown and cured (genetics, outdoor vs indoor, the presence or absence of eco-friendly farming methods); and the presence of fragrant compounds called terpenes that many people find influence the mood or direction of their high.

It’s worth doing a bit of research and self-experimentation—or talking to a budtender at a dispensary—to get to know your options. Everyone responds a bit differently to cannabis, so there’s no one-size-fits-all product, mode of consumption, or dose. If all this seems like a lot to keep track of, don’t fret—it’s not rocket science. With a little time and patience, you can be the kind of responsibly rocking weed mom who knows where she wants to be and how to get there.

All that said, there are definitely moments when cannabis and parenting don’t mix well. Generally speaking, low-stakes parenting scenarios or evenings spent co-parenting with a sober spouse go hand in hand with responsible cannabis use. Never drive a car, supervise risky activities, or care for babies or toddlers alone while using cannabis. Even if your kids are older, don’t try a new product or dose if you’re the only one on parental duty.

As confirmed by November’s pro-cannabis election results, the U.S. is most definitely in the middle of a green revolution — and moms, I argue, are on the frontlines of the social and cultural changes afoot.

I’m a loud and proud weed mom here to say that responsible cannabis use and family life are absolutely compatible. Weed moms are good moms. And we’re crushing stigmas as we go.

Danielle Simone Brand is the author of Weed Mom: The Canna-Curious Woman’s Guide to Healthier Relaxation, Happier Parenting, and Chilling TF Out (Ulysses Press, 2020).

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