Throughout her college years, Tara M. never got into the heavy drinking thing. When all of her friends were on their fifth Long Island Iced Tea and had to be picked up off the sticky floor of their favorite dive bar, Tara was outside rolling herself a nice fat spliff. She never suffered from hangovers or regretful walks of shame – at worse maybe just a late night pizza craving. So fast forward 10 or so years, when Tara became a mother, a glass of wine wasn’t what she yearned for following a busy day with her baby.
“I realized very early that drinking wasn’t my thing and that my calming, ‘take the edge off’ tendencies were more linked to smoking weed than anything else,” Tara says. “As a mother it actually serves me well. I go to bed early, I don’t wake up groggy, and when my son calls for me at 5:30am, I don’t have a massive booze headache that keeps me from being the best possible me the entire next day.”
These days it seems like a growing number of mothers are opting to engage in a little cannabis enjoyment. Chalk it up to the legalization of cannabis across a number of states, or the normalization of alternative forms of therapy via the wellness trend, or maybe it’s just Covid-19 (because, honestly), but more and more moms are passing gummies around at book club, stepping out for a toke or hitting the vape pen once the kids go to bed.
In 2017, NBC’s Today profiled a number of “Marijuana Moms” who advocate for cannabis as an enhancement to better parenting and a happier home life. Among them was Kayce Bowdon, founder of the blog The Cannavist Mom, who said she went from being archly anti-pot to embracing weed after she used medical marijuana to successfully treat her migraines.
“I’ve heard from hundreds of moms who use marijuana,” Kaycee told NBC’s Maria Shriver. “They’re happy that I’m out there, putting it out there. There are so many moms that are still hiding because they’re ashamed. And you shouldn’t be ashamed.”
Famous moms, too have been outspoken in their love for weed. Kristen Bell recently spoke out about her favorite vape pen. Charlize Theron mentioned trying sleep edibles with her mom on Jimmy Kimmel, while comedian Amy Schumer tried coaxing Oprah and Gayle King into eating some pot brownies.
But if you’re a mama-to-be or breast-feeding mama, there are enough studies to suggest holding out until you are no longer responsible for feeding your baby. According to the CDC, some research shows that using marijuana while you are pregnant can cause health problems in newborns— including low birth weight. Breathing marijuana smoke can also be worrisome as it has many of the same chemicals as tobacco smoke and may increase the chances for developmental problems in your baby.
In terms of breastfeeding, the CDC says that chemicals from marijuana can be passed to your baby through breast milk. THC is stored in fat and is slowly released over time, meaning your baby could still be exposed even after you stop using marijuana. However, data on the effects of marijuana exposure to your baby through breastfeeding are limited and conflicting. “To limit potential risk to the infant,” the CDC says, “breastfeeding mothers should avoid marijuana use.”
Mama, if you have any questions on the matter, speak with your healthcare provider ASAP. But as far as we can tell, if you’re done nursing and ready to chill, weed might be a viable option to explore trying to quiet all of the noise and stress of parenting. (It’s also somewhat of an aphrodisiac in our opinion!). Of course, we advocate smoking responsibly even once you have children. But beyond that, light it up, chew it up, toke it up and enjoy.