Parents and CBD: To Try or Not To Try?
By Cris Pearlstein
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year, you’ve probably seen CBD products popping up everywhere. Many people, including parents, are relying more and more on this supplement to combat stress, anxiety and difficulties sleeping. While we’re still waiting for more studies to be done, personal anecdotes all agree: this stuff works. CBD is cannabidiol, one of the more than 100 cannabinoids of the marijuana plant, but does not make the user feel “high” or intoxicated (unlike THC, another, and very different, cannabinoid).
We caught up with with Shaina Kerrigan, founder of Molly J., a CBD-infused, small batch confection company, to get the scoop on whether new parents—suffering from exhaustion, increased stress and heightened anxiety—should be giving this stuff a shot. It helped her, maybe it can help you, too.
Can you tell us about the origin story of Molly J, how your passion for CBD began, and a little bit about your journey?
It’s been about 3 years since I ventured into the world of CBD after burning out from 9 years in the tech industry. At the time, I had just had my second child and was struggling with competing priorities, so I quit my tech job and spent the next few months laser-focused on solving my biggest issue: getting better sleep. After trying a long list of over-the-counter remedies to no avail, I ventured out to my local dispensary. I was amazed at how helpful the cannabis plant was for my sleep but there was one glaring issue: the experience was overwhelming, intimidating, and unwelcoming.
At the time, the cannabis industry mostly spoke to men or folks who were already very familiar with the cannabis plant. Strange because I found it to be such a huge help for so many of the ailments that affect women and moms. After this experience, I could see a gap in the market and set out to spread the news by organizing secret Tupperware-style parties with fellow moms. My goal was to give them the lowdown on what, when, and how to use cannabis in their lives. Outwardly, we called it “Book Club,” and it became such an underground hit that I had a waitlist of 30+ people per week for each event. It was from these parties that I learned what moms, and women in general, were looking for: high quality, effective CBD gumdrops that felt just as luxurious as opening a bottle of wine at the end of a long day.
What would you say to someone who has never tried marijuana products, and who might be weary about CBD?
Firstly, that marijuana and CBD are two very different things. It’s important to point out that within the Cannabis plant there are actually over 100 cannabinoids, or chemical compounds, that have different effects on the human body. So when we, as a society, talk about marijuana (referring to the types of products that get us “high”), we’re really talking about THC. THC is one of the 100+ cannabinoids in the plant and the one specifically known for its psychoactive effects. Conversely, CBD is a cannabinoid with an effect far different from THC. It does not get you high and, instead, has massive health and wellness benefits.
Secondly, make sure that the CBD product you try is the best quality. Look for Broad or Full Spectrum CBD (not Isolate which is often marketed as “pure”) for effectiveness, and make sure you’re taking the right dosage. Dosage is often calculated at 3 to 6mg of CBD for every 10 pounds of your body weight.
Life is stressful. Life with kids and babies even more so. Why do you think incorporating CBD gumdrops into a wellness routine is a good idea for new parents?
Quite honestly, because when we’re desperate we’ll try anything to help tame the stress. Unfortunately, so many of the options we turn to aren’t healthy when used in large amounts or on a regular schedule (like wine, prescription pills, etc.). Switching to a plant-based, healthier alternative like CBD gumdrops is such an easy and effective way to take the edge off and find balance.
Can you tell us a little bit about your personal experience with CBD, how it’s helped you and how you use it in your life?
I eat CBD almost every day. I’ve tried almost every CBD product type, from tinctures to lotions to hot sauce, and still feel passionate that the experience should match the effect. It should be a calm, pleasurable, delicious treat to look forward to after a long day.
I eat a Molly J. gumdrop in high dosage (at least 50mg) almost every evening, often in lieu of a glass of wine to save the calories and brain fog. It helps to calm my anxieties that may pop up when I’m in charge of getting my 8-year-old to do her homework, or my 5-year-old to clean up after himself. It helps me balance my stress, melt away the nagging to-do list, and relax my body to help wind down. I also eat one of our Sleep Gumdrops, which is a blend of CBD, CBN (another non-psychoactive part of the cannabis plant known for sleep aid qualities) and melatonin. It helps me drift off to a deep, deep sleep, and stay asleep!
What’s the difference between eating a CBD gumdrop and having a glass of wine or a cocktail at the end of the day? Is there a difference in health benefits or risks?
Personally, I love wine, so I always abide by the “everything in moderation” rule. For me, one glass of wine every once in a while isn’t unhealthy—it’s that second or third cocktail on a random Tuesday night to consider healthier alternatives for. The right dose of high quality CBD can relax the body and mind just like a glass of wine or a cocktail can do, without the hangover and brain fog that may come the next day.
Who do you think is a good candidate for CBD products? Who would really benefit from them?
As a wellness tool, CBD can be a great option for anyone looking for less anxiety and stress, or anyone looking for more balance. CBD is also known for its anti-inflammatory effects, so athletes or physically active folks should check it out for muscle repair and body recovery. Lastly, anyone who’s dealing with interrupted sleep, challenges to fall asleep, or sleep issues in general should look into CBD. It can be especially effective when it’s partnered up with CBN, a cannabinoid in the cannabis plant specifically known for its sleep aid qualities.
Shaina Kerrigan is the founder of Molly J., based in Marin, California. In addition to creating beautiful and delicious CBD gumdrops, Shaina also donates a portion of proceeds to NORML, a nonprofit organization working to legalize cannabis on a policy level. She also donates to Last Prisoner Project, a nonprofit organization that works to free incarcerated cannabis prisoners, expunging their records and reintegrating them back into society. Shaina holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication from San Diego State University, and resides in Mill Valley, California, with her husband and two children.