How I Became a Microdosing Mommy
And Why Cannabis is My Parenting Survival Tool for COVID-19
By Claudia Ossa
Before you finish painting your picture of the type of person who wrote this piece. . . pause. My parents weren’t hippies, and I am not a Dead fan (because marrying one, does not make you one). Jam bands are not contagious. I didn’t try any kind of cannabis until I moved to San Francisco in 2006. I may have taken a half of a puff of a joint and coughed up a portion of lung on a few occasions in my 20’s in Southern California, but I never really experienced being high until I met my husband in my mid 30’s in San Francisco. For most of my life I was, for all intent and purposes, anti-drugs. You likely are wondering how I became a microdosing mommy expounding the benefits of cannabis to the masses (or, at least those reading this). Let me explain:
My father was a successful Colombian drug dealer in the greater Los Angeles area (or at least, that’s what it says on LinkedIn). I think he would have been anti-drugs with regard to his own kids, had he lived to parent us as teens. He was strict, but he exited stage-left at 38 due to a heart attack. My sister and I were 9 and 14. We didn’t know he was a drug dealer because he owned a jewelry store and factory as a front. (You know, like everyone else’s parents.) This bit of my upbringing was enough to keep me drug-free for a while. When folks offered up the drugs, my response was always, “I’m Colombian, that would be too predictable.”
My father was a successful Colombian drug dealer in the greater Los Angeles area or at least, that’s what it says on LinkedIn.
I could go on, but I think you are here for my skinny on micro-dosing.
As you can gather from what little of you know of me, my childhood was not ideal and this manifested into some pretty chronic anxiety. I paired therapy with Zoloft for a few years, and it seemed to do the trick. My sock/shirt matching therapist actually said, “I think you are done. Just watch the drinking.”
So I went on with my life, somehow managing to stave off anxiety for several years until I met my husband and, poof, there it was again. I don’t blame him. It was inevitable. Then I popped out baby #1 at 41 and baby #2 at 42. Italian/Colombian twins. My anxiety monster was, by then, a regular headliner on the tour. I tried different methods of managing it, including therapy, chardonnay and eventually Xanax, but none were sustainable.
HOW I MET CBD/THC
It wasn’t until my sister was battling cancer that I would discover the miracle of CBD/THC gummies. My sister never did drugs and never abused alcohol, but when she was being treated for an aggressive form of female cancer and the chemo that was meant to save her also felt like it was killing her, she decided to explore cannabis. On one of my trips to visit her from the East Coast, we sat on the family couch and giggled as we discussed her little pouches of pot gummies.
There was no way I was going to ask my sister if I could try one. I wasn’t going through chemo, and I didn’t want her to think less of me for wanting to escape reality; but being the intuitive human that she is, she suggested that I try some. She didn’t finish the word “some” before I had already masticated and swallowed. I proceeded to offer up my guinea pig services on my visit. Some would call it, selfless. By the time I was ready to return to my Mom/Wife world, I had sampled bits of every gummy she had.
Fast forward to today in the suburbs of New York. I am 48 years old, and I have two kids: versions 7.25 and 5.95. Oh boy, do I love them. I also love my husband and let me not forget my mom, but the four have the distinct ability to summon the anxiety demon like no other. Wizards, if you will. (I am sure they reciprocate my feelings.)
I promise that I will get to my micro-dosing!
So I now possess a few little pouches of gummies because I began to dabble in half a gummy here and there with a drink on a weekend to disconnect me from me.
Have you heard of Chelsea Handler? She is one of the only honest women in Hollywood, regardless of whether you agree with her or not. She has shared volumes regarding her legal and illegal drug prowess and even published a book titled, “Are You There Vodka, It’s Me, Chelsea.” The woman knows a lot about drugs, so when she may* have hinted that Xanax was no bueno and that micro-dosing might* be the way to go, I pondered and Googled for a while. Xanax was an ok band-aid, but I was noticing more recurrent depression as well as increased mood swings. Sister Chelsea may have* warned that this would happen, so I stopped taking Xanax and instead, took one of my CBD/THC gummies that was 10 mgs and cut it up into 5 little strips, leaving me with what I figured was five 2mg pieces. This is much more fun than my kids’ common core math.
This period would mark the beginning of a much better life. I am not exaggerating when I say that I felt more like myself after taking those two mgs of CBD/THC gummies than I had in longer than I can remember. I did not feel high or warm and fuzzy. I didn’t buy a bunch of velvet track suits. I had my wits about me and still cursed at bad drivers, but I felt no “extra” anxiety. Humans need some anxiety. It is a built-in defense mechanism, but we don’t need it all the time.
So I began to microdose on PMS days and days when I couldn’t get through the day without wanting to roundhouse someone. On the micro-dosing days, I noticed that I enjoyed and appreciated everything a little more. I gave my kids longer hugs and simply noticed the good more. I try to be mindful of not taking the gummies willy-nilly, although I still pop a half a “fun” gummy with a little Hendricks and La Croix from time to time. It is fun, and my husband appreciates the person that I become, but I will say that waking up the next morning to parent is not recommended.
I was doing pretty ok at microdosing as needed, partly because my gummies come from California, and I live in NY. The thought of running out was not an option. Fast forward to today. We are in what seems like week 42 of quarantine in my house. My 74-year-old mother lives with us. As far as live-in moms are concerned, she is pretty cool, but she is one more human in the house to be mindful of. We are home-schooling both kids, and although we have it better than probably 90% of everyone in this boat, the collective anxiety in my house has quadrupled.
My house is not Real-Housewives of Miami big, but it is bigger than a one bedroom/one bathroom apartment where thousands of families my size and bigger are living right now, just a few miles away. We are, no doubt, lucky, but I am still someone who suffers from chronic anxiety and intermittent depression. This, combined with the roller coaster of hormones one boards in their late 40’s and the thought that this could be the end of society as we know it, has upped my reliance on micro-dosing.
So I ran out of my California gummies the other day and that very same day, I applied and received a medical marijuana card in the state of NY from the comfort of my bed. I am not here to give tutorials on how to get a medical marijuana licence, but I will include the link in the notes below if you feel like you might qualify for one, and no, I will not receive swag for referring you.
The bummer is that there are no gummies in NY as somehow these are not considered medicinal, so today I received my first delivery of super-low-dosage CBD/THC capsules from a local dispensary. The driver was strangely unfriendly for someone who delivers happiness. The capsule did not make me feel high, but unlike the gummy, I did feel a little different than just myself without anxiety, but not different enough that anyone else could notice or that would stop me from taking them as needed. I still prefer my California gummies, but the ones we’ve been able to get after long drives to the Berkshires in Massachusetts seem to be working quite well.
What’s the bottom line, Claudia? I am not a doctor or a Psychologist, but microdosing cannabis has improved my quality of life. I am a better mother, wife* and person because I am not in constant conflict with myself. As with any kind of drug, do your research and use your common sense. I do not recommend microdosing without mindfulness and certainly not if you take prescription medications for anxiety or depression.
*I don’t know Chelsea Handler (yet) and she never told me to micro-dose or use drugs. *My husband would argue that I still become a wet gremlin from time to time, but never when taking gummies.
I applied for my medical marijuana license at NUGGMD
If you or someone you know is experiencing depression or anxiety during pregnancy, or in the postpartum period, contact the Postpartum Health Alliance warmline at (888) 724-7240, or Postpartum Support International at (800) 944-4773. If you are thinking of harming yourself or your baby, get help right away by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. For more resources, visit our Help Page.