Meet Danielle Simone Brand
We’re so grateful for author and fellow cannamom Danielle Simone Brand! Writing at the intersection of cannabis and parenting, Brand is an outspoken advocate for conscious consumption and an inspiration to the start of our brand. Her book, “Weed Mom: The Canna-Curious Woman’s Guide to Healthier Relaxation, Happier Parenting, and Chilling TF Out,” is a must-read for anyone interested in a deeper exploration of their relationship with cannabis and parenthood – we love to gift it at our events!
Learn more about Brand’s perspective on balancing writing and content creation, the Cannamom movement, and parenting with cannabis in her own words:
Can you describe the moment you realized that “Weed Mom” needed to come to fruition?
I think it was a series of moments and an accumulation of experiences that led me to the realization that the Weed Mom message was a book. First, I started learning and writing about cannabis as an emerging freelancer and became enthralled with the plant and its potential. Then I very cautiously dipped my toe into the legal weed waters and found it an incredible wellness tool for me as a mom. As I started writing more frequently about cannabis, moms in my community came to me with their questions and curiosities, and when a fellow writer suggested that I had a book on my hands, I realized she was right. I went about writing a proposal and finding an agent and a book deal (that makes it sound easy; it isn’t, lol.). Then I did the bulk of the book writing during the first months of the pandemic—which was bananas hard, but feels really good to have accomplished.
How did you decide that a book was the best way to share your cannamom story?
Writing a book certainly isn’t the only way to tell a story, but writing is my most natural expression. I had been a freelancer—writing mainly about cannabis and parenting separately—for a few years before the book idea came to me through a writer friend, as I said above. And as a freelancer, I had been doing a mix of journalism and personal essays, so I was already used to writing autobiographically at least some of the time.
Because I wanted reading Weed Mom to feel like a fun conversation with your canna-loving bestie, I decided to write it in the first-person and offer myself as a guide to the cannabis experience and cultural landscape for moms. So, in the narrative nonfiction vein of some of my favorite writers, Weed Mom includes my own experience (and opinions!) alongside my reporting on cannabis research and the hundreds of interviews I’ve done with experts and everyday cannamoms.
Have you considered writing other books?
I’ll definitely write another book one of these days, but for now I’m enjoying being one small player in the cannabis media tableau. I love freelance writing about the plant, talking about women’s issues and cannabis, and contributing to the emerging cultural conversations around moms who consume. So that’s probably what you’ll find me doing—at least until the next book idea grabs me and won’t let go!
How do you balance your identity as author and content creator?
Fairly clumsily, lol. I’m pretty good at focusing on one project—like a book, for instance. But I’m still very much working on balancing my cannabis freelance writing and book promotion while navigating the social media space. I once heard a working mom say “there’s no such thing as balance,” and that’s true in a certain sense: sometimes writing demands more of my time; other times it’s book promotion. And my kids’ needs and their varied schedules dictate a lot of how I get to spend my time, too. So day-to-day, my life rarely feels perfectly balanced. But when I take several steps back and look at it as a whole, I see that all the elements are there: family, work, community, and even a little “me time.” I feel pretty damn fortunate.
What’s your preferred ‘title’ – Cannamom, Weed Mom, or something else?
Funny enough, I’ve become known as a “weed mom”—obviously because of my book’s title—but here’s a little secret: my publisher actually came up with it. I probably would have gone for a more subtle moniker, but honestly, the name “weed mom” gets the job done without a lot of ambiguity, lol. I like “cannamom,” “cannamama,” and variations thereof, too—anything to break the stigmas and normalize the association of moms and cannabis. One day, I hope that we don’t need to identify in any particular way to simply exist as moms who consume cannabis for medicine, relaxation, and spiritual communion. When cannamoms are normalized, we won’t even need a name.
What does it mean to be a part of the High Society of Mamas community?
High Society of Mamas is a new offshoot of the big cannabis influencer account, High Society Mama, run by my good friend Bianca Snyder (who is also the co-owner of a family-run artisanal hemp farm in southwest Michigan known as Society’s Plant). We had our first get-together in Chicago in March of 2022 (with leopard print jackets!) and it was amazing to gather with a group of moms from all across the country who are also working on cannabis normalization—whether that’s by offering cannabis coaching and education, formulating women-centered cannabis products, putting on events, or through social media influence. I was stoked to get to meet Sarah Tupper of Your Sarah Jane there, too! Bianca’s High Society of Mamas account on Instagram is all about showcasing and celebrating our cannamom community. Collaborations are welcome.
What questions do you think moms should be asking about cannabis?
Oooh, so many! For starters, moms should reflect on the questions:
- Am I looking for symptom-relief, or an alternative to alcohol, or something else?
- How do I want to feel while consuming cannabis? (Relaxed, energized, social, pain-free, sleepy, etc.)
- What activities will I be doing while consuming?
- How am I comfortable consuming (inhalation, edibles, tinctures, pills, topicals, etc.)?
- This will help determine the ideal product and dose for you (see Weed Mom for detailed guidance!).
Next, I think it’s great to reflect on your potential purchase:
- Was this cannabis product made and sold by a major, multi-state cannabis operator, or by a smaller, craft brand?
- Who owns and runs this company? (choose women-owned and BIPOC-owned brands if you want to see women and minorities succeed in this new industry!)
- What’s the environmental impact of the packaging, product form, and growing practices? (for lowest environmental impact, choose sustainably grown cannabis and products that require little to no manufacturing)
- What’s the best piece of advice you can give a cannamom? What do you want to shout from the rooftops?
Consumed mindfully, cannabis can be an incredible wellness tool for moms that helps us be our best for our family, our work, and ourselves. If you “start low and go slow” with clean cannabis, the risks are minimal and the benefits are many (better sleep, better sex, less pain, and more patience—anyone?). With a little plant education and a healthy willingness to experiment, you can calibrate your experience and truly benefit from this multifaceted plant. This is the moment to dive in! Visit a dispensary, ask questions, talk to a canna-loving friend, try a Your Sarah Jane pre-roll, read Weed Mom, and start more canna-conversations! It takes all of us.