Using cannabis as a parent can invite judgement and unfair criticism

Weed Mama was born from the infuriating bias of being a mom who uses cannabis. I would see women declare "wine makes me a better mom" on social media and the comments would be full of cheering parents. Switch to a mom declaring "cannabis make me a better mom" and out came the parade of judgmental comments, calling her a bad mother. It's a huge double standard, born of ignorance and decades of relentless propaganda against this wonderful plant. I must say however, what I was so happy to see when I started Weed Mama, was the eagerness of so many people, especially women, who want to learn about cannabis and how it might help them. Attitudes are shifting.

When I started Weed Mama I had a number of women contact me to tell me how they had to hide their cannabis use, some needed it for medical reasons and live in places where it's illegal. Not just illegal, these women could lose custody of their children simply for using a plant that helps them. Imagine losing your children for drinking a glass of wine?  Now that more places are changing their laws around the plant and more scientific studies are released, we'll finally get to a place where cannabis is normalized in society and people feel open talking about using cannabis.

These women sent me their stories...

Here's a sample of the many women who've hidden their cannabis use for fear of scrutiny, losing their job, losing friends and possibly even custody of their children. It's important for people to see how this kind of judgment impacts these women's lives.

*All women asked to remain anonymous:

"I work as a parole officer in a Canadian federal prison - it is a strange environment there and I do not want to have a target on my back from management, other staff or the inmates. Cannabis helps me deal with the complexity of a very high stress job, and matching personal life lately lol - but I feel it necessary to keep my use secret because of the prison politics/reputation as a professional/etc.

 

I moved to this province with my (now ex) husband for his job - I have no friends or family here. Since moving here my husband lost his job, had a mental health breakdown and moved away - but now the kids are rooted here.  it has been almost three years since the move and I have not burned with another canna mom. It’s been lonely and I’ve joined Instagram and created an account hoping to meet a group of supportive ladies that I can smoke a doob or dab with - either virtual or real life.

Cannabis has helped me so much through many hard times. Since I’m alone here, in many ways it’s been the only thing here for me, and had kept me off of big pharma meds even when dealing through some very dark times"

"It's definitely not something you share with the folks around me. My parents and partner don’t care, but other family members are judgmental and it definitely wouldn’t fly in my professional life. I live in a basement suite so it’s edibles only for me. I can’t go for a walk and smoke it because I also happen to live next door to a coworker. Edibles are great, they help balance my anxiety so I can enjoy social situations, and even help me get own of my own head in *cough cough* post baby intimate situations.

 

I work in a high-pressure corporate environment and then come home to by kids. My daughter is a total Velcro baby and sometimes I can’t handle having all of that stimulation after a long hard day. Also, it helps me play Pokémon cards better with my son.

 

I’m looking forward to the stigma lessening, and I really hope that smart, savvy women will be able to help turn cannabis culture around. And I really hope gummies will be more accessible, post legalization"

"I'm 60 years old. I have 5 grandkids. I, as most teens smoked weed. I instantly loved the effects it gave me. It gave me peace, calm, and tranquility. Then I got married and had kids. I stopped smoking. I'd "sneak a toke " here and there with friends. Kids grew up, moved away, then the worst happened....the love of my life died. I spiraled downhill. It wasn't my first husband, but my second. My first was very abusive in so many ways.

Ok let me just say.. .

I've been through hell and back my whole life. UNTIL NOW!!! I have since found out and been diagnosed with mental illness. PTSD, BPD, PANIC, anxiety, major depression, I've been in and out of psych hospitals. I've tried hundreds of meds. NOTHING worked, one side effect to another, or made me suicidal. So my Doctors deemed me MEDICINE INTOLLERENT go figure!! I'm going to stay alive and they stopped me cold on any meds and more or less said DEAL WITH IT!! so I freaking dealt with it. I remembered how marijuana made me feel calm. So I went to friends and got some. A MIRACLE it controls my PTSD, panic and anxiety.

 

The depression as well and I don't want to be dead now. I actually got the nerve to tell my doctor and she got MAD at me for smoking marijuana! She said she'd stop me as a patient. I was in such shock and disbelief. I was furious that a doctor would get mad that I FOUND SOMETHING THAT HELPED ME!! so I just lie to her now. When it's legalized in my state, I'll smoke right in her office!!! My family doctor said she doesn't care. I got to where I just didn't care what anyone....doctor or not...thought or said. I've told my family. They're fine with it. They just want me to be happy and ok.

 

I no longer have suicidal thoughts or think I wish I was dead!! It's a miracle. I enjoy every day and embrace them. It literally SAVED MY LIFE I've been thru hell the last 4 years. I finally was awarded disability. MARIJUANA SAVED MY LIFE bottom line. I have 5 grandkids and love them all . Marijuana has been given such a bad wrap and I'm just happy that the government has finally legalized it in so many states.. now for my state please and thank you."

"I’m a mom and cannabis wellness coach. I started smoking cannabis after my Doctor pointed out that 20 drinks per week (which I believe is totally average among moms with small kids) is alarming, and was likely completely negating the effects of my antidepressants.

I switched to cannabis from alcohol and was AMAZED at how much better I felt. It honestly changed my life, and I knew it right away. I went to school for cannabis coaching, and have made it my mission to help other moms use cannabis to help them feel happier, healthier, and more like themselves. I am in the states and cannabis isn’t legal where I live, so I make my own tinctures, infusions, and topicals.

I microdose tincture with supplemental CBD 3 x daily and then have an edible after everyone is home and I won’t have to drive, followed by vaping at night. My kids are 3 and 5, so there isn’t a lot of understanding, but my kids know about medicine. We treat the subject like alcohol in our house. We have decided not to call it cannabis at home when referring to our own use, for fear that my kids will repeat it at school. "

 

"I'm a 24 year old mom of a 4 year old little red head. I use cannabis daily. I do not hide it but I also don't flaunt it around. I always smoke in a different room than she is in or on our porch. We have a box that we keep everything in and she knows not to mess with any of it. I smoke to honestly be a better parent. My child is a very strong willed girl so I easily get upset with her, but when I smoke I don't get so flustered and I stop worrying about everything else and I enjoy her. It's not legal in our state but hopefully soon it will be."

 


"I can't even begin to tell you the shame that I feel for vaping THC and CBD. It helps me take the edge off a real shitty day. or when the kids just don't want to be quiet. I feel like the suburban housewife with a dirty secret. I feel like all the other moms would judge me if they knew."

 

 



"I came from a  broken and trauma filled alcoholic home, which clearly has had long lasting effects on my personal history and growth. My mom passed from a drug related accident when I was 12, and I was moved into the very strict but loving and stable home of a relative, and I rebelled HARD. 

 

I began smoking cannabis around this time, here and there with my friends when we could find it. When I was 15 I began drinking heavily, and continued to do so 3 to 4 days a week until I was 20. 

 

I should clarify that while I was drinking, I was also a considerably functional and “successful” person, I played varsity sports, graduated high school early, always worked at least two jobs... but my life revolves around getting completely wasted. When I moved from my home town to the city for college, I continued to drink and i made a LOT of extremely regrettable decisions. I won’t go into detail there cause that isn’t what this is about...

 

When I turned 20, I had failed out of college, spent all of my money on booze, gained 50lbs, was jobless, dreamless and a completely lost soul. Then I met a guy, (who was actually my pot dealer at the time) and he really helped me turn my life around...

 

He didn’t drink at all, instead... we smoked, and he helped me get lined up with a really amazing job opportunity, convinced me to re-enroll in college, and became my rock.

8 years and 2 amazing kids later we are still together and still not drinking... although we do smoke"

 

"I am just my best version myself when I use pot! I am creative, bright, patient and kind. I suffer from anxiety, PTSD, chronic pain and depression. I smoked weed from the time I was 14 until about 25 and then I moved away and in with a new guy and just didn’t smoke it anymore. Ever since I have just been a shell of a human and ended up falling into a deeper and deeper depression which almost cost me my marriage. Im now thirty and started smoking in secret again  about a year and a half ago.

Also just recently spilled to my husband that I needed to smoke weed! He’s fine with it but I feel judged at times.

I hide it from most people but because of the stigma attached to it when you’re a parent. I’m not ashamed nor do I believe there is anything wrong with it or me for needing a little herb to put a pep in my step. I am playing music again, singing, writing, painting. Maybe I will come out of my shell a little bit once the laws officially change."