I smoked my first joint at age 14 in the back of a friend’s VW beetle. I barely inhaled, coughed my lungs out, and was immediately consumed by guilt. I conjured images of the horror on my mother’s face if she found out that I was smoking what she called, “the marry-ju-ah-na.” She subscribed to Reefer Madness-type propaganda and firmly believed that if I smoked weed, I’d instantly devolve into a drug-addled, morally loose, low IQ, pregnant dropout.
Mind you, this was back in the day when the weed was brown, leafy, and you had to spend 15 minutes picking seeds out before smoking anything. You could puff an entire joint by yourself and wonder, “Am I high?” I grew up in the South Pacific. Humboldt genetics took a while to make it down there.
I love my mother. She’s struggled. She had a lousy husband (my father) who walked out on her when I was five and my special-needs brother was eight. I owed her some goodness. So I didn’t smoke often, was always cautious, and watched for any of my friends turning into morally corrupt, moronic dropouts.
Fast forward 40 years. My beloved mother now does the marry-ju-ah-na every single day.
Yup. When she was 79, I dropped the bomb on her that I was giving up a successful career in journalism to start Kikoko with a friend. Much to my shock and relief, my propagandized mother didn’t skip a beat. “I’m in,” she said. “I want to try it.” Oh, the unconditional love of mothers.
Now, at age 85, at 3 p.m. on the dot, she fills her china cup with Sensuali-Tea.
Now, at age 85, at 3 p.m. on the dot, she fills her china cup with Sensuali-Tea. (Caveat: she worked up to this dose, so don’t be serving your gran a cup of Sensuali-Tea straight out of the gate. We recommend starting with our low-dose teas or mints and working up from there.) When her back hurts, she takes our Buzz mints. When she’s otherwise achy, she does a Sympa-Tea or Day Tincture. Come bedtime, she drops our Night Tincture under her tongue. My mom, the stoner.
But she’s not a stoner, and that’s the point. My mother is medicating. She’s off the sleeping pills that caused her to sleepwalk and feel groggy in the morning. She’s not allowed to take NSAIDs, including ibuprofen, because she’s on some other pharmaceutical. And she knows how dangerous opioids like Vicodin and OxyContin are. Instead, she uses THC to subdue her ferocious back pain, arthritis, and insomnia. Cannabis also lifts her mood and makes living alone more bearable.
Of course, she’s never told her friends. She’s still too fearful of their stigmatized judgement. Personally, I’d love to be a fly on the wall were she to casually drop that topic into book club conversation. We all hope to see the day when plant medicine is no longer something to be whispered about. It works, and most who try it come around.
Now go call your mom.