It was an absolute pleasure chatting with Danielle Simone Brand, a writer at the intersection of cannabis and parenting, the author of Weed Mom, mama of two, yogini, earth advocate, and beyond. We were thrilled to learn more about her experiences breaking up with alcohol and shifting to a plant based path to mindfulness, wellness, advocacy and education. Through her work she helps facilitate vital conversations about our relationship with nature as parents, women, and on a broader spectrum, society. This has been a cause close to Danielle as she has navigated through a long journey of wellness, self-discovery, and spirit. It wasn’t until later in this exploration and practice that cannabis joined Danielle’s pantheon of tools and practices.
“Once I got over my stigmas and stereotypes about the plant in my mid-thirties (I spill the juicy details in Weed Mom), I dove in fully and discovered that cannabis and psychedelics—when consumed with mindfulness and intention—can truly support the wellbeing of moms and, by extension, their families. After interviewing tons of everyday people and experts about the many benefits and potentials of cannabis, writing extensively about it, and experimenting widely myself, I became an advocate and author to share what I’ve learned”.
Danielle is passionate about all types of nature-integration-driven wellness and provides a wide range of tools and topics to help readers learn how to forge their own relationships with plant-based wellness and care at home. Long before she began her work in the canna-sector, Danielle was a yoga teacher and trainer; sharing tools to live a healthier life has long been her mission. She has been able to carry that same mission of spreading health-based tools into the cannabis space.
“Today, I share about cannabis, plant medicine, and nature-based integration because I believe in these tools; they’ve worked for me and so many people I’ve had the privilege to come to know in this journey—from everyday women and moms to experts and advocates in the field.
Writing and communicating more generally is what I’m good at, so it’s natural that these have come together in my life. I love sharing about quality cannabis products and lifestyle practices that can help people, especially women and moms, to cultivate a little more love and healthy empowerment into this world. My audience focus is moms because I am one, lol, and because I truly believe that moms can positively reshape the narrative around wellness and human being-ness for the next generation. We need it.”
This is such an important note because a lot of the focus on cannabis when it comes to parenting can focus around self-care and relaxation (which is great), but cannabis and other plant-based tools are also wonderful for facilitating mindfulness—which in turn can help support future generations in a more balanced and rounded way.
We think it is beautiful that Danielle has helped so many other mamas find ways to relax and unwind as an alternative to alcohol or other prescription alternatives. This was a major shift for Danielle in her own life.
“This was such an important shift for me that the preface to Weed Mom starts with, “Dear Alcohol, we’re breaking up!” I didn’t drink excessively before cannabis, but it was definitely my go-to for socializing and relaxing on weekends and holidays. Then, in my mid-thirties, as a stressed and busy working mother of two young children, alcohol’s negatives started adding up and I found myself feeling worse because alcohol was in my life. It exacerbates my migraines, makes it harder to get a good night’s sleep, causes an anxiety spike the next day, and doesn't do good things for my blood sugar, either. Since cannabis came into my life, I sleep better, have clearer skin, have fewer migraines, and generally feel a lot healthier. It takes alcohol’s place as a great way to relax, socialize, and have fun, but it also supports my yoga practice and self-care efforts more generally. And I’m a less anxious, more connected parent with cannabis in my life—definitely a win!”
While Danielle’s personal life has benefited tremendously from cannabis and plant medicine, there are definitely times when stigmas have come up with different segments and audiences.
“Cannabis has impacted my parenting experience very positively at home; I’m less anxious, more patient, and generally more fun with my kids; they experience its benefits in my life every day. But in the outside world, it’s still a mixed bag. I’m a little more cautious when discussing my work with other parents, and I worry occasionally that my public persona will get in the way of my kids’ friendships. So far it hasn’t, though I try to stay proactive by addressing the issue with other parents before it comes up.
Though Weed Mom is still the first and only book specifically designed for moms who consume or are curious about cannabis, I’m encouraged to see a variety of “cannamom” groups and communities getting organized on the internet and IRL. Some of them are all about socializing (so important for moms!), and others are more stigma-busting and/or advocacy-oriented. It’s all needed to normalize cannabis for moms. We’re not there yet, but the way forward is clear.”
Headed into 2023 we are always on the lookout for some self-care/wellness inspo! We asked Danielle about some of her favorite ways to incorporate cannabis into her wellness routine, especially as a yogic educator!
“I love a good elevated yoga practice! It helps me inhabit my body fully, makes the stretches and asanas feel ahhhmazing, and spiritually grounds me. Generally, I reach for the more upbeat strains—limonene is a fave terpene—in my yoga practice because I still want to feel awake and aware when I practice. Quality CBD is also essential daily to maintain the smooth functioning of my endocannabinoid system. Additionally, I use topicals frequently for soreness and exercise recovery!”
Healing our planet and the people on it is core to Danielle’s mission, she leads by example and helps provide tools to reforge our relationship with this earth.
“I don’t like to lecture, but I do like to share what works for me and give examples of ways we can all connect with and protect the natural environment, wildlife, and each other.
In terms of cannabis and plant medicine, we can all make the best choices our lifestyle and wallet allows. That might mean purchasing regenerative, craft cannabis or other plant medicines from small growers—or perhaps going out of our way to patronize an independently-owned dispensary instead of a big weed chain. It means choosing cannabis with minimal plastic packaging, and recycling, upcycling, or reusing all we can. For some folks, cultivating a healthy relationship with plant medicine means growing it ourselves; do it as organically and naturally as possible so that you reap the most benefit from your medicine while doing the least harm. There are myriad ways we can all play a part in the healing of our planet—and I believe that, if we’re open, cannabis and other plant medicines can show us the path forward”.
She feels that cannabis can help heal humanity on a lot of different levels. “It’s super clear to me that healing is one of the energies called for right now! From helping people with serious medical conditions, to supporting healthy sleep and self-care, to connecting us to one another in deeper empathy—cannabis, when consumed with mindful intent—is truly good medicine. Cannabis and plant medicines more generally also have the capacity, for those who are willing, to open us up spiritually and facilitate a deeper sense of shared responsibility for the earth and our fellow beings.” This is such a beautiful vision, mission and cause.
When it comes to what’s next for this changemaker it is all about forging ahead deeper into the plant medicine space and beyond.
“I continue to freelance about cannabis, psychedelics, and their overlaps with parenting. This SoStonedCo collab is an exciting way to kick off the new year! I also am in constant collaboration with High Society Mama and High Society of Mamas because we have a very mutually supportive mission to empower moms to live their best lives as healthy, whole, empowered people. This year, I intend to get Weed Mom on the radar for a TV streaming series because I want to share this information with a wider, canna-curious audience. I also have another book proposal in the works. Details on that will come soon!”
We can’t wait to watch all of these amazing initiatives and to hear about the next adventures on Danielle’s journey as she continues to do so much important work inside and out of the canna-space.