Can Good Moms Smoke Weed? Interview with Weed Mom

The following is an interview from March 2021 with Danielle Simone Brand about her book, Weed Mom. Danielle is an author on cannabis and parenting and shares her expertise in this interview. Below you will find both the video and the transcript.

https://youtu.be/GwN58xXGqlk

Transcript: Weed Mom Interview

This interview is transcribed by otter.ai

Chelsea:
All right. Welcome to our conversation today, our Canna curious conversation with Danielle, who is the author of Weed mMoms. So you guys know, this is totally up my alley to be engaging this conversation that is maybe a little taboo and a little stigmatized. But if we peel that back and we actually dive into the truths and the history and the proper usage of something like cannabis, it really can be helpful. I think it’s a shame when we stray away from things that can be really helpful for us because of social stigmas. So I’m really happy to have this time with you today, Danielle, and to share the recording with our audience in order to, you know, work on that D stigmatizing and empowering moms. Clearly, my four year old agrees. So, Daniel, if you don’t mind introducing yourself and kind of how you got to this space?

Danielle:
Yeah, sure. Thanks for having me. I’m excited to talk today. I so okay, I’m a journalist and a writer. And I was writing for a few years about cannabis on one side of things and parenting on the other side of things, two topics that I thought, you know, really, very separate from one another. And then once in a while, I will be asked to write something about like, how to talk to your kids about cannabis or considerations as a parent who uses cannabis. And so it started getting me thinking, and I was on my own initial journey with cannabis at that moment, and kind of negotiating, you know, how I wanted to how I could be a good parent, responsible parent, and enjoy, and, you know, benefit from this plant, and many, many bonus areas.

So that’s really what No, that’s how the book came about. So let’s see brief history of my experience with cannabis. I used to really be a skeptic, I used to not understand it. Even though I grew up in Hawaii, where there’s a pretty robust cannabis culture, I would say, it was just not my thing for a long time. And then when I met my husband, and and we got married, I accepted his cannabis use is just sort of part of who he was, even though I didn’t like that particular effect. And, again, it was because of lack of understanding and the stigmas of prohibition, and also the fact that, you know, he was overusing and he was kind of leaning on it a little too much in the self care situation, but I think now are really, really vital and helpful.

However, you know, he any idea of CBD or THC ratios, all the different complexities that cannabis has. So, you know, I went from really just like being judgey about it. And I tell the story in the book. And it’s true, it’s really crazy that I wrote a book by canvas with my husband went to rehab for cannabis. I know, you know, that story. And I wrote the book, and he’s okay with me talking about it. The truth is that, you know, just like anything that’s helpful and healing, you can overuse it, or you can use it mindfully and intentional intention.

So my personal journey was really learning about it from like a, you know, like more of a, you know, a writer’s perspective first, and understanding the science and really digging into you know, how it affects people and how the endocannabinoid system works. Yeah, when I started experiencing myself and realizing, because I was a yoga teacher for a long time, realizing how a small dose of cannabis engages me so well on my yoga mat and in my body, and I’m president and feeling it and I’m breathing deep joy in myself, and I’m a better parent to when I feel I feel okay, when feel good. So, you know, all different pieces of my journey, and I do I do tell the story, but to

Chelsea:
Yes, and it’s so captivating to dig in and read and I felt so connected to you sharing that part of your story. My husband has to us since you know before we were married, and he I’ve never seen him Hi, I’ve never seen him, you know on it on an over usage. But I felt so much stigma around the concept around you know, any of my friends or my family knowing that he would even touch it. And he introduced it to me, actually, because I always had really bad menstrual cramps and just a lot of difficulties with my cycle. And so he I was on prescription pain meds for them for years. And he introduced cannabis to me as an alternative to that, which opened to my mind a little bit but then once we had kids I went I reverted to this fear, fear of irresponsibility, fear of stigmas, fear of how this would interplay and so we have a lot of interesting conversations about the evolution of that understanding and how now we both are, you know, intentional mindful users.

And we use cannabis as alternatives to other other things that could be part of our story and our stress relief, but we use that a lot in parenting. So it’s, it’s always interesting to see how these different stages change and evolve. And I don’t know about you, I’m sure you’ve had this experience, but it’s really funny for me to talk about it a little bit more in here, people come out of the cannabis closet, like, Oh, my gosh, I haven’t been able to talk to anyone else about this. And so that’s been really fun to experience too. For sure.

Danielle:
Oh, my gosh, did you research the book, I interviewed tons and tons of moms. Yeah, most of them already used cannabis. But we’re really on a huge spectrum of spectrum in terms of how they, you know, how they were about it, and how comfortable they were talking about it, and really how conflicted they were in their own minds, because we’re dealing with our own stigmas and our own, you know, stumbling blocks from Yeah, prohibition from lack of education. Yeah.

Chelsea:
Well, that, that leads us right into this question that we got, which is what does responsible use with cannabis mean? And how do we or can we be a good parent and a cannabis user?

Danielle:
So I say 100% Yes, we can. We can be good parents and responsible cannabis users. And it really comes down to, you know, knowing the the correct product, and dose and method of consumption for you. And of course, you know, finding the right CBD to THC ratios, finding the right terpenes you know, it’s a complex matrix, cannabis is not as one, you know, one size fits all. So if we take a little time, you know, give the patient titrate our experience, I think it’s absolutely possible to be, you know, to be responsible cannabis user, as a parent, because, you know, you have everything from micro doses, just the smallest amount of THC that can, you know, help us shift in a very small way, like helps us help shift our attitudes. One or two degrees is what I talk about, it’s not about changing our personalities or becoming, you know, supermom, or a couch locked mom or any of that. But you know, just kind of tuning in to what we need, we can better take care of ourselves and care for the people around us. That’s really what cannabis helps me do.

Chelsea:
I’m wondering if we could go into that just a little bit more, because I think it’s intimidating. It’s intimidating to know that you have to play with different types or strains or terpenes. And, and, you know, balance, like you said, Have the CBD and the THC and find what works for you. And I know that can be intimidating to people, especially moms who feel like, like, we don’t have a lot of time to spare, we don’t have a lot of time to test.

But it makes me think back to like, similarly, that’s what that’s what my journey was with, with SSRIs antidepressants, you had to figure out how your body responds and what it does respond to? What would you say to someone who is, you know, thinking about trying some things, but it’s intimidating to be on that journey. I know, you go into this in the book and have a lot of helpful charts and resources on that. But I I’m just interested in kind of an introduction to how you would even get started exploring that.

Danielle:
It’s a great question, because it is intimidating for a lot of people. And there are just a lot of factors involved. I mean, my book, I did write, write this as a resource for people who are curious and who are really looking to get started. And so I do give some, you know, very basic microdosing guidelines, and it’s about starting low, and going so slowly. And again, it does take patience, take a little titration but even with other, you know, compounds or, you know, substances or medications, we might we might be taking, like you pointed out, it’s a similar journey, you know, it’s not immune, there’s no medication that works for everyone in the exact same way. So cannabis doesn’t do that either.

But, you know, if we start with it depends on what we’re looking for. Of course, you know, that if we’re looking for more anxiety relief, I would recommend more of a CBD, high CBD either a tincture or a flower or some kind of edible with maybe just a teeny bit of THC in order to help it work better. That’s the entourage effect. The entourage effect tells us that cannabis works best as a whole not as isolates, right. So that’s a whole other conversation. You know, but if we’re using it to relieve pain that would be more from we have a topical for instance. So many amazing topicals on the market, from creams to patches to lubes that help with pain during sex for instance, and a whole other combo because, you know, there’s plenty of ways that Yeah, enhance there. And so, you know, again it does it does depend a little bit of what we’re looking for. But you know, absolutely starting low going slow and really finding your, your ideal mode of consumption because I think a lot of people are turned off by thinking, Oh, I have to smoke weed.

Chelsea:
So you just you actually just touched on some of these different ways and I’d love if we could repeat that because that was that was me like, do I have to get a bong and light up and like, you know, spill my whole living room with with marijuana smoke. That was I didn’t know about some of the other modalities. And so you touched on some of those. Do you mind repeating some of the different ways that you could be a consumer? Sure, sure.

Danielle:
So I mean, of course, you have just regular old smoking flower. Or just you know, plus plain old weed. You have vaporizing flower, which is where there’s no like, combustion, you know?

Yeah, we have a vape right here.

Nice. Nice. So is that a big with liquid or is that with flower?

This is a liquid. Okay.

Yeah. So there’s there’s vaping liquids is also vaporizing flour itself. All other thing that doesn’t involve letting it on fire, but it turns like the actual flour to vapor. So those are the inhalation three. And then of course you have edibles you have drinks and infused you know all sorts of things. gummies are the big ones these days. (Chelsea: Which beware because if you give your kids gummy vitamins, you also have to make sure you keep those gummies far away.)

Lock it up. Yes. Sure. So you’ve got all kinds of different edible possibilities with that drinking that capsules you’ve got, you know, eating various treats and infused products. There are sublingual strips you can put under your tongue, which actually take effect a little bit faster than others, because they don’t have to go all the way through your liver first. So yet sprays, tinctures Another thing you put under your tongue. And then of course, we’ve got our topicals and our ludes. So those are the main ways Yeah. When ingesting or rubbing it on your body. Yes, yeah. Awesome.

Chelsea:
And that we we discovered some, like some creams, the I think Foria is a leading brand that does some of the more sex related so that I think is huge for talking about vaginal and sex pain, or tension or, you know, for women that holds stress in their in their pelvic floor. And I like that you also mentioned patches. And something that I recently discovered is that they’re also suppository. So maybe if someone’s using it for an illness, or you know, whatever their usage is that they need these benefits in a different way. There are so many different options.

Danielle:
So whenever Yes, exactly. Yes, depositories is another. Yeah, it’s another mode. And that’s like kind of topical in general. Maybe that can help with pain during sex. There are a lot of women who have, you know, into the endometriosis pelvic pain, you know, trauma from childbirth do find CBD really helpful for sex. And then THC can be helpful, more of like as a sensation enhancer. And it helps many women, you know, relax, get out of their heads a little bit get more. That’s more when taken internally as opposed to, you know, externally.


Chelsea:
Yeah, yeah. And I know, we talked about this earlier, we could go on and on about specifically cannabis and sex, which we’ll do at another time. There’s so much so much to dig into there. But you use this term earlier, micro dosing. So could you talk just a little bit about micro dosing, micro dosing versus getting high kind of the traditional language that we hear?

Danielle:
Yeah, so absolutely. Micro dosing is about, you know, just just taking in the minimum amount to be able to shift a little bit. It’s not about getting high, getting out of it getting ultimates that we can’t, you know, respond to our kids and respond to emergencies, for instance, I mean, that’s very important. As a parent, you need to be able to do that. So, micro dosing does vary per person based on tolerance experience, someone’s ECS, that’s the you know, endocannabinoid system that we all vary, but I do give like really general guidelines that somewhere between one milligram of THC and five milligrams of THC is a, you know, starter microdose a lot of people if you’re totally new, I would start at one.

Yeah, you you kind of feel what, what makes the most sense for you.

Exactly. And then if it’s inhaled, I would say like, you know, one like moderate inhalation could be a microdose or even half of you know of an inhalation And really, you know, starting starting so slow, there’s some people who get effects from, you know, a very, very small amount and some people who you need to titrate up just a little bit. Yeah. Yeah, I would say I mean, for me, even though I have experience with cannabis, and I have tolerance, even five milligrams is a good microdose for me.

Chelsea:
Yeah, I love that. And, and again, so many different areas, we could go into that. But I want to really specifically talk about this in moms. And you brought this up earlier. So I know for your book, you you talk to cannabis experts and scientists, and you know, people that have that background, but you also mentioned that you talked to a lot of what we call cannon moms. And I’m curious what they shared with you about being their reason for entering this space and consuming.

Danielle:
Yeah, so Okay, so many reasons. I did a few surveys, as you know, in addition to just talking to people one on one, and I found Okay, mood, sleep, pain, and sex. Those are the those are the biggest ones. And then I guess it would add as a social alternative to alcohol or whatever social looks like these days during the day. Yeah. So and I guess that’s kind of related to mood as well. But yeah, basically, moms are using it to, you know, shift mood from like, work brain to mom brain, or, you know, momming to sexy brain later after the kids, you know, these, like, transition points, I think, for a lot of moms. So there’s that, of course, they’re just leaving these everyday aches and pains that we all get from, you know, falling asleep with a baby attached to us. And, you know, this position and, you know, and, and sleep. I mean, I know, I don’t know about you, but sleep was really tough for me in the past years, and your kids are a little smaller than mine and seem like they’ll be in that, you know, stage. And, you know, in the earliest days when I had to be waking up a lot with them. I didn’t really address my sleep that well. But once they started sleeping, so then I had to address like my sleep issues that came up from that, like, four or five year period of sleeplessness. So CBD helps a lot there, too.

Chelsea:
Yes. Yeah. Okay, that’s great. And I just add into there, I think something that we find in our home is that like, almost just that patients like that gap between emotion and emotional response, specifically with our kids, we find that, that microdosing gives us a little gap to see outside of the reactionary and be more kind of present and grounded and, and rooted in that experience, which has been, you know, a huge benefit for us.

Danielle:
Yeah, absolutely. And I think so many moms said that they can be more creative, more playful, more fun, as a parent, and, you know, like, we, it’s so easy for moms to like, get down on ourselves, because, you know, we’re not everything all the time. We’re trying to manage everything and take care of everything and make sure everybody has what they need. But then we’re also supposed to be this fun, playful mom that gets down on the floor and does you know, blocks and Legos and drawing and all that stuff. And that’s, that’s great. But yes, cannabis is a huge help for so many parents, including me, I just feel more generous with myself.

Chelsea:
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So we know there’s kind of this like mommy wine culture. And now there’s this kind of emerging on the on the outskirts, Canna mom culture, from your research, from your experience in conversations. How would you compare the alcohol and cannabis use and how they play into parenting?

Danielle:
Yeah, I think it’s really interesting. I mean, first of all, like you said, alcohol use is normalized and cannabis use is not so that’s a that’s an important point of comparison. But it’s, you know, we’re growing we’re getting there, we’re, you know, slowly bringing these conversations more into the light. And, you know, in terms of the effects, I would say of alcohol versus cannabis in a parenting situation, a lot of moms told me that they felt more like insensitive or tuned out with alcohol. And and they and they feel Yeah, then with cannabis. Yeah,

Chelsea:
I think that’s a really good distinction. Yeah. Yeah. It’s like the the alcohol is almost an escape and a lot of ways and cannabis is an engagement.

Danielle:
It is and of course is dose dependent. Because you know, you can you can see you can zone out to if you over Yeah. Yes, yes, you can. But you know, but like with cannabis. I’m very intentional about my dose and I don’t know about you, but you When I, when I used to drink, you know, socially, I really don’t anymore because it gives me migraines now, but when I used to drink socially, I wouldn’t necessarily be that mindful or intentional about it, I would never drink like a whole bottle of wine or anything, but I might say, I’m gonna have a glass of wine, but then end up having to having two and a half or three, you know, so that it was harder for me to be intentional about alcohol use because you lose some inhibitions. You know, like that. sugar craving comes in. So, anyway, there’s that. And then, of course, the physiological differences of like, you know, having a hangover versus not having over, you know, headaches are exacerbated by alcohol and not. Oh, yeah, there’s, like, all these ways. I just feel like, you know, the alcohol cannabis comparison only goes so far, but it’s something we can all kind of like wrap our heads around.

Chelsea:
Yeah, I think that’s, that’s great. Um, so I want to keep us close to this kind of 30 minute mark in in wrap up our conversation. But my last question that I had from a follower was how do you suggest someone start this conversation with a partner who might have stigmas?

Danielle:
Yes, so that’s, that’s, that’s important, because, you know, we care about what, what our partners think about, you know, our choices, obviously, I do talk about that in chapter 10 chapter about sex and relationships to break down a little bit of, you know, how you might approach that. And I think that one way, is just starting that conversation through CBD, because it doesn’t get you high. And it’s helpful for a lot of people. And so just like opening up that Canvas discussion just a little bit, oh, hey, I wrote this on my, you know, sore shoulder, and it feels better, or, you know, I took a T shirt, and I slept better last night, and things like that, just emphasizing the fact that CBD doesn’t get you high. So there’s nothing to worry about. And it right, oh, it’s legal in all 50 states, as long as it’s, you know, under a certain percentage of THC. So, you know, I think starting there, and then, you know, offering up ideas or ways that, you know, if you wanted to branch into THC, how THC might be able to help you like emphasizing those wellness uses, like, you know, better, you know, more patients, better mood, better sex that might appeal to your partner. Right. Um, so there are various ways into this conversation. But I think just emphasizing that, you know, start slow and low jump, you know, you don’t have to introduce the whole conversation all at once. But gradually, people are becoming more accustomed to hearing about some form of cannabis.

Chelsea:
Yeah. And I think it’s really important that we continue to have images and conversations and things out there that show that portray cannabis as a as a medicinal tool as a, you know, as a as a positive part of our story, as opposed to a lot of the images we were raised around, and the messaging that has has so long been around cannabis. So I also adding to that, for our, for the person who asked us, I would say, to start also with weed mom to start with the conversation with the book and be able to have some of those talking points to bring to your partner as your understanding and unfolding in that as well.

Danielle:
That’s right, and there’s more and more science to to back it up. You know, there’s still a lot of research necessary for us to really get a full picture of, you know, of the medical benefits of cannabis. But we know some things and you know, those are pretty solid in terms of what you know what cannabis can help with?

Chelsea:
Yeah, well, I have the chat box open, if anyone has a question, before we hop off. But Danielle, is there anything else that really sticks out to you as as we wrap this up, and we talk specifically to moms, about their curiosity and potential journey with cannabis?

Danielle:
Um, let’s see what is important to know. I mean, really, I think that we’re on the path to normalizing cannabis, or cannabis use. It’s just, we’re in this transition moment. And it’s like, a little uncomfortable still. But, you know, but I can I imagine us in 10, you know, 1520 years, having so much more open conversation, and, you know, having a much more of a mainstream being on board with it. So, I guess I would say if you’re curious, and you’re, you know, starting your path, like just take heart because it’s all changing, and it’s, you know, it’s getting better and better, or access our education, and our attitudes are all just improving.

Chelsea:
Yeah, yeah, that’s so true. And I’m not sure if you see the top but we see someone sharing that they don’t like smoking from their kids, but they also don’t like feeling like it’s something to hide. Do you? Do you have any experience or, you know, feedback on that?

Danielle:
Yeah. So you know, it’s evolved a little bit for me as I have evolved in my own cannabis journey, and my kids You’re now eight and 11, we talk about cannabis way more than one. But you know that maybe they know how to keep themselves safe. They know what it is, I know it’s not, it’s all that stuff. And you know, so what I usually say to my kids is, you know, if I’m going to smoke, for instance, I say, you know, I have a headache, or I’m not in a great mood, and I would really like to be able to have more fun with you, or, you know, sit down and do this, you know, coloring book together, give me five or 10 minutes, and I’m going to smoke some cannabis, I do tell them. And when I come back, you know, let’s, let’s engage with what we’re doing. So I don’t do it in front of them. But I do kind of let them know. And they understand that the effects of cannabis for me are just being more present engaged, better parent, they’re supportive.

Chelsea:
Yeah, that’s great. That’s great. And our, I mean, our kids are younger, they’re, they’re two and four. So we really just call it medicine. Right now, it’s a kind of medicine that is for grownups. And we do sometimes also say, like, either have a headache or, you know, I’m feeling really overwhelmed right now. So I’m going to use this medicine. But again, our our most common modality is vapes. So, you know, it looks like this, it’s maybe different for them, but they don’t know any reason to stigmatize it or to have strong feelings. So we just say, you know, I’m gonna step outside and use a medicine and be right back or something like that.

Danielle:
Yeah, yeah. And, you know, as the kids get older, and they become teens, like I might, you know, we think how I had this conversation, and you know, all that, because it’s a different, it’s a different, you know, different age set. But generally speaking, I agree with what the commenter said, you know, that, it’s, it’s really great to be open and honest. But I personally am not very comfortable, like, you know, consuming directly in front of my kids yet.

Chelsea:
Yeah, yeah. So interesting. So interesting. I don’t know if you grew up with like, cigarette smoking beings predominant. But that is something I remember, as a kid, and I don’t, you know, necessarily have negative feelings towards it. But I don’t. It was such an interesting, it was never talked about, you know, so we’re always thinking about how we make things less scary by giving appropriate, age appropriate conversation for it.

Danielle:
Absolutely. Absolutely. And yeah, there’s a lot to say to kids, like, you know, if you’re a regular cannabis user, I think it’s important to talk to kids and you know, different ages and stages, different conversations. I do cover that too, in the book. And we can talk about that at some point, you know, next time you would like to.

Chelsea:
Yeah, well, thank you so much, Danielle, for so much good information in one place for being willing to step in and lead this conversation because I know that when you engage some of those hard stigmatized, taboo topics, it’s not always easy, get some, some interesting feedback, too. So just thank you for using your energy to lead the way for us. And I’m hoping that you know, more and more people get their hands on weed mom and continue this conversation and figure out, you know, what that does, or doesn’t mean for them.

Danielle:
Thank you. And really, thank you for being willing to talk about this. I mean, it’s something that I think, you know, we’re gonna see more and more, but we’re still on the frontlines of it. Yeah, yes. Well, it’s a pleasure. And it’s so good. It’s like it’s an easy read. It can be picked up and put back down in three minutes and you have something to think through. I really appreciate the way that it’s laid out in the graphics. You know, I’ve got lots of like, flap down markers in my book for for the things to reference.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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