Poplar and (nsfmg): Cannabis and Motherhood (RECAP)

poplar and (nsfmg): cannabis and motherhood (RECAP)

by Brianna Logan for (nsfmg)

Panelists: Lindsey Bliss, Tanya Osbourne, Beryl Solomon

Tuesday, September 24, 2019
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

On September 24, Not Safe for Mom Group (nsfmg) and Poplar collaborated for a discussion on women’s health and cannabis advocacy, through the lens of motherhood. Our panel included doula, author, and co-founder of Carriage House Birth Lindsay Bliss, Tanya Osbourne from Women Grow and Poplar founder, Beryl Solomon..

The task of gathering community is always intimidating: Will anyone show up? What are the logistics? This event was no exception, and by far the most challenging to arrange. Venues seemed eager to accommodate — until they realized it was a conversation about cannabis use in motherhood. Come on, folks! We’ve never heard of a Moms Wine Night taking six months to book . . . Why is cannabis still taboo? Luckily, The Brand Assembly came through with a beautiful, light-filled venue.

Once the ball was rolling, our community showed up with their best ideas and intriguing questions, making all of the effort worth it. What we learned is that there’s a lot more to learn: What are the differences between CBD and cannabis, and how is our community using cannabis to treat chronic pain, ease pregnancy symptoms, and help with mood and anxiety disorders? How do we approach the subject of our own cannabis use with our children? What kind of risk are mothers facing for government intervention if they are found to have been using cannabis while pregnant, or around their children? What are the larger implications for moms of color who use cannabis (and how does that show up in medical biases in hospitals)?

POPLAR founder, Beryl Solomon and (nsfmg) founder, Alexis Barad-Cutler

Beryl Solomon, founder of Poplar, broke down the science of the cannabis plant in a way that was easy to digest: The difference between THC and CBD — it’s complicated, but important. THC is the main psychoactive compound in marijuana that gives the high sensation. It can be consumed by smoking marijuana. It’s also available in oils, edibles, tinctures, capsules, and more. CBD, or cannabidiol, is a chemical compound from the cannabinoid family that naturally occurs in the cannabis plant:

CBD and THC have the exact same molecular structure: 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms. A slight difference in how the atoms are arranged accounts for the differing effects on your body.

Both CBD and THC are chemically similar to your body’s own endocannabinoids. This allows them to interact with your cannabinoid receptors. 

The interaction affects the release of neurotransmitters in your brain. Neurotransmitters are chemicals responsible for relaying messages between cells and have roles in pain, immune function, stress, sleep, to name a few.”-Healthline

The group agreed that understanding different properties of the plant makes it less intimidating to approach. We spoke with the intention to destigmatize, knowing that the best way to educate those who still associate the green leafs with lava lamps and tye dye t-shirts is to speak from a place of logic.

We wrestled with topics like educating our children on CBD products in a way that creates boundaries (This is Mommy’s, do not touch) without scaring them (Sometimes my head hurts or my hands ache and it makes me feel better). The verbiage we use to educate and empower them (when you’re older, you can try it, but for now your body would rather have something else like your grape gummies and Mickey Mouse band aids) and the importance of keeping a special shelf for unassuming bottles of CBD products.

Our audience enjoyed sharing their favorite ways to consume, indulge and find relief from CBD and CBD products.

CBD products come in many forms: Gummies, flower, tinctures, oils and lotions. (Just to name a few) 

Lindsay Bliss opened up to the audience about how she manages a household of seven children while living with chronic pain. We dove into an honest conversation about how the soothing effects of CBD lotion on our aching joints is sometimes the greatest relief if you’re looking for a holistic solution to pain.

Tanya Osbourne was a bright light in our evening as she shared about the positive effects CBD creams and lotions have had in her life. These products can be a lifesaver for so many who suffer from regular joint pain, autoimmune disorders and general discomfort. Osbourne spoke positively about her body’s experience with the treatment and was honest about her teenager’s awareness of this preference. 

While the idea of transitioning to CBD treatments for the natural-minded folk sounds too chic to be true, we couldn’t be naive to the heartbreaking reality of racial bias in our medical care system. Our conversation turned from light to deeply passionate as Bliss shared with us the injustices in our healthcare system that requires mothers to be aggressively and unknowingly drug tested and what constitutes a “CPS emergency”. 

This conversation has made great strides but we know there are many more important debates ahead. We are excited to continue to advocate for this cause, and look forward to many more deep-diving conversations with our community.

Below, some more photo highlights from the event by photographer Renee Bresler: