My super edgy 13 1/2 yr. is proudly ensconced in his “Emo” phase and I struggle with a lot of what that means. From the chain hanging off his jeans to wanting to “size down” ear gages (for the uninitiated, “sizing down” actually means stretching the holes to be “BIGGER”), to the music he listens to, and his addiction with SnapChat, my son’s gangly 5’ 8” frame epitomizes teen angst. It doesn’t help that he’s almost 4 inches taller than I am, and his current obsession is weed. Actually, that last part. . . I don’t mind. Now before you freak out, don’t. Obviously my son isn’t allowed to smoke pot at his age, however, I DO allow him to vape. In fact, I encourage it.
Before you pronounce judgment on my out-of-the-box mothering style, let me explain. I am not a habitual user of THC, but I AM a fan, advocate, and educator on CBD; a crazy cool chemical in the cannabis/hemp plants driving cutting edge medical cannabis research. That’s the stuff I give my kids in edibles, as a supplement, and yes, in their funky-flavored vape juice concoctions. So what is CBD?
CBD “cannabidiol” is a chemical in the group called “cannabinoids” which naturally occurs in cannabis and hemp plants. CBD can be extracted from the cannabis flower (not yet fully legal everywhere) or roots/stems/seeds from industrial hemp (legal). Ironically, there should be NO difference between CBD from cannabis or hemp, because CBD regardless of the source, has less than .03 THC, which is why it’s doesn’t create any euphoric feeling. In fact, CBD is SPECIFICALLY non-psychoactive, and has shown to have tremendous benefits in more than 60 clinical studies on everything from ADHD, Anxiety, & Alzheimer’s to Bi-Polar, Cancer, Chronic Pain Relief, & Chron’s Disease to Depression, Dravet’s Syndrome (children’s epilepsy disorder), Fibromyalgia, MS, Nausea, and that’s just the scratching the surface. What is most impressive to me as a wellness-advocate and parent, are the scores of anecdotes from mothers of highly autistic children who, after taking high doses of CBD, became VERBAL! The best part is CBD has ZERO side effects and ZERO contraindications. Yes, really. Most importantly in today’s highly toxic world, CBD is a natural anti-inflammatory so if you understand basic symptomology of ALL issues in the body, behavior or brain - CBD is one of the most effective natural treatments we can find. Anywhere. On the planet.
I also consider cannabis to be a far wiser pharma choice than opioid-based medication replete with side effects - part of a more systemic problem I see in this country - overmedicating and underserving our youth, especially. So yeah, my life is ALL about CBD, and that’s why I allow my teens to vape. They don’t vape nicotine or THC - just flavored “juice” which are mostly plant glycerines and CBD oil. So now you get it. I love CBD, what it does, what it CAN do, but not because of science - because I’m a mom.
My teens, like many today, had issues with anxiety, allergies, social anxiety, depression, mood disregulation, sleep problems, ADHD, eating disorders, and general feelings of anger, disconnection, and agita in all of their naturally occurring presentations. You know the saying, necessity is the mother of invention. So as a mom I invented something for my own kids - to help them be healthier, more balanced and get them off all traditional meds. It worked. Now my P2 (fiancé/life partner & biz. partner) and I are co-founders of a company that offers CBD aromatherapy & edibles to support other families.
So if my 13 yr. old wants to nickname me the Pot Mom - cool. If he wants to be an ethno-botanist, experience a Shamanic vision-quest and one day be the head of R&D for our “family business” - great. That he happens to know more about grows, strains of cannabis, our body’s endo-cannabinoid receptor system, and wears marijuana decorated baseball caps and t-shirts... awesome.
Raising a healthy, mindful, balanced teen today means empowering them to actually KNOW the difference between getting stoned, a maldapative coping skill in today’s society, and vaping, an informed, healthier way to chill out, relax and do something healthy for the body and brain at the same time.
In other words, for optimal teenage development...
THC = Bad CBD = GOOD!
For the rest of you who might still be shaking your heads disapprovingly, consider this. If you think you’re shielding your kids from getting stoned by not having the conversation around vaping and pot, good luck with that. If you want to have a real grounded talk with them and teach them what is good for their brains and bodies and what isn’t, reach out (FB, Twitter, Instagram: @t3cSynergy). I have plenty of research and advice I’ll happily share.