There are a lot of reasons why being a parent is the hardest things you will ever do. From the nonstop stimulation to the constantly changing routines, all on top of managing your own life- it’s no wonder parents often feel burnt out.
In a study held in 2017, more than half of the polled parents reported using cannabis. The most common reason parents consume cannabis is pain management, mood stabilization, and anxiety; although the full list of reasons is practically infinite. Whether you are pregnant dealing with sickness, battling all the postpartum feels, or even anxiously raising an independent teen- finding relief with plant-powered treats shouldn’t be any more shameful than taking an Advil or having a glass of wine.
Disclaimer: The information presented in this blog is not professional advice, this is simply my own research on a subject that is very important to me. Please do your own studying outside of this blog before making any medical decisions.
When I was pregnant with that adorable little peanut (to the left), I was extremely uncomfortable and nauseous on a daily basis. I remember reading that it would stop in the second trimester but for some reason it only got worse for me. I spent days in bed trying to feed and hydrate myself but to no avail. I eventually found myself in the ER where they pumped me full of fluids and sent me home with a prescription for Zofran, a commonly prescribed medication for moms-to-be. It helped tremendously with the nausea but my mom-guilt was through the roof knowing about its potentially dangerous side effects. But when I found myself medicating with cannabis, the guilt I felt was entirely different.
I remember asking my midwife for advice between the two medicines- but even here in Oregon she advised the pill over the plant. I decided to do my own research. There are only a handful of studies focused around smoking weed while pregnant. Some studies draw some pretty scary conclusions but the majority of them had inconsistent findings. It was when I stumbled upon a recent study by Frontiers in Psychology that I felt like I had clarity. This study dives into the data from the past thirty years and debunks a lot of the studies that once drew dangerous conclusions about cannabis consuming moms.
Published this month in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, the systematic review revealed that a vast majority of studies on this topic found no significant statistical differences between kids who were reportedly exposed to cannabis during pregnancy, and those who were not. Less than 5% of comparable studies in this area showed any statistical difference between children’s scores on cognitive tests; importantly, these included both slight dips and improvements in scores, and all but 0.3% of study results still fell in the normal range.
This article confirms not only that cannabis does not increase risk of miscarriage or low birth weight, but it ALSO deflates most previous acquisitions claiming cannabis has any negative effect on an in utero baby’s cognitive development. This is huge.
My story is just one of many reasons why moms-in-the-making seek relief through cannabis. As it turns out, creating a human is really painful and exhausting work and it just so happens that cannabis can help with a lot of those aches and pains. Here are just a few ways cannabis can help during pregnancy:
Your cannabis routine can look exactly the same as it did pre-baby, or you can switch things up! I found my use slowly tapered off as we got closer to the due date. At first I quit for a few weeks until the nausea got worse, then I found myself smoking a bowl before and after meals. Some mama’s prefer to switch to a low THC edibles and CBD oils, some swear they only find relief in flower.
Supporting someone through pregnancy is tough work too. If you are the shoulder that gets leaned on make sure you are taking care of yourself while taking care of your growing family as well. This can look like a high-THC edible before bed, or some high-CBD oils through out the day for mild effects.
They say when a baby is a born, a mother is born. It’s true because you are no longer the old you. Your brain works differently now, your priorities are different, your love is different, your time is different. Feeling these feelings can be a lot. And while fathers don’t have a postpartum check-up a lot them struggle with similar feelings too. Cannabis use for postpartum is slowly gaining popularity, but parents still have tons of questions: What if you’re breastfeeding? Or a stay-at-home-mom? Or maybe you have to go back to work full-time? There are ways to strategically use cannabis as a parent that will compliment your current commitments.
Moms who are breastfeeding are most concerned about cannabinoids getting into their breastmilk. However, a recent study that examined cannabinoid content in breastmilk found that very small amounts of cannabinoids make it the entire journey from bowl to breast to baby.
This study examined 258 plant powered mamas with varying use. A small study group with 8 exclusively nursing mamas donated breastmilk 20 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hour and 4 hours after consuming 100mg of cannabis flower (23% THC) after abstaining for 24 hours. The study found that cannabinoids were most potent at the one hour mark, but still only reached 1.6 mcg/L which, is 0.0016mg in a liter of breastmilk. And while that number is TINY the amount your baby actually absorbs is even smaller (because cannabinoid content is always lost through the process). This study was summarized…
“This and another study found that occasional maternal cannabis use during breastfeeding did not have any discernable effects on breastfed infants…”
Despite this anti-climatic summary, this article is used against breastfeeding canna-moms regularly. I even fell victim to this article and would avoid breastfeeding for the first hour after smoking- until I really looked at the numbers. That’s what it means to do be an informed consumer, you do the research and then you do research on the research.
After learning about how many cannabinoids are actually transferred to breastmilk, I slowly showed myself grace to medicate without guilt. I would be mindful about my consumption, I still enjoyed low-THC edibles but I also let myself smoke flower to my hearts content and continued using my CBD oils as well.
Being away from our little ones causes an entirely different kind of stress; hello, have you met Mom Guilt? She’s a bitch. I remember that first month of parenting I could not leave the house for five minutes without feeling the need to rush back. But sometimes we have to leave. And I kid you not, my Inspire CBD Oil stops Mom Guilt dead in its tracks. Like almost instantly. Instead of feeling like I’m a terrible mom for leaving my baby, or worrying about whether he *needs me* right now or not- I am focused and present in the current task. I let myself be someone other than his mama and focus on me for the moment.
Being a stay at home parent is.. a lot. For some people, it is a dream come true, for some people it is isolating and lonely- but no matter who you are, it’s a lot. Being at home with kids all day means preparing three meals (plus snacks), keeping them entertained and happy but safe, maintaining basic house-chores, god forbid you have errands to run and all while also trying to resemble some version of you. It’s a lot of work without a whole lotta breaks, or pay, or recognition. Keeping your head in a good place is essential, and there should feel zero guilt for self-soothing with cannabis. A 1:1 edible could be the perfect balance to keep you creative and inspired but still responsible. The CBD will help slow your racing thoughts while the THC will keep you feeling creative and connected.
The first year of parenthood is like nothing else. It will test your patience, it will push your limits, it will exhaust you like you’ve never been exhausted before. But it will enchant you, too. Your little one will start speaking words, there will come a time when they laugh, tell you they love you, and start to become their own little self. They will change with the blink of an eye- everyday. There will be calm moments within the chaos of parenting. Cannabis can help you BE in those moments. Conscious cannabis consumption can help you release the nerves that come with being a new parent and let you raise your babe with liberation and ease.
I’ve noticed a trend within parents that no matter what age are kids are, we pretty much all think our children are crazy, in one way or another. And most children are crazy, in one way or another. No matter how flawlessly you think you have parented your child, kids learn, grow & change everyday. Our job stays the same: remain calm and be a place of love and support.
Sometimes keeping calm and speaking with empathy isn’t always easy. Sometimes our own fuses are running low and we don’t always react like our best selves- and that’s totally normal, that’s human! Sometimes, taking a few drops of our Unwind CBD Oil helps me take a step back and recenter myself. The linalool and myrcene instantly slow down my racing thoughts and heart and within a few minutes I am thinking with clarity instead of anger. If I am in tune with my emotions and I can feel an uneasiness within myself I will take a high CBD:THC edible to help boost my mood and inspiration without weighing me down. An uplifting terpene profile is even better!
Parenting is hard work. Every step of the way, every age, every day comes with its own unique challenges. No matter what season of parenting you are in there are many ways cannabis can help make your job easier. Whether you are battling physical pain or mental anxieties, there are a million different ways you can use cannabis responsibly. By doing your own research on the web and within your own experiences, you can find a regime that works best for you and your parenting style.