Siu says she doesn’t think it’s possible to go overboard with her sprays. “I took 30 times the recommended dose as an experiment once,” she says, “and it still only lasted just over an hour and I didn’t feel paranoid or weirded out.” Uma Dhanabalan, a physician and cannabis-therapeutics specialist, agrees that it’s difficult to take too much sublingual spray. Since you can feel the effects immediately, it’s easy to tell when you’ve had enough. “The worst thing that can happen is you may feel overwhelmed,” she says. “Nausea, vomiting, paranoia, anxiety. These are symptoms of overconsumption. You cannot die.”
Dhanabalan says she can see the appeal of sublingual sprays as a delivery system for new moms. “Because it’s discreet, and they can use it without anybody knowing.”
Other marijuana products gaining popularity in parent circles, sources say, are drops, drinks, and tinctures made with very low levels of THC, or none at all.
Papa and Barkley sells cannabidiol (CBD) tinctures, which, like sublingual sprays, can be a way to get controlled pain relief. CBD is a compound found in cannabis, and when isolated—as it is in Grossman’s products—it’s more predictable than smoking or edibles. Ingestible tinctures take effect in 15 to 20 minutes and can be mixed into foods like smoothies, or taken under the tongue. Grossman says a number of his clients who are mothers are drawn to cannabis because of its reputation for combating nausea and depression.
Carrie Hoffman, a mother and jewelry designer in Los Angeles, uses CBD products to help with the pain of breast cancer, and the stresses of being a single mom to a toddler. “By using it, I was able to reduce all the other drugs they gave me for nausea and pain,” she explains.
Another Los Angeles mom, Lauren Steil, even uses cannabis for breastfeeding-related ailments. “I felt mastitis coming on, so I just nursed a lot and rubbed some CBD pain relief oil onto my breast and it was all clear the next day,” she says.
Moms are finding that cannabis products can help with a range of issues that may crop up after having children. “I’ve been microdosing CBD capsules made from whole-flower cannabis (no hemp) for about two months and it’s really helped my osteoarthritis, as well as sleep and anxiety,” says Brandi Emma, a singer-songwriter and new mother.
As mom-conducive products have sprung up, so too have education and advocacy initiatives begun to see parents as part of their clientele.
Kristie Amobi is the founder of the cannabis-education company Rebalan, which advocates for the benefits of low dosing (using cannabis products with no more than 5 milligrams of THC per dose). “In my own experience of educating women—and moms—on this topic, I have been surprised by how many people are really having a hard time,” she says of the prevalence of stress and anxiety. “There’s no magic bullet, but I’m confident there is a place for cannabis in low doses to help people manage stress, especially when compared to the side effects of using alcohol and other prescription medications.”