How to Come Out of the Cannabis Closet as a Responsible Parent

Are you a cannacurious parent? Meet Danielle Simone Brand, author of ‘Weed Mom.’

You’ve reinvented yourself professionally and personally more than a few times in your adult life. How and why?

My life pattern seems to revolve around diving in deep for a while — to a place, a lifestyle, a career — and then changing it up. I’ve lived in about a dozen cities and traveled to every continent except Antarctica. My husband and I, both raised in the city and suburbs, once gave full-out, hippie homesteading a try — complete with gardens, chickens, and 40 remote mountain acres in Colorado — before fleeing back to the city. I guess you could call that an “attempted reinvention,” as we soon discovered how dreadful we were at the whole back-to-the-land, DIY everything ethos.

Are you a full-time writer?

For a few years, I juggled teaching yoga and caring for my two little ones while writing on the side — getting published only occasionally and paid even less of the time. But as my kids grew and the writing life began calling me more insistently, I shifted to full-time freelancing and, now, authoring. Yoga is still one of the most vital and nourishing practices for me, and I hope to one day weave my yoga teaching and my writing career back together — perhaps by leading yoga and writing programs for women with a little creative boost from our friend, cannabis.

You don’t consume cannabis around your kids, and you recognize that it’s not healthy for them to consume cannabis at a young age. Do they know you enjoy cannabis?

I’m pretty sure they know more about cannabis than they really care to! We talk about cannabis and its surrounding issues frequently — from medical and wellness benefits, to the social justice issues around legalization, to the fact that I’ve written a book about a plant that’s still illegal in a lot of places. There are various ways into the cannabis conversation with kids, depending on their age and maturity as well as other factors like where you live, your job, your co-parenting and custody situation, etc. I go into lots of detail about the cannabis conversation with kids of varying ages and stages in chapter 8 of Weed Mom.

You believe that weed can be enjoyed in moderation by many adults, parents among them, and that — when used judiciously — it is neither a gateway drug, nor in conflict with normal functioning. In your opinion and experience, what do you believe is “cannabis in moderation”? How much do you personally consume on average?

I’m all about teaching moms to responsibly use cannabis, which essentially means consuming the right product and dose for yo u at the right moment. When used responsibly, cannabis can enhance your ability to care for yourself and others while getting your work done in the world. If consumption ever gets in the way of optimal functioning, that’s a sign of overuse.

What are your favorite forms of cannabis? Do you consume cannabis with Sativa strains, to stimulate the mind and promote creativity?

If I’m seeking the psychoactive effects of cannabis, smoking flower is my favorite way to consume because of its quick onset, suite of body-mind effects, and the fact that peak sensations only last for about an hour.

How do you think your cannabis use will evolve? Do you view your 40s as a particularly important time to use cannabis, and do you think you’ll change how you use it in your 50s?

Mary Jane comes in so many varieties, and is so incredibly easy on my body, that I can only imagine she (yes, flowering cannabis plants are female) and I will be close for a good long while. When I imagine myself in 15 or 20 years, I conjure an image of a self-possessed woman with long silver hair, a boho-chunky-jewelry vibe, and a rose petal joint in one hand.

“Yes, flowering cannabis plants are female.”

How did you come out of the weed closet, and how do you recommend that parents join you?

I like to say that coming out of the weed closet is a process, not necessarily a one-and-done kind of deal. For instance, I’m visibly “out” as a weed mom on the internet and, quite obviously, in my book… but I’m not particularly out when meeting new folks in my prohibition state neighborhood. I protect myself and my family by practicing discretion until I’ve established a trusting enough relationship with a new friend or associate. That said, I talk in my book about coming out of the weed closet to the parents of my kids’ friends (even in a prohibition state) if there’s a chance they’ll find me on the internet; I like to get ahead of that conversation and make sure they understand that I’m an educated consumer and a responsible parent before they happen to associate “my name” and “weed.”

Does the same advice in ‘Weed Mom’ apply to dads?

I think a lot of the info in can apply to parents of any gender… certainly canna-curious dads can learn about stuff like the origins of prohibition (spoiler alert: it was about racism and money, not public safety), cannabis science, and how to decode products in the legal marketplace. I think dads could also find some useful info in the chapter on sex, as well as the chapters on talking to kids and older folks about the plant.But overall, I’d say that the book is centered on the experience of women and moms-both from a biological standpoint (with consumption tips geared toward improvements in mood, stress, sleep, sex, and minor pain in a woman’s body) and a cultural one. The voice, tone, and humor in Weed Mom is about the lived experience of mothering today; whether you’re a working mom, a stay-home mom, or something in between… most of us struggle, to some degree or another, with figuring out who we are in the world after having kids. Since cannabis has been such a help for me in rediscovering myself post-kids, I wrote the book to help other moms do the same.

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