24/7 parenting during COVID-19 isn’t easy. If you’re looking for support through cannabis start here.
The effects of the pandemic, national protests, and constant family time have come with their peaks and valleys — much of which require, support, social connection, and almost every tool in the parental and proverbial tool kit.
During this time of anxiety, stress, and uncertainty, cannabis has holistically supported me, including my mental health, and my emotional well-being.
Whether you’re a parent dipping their toe into cannabis for the first time during this pandemic, or a cannabis parent that wants to adjust their cannabis use during trying times, might I suggest:
Think about what you need to be the best parent you can.
Like any other substance you put in your body, a strain’s effect will be unique to your body’s chemistry. The process of determining what works for you takes trial and error, but to err (just like cannabis) is natural.
When choosing cannabis strains always ask yourself why you’re dosing, and what feelings you’re hoping to experience.
Cannabis parenting is about finding balance with the strains you’re using. If you’re busy, look for strains that will allow you to function clearly, give you energy, and keep you uplifted throughout the day. For evening, be intentional about finding strains for sleep support. And if you’re a parent with a nighttime grind, don’t despair. There are strains that will keep you motivated to finish your professional work, too.
Consider what form of cannabis is best to use in close quarters.
Deciding how to consume cannabis is as important as deciding what to consume. Many cannabis parents love the smell of the plant and the ritual of smoking a blunt or packing a bowl, but this isn’t always an ideal method of choice as a parent. Vapes, tinctures, edibles, and topicals are quick, easy, discrete, and perfect for cannabis parenting.
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Portable vaporizers and vape pens are great for cannabis parents who want to be discrete and avoid the strong smell that can come from cannabis. My PAX dry herb portable vaporizer is my favorite since I prefer to smoke flower and need something that can fit in my pocket.
Another easy vape option is a vape pen. Pens are compact, fairly inexpensive, and allow you to consume concentrates with little to no smell. Vapes vary in price from about $7-$300+.
Do remember, when keeping cannabis products or tools in your home, always securely store them out of reach of children.
Tinctures and edibles
Cannabis tinctures are cannabis and cannabinoid derived oils, which you hold under your tongue for a few seconds then swallow.
Edibles come in a variety of familiar and fun forms from brownies, to gummies, chips, and drinks. What’s great about these two methods is they take the least amount of work and have a very low or nonexistent odor when compared to most other methods of consumption. Both options usually stay active in your body longer than flower or vaping.
They differ, however, in the ease of measuring what dose is best for you. Tinctures typically come with a medicine dropper which makes it easier to accurately measure how much you’re taking. Edibles typically come in a predetermined size. If that size is too large for your tolerance level, it can be harder to accurately measure and determine what dose is right for you.
Remember: cannabis is not a golden cure
Cannabis is great, but it isn’t the magic cure to the stress and trauma that may be wrecking your mental health during a global pandemic.
Earlier this year the National Center For Health Statistics (NCHS) and the Census Bureau began tracking American’s changes in mental health through their Household Pulse Survey. Results show over 40% of Americans over the age of 18 have symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder – a growth from just 11% in 2019.
App suggestions for stressed cannabis parents
Online parenting groups are great places to find advice, support, and validation. Even meditation apps like Calm have been shown to help decrease stress and anxiety.
If you don’t have a therapist currently or are financially strained, some insurance providers supply their members with free or discounted therapy sessions. Many colleges and universities have psychology departments that offer affordable therapy. And Talkspace and Betterhelp are accessible virtual therapy options that can be an immediate first step.
During plane safety briefings we’re told to put our oxygen masks on before assisting our children in cases of emergency. COVID-19 is one of those times where it’s imperative we take care of ourselves as best as we can to care for those who depend on us. You may decide cannabis isn’t the help that works best for you. However, know there are many other options out there to help you through these testing times.