Thursday, February 27, 2020

Weathering Pregnancy as a Cannabis Influencer

Pregnancy is such an amazing thing. The overwhelming changes to your body and mind make you feel as though you are hardly the same person you once were. I, for example, went from being only nominally emotive to having some seriously big feelings! It is difficult to adjust, but my personal history has taught me to roll with the punches rather than dwell on those things that are impossible to change; for me, curiosity is the remedy for uncertainty.

The difficulty with this ethos lies in external perception and opinion. I can feel my body change, and as willing as I am to dig into these new feelings and ride them out...others have a very staid and rigid view of my new circumstances. This is especially apparent in my interactions in the cannabis sphere.  Hearing all the opinions on your circumstances can really make you feel like nothing more than a container for a baby, rather than an autonomous human being with the authority to make her own sensible choices.

When I first discovered I was pregnant, I felt an immediate need to withdraw from my activities in the cannabis community; not only because I was throwing up endlessly, or because I had halted my consumption until I could speak with my doctor and midwife; but because I knew that continuing to write of my WEEDventures, take photos, or promote products would be seen in a negative light by many, even retroactively, and could be used against me. Something as simple as wearing my cannabis lapel pins became questionable as my belly grew more and more pronounced; to say nothing of the cannabis apparel that miraculously still fits (although honestly, it's just socks at this point).

So how does one manage to function on the periphery of an industry that is viewed as completely incompatible with pregnancy and parenting? In mainly female circles, you can find significantly more support for the challenges and choices pregnant women face in the cannabis sphere (whether they continue to medicate or not). I have, however, learned that outside of this, my pregnancy is an unappealing and distasteful 'caveat' that must be 'divulged' as though optics are a more central concern than an individual's well-being.

I'm not talking about seeing a pregnant woman take massive bong rips or huge sweat-inducing dabs; these are activities most often associated with recreational use, anyway, which I've abstained from in favour of vaping as-required. I'm talking about revoked invitations to events and activities, of stifled discussion, and otherwise preventing an individual from participating in something they're passionate about. Do you know how hard it is to tip-toe around a subject when you've already gained 20lbs? I couldn't be less agile!

Even when granted a forum for discussion, such as sitting on the panel at this Saturday's CannaCoalition potluck in Toronto, I must admit that I remain somewhat wary of my reception. Having said that, I can think of no other way to highlight the topic more broadly than to lay my own experiences bare. It is my ultimate hope that others may benefit from my transparency in this regard, which vastly outweighs any hesitation to be candid.

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