Caution! I realize that this might be a controversial topic that might make some people uncomfortable. This is an area of research that is still being explored especially with the new legalization laws in many states however the effects of cannabis have been studied for many years and found to be relatively harmless when used responsibly and within reason (no driving, edibles kept in a locked cabinet far away from kiddos, etc). I realize that there are many people who disagree with this opinion, however in my research I found that the reason many people claim cannabis is dangerous is because they are focused on teenagers who are already going through a hard period in their lives, their brains are still developing, and the behaviors recognized (getting lazy, less active, more depressed) can all also be related to using cannabis to "numb out" and avoid the struggles that already exist in their lives. Therefore, I would like to point out that I am focusing here on adults who are high functioning enough to be caring for others and are not at increased risk for developing a psychiatric disorder. Please do not mistake this blog for medical advice, but rather a suggestion about alternatives to treating anxiety and tolerating some of the frustrations that are associated with arguably the hardest job in the world: being an attentive, engaged, successful parent on a daily basis.
As marijuana usage is becoming more mainstream in California and the stigma of pot is wearing down in social circles, many moms have mentioned preferring marijuana to wind down after a stressful day whereas other substances used to be the socially accepted "go to." The same way that anti-depressants and benzodiazepines are prescribed to help people work through stress and anxiety and a glass of wine or a cocktail is considered the wind down cure after a long day, marijuana is posed for a takeover. Marijuana is the dried flowers and leaves of the cannabis plant according to the CDC website. It contains mind-altering (e.g., psychoactive) compounds like tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, as well as other active compounds like cannabidiol, or CBD, that are not mind-altering. Toted as an all-natural alternative that can help work through frustrations and simultaneously help with body aches, marijuana does not have the hangover effects of alcohol or the chemical qualities of a prescription drug. The current social climate is changing as more and more parents pick up a pre-rolled joint, indulge in a gummy bear or engage in discussions of what indica versus sativa implies or percentages of CBD and THC in a particular product.
“There’s an increased comfort with the topic,” says Nathaniel Morris, a cannabis lobbyist and an independent researcher based in Kingston, Ont. “Because of the War on Drugs [movement], it’s been so demonized that just the idea of including ‘children’ and ‘cannabis’ in the same sentence was scandalous for so long. However, a natural by-product of legalization is normalization.”
There are many times that the pressures of getting homework done, dinner cooked before someone starts to voraciously attack the pantry, and trucking kids to various activities all over the city wear on our intentions to be patient, benevolent parents. The witching hour that once existed for our newborns has become ours as the worst version of ourselves emerges as the day wears on. I write this blog in the hopes that parents will rethink the old stigma of marijuana and try to imagine its use as a way to be playful again with your children and forget for a brief moment the pressures of getting everything just exactly right. The phrase "good enough mother" was first coined in 1953 by Donald Winnicott, a British pediatrician and psychoanalyst. Winnicott observed thousands of babies and their mothers, and he came to realize that babies and children actually benefit when their mothers fail them in manageable ways. Perhaps the process of letting go, admitting that sometimes we need help stepping outside of ourselves, reevaluating our priorities and allowing our imperfections to set in will have immeasurable positive impact on those little people who are simultaneously our biggest critics and advocates.
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