This came up for us pretty recently. My kids are little (2 and 4), and since I don't consume around them they haven't had questions. But I've started spending a lot of time learning about cannabis, and there has been some inevitable overlap. This initially caused some panic.
"ACK! How do I protect my kids from this terrible thing I really enjoy? How do I keep them safe from it?"
I live in a prohibition state, and it can be easy to feel afraid. Especially when your children are concerned. But then I ask myself, Do I believe this?
Do I believe that cannabis is terrible and dangerous? No, I do not.
I believe it's medicine. I believe it's safer and healthier than alcohol. And I've already talked to my kids about alcohol. I tell them, alcohol is something that adults enjoy but it's NOT healthy for children. Your brains and bodies are still developing, and it's important to avoid alcohol until you're done growing. In our family we're into facts, and we try to avoid getting emotional about stuff. I think it creates more curiosity when you get all dramatic and reefer madness-y about it. So I approached cannabis the same way. It is medicine that adults enjoy, but it's not for children. Like aspirin. And my kids accept this.
And I'm not writing this post to tell you how I worded it. It's the shame and stigma like I'd like to address. That's the tough part for the mommies.
This is a turbulent time in our country. I think everyone is realizing that we're going to have to stand up and fight for what we believe in. Having kids teaches us this, too. To become our best selves. It wasn't until my son was born that I really took a good look at myself. Is this the person I want to be?
The woman I want to be follows her own truth. She doesn't let Jeff Sessions tell her about any damn thing. She wears pro-cannabis T-shirts to her kids' preschool because it's NORMAL and OKAY. It's cool to like beer, why not weed?
The pioneers have to take a lot more shit than the folks who quietly wait for society to catch up.`I can live with that. I want my kids to feel brave enough to be themselves in a world that may not accept them. So I've got to model this for them.
I believe that legalization across all states in on the horizon. I really do. We've got to keep up the momentum.
So I guess what I'm saying is, it's not really about the weed. It's about doing what's best for you and your family and not giving in to the disapproval of others. Cause motherfuckers are gonna disapprove no matter what you do, anyway.
Cannabis works by helping to balance our endocannabinoid system, the largest receptor system in the human body. This system works to create homeostasis in our cells. And it influences things like our mood, immune system, appetite, sleep, memory, motor control, and how we experience pain. Balancing our ES can help hard-to-treat diseases like fibromyalgia, IBS, and migraines. Cannabis has also been shown to help certain types of epilepsy, nausea, anxiety, it works topically for aches and pains, vaginal suppositories can help with menstrual pain, the list goes on. It helps so many different ailments because the receptors that it binds to are all over your brain and body. And you know what it doesn’t do? Kill you. Because those receptors aren’t in the parts of the brain that keep you alive. Your breath and heart rate won’t stop from an OD on cannabis. Isn’t that awesome? It can be really unpleasant, but never fatal.
All that's not to say cannabis is for everyone. It isn't. It is not a miracle cure. It can have unpleasant side-effects like memory loss, paranoia, dry mouth, and the dreaded munchies. Fortunately, these can be mitigated with smaller doses and cannabinoid balancing. Same goes for psychoactivity. Some people hate it. But you can still reap the health benefits of cannabis with low or balanced doses of THC. So if you're curious, don't let fear or a bad experience stop you from checking into it. There's much to learn, and new research is becoming available all the time.
And I’m just going to say it. It makes you a wayyy better parent. I find that I’m much less emotionally reactive with my children, I’m present and patient, and I’m much more creative (which makes me super fun, and a great problem solver). I’m really tuned in to my kids, and our relationship is better as a result. Playing with them is no longer boring. It’s fascinating. They are happier, I’m happier. It’s wonderful.
Cannabis was also the key to helping me drink less alcohol. I was a daily drinker for years. It was just how I coped with stress. But let’s be honest, drinking sucks. It made me swollen and crabby and fat. I felt awful in the morning. I was bitchy with my kids. I always wanted to check out; to sit around on my phone and distract myself from my life. I don’t know if y’all know this, but ignoring your kids doesn’t make them go away and play quietly. It makes them pee on the floor and make HUGE messes with food and water and whine at you until you lose your mind.
Wino mommy was just the worst.
So I that’s why I first decided to give cannabis another go. And I was AMAZED. I felt awesome. Not just not terrible. I felt like a million dollars! I now have energy! And patience! I find so much beauty and things to love in my life. I rarely want to drink, and when I do I usually regret it. I find that my mental fog has lifted, and I make better decisions. I’m a more compassionate spouse. Seriously, I cannot say enough good things. I want to stand on a mountain top and declare my love of weed with a megaphone to the whole world. That’s why I decided to become a cannabis coach! Cannabis has transformed my life, and I want to help to break the stigma surrounding cannabis and share what I'm learning.
I am Jessica DaCosta, I'm a proud cannabis enthusiast, advocate, and mom of two.