The year my son turned two was one of the hardest of my life. Fresh from a divorce, in a new town and in a new career, I was barely surviving one day to the next. As the newest College Chemistry instructor, I was teaching a night class which meant leaving my son for a few hours every week with a nearby friend. Picking my son up that night, my friend could see I was ready to melt down from a rotten day. She took me out on her porch for a chat and told me to take a few deep breaths of sweet Carolina air. Once calmer, she handed me a joint.
Within a couple of puffs, I was laughing again, and the weight of the world had lifted off my shoulders for the first time in months.
While I had tried marijuana in Amsterdam in my 20s, I had never been a “drug user” of any kind and would have been voted least likely cannabis user in high school.
As a scientist and an engineer, I did my due diligence over the next weeks and months, reading all reputable research on the pharmacokinetics of THC on the brain and body. What little medical research I could find was being done in Israel, with clinical trials of up to 28,000 people for different types of cancer and mental health issues. Many of these trials were sponsored by US dollars and yet in the US, marijuana was not treated like a potential life-saving plant-based medicine. Criminalization of marijuana at the federal level and in a majority of states meant that while this medicine was a game-changer for me, it could land me in jail, for trying to be a better mom and a calmer person.
Fast forward a few years, and we were California-bound, finally taking my career leap into cannabis full force. I wanted to create all kinds of products for people, especially those who are wary of the stigma. I started my own product development company, ChemE Queen Bee, and I now create the cannabis products that you buy. I read the latest research in drug delivery and develop new custom products for clients in cannabis and CBD, ranging from age serums to oral sprays to sports recovery roll-ons. I love what I do.
My son is now close to his 18th birthday and secretly thinks his mom has the coolest job ever. If asked, he would tell you that I am a better mom with some cannabis in my system than on days without.
Since his teenage years, we have had open, honest discussions about cannabis use. The research does not exist yet for his age group, and without that data, I worry about the effects of cannabis on the developing adolescent brain. I prefer that he wait until he turns 21 before considering regular cannabis use, however, educating him on the actual science and having open and honest discussions about his mental and physical health so that he can make educated choices, is really what being a Mom for Mary is all about.
Christine Klahn is founder and CEO of ChemE Queen Bee, a natural product development company in San Diego, CA.