I’m far from the lazy, checked-out stoner stereotype. In fact, I’m engaged and ambitious — in addition to being anxious. On top of being a mother, I run a company (full disclosure: a cannabis company) with my husband, which is great for our marriage (can you hear my sarcasm?). I left my support network of longtime friends back in New York in order to pursue this life on the West Coast — and in part to be there for my father-in-law, whom I watched slowly deteriorate and then die from ALS. Now, I cochair a nonprofit in his honor. And of course, my own parents are getting older now, and the 2,000-mile distance between us weighs on me.
It’s a lot to juggle, and it’s a lot to be anxious about. But daily cannabis use helps me — more than anything else does — to stay the course, focus on the task at hand, and minimize stress.
Then there is the endless cycle of obsession and worry about our business. We wake up thinking about work, we go to sleep thinking about work. It makes falling asleep a chore of its own that brings on additional anxiety to cap off each day. In the past, I tried prescription medication (both Zoloft and Xanax), I tried exercise (I ran a half-marathon six months postpartum) and I committed to a year of therapy, and while each approach had its merits, none provided instant, on-the-spot relief. So now, during the day, I use sublingual cannabis (as needed, not all the time) that is very low in THC; 2.5 milligrams does the trick for me personally, but it’s best to start low and build up.
Another surprising revelation is how cannabis has helped me engage with my body in physical fitness. Like many of us, I drag my feet to the gym, but I know exercise is great for maintaining my mental health. I find that on days when I’m dragging, if I spray sublingual cannabis just as I’m walking into the YMCA, my 4-mile run feels much more focused. I enjoy every breath and step, and I marvel at the harmony of my physical body working as a sum of its parts. It feels great.
What else? My husband and I live and work together, and sometimes it’s a challenge to have normal husband-wife hangs when all we do is talk about our work and parenting. So, when things get tense or too routine, marijuana has helped breathe life into our relationship at times, whether it’s helping us laugh, joke or share deep thoughts. I don’t think we’ve ever had a fight on cannabis, but we definitely have while drinking. In fact, I find marijuana to act very much the opposite of alcohol; at best, cannabis can work as an aphrodisiac or at the very least, it can bring you back to the friend zone from a fight. It’s also a lot easier to wake up with our kid the next morning without an alcohol-induced hangover.
Drinking, to me, also feels addictive — like, once I have one, I want another and then another. With cannabis, I feel like I have control over my use. I could take it or leave it (and some nights I do just leave it). And most nights, when I do consume cannabis, I don’t need much. Just a little end-of-the-day reward to relax. Since slowing down on drinking, my husband and I have lost 30 pounds between us. We’re also much more alert and present when we wake up and feel ready to attack the day’s crazy schedule.