Mommy needs a joint.
Does this statement spark an emotion for you? A judgment? Curiosity? Maybe even a sense of agreement. Mommy needs a joint is indeed a controversial statement, but it shouldn’t be.
While many are quick to ‘mom shame’ a mother who uses cannabis as a tool, every department store has wall decorations that say, ‘Mommy needs a glass of wine’ or ‘love laugh liquor’. What is the difference?
Why is it that there is such a strong sense of judgment for parents who use cannabis?
Perhaps it’s the remnants of the reefer madness propaganda that portrays everyone who uses cannabis as an unclean, lazy, disconnected slob. However, for most parents, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Many people use cannabis to help them focus, relieve pain that prevents them from being as productive as they could and to be more present with their family without overwhelming anxiety or feelings of urgency.
“Cannamom” is a new term used to describe mothers that use cannabis, medically or recreationally. If you use topical pain salve, you are a cannamom. Smoke some weed after bedtime with your friends? Cannamom! Take a CBD gummy in the morning to keep your head on straight? Congratulations, you are in the cannamom club.
Historically, women have been prescribed psychological medications like valium to help them deal with the mental load and workload of raising children and running a household. In recent years, many women have ditched the idea that they should do it all alone and take medication to cope with daily life. This is not to discredit the benefits of medication as a life saving tool for some but rather to promote the idea that some people benefit more from community and cannabis than talk therapy and antidepressants.
I interviewed real moms to get a firsthand look at how cannabis can play a role in parenting.
One misconception is that a cannamom is someone who uses pot to escape or distract themselves from their husband and children. Cannabis actually helps a lot of moms connect better with their family. The first mother I interviewed said, “I take CBD gummies from Alpine Dispensary every morning. It’s part of my morning routine that helps me stay focused and not get touched out or overstimulated with two under two. I suffered from postpartum depression after my second child and the Daytime CBG and CBD gummies have helped me tremendously.”
Another mom I interviewed uses the CBDp tincture as part of her routine for managing her Lyme disease. When I asked this same mom her reasons for using cannabis besides managing herLyme disease, she said, “I always have a million things going on in my head. I have 3 jobs, and do most of the grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, play date planning, scheduling appointments, etc. Weed helps me get on the floor and forget all of that for a while and do the most important thing, play with my toddler face to face with no distractions or worries. I can just give her my undivided attention.” The mental load of motherhood can be overwhelming and for many mothers cannabis helps them relax enough to focus on one task at a time.
We’re at a strange crossroads in America when it comes to cannabis.
74% of Americans now have access to legal marijuana*, yet at the federal level it remains illegal. Marijuana (cannabis containing more than 0.3% △9 THC*) is still a schedule 1 drug, meaning it has no recognized medical treatment and is unsafe even under medical supervision*. Meanwhile, 46 US states and 3 US territories have medical cannabis laws*. Now that research is emerging showing the medical applications of cannabis, cannabis being rescheduled entirely might be on the near horizon. In the meantime, we’ve had the privilege at Alpine Dispensary to meet people face to face, talk to them about their goals and struggles and help them find a cannabis product legal to all, which helps them with their unique situations.
Some “cannamoms” stick to CBD products because it helps them remain calm and level headed while helping with other issues like pain or anxiety. Not everyone enjoys the intoxicating effects of THC but it is important to consider that there is therapy in intoxication for some people. The same way we don’t bat an eye when a mom enjoys a glass of wine or three at the end of the night, we should give cannamoms the same respect.
Many moms struggle with mental health issues and they find relief in cannabis. Chronic anxiety, ADHD bipolar disorder and PTSD are hurdles that many women face today. For some, psychiatric meds help and for some they do not. I interviewed a woman who is both a mom and a grandmother. When the topic of mental health arose she said, “I manage my bipolar with nothing but weed because every med they gave me made it worse to the point of hospitalization.” When I asked her how she got started using cannabis, she said “I didn’t want to try it at first because it was illegal but my middle child (19 at the time) said, ‘Mom please try this. I really think it will help’, and he introduced me to weed. I immediately felt the tension leave my body and that baseline level of stress disappeared. I felt normal.” Now instead of multiple medications with side effects, she gets flower at the dispensary every week. Even her mother is in support of her cannabis use. “It makes her easier to be around and she seems more relaxed. I told her she can’t be around me if she’s intoxicated but it’s not like that. She’s not messed up, she’s just calmer and more level headed.” She reported smoking one eighth a week in the afternoon and right before bed. The most important thing cannabis has changed for her is her ability to be present and calm with her children and grandchildren.
Rather than a way to numb themselves or dissociate, many parents use cannabis to connect to themselves and their community more deeply. In this fast paced and often disconnected world we live in, the ability to slow down and be fully engaged with your family is priceless. Historically, cannabis has been a tool for healing and connection. This plant is an ally that humans have evolved alongside for thousands of years and integrated into their rituals and routines and although there was a dark age for cannabis, we are moving out of it now and into a time where we can wear our green flags proudly as cannaparents.
There are communities growing online and in person that are 420 friendly where parents can share their experiences, struggles and wins in a non judgemental environment. Tik Tok and facebook are growing platforms for cannabis users to meet and ask questions, find recommendations for products or find a pen pal. There are now CBD yoga events, hemp conventions and festivals that openly celebrate cannabis. You might even see cannabis vendors at music or arts festivals. If you are looking for your cannafamily, feel free to reach out to us at Alpine Dispensary!
If we can look at cannabis objectively instead of looking for problems and ask questions like, can cannabis help with PTSD? Can it assist mother’s struggling with postpartum mood disorders? Cannabis is a safe option for parents to use to reduce stress without the hangover. If we could get some empirical evidence to support what people have been self reporting for decades, that would be a step in the right direction to parents being able to make appropriate decisions about whether they could benefit from cannabis. It might not be right for everyone but it’s time we stopped looking down at moms who utilize cannabis and instead support and encourage one another to do what is best for ourselves and our families.