In today’s post, we chat with author Danielle Simone Brand about motherhood and cannabis use, and delve deep into her book Weed Mom: The Canna-Curious Woman’s Guide to Healthier Relaxation, Happier Parenting, and Chilling TF Out. Danielle is an incredible talented journalist and writer, and has so much knowledge about cannabis that she shared with us today. As someone who started using cannabis later in life, she shared her tips on how to start using cannabis to better your own health – and we reiterated our favourite motto, start low and go slow! We chatted about implications of being a cannabis using mom, and how to deal with the fear surrounding that. She also talked to us Canadians about the cannabis system in the USA, which is really interesting to dig into if you’re not familiar. If you haven’t already, make sure to check out Danielle on Instagram @DanielleSimoneBrand, and keep reading to learn about responsible cannbis use as a mom, drug testing in labor, green network of nurses, how to talk to your kids about cannabis, and much more!
Danielle, author of Weed Mom, and plant medicine journalist has taken the adventurous route a few times in her life. Highlights include founding two businesses, traveling alone to out-of-the-way spots, and attempting (also failing) to homestead in the wilds of Colorado. She has an MA in International Peace and Conflict Resolution from American University, a BA from Dartmouth College, and an inability to do the same thing in the same place for very long. Today she lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, their two children, and a very barky terrier.
In This Episode We Talk About
1:21 – The implications of being a Cannamom.
6:08 – Responsible cannabis use as a mom.
13:21 – Drug testing while in labour in the US.
16:14 – CPS and weed – what to do.
21:22 – Talking to your kids about cannabis.
27:17 – How we started to use cannabis.
30:08 – Critical thinking around cannabis information.
38:50 – Dealing with nerves and trying cannabis as a mom.
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Read the Full Conversation
Hello! So today I am talking with Danielle Simone Brand, the author of Weed Mom: The Canna-Curious Woman’s Guide to Healthier Relaxation, Happier Parenting, and Chilling TF Out. This is an awesome book, I highly recommend everyone get it. A few years ago, Danielle wouldn’t have described herself as a weed mom, but she’s found her sparkle in writing about cannabis to inform, uplift, and, occasionally, challenge her readers, while helping push the conversation forward. Her articles have appeared in numerous publications including The Week, Civilized, Vice, Double Blind, What’s Up Moms, and Scary Mommy. She holds a BA from Dartmouth College and an MA from American University, and has worked as a yoga teacher and trainer, a staff writer, and a researcher on issues of international conflict resolution. Danielle lives with her family and a barkey terrier in the Pacific Northwest – so we’ll see if either of our dogs start barking in the middle of this! Welcome Danielle!
Thank you Jannine, it’s great to be here with you.
So as we had kind of chatted before, I feel like we could go into so many different topics with this conversation. But for today, I’d really like to start out with the focus on the different things to consider and implications of being a Cannamom. Before we hop right into that though, I’d love for you to share a little bit about your journey into cannabis, because I think it’s really interesting and shows kind of both sides, and how it’s okay to change your mind and learn more and explore. So, I’d love it if you could share a little bit about that to get started.
Yes, of course – I love how you said that, it’s okay to change your mind – because I did change my mind, and I think that we’re in a moment where more people are changing their minds about cannabis, thankfully.
So my background was around cannabis culture here and there. I grew up in Hawaii, and actually there’s a pretty strong cannabis culture there, but it wasn’t really my scene, I wasn’t into it, I didn’t understand it, didn’t understand any of the components of cannabis or how to consume in a way that made me feel good. So I just kind of stayed away from it for a while, and then I married a super stoner! And at first I was like that’s okay, it helps him with creativity, that’s just sort of who he is. But then after a while, I realized that he was kind of leaning on it and medicating, but without a lot of awareness. Again, you know, in the 90s and early 2000s, we didn’t really know anything about CBD or terpenes or ratios or anything. So, I noticed that there were some negative consequences for him, and so I kind of had some stigma about cannabis. I never thought it should be illegal, or that people should go to prison or anything like that, but I was like, “yeah, not for me.”
But then as a freelance writer in late 2017 I’m gonna say (my kids were little, three and six at the time), I was getting some assignments about cannabis, because new legalization was happening all over the place. I was in California at the time, we had already voted on legalization, and then it took effect in 2018. So I just started getting these assignments, and I became fascinated honestly from this intellectual point of view, bridging science, health and wellness, politics, and social justice and all these things that are wrapped up in cannabis. So I was like, “okay, now that it’s legal, maybe I’ll give it a try.” Because I was hearing all these people, especially women, who told me “it’s helped me with sleep, it’s helped me with sex, it’s helped me get my life back in some ways and give up pharmaceuticals.” So I thought “there must be something to this. I’ll give it a try.” I started with a single puff, very, very low dose, very chill and mellow, got on my yoga mat and had this really beautiful experience where I realized it’s a wellness tool. So from there, it was just like a short jaunt down the lane, and I was all of a sudden a big cannabis enthusiast, tried all the products, talked to the bud tenders, wrote about it a lot. And yeah, so the rest just sort of flowed from that.
Yeah, it seems like your love really blossomed quite quickly if you’re saying 2017/2018, it is just a few years later! And one of the parts you touched on in the book, about the girl with epilepsy who has unfortunately passed away due to COVID – that made me go “oh, this book is that new!” You’ve done a really good job of getting it out there, and the information is so good inside it -but I had no idea it was that new of a book.
Yeah, so I had been writing about cannabis for a couple of years, definitely had amassed research and interviews and all that sort of thing. But then when I got the book deal, it was actually January 2020. And I wrote it all before June 2020. So I wrote the majority in that period, although I had written some previous chapters, because you have to, to get a book deal. But yeah, most of it was really, really quick, and during the initial lockdown period, so I was able to get some updates with COVID and talk about how COVID has changed our relationship to dispensaries and all that kind of stuff, too.
Yeah, and it’s great to have such up-to-date information because this is such a fast moving thing right now. There’s more and more research being done all the time, so it’s great to have really up to date information.
Yeah, and I already feel like “oh, there are things that I would update in there now!” Because like you said, it seems like one year and cannabis is, you know, seven years in the regular world.
Yeah, very fast changing!
So, let’s dig into things. I know a lot of moms that are curious about cannabis, one of the big concerns is intoxication. And that’s something I hear with my content; you can tell when people don’t necessarily understand cannabis use and how little intoxicated you can actually get. So I’d love for you to share a little bit about that, and responsible cannabis use as a mom
Yeah, and that’s something that honestly I didn’t understand either before; I thought there was one way to consume cannabis, and, you know, you smoke weed and you get really chill, and you just want to sit around and watch Netflix and eat snacks. I didn’t understand that there is this really wide spectrum of use, and I talk about that a lot in the book – you can go all the way from complete non-intoxication, no psycho activity, with CBD or CBG, or different cannabinoids, to yes, very intoxicated, and everything in between. And for me, when I’m parenting, when I’m working, when I’m just trying to get things done around my house, if I’m gonna consume it’s a low dose, it’s a micro dose, or a moderate dose, depending on what we’re doing. It’s a safe situation, I’m not driving, I’m not rock climbing, I’m not doing things with my kids that require my quickest reflexes. But you know, in terms of just hanging out, having fun, and being creative together, things like cooking together and listening to my kids talk about their day, or snuggling with them before bed, those are the sort of situations where just a moderate dose really does help me, a moderate or micro dose.
And that’s, of course, going to depend on the person and what that means, right? Because for me, a microdose might be a little more because my tolerance is higher now, whereas a newbie could go very, very low. But I do give some of those guidelines in the book, about where to start, basically. And my starting guidelines are so low; I say around one to two and a half milligrams, if it’s an edible, might be enough for your first time, just because some people have a pretty strong reaction to THC. And you want to make sure it’s a low dose so that they don’t have a bad experience or get anxious or anything like that. But then from there, you can just slowly titrate upward to find your sweet spot, your minimum effective dose. And there are definitely guidelines in the book as to how to do that with edibles, how to do that with inhalables, tinctures, all that stuff, because we have so many options now.
Mmhmm, which is great. It’s really about finding what’s right for you.
Definitely, and it’s a little bit of a learning curve. I think that’s hard for some people, when they’re new to cannabis – they just don’t realize that you have to start low, and then you have to kind of experiment and play with it to find the right combination of product, and dose, and timing, and all that stuff. But it’s worth it. It’s really worth it, because cannabis can enhance so many different aspects of our lives. And I think as moms in particular, there’s just so much capacity for cannabis to help.
And that’s why I say there’s kind of a difference with using cannabis for wellness, compared to cannabis for the more far end of recreation. It’s really easy to get really stoned and chill out, but when you’re using it for wellness, similar with other different health things, you can have a health journal, and say “what kind of dose did I have? How did it make me feel?” Really using that main slogan that so many of us use, start low and go slow, because we’d way rather someone have it not really do anything and slowly play with it and build it up, then go too far overboard, and it’s not right, and then they get turned right off from it. So it’s great to just start low, go slow.
Exactly, start low, go slow – I think I say that eighty times in the book! It’s so important.
Yeah. And one example I like that you really touched on in the book, too, that I relate to so much, is the bedtime. And how cannabis helps me, and how I think of it, is that it kind of quiets the noise in your head and allows you to be more present. So say it’s bedtime, toddlers (or whatever age the kids are) fighting bedtime, want that cup of water, go pee, all the different needs of the world come out at bedtime. And it’s really easy to get irritable, and you’re just done with it. It’s been a long day, you’re thinking about all the other things you could do, and are sitting there getting frustrated. But having some microdosing before doing that, it kind of quiets down the things that make you irritable, and you’re just able to be a bit more present in the moment and enjoy the snuggles. And I find when I do that, and I’m more calm through the bedtime, it actually works out better and it’s over faster. Because when I’m trying to pull away, it ends up drawing it out even longer.
That’s a really good point. They sense us pulling away, and they’re like “wait, wait!” It brings up the clinginess, I think, and I recognize that same thing with my kids. If I just slow down and take my time, they feel more satisfied with our connection. And you know, it’s fun. And how old are your kids right now?
They are two and three and a half.
Okay, so really little ones!
Yeah, they’re really little and close in age. So it’s a lot going on right now.
Yes, yes, absolutely. I remember those days very well. It feels like yesterday, even though it wasn’t actually.
Yeah, yours are older now – I want to say around ten and twelve, or something like that?
Close yeah, eight and eleven. Almost nine and 11.
So a little bit past that. But I’m sure bedtimes and other things can still drag on.
Oh, yes, bedtime can still drag on. And my kids, they get chatty about their days, sometimes, in the evenings. If I asked them at dinnertime, or when I picked them up from school, “how was your day? What did you do? Who would you hang out with?” They’re like, “fine, nothing, whatever.” But then, at bedtime, they’re like, “blah, blah, blah!”
Totally, like “this person did this…”
Yes, exactly. So I miss all that if I’m in a hurry, and I just want to get out of there. So I just find that connection ritual really helpful.
Mmhmm, and same with the kind of pretend play and that sort of stuff that kids love. And it’s a kid thing, so as adults, it makes sense that we’re not as into it. But with microdosing, it can really help kind of be more in that present moment and be more enjoyable doing those things with them.
For sure. And I interviewed a lot of moms for the book who said things like “I’ve had so many creative and fun moments with my kids, because cannabis helped me let go of my to-do list, or let go of my anxiety, enough to just enjoy it.” And in the world that we live in now, where we’re pulled in so many different directions, and trying to accomplish all these things while we’re also parenting – it can be really distracting. And so I think cannabis is a wonderful tool for that.
Yeah, I think so too. So another thing I’d like to touch on (and we can kind of go through the process with motherhood), in the US, some places do drug testing while women are in labour. And this is something that isn’t done in Canada at all. So I’m really curious; I don’t think it’s an across-the-board thing that’s done, it’s only certain states. Can you tell us a little bit more about the practices of that?
I don’t have a thorough sense of who tests and who doesn’t, because I don’t think it’s even state by state, I think it’s by hospitals or by practice. You can find a midwife, for instance, that you can discuss with ahead of time so that they’re on board with cannabis, and they won’t do any of that. But then some practices just do it routinely. I think our more conservative states, our more southern states, are more likely to do it. You hear more stories coming out of places like Alabama and Mississippi, where children get taken away right after birth, because their mother tested positive for THC. And it’s really, really sad, and I do hope that our systems, our medical and our child protective systems, can really catch up with cannabis science.
And you know, obviously we don’t know everything about consuming during pregnancy or breastfeeding, there’s still more to learn. But from a harm reduction point of view, in terms of comparing cannabis to a lot of other drugs, not just illegal or street drugs, but also pharmaceuticals, cannabis probably has much fewer negative effects on a baby or a fetus. So I just really hope that science can catch up and that our policy can catch up. Because it’s not doing anyone any good to take children away when their mothers test positive for THC. It’s really just a travesty.
Yeah, it’s heartbreaking, and the negative impacts from that, I think, in many cases, are just so much worse than that initial bit of THC that can be in the system. But it’s something you definitely need to consider and look into if you are pregnant, and thinking about how THC can help. It’s really important to do your research to see what things are like, and the different practices and hospitals with your health care providers.
Yes, absolutely. And yeah, talk to your health care provider. If you can, find a cannabis friendly health care provider, or even someone who’s not your own provider but who can give you some advice around that, so that it will empower you to then bring it back to your practitioner. We’re in a situation where you really have to look out for yourself when it comes to that.
You really do. And another thing that can come into play is CPS – I know you touched on that in the book, on how to handle those situations if they are coming to your house, and storing things safely. Can you tell us a little bit more about that?
Yeah, so it’s always important to store your stash safely, especially if you have edibles with little kids, because as we all know, they like to put things in their mouths and will certainly try treats if they’re out. So, a lockable box is a really great idea, or a lockable account cabinet. And then also cannabis education starts early too, in my view, which we will talk about in a second.
In the US, you don’t have to admit CPS to your home unless somebody has a warrant. You can step outside your home and say, “can I help you” and be friendly, be polite, be open, and then ask for them to make an appointment to come back. So that’s perfectly acceptable to do. And if they do make an appointment and come back, just make sure that your home is clean and presentable, and everybody’s in a good state of being at that moment. It’s unfortunate, but it does happen still. It could be a neighbor, a neighbor can call CPS if they smell cannabis smoke. Even in legal states here in the US, parental rights are a little difficult when it comes to cannabis. In a place like California, you’re unlikely to come across problems if everything is going well and your kids are showing up to school on time and all that stuff – you know, generally speaking we’re all late sometimes, but otherwise.
I think this speaks to an interesting issue; sometimes as a Cannamom. and I don’t know if you experienced this Jannine, but sometimes as a Cannamom, I feel like I have to overcompensate and be super, super, super everything responsible because I don’t want anyone to think, “oh, she’s a lazy stoner and isn’t a good mom,” you know what I mean? It’s an unfortunate kind of space that we’re in. And I think it’s just stigmas that are lingering, and that if we can kind of get past that the next step, we won’t have to feel like we need to be Supermom in order to be acceptable. What do you think?
Yeah, I can see that too, with the overcompensation. And that’s why I really try to push the safety side, and safe storage, and that sort of thing, to really get the message across that “yes, I’m being very safe, and I do those things, and my child’s welfare is the most important thing.” And I think that if conversations come up with CPS, or Child Services or something like that, it’s just really putting the focus on the welfare of the kids and being up front. Of course, this depends where you live, if you’re in a legal state or Canada. Being up front: “yes, I do use, here’s where my stash is, it’s kept locked and safe, my kids will not get at it. I’m a responsible parent, you can see how well my kids are doing in all the different aspects of their lives.”
Yeah, yeah. And I think that’s the best way that we address those stigmas, just by being ourselves and thriving, taking care of our families and ourselves and showing that this is absolutely possible. Being a good, responsible parent and being a cannabis consumer are totally compatible things. A lot of folks still need to learn about that.
Yeah, keep having those conversations!
I know – do you feel like a broken record sometimes, when you talk about this?
Yeah, with social media it feels like it can’t have the same message over and over again. But then every single time, there will be those comments, and so it just shows me why we need to have these conversations over and over and over again: a lot of people still have the lazy stoner stereotype. And one thing I try to communicate is that I think a big part of that is because so many people are scared of being labeled that, so they’re in the closet. So the general public doesn’t actually know of all of these other different kinds of cannabis consumers that don’t fall into that stereotype. So that’s why I try to keep having the conversation, and hopefully help inspire people to be more open about their cannabis use so more people can see the other sides of it as well.
Yeah, that’s great, and there are so many women still in that green closet. I think that if we can encourage more of them to come out of it, and discuss, and just show ourselves as normal people, it’s a good thing.
And it’s not that everyone should use cannabis, it’s to each their own, but to have an open mind and kind of check those stereotypes and judgments.
For sure, yeah.
So we can roll into the speaking with kids about cannabis part. You break it down great by age – as we’ve talked about, my kids are still really, really young, but they are quite aware. We do have plants that we grow, and we do consume around them in low doses, and I’m upfront about showing them the packages. My biggest concern is edibles, because they are so easy to access, they are more enticing, and it’s easier to go overboard with them. Your child consuming edibles has a very bad effect compared to them finding just a flower – they’re just going to eat it, they’re not going to smoke the flower. So that’s why I think people need to be very, very safe about edibles. And here in Canada – I’m sure they’re similar in the States – there are certain labels on all of our cannabis products. And I’ve been showing my kids that from the very beginning; and one of the proud mom moments I had recently, just last month, is that my kids were out with their dad and they saw a pack of smokes, which has the same sticker on it, and my three and a half year old was like “oh, adult medicine – dad, there you go, it’s there.” And some other adults were really surprised, like “how does he know this” – and obviously cigarettes aren’t adult medicine, but I was so proud that he recognized that and knew to talk to an adult right away, and this just shows that it’s never too young to start these conversations.
Yeah, I definitely agree with that, and I’m all about normalizing it for adults, and also keeping kids safe without drumming up unnecessary fear. Caution and delay, for sure, in terms of their own use, but we have all kinds of things in our homes that aren’t right for kids: we have alcohol, or prescription medicines, or even just coffee and cleaning products. Things that we live around, but we teach our kids what will harm them if they get into it. So, I think it’s just another one of those conversations – but at the same time, emphasizing that it’s a plant, that it actually is helpful for a lot of people, it’s medicine for some adults, for older kids you can say it’s fun and relaxation for other adults and that’s okay. But for young bodies, little bodies, developing brains, it would not make them feel good, and that is definitely true, it wouldn’t, and they could feel sick enough we might have to go to the hospital. I’m not trying to drum up any fear, I’m just saying “hey, this is true. If you drank some alcohol, you would feel bad too.”
So normalizing it in that way, and I also think for older kids, around my kids age and older, that it’s really helpful to use cannabis as a lens to talk about other things – especially in the US, that in some places this is legal, in some places this is illegal, and what that all means. Laws sometimes are not correct. And just getting them to think critically about that, and of course about race and social equity. I think that’s important to teach kids as they grow into tweens and teens and all that. And in the US, at least, cannabis prohibition was absolutely disproportionately carried out against people of color, and you can still see much greater incarceration rates. So, in age appropriate language of course, but you can help teach them a little bit about the world through cannabis.
Yeah. And that’s a conversation that’s ongoing throughout their lives, and develops as they hear things at school or on TV. There’s so many moments to just keep expanding on the conversation and teaching them – they’re going to get information somewhere. So it’s great to take those moments and share the message that we really want to instill in them.
Yes, absolutely. And just being honest with our kids about things like cannabis will then lead to better conversations about things like drugs when they get older. And cannabis, it’s an argument as to whether you want to call it a drug or not, but it’s a mind altering substance, or it can be. But yeah, talking about that, talking about sex – these are things that I want my kids to actually rely on me for good information, and not just seek information elsewhere. So I think being honest, and being upfront, and getting ahead of all of the messages they’re gonna get in the world, is really important.
Yeah, I agree. It’s similar to the difference between abstinence and education, and spreading the knowledge, because there’s always going to be a certain amount of people that do something that they’re taught not to. And I really believe in equipping people with the tools, so they can make their own responsible choices when it’s the time. So they can be as safe as possible, and feel safe turning to an adult or trusted person in times of need or help.
Absolutely. And that that harm reduction point of view is definitely what I wanted to bring across in the book. In chapter eight, I break it down by age, and I go into some of that teen safety around cannabis, and ways to educate your teen. Because yes, realistically, they will probably be exposed at some point in their teen years right?
It’ll happen at some point, it’s kind of inevitable.
Yes. What was your history with cannabis? When were you exposed for the first time?
For me, it’s been around in my life for most of my life. I did have a parent who consumed, and told me when I was around twelve, even though I was aware of it before. I had actually tried it for the first time around eleven/twelve – I was too young, way too young, and definitely used it as a coping mechanism throughout all of my teen years, and was using it more for the stoned, escaping side, while also knowing that it helped me with my headaches, helped me with nausea, and all that sort of thing. But the primary goal was to escape, and sleep, and then throughout kind of becoming a mom, and with pregnancy, stopping consumption and then educating myself – I did use occasionally to treat those different things. And then into motherhood, it’s really become about the wellness side of things, and learning more, and with all the new research, just digging into all that cannabis has to offer.
Yeah, yeah. And I think that the slow end of prohibition of cannabis just gives us these opportunities to learn so much more about it, whereas with prohibition, there’s not much education going on right? We don’t have access to the kinds of information that can help us consume for wellness. So yeah, a lot of people were initially introduced to cannabis just as a fun thing, just as a recreation thing, or they were coping, self-medicating like you said, but we have so much more information now to really calibrate our use, and I appreciate that.
Yeah, and now in places where it’s legal, we have access to learn about the different strains, and what’s good for different things – I have my daytime weed, which helps me with work and calm down, and then my nighttime Indica, which helps me sleep, and I’ll always have a few puffs before I fall asleep. If I lie down and I forget, within a minute I’ll be like, “oh, I didn’t have my puff,” and get up and grab my vape pen. The difference is so drastic compared to when I do and don’t have it before bed.
Yeah definitely, me too. And I think that learning to incorporate little points in the day, these little wellness touch points with cannabis, can be so great. Sometimes it’s just CBD for me, sometimes it’s just a topical, sometimes it’s a low dose of a Sativa, sometimes it’s a heavier dose of an Indica. It just depends on what you need.
Yeah, and so many different options; it just takes time to learn all of that, and learn what works best for you.
I’d love to continue a little bit more on the critical thinking. You touched on it with educating our kids, but I also think it’s good to touch on as adults, and as different studies come out, and things like that.
Oh, yeah, that’s an interesting question. So you know, you can find a study to back up most of what you want to say. You can find a study that says, you know, “cannabis is helpful, and can protect your brain against dementia, and age related deterioration.” You can also find a study that says, “oh, cannabis might cause some cognitive decline,: you know? So, you have to be really critical about research, who’s doing it and where their funding comes from, what their previous work has shown, are they trying to prove something because of their careers, is their career about trying to prove that cannabis is bad for you, that sort of thing. So there’s quite a bit to look into. And it’s honestly difficult, I think, for a lay person to really decode some of these studies. I do think that in the US, NORML (the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), does a good job of compiling research that is pretty unbiased, and is helpful for cannabis consumers. And I tried to include as much research as I could in the book, and obviously I’m a journalist, but I do have a perspective. My perspective is that cannabis, when used properly, is healthy for most people. I was trying to show that with my book, but that’s also the experience that I have that comes out in my interviews with lots and lots of people: moms, medical practitioners, scientists, policy folks. It is tricky, though, it can be hard to ascertain if a study is reliable.
Yeah, it really comes down to who’s doing it, how they’re funded, what their hypothesis and the intent of the study is – because that can tell a lot of the direction they’re hoping it’ll go. And I found for myself, one thing I liked about your book was that you shared both sides. We are both biased, we are pro cannabis. But I think we both, and you did a great job in the book, share the other sides of it, too. And so I find I trust a source more if they’re willing to show both the good and the bad, rather than a very hard one side versus the other.
Yeah, I definitely wanted to include enough information about some of the potential downsides. Like you said, I have a whole chapter – chapter nine is on what could go wrong. And again, I want to say that with proper use, right doses, right moments, right products, I think cannabis is very low risk. But heavy use over time can definitely cause some issues for people. It can cause some cognitive issues, it can cause or exacerbate some cardiovascular issues. And then, of course, we’ve got the mental health side of it, where it’s so dose dependent, it’s this bell curve, where in the beginning, at least to a certain dose, cannabis can be so helpful for a lot of people with anxiety, depression, PTSD, things like that. But then a higher dose, or high doses over a long period of time, can exacerbate those things. At least that’s what our research seems to show right now. So yeah, it’s really quite interesting. And also just the other thing to add about research is that for a very long time, research was just seeking harm from cannabis. It really wasn’t seeking benefit.
One study that stuck out so much to me when I was putting together my Cannabis Guide (which is like the way slimmed down version of yours) was one that I read about in Forbes. It was a team that conducted research on all of the research over the past decades, to check how their stats actually were. And they found that many of the studies conducted over the last few decades, that helped form policy, weren’t actually very accurate. Any margin of change, whether good or bad, would just be lumped in under bad, and the different wording they would use would just kind of manipulate it to go with the findings that they wanted. And I find that one particular study, that looked at so much research, is really eye opening. And it shows how much you do really need to question what’s out there, because even if a lot of policymakers and different people are saying this study has all the information, it actually isn’t very accurate, and that makes it hard to find good information.
It does, it absolutely does. It’s getting a little easier to find more unbiased information when it comes to cannabis, as more mainstream researchers and practitioners are opening up to the possibility of cannabis as medicine or as a help. But yeah, we’re still in that place where it’s hard.
And also, in the US at least, Schedule 1 status for cannabis means that it’s just so freakin hard for researchers to study it. And then for a long time, researchers, if they were going to get approval for their studies, had to source cannabis from one place. I think it was the University of Missouri, but I might be wrong on that – it might be Mississippi, it’s one of the M’s. And apparently, it was really low-quality cannabis that they were growing there. And that was the only cannabis available to do official studies with. Now they’re opening it up, and there’s more sourcing possibilities.
Yeah, I think things are really gonna change over the next ten, fifteen, twenty years, as people are actually able to start conducting more research.
I do too.
It’s a hard and a big reason why there isn’t very much research in terms of cannabis and pregnancy and breastfeeding. In addition to everything we just talked about, it’s considered abuse to conduct studies that can affect children, and that’s why there just isn’t very much research out there, and what is out there is very anecdotal and about people’s experiences.
Yes, very true. And the same goes for so many pharmaceuticals and supplements; they can’t really say “here, pregnant women, take this and let’s see what the effects are,” because that’s unethical. So yeah, that’s why so many supplements and pharmaceuticals say, “if you’re pregnant or nursing, either refrain or talk to your practitioner.”
Yeah, find what’s right for you. And you just really need to educate yourself, and talk to the different health practitioners and support team that you really trust.
And fortunately, we have more health care providers who are cannabis friendly now, and there are networks even of green nurses, and Holistic Caring is one here in the US. It’s a network of cannabis nurses, and they are able to offer a consultation, so that’s really helpful. And telehealth, too, where it doesn’t necessarily need to be right in your area anymore.
Oh, that’s very cool – Holistic Caring?
Holistic Caring Network, and the Green Nurses Network. They’ve just actually merged, so they’re kind of a cross country network now.
Oh, wow. Very cool! So I’ll include links to that, and links to NORML as well. I hadn’t heard of that, so I’m looking forward to digging into that a little bit more.
They do policy at the national level, they have headquarters in Washington DC, and they keep track of all the legislation around the country that’s moving toward cannabis. They’re advocates, and definitely are lobbying members of Congress and that sort of thing.
Cool. Is there anything else you would like to tell moms who are getting more curious and interested in trying, but may have some nervousness around combining cannabis use and their role as a mom?
Well, I think that if you’re nervous, it’s always good to start with a super super low dose or just CBD. Just CBD can actually make a difference in your life without causing intoxication or psycho activity or whatever. But if you’re really nervous, you can just make sure that you experiment for the first time when you have another parent there with you, or your kids are at sleep over, whatever the case may be, so you don’t feel like “oh, what if I can’t take care of my kids.” Because I think that’s the most important thing for moms, to feel like we can be responsible, we can be there for our children.
So yeah, first time you try, be kid free so that you can really pay attention to yourself. And I think also incorporating cannabis with some kind of other self care and mindfulness ritual is really helpful, whether that’s a few minutes of meditation for you, whether that’s yoga, or just being outside in nature for a little bit,lying in a blanket looking at the clouds. Something kind of separate from your everyday life. I like to create a ritual around cannabis, so that it’s not just I’m consuming and then doing-doing-doing-doing all the things I normally do. I do that too, but I like to have that “okay, I’m intentionally going to shift my mood, I seek to get into this new frame of mind or frame of being.” And taking just that little bit of time, that little bit of awareness, can be really helpful because our experience does get influenced by our set and setting. Our mood and where we are, whether we’re comfortable, who we are around, the whole environment. So paying attention to those things can really help you have a better first experience.
Yeah, that can make a big difference, being in that comfortable place. And all those worries that you have, regarding your kids or whatever it might be, kind of being aware of that beforehand – knowing how those are handled, the kids are at a sleepover or they’re in bed, there’s another parent. You cover your bases that way so you can really be intentional in the moment and hopefully enjoy that experience.
Yes, yes, absolutely. And you know, again, if you start low and go slow, cannabis is very low risk, as long as you’re in a comfortable, safe environment.
Yeah, exactly. Alright, where can everyone find you when they go to look you up after hearing this?
I’m on Instagram @DanielleSimoneBrand and my book is on Amazon and all those places online where you might buy books. I’m so excited that Canadians are buying it too, and learning about cannabis from my book. I can’t wait to get up there more and really explore your dispensaries, and see some of your grows and that kind of thing, because it’s a whole different market and different set of circumstances up there.
Yeah, it’s a whole different world, having the whole country be legal. There’s still a lot of funny little things, it’s not fully open. But yeah, it’s a lot different from the States, and I’d love to have a chance to see you too. Hopefully there will be an event in Vancouver or on Vancouver Island, and we have a chance to connect.
Yeah, yeah, I would love that.
Now, before we sign off, I always ask someone a question that relates to what we’re talking about. What would you say your go-to strain is?
Ooh – I think it’s Sour Diesel, actually. I really appreciate it, it gives me that subtle reframe, microdosing again, helps me in the middle of the day, it just helps me kind of get that renewed boost for work, or for engaging on social media, or things like that. And then also Sour Diesel is really nice for sex for me.
Okay, I’m going to have to try that one more. White Widow is kind of that for me.
Mm, nice. There’s so many strains out there today that it’s really fun for me to experiment. I got to stock up at the dispensary yesterday, so that was fun.
Oh perfect, I’m doing that tomorrow. Well, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me, and I will leave links for all the things in the show notes below!
Awesome! Thank you Jannine, I really appreciate it. So much fun talking to you.
Danielle is an amazing and knowledgeable person, and we loved chatting with her! Cannabis can be a scary thing for some people, especially when they first try it, and Danielle is a great person to look into if you have any questions or concerns regarding starting to use cannabis. Make sure to check out her book Weed Mom: The Canna-Curious Woman’s Guide to Healthier Relaxation, Happier Parenting, and Chilling TF Out, and follow her on Instagram @DanielleSimoneBrand!