Despite the fact that mom-and-wine jokes are still a dime a dozen on countless gift ideas for mom this past Mother’s Day, there is still a major stigma against moms who use cannabis. Our society continues to perpetuate the idea that, if you’re not a problem drinker, it’s possible to just have a drink or two after a long day and not be a neglectful parent. But replace “glass of wine” with “joint” – and it becomes a very different story.
Danielle Simone Brand got frustrated with this assumed truth as a cannabis-consuming mom and decided to focus her writing on motherhood and cannabis. She is the author of Weed Mom: The Canna-Curious Woman’s Guide to Healthier Relaxation, Happier Parenting, and Chilling TF Out. Writing a book against the stigma of cannabis came easy, as Simone Brand herself once believed in that stigma.
Simone Brand on Becoming a Weed Mom
“Cannabis was really not my thing for a long time,” she explains. “I kind of looked down on it, to be honest. I tell a story in my book about how my husband was leaning on it a little too much for mental health. He just didn’t have a full suite of self-care tools – it was just weed. So that didn’t have great results for him, and based on that experience, I was not a fan.
“But then, as a mother of two kids, I was struggling with my own health and wellbeing and purpose in the world, and then I did try cannabis, and it helped me. I was a freelance writer, and I was getting assignments about cannabis before I even knew or cared about it.
“When I started learning and interviewing people, I became fascinated, because it bridges health, science, wellbeing and self-care, as well as social justice, and my thoughts really changed and developed. I found it to be a health and wellness tool to help me sleep, help with migraines and help me be more present with my kids.”
Once she embraced cannabis, Simone Brand found more cannabis-centric assignments coming her way, balancing out the writing she was doing on parenting. While they were separate beats for the most part, they would occasionally cross over, and while she worked on the crossover assignments, she began to think about how underserved the topic of cannabis parenting truly was.
She started receiving messages from women who wanted to know how to experiment with cannabis for anxiety, how to go to dispensaries, how to get back into cannabis after years away, and Simone Brand realized there was a need for more education, especially for moms.
A Book Deal is Born
Simone Brand got the book deal for Weed Moms in January 2020, with a deadline of June 2020. While the pandemic presented challenges, as she was working on the book while her kids were home and attending school remotely, it also afforded her more time to focus on writing, revising and research. And as she worked on the book, the focus morphed a bit, as she realized she wanted to reach different demographics.
“When I started, I was writing the book more for the mainstream, canna-curious women who hadn’t quite been introduced to the legal marketplace,” she says. “But the book has really been embraced by the cannabis community that’s already out there, because I think there is a sense of validation, a sense that it speaks to your lifestyle and our choices and validates that it’s okay to be a mom and consume cannabis.”
The author was on a mission to normalize being a parent who consumes cannabis in a responsible way. “I wanted people to take away that, if they were harboring some shame or stigma themselves, even though they knew the plant was helping them – I just want the message to get out there that mindful use, responsible use, is totally compatible with being a good parent, a present parent and fulfilling your roles in the world. Really, that’s the message for the canna-curious and those who are new to cannabis use.”
Promoting Responsible Use
While Simone Brand whole-heartedly embraces cannabis now, she also realizes that there is a reason her husband’s use initially turned her off, and there is such a thing as misuse or overuse, so that is included in her book as well.
“I have a chapter on what can go wrong because I think it’s important for whatever health and wellness practices we choose, to have that awareness, and it is possible to overuse cannabis. I don’t think it is nearly the boogeyman that the mainstream tries to make it out to be, obviously, but I do think overuse can happen.”
Simone Brand included tips for readers to help them understand and identify what cannabis misuse or overuse could look like. “Some signs of that, for parents specifically, or for anybody, would be if you’re leaning on cannabis as your only means of self-care and coming to a healthy state physically, mentally and emotionally. Another one for parents specifically would be using cannabis to check out of life with the family instead of using it to check in. Sometimes we need to do self-care and have alone time, but cannabis should be something that helps us be more present and available when we’re actually with our kids.”
Today, Simone Brand is still promoting her book and working on freelance projects with an eye to the future and a possible follow-up.
Find Danielle Simone Brand’s work at daniellesimonebrand.com.
Featured Image Photo Credit: Yana Galanin (@yanagalaninphotography)