Grieving the loss of a loved one can be a difficult journey with a range of emotions that are hard to express. In this episode, my guest Jennifer Wilson shares how she found solace in cannabis, which helped her cope with her husband's death. Learn more about her story and experience and how she has come to appreciate the cannabis plant more than ever.
- Release Date: Wednesday, April 12th, 2023
- Episode Number: Season 1, Episode 8
- Special Guest: Jennifer Wilson, author of Journaling the Journey
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Why You Will Love This Episode
I am excited for you to meet my guest, Jennifer Wilson, and learn about her journey with cannabis, which offers hope and encouragement to anyone struggling with grief.
In a safe space with trusted companions, she shares how cannabis can be a transformative tool for managing the symptoms of grief, such as anxiety and depression.
In this episode, I will also introduce you to Jennifer's incredible book, Journaling the Journey.
This journal assists in creating space in your brain so you can be your most authentic, productive self.
Completely interactive, the blank lavender pages are a safe place for you to share ideas, questions, and concerns without interruption or judgment of others.
Read on to discover more about Jennifer, her experience with cannabis, and how it may help you find peace during challenging times.
In this episode, we'll discuss Jennifer's story, her experience with cannabis use, and the impact it has made.
Use the time markers to jump ahead to a part of the show you're interested in.
- 00:00 - Teaser
- 01:44 - Welcome and introductions
- 02:08 – Jennifer shares about the recent loss of her husband and how she struggled with sleep, focus, and regular everyday tasks like going to work. She wanted a more natural option without sleeping pills or pharmaceuticals, so she turned to cannabis. She used the recipes and guides on this website to help create edibles that helped her relax and ease through the grieving process.
- 05:46 – How she embraces cannabis along with her love for gardening, herbs, and other plants.
- 08:12 – Advice for other women interested in trying cannabis for the first time.
- 09:55 – Jennifer’s favorite edibles to make at home, including sugar for her coffee and herbal seasonings.
- 12:03 – Learn more about Jennifer's book, Journaling the Journey – a collection of writings about motherhood, womanhood, and life.
- 15:24 – How Jennifer has overcome the stigma and come out of the cannabis closet with confidence and ease. She notes how important it is to enjoy your journey and know that it will look different than others, and that’s OK.
- 19:08 - Final Four Questions
Meet Our Special Guest
Jennifer Wilson is the sweetest proud mom of four who has learned how to cope with grief and loss by using cannabis.
At first, she experimented with different strains and forms of consumption to find what worked best for her.
Eventually, she started making tinctures, coconut sugar, and seasonings. She found that taking small doses of tinctures throughout the day helped ease her grief and calm her body and mind.
Jennifer emphasizes that it's essential to try cannabis in a safe place with trusted friends.
That is because cannabis can impact each person differently depending on age, weight, and tolerance.
To start, she suggests seeking the advice of experienced cannabis users, choosing safe consumption methods, and starting with small doses.
Jennifer is eager to share her journey further and plans to host fireside chats to encourage knowledge-sharing among women who enjoy cannabis.
Also a published author, Jennifer wrote a book called Journaling the Journey, which is a compilation of writings about being a woman, with blank pages to allow others to track their journey.
Journaling the Journey
Jennifer's book, Journaling the Journey, is a must-read for every woman. The book is a collection of her writings that offer guidance and empowerment.
From conversations about motherhood to college experiences to even mammograms, this book touches on a wide variety of important topics that many can relate to.
Her words inspire readers to embrace their inner strength, connect with their true selves, and seek their true calling.
This journal is not your typical read, and it offers a unique experience where you, the reader, become the writer.
With blank pages, you can journal your own stories, thoughts, and experiences alongside the content provided.
After using the journal, I can confidently say that investing my time in this experience has been a special, interactive, and personal endeavor that allowed for true reflection and growth.
The best part? The book is available on Amazon, making it accessible to anyone who wants to embark on the journey of self-discovery.
Actually, that's not even the best part. When I got my copy, it came with the incredible smell of lavender and a handwritten note. Jennifer's love for her work and the reader on the other end is the best part.
So, what are you waiting for? Grab your copy now and immerse yourself in the wondrous world of Jennifer's words!
Using Cannabis for Grief
Grief can come into our lives like a wrecking ball, causing emotional anguish and stressful times.
It can come from the death of a pet, a family member, a breast cancer diagnosis, or the loss of a close relationship.
Losing a loved one can be one of the most difficult experiences ever. Grief is a complex emotion, grief manifests in many different ways, and everyone copes with it differently.
For those who are open to alternative therapies, the use of cannabis can offer some solace when dealing with the aftermath of loss.
The active compounds in the plant have been found to relieve anxiety and depression, which are common symptoms of grief.
Other people have reported that cannabis consumption may help manage:
- physical pain or physical symptoms of sadness
- intense emotions or emotional responses
- post-traumatic stress disorder
- emotional trauma
- panic attacks
- clinical depression
- stress associated with palliative care or hospice care
While it may not take away the pain entirely, the therapeutic benefits of cannabis may help manage the emotions that come with grieving.
It's important to note that cannabis is not a cure-all, and it's essential to seek professional support in tandem with any self-administered therapy.
However, it's worth considering the benefits of incorporating cannabis into your holistic approach to healing during this challenging time.
Jennifer's journey with cannabis serves as an inspiration for anyone going through a tough time or struggling with the management of many emotions.
Although the consumption of cannabis may not work for everyone, trying it within a safe space with close friends and acquaintances can be transformative.
It may inspire new ideas, insight, and a renewed sense of peace.
I hope this episode has given you some valuable information and insight into the world of cannabis for grieving.
Remember, if you or someone you know is experiencing difficulty coping with grief, resources are available to help.
Seek professional help, and most of all, take care of yourself.
Links & Helpful Resources
The helpful links and resources listed below will offer insight into the world of cannabis, providing knowledge and guidance if you are seeking answers on your cannabis journey.
Frequently Asked Questions
Find Journaling the Journey and all of Jennifer's amazing self-care tips here on Amazon.
Everyone will have a different experience which can fluctuate throughout the different stages of grief. Your psychological responses to cannabis depend on your unique endocannabinoid system. The human body produces natural endocannabinoids and works with various cannabinoids in the plant through cannabinoid receptors. The therapeutic effects of certain cannabinoids will depend on the type, dosage, and application method. Whether you use medical marijuana or are interested in recreational use, you can use this beginner's guide to start your journey.
Marijuana use is not without side effects. Again, cannabis is not a cure-all, and certain individuals may have risk factors that put them in harm's way. If you are dealing with alcohol abuse, substance abuse, mood disorders or major depressive disorder, suicidal ideation, suicidal thoughts, a suicide attempt, or social anxiety disorder during the grief process, please get in touch with the appropriate mental health professionals or healthcare providers.
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Jennifer: Don't be so hard on yourself, do your research, and you are going to be amazing. So ease up on yourself and just live your life.
Announcer: Welcome to the Well With Cannabis Podcast, a show dedicated to telling the life-changing stories of those who live well with cannabis all while teaching you how to do the same. Meet your host, Emily Kyle, a registered dietitian nutritionist turned certified holistic cannabis practitioner. Emily changed her life for the better with the help of the cannabis plant, and now she's committed to helping others do the same.
Tune in each week to hear heartwarming stories and gain the knowledge you need to feel connected, inspired, and supported on your own cannabis journey. Whether you're a new cannabis consumer or a lifetime lover, you'll benefit from these uplifting tales of real-life journeys that will show you how you, too, can live your best life well with cannabis.
Disclaimer: Hi there. Before we jump into today's episode, I wanted to share a note on potentially sensitive content. The episodes on the Well With Cannabis Podcast are created for adult audiences only. We will, at times, cover sensitive topics, including but not limited to suicide, abuse, mental illness, sex, drugs, alcohol, psychedelics, and the obvious use of plant medicine. Explicit language may be used occasionally. Please refrain from watching or listening to the show if you're likely to be offended or adversely impacted by any of these topics.
The information on this show is for informational and educational purposes only. It does not constitute medical advice. If any of the content on this podcast has brought up anything for you, please reach out or speak to a professional or someone you trust.
Emily: Welcome, good morning, and thank you so much for joining us today!
Jennifer: Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate it.
Emily: Well, I'm so excited you're taking your time out of your day to share your cannabis story because when I read it, I just felt like so many women could really benefit from hearing your experience with the plant. So, if you would just give us a little background information and how you got started with the cannabis plant in your life.
Jennifer: Okay, awesome. So, I lost my husband not too long ago.
Emily: I am so sorry.
Jennifer: Thank you. And it was just really, really hard to sleep, focus, continue to work, and all those kinds of things. And of course, you know, people encourage you to go to the doctor, get a sleeping pill and all that kind of thing like that.
Jennifer: I love gardening. And so I'd already been using, you know, growing my own basil, and just, you know, really connecting with the earth. So I thought, you know, I'm going to try some cannabis because I believe it's all-natural. I'm not trying to get on it so that I can be blown out of my mind or something like that.
It's like; I need to calm myself, calm my inner being so that I can relax, so that I can focus, so that I can get through this grieving process. So, I started Googling. Googling is just like, you know, one of those wonderful things, wonderful tools, and I ran across your page for some reason, and I landed on there, and I started reading.
I was like, oh my God, oh my, this is amazing. And so I purchased some cannabis. I didn't know what I was doing. I didn't know what kind it was, where it came from, or any of that, but I followed your directions, and I made some tincture.
I also made some coconut sugar and some seasonings. And when I started to use it, it was just enough so I could feel my body relax. I could feel my shoulders drop, you know, in a relaxed position.
Emily: That's a great way to say that.
Jennifer: So it was, it's amazing. I share with my friends. I am just trying to help people understand what this amazing herbal plant can do for us.
Emily: That's an amazing story, and I'm so sorry about the loss of your husband. I do think there are a lot of people who are at that stage of life where they can relate, and for you to share that cannabis helped you in a way and is continuing to help you through the grieving process.
I hope that helps someone out there in knowing that maybe there's something that can bring just a little bit of comfort. And I love how you explained using cannabis as that weight off your shoulders. I feel that is such a perfect way to explain it to so many people.
Jennifer: Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. It definitely has benefits, you know? And like everything in life, there are some pros and some cons, and you have to figure out what works for you.
Emily: Absolutely. Now, in your previous life, were you ever exposed to cannabis? Were you against it? Did you just not consider it as an option? Tell me a little bit about that.
Jennifer: Yes, as a young adult in college, I experimented with cannabis, and you know, you had to learn how to roll it, which I never learned how to do. And so it was just something that I just, I experienced as a young adult, and then I moved away from it.
I am not against it at all. I am a component of all types of herbs. I am also from the country, and so I am experienced with farmlands and herbs and recognizing different plants and things like that. So I am definitely, definitely for it, and looking forward to it finally, hopefully, one day soon, being legal in my state.
Emily: I hope that is someday soon for you because, so, I connect with you so much on the gardening aspect. That's kind of how I started my journey with holistic medicine, if you will, just growing my own fruits and vegetables in the backyard.
And we have a pretty decent; we have a two-acre farm. We raise turkeys and chickens, and cannabis has just fit so well into that like lifestyle. I think that so many women, even men like you who love to dabble in the garden, will find excitement in growing their first cannabis plant. I hope you get the opportunity soon because it is so much fun.
Jennifer: Oh wow. Oh wow. What makes it so fun, if you don't mind me asking?
Emily: For me, it's like magical. I don't know if you feel the same way when you grow basil, but you're, first of all, you're like, "Oh my gosh, I grew this! This is so cool".
But the cannabis plant is so much bigger. So, first of all, it's just impressive and beautiful. And then, just the way it changes throughout its lifecycle, it truly is like a woman, like blooming, blossoming, giving her best.
And then to go through the harvest process, I feel like just brings you so much closer to the plant and gives you such an appreciation and respect for it. And it just seems so full circle when it all comes together.
Jennifer: Ooh, awesome. I can't wait. I'm super excited.
Emily: You're going to love it. It just fits so well into, especially, like, if you love experimenting with other herbs, and I'm now very interested in other forms of herbalism as well. I almost want to go back to school and do some type of education because I'm like, if the cannabis plant can be this amazing, what other offer, like what else can plants offer us?
Jennifer: Oh yes, absolutely. I grow basil; I grow rosemary, lavender, and mint. It's all amazing.
Emily: That is amazing, and you know, thinking about your story, you are super brave to just try cannabis, and I would love to just explore that a little bit with you because I find a lot of women are very intimidated by trying cannabis for the first time and almost need someone to maybe like put it in their hands for them.
You kind of just took the reins in yourself and went out there and educated yourself. Tell me a little bit about how women can feel empowered and not scared to try it for the first time.
Jennifer: You know, I think that it is a legitimate fear because of media, and no one wants to be addicted to something that's going to harm them and all those kinds of things. So what I would do would encourage any female that's out there to get with some of her close friends and get in a safe space so that when you try it.
Then you're not concerned about who will record this and put it on social media and, you know, exploit me and all those different things. So just get in a safe space and get with someone that you absolutely trust, and then try it. And because, you know, you never know, honestly.
You don't know how your body's going to respond. Everyone has a different DNA, so you know, having someone there with you when you try it, I hope that that would encourage people to try it more.
Emily: That is such a great suggestion, especially doing it with somebody that you trust. I find that it can be intimidating to do it on your own because you're like if I don't feel well, but if you have a girlfriend there who's like, I've got you. I can take care of you if anything goes wrong; that is such a great piece of advice, and what better way to do it than with a girlfriend there to help you along, right?
Jennifer: Absolutely. Absolutely.
Emily: So, tell me a little bit more now about your adventures in the kitchen. You said you're making tinctures. How do you make it? How do you use it, and what does it help you with?
Jennifer: The first thing that I tried was the sugar because I love to have my coffee in the morning, and I'm trying to do a little bit better with my diet and all that kind of stuff, so that's why I chose coconut sugar.
I followed your directions for the tincture, and I used it with the Everclear. I felt like a chemist when I was in the kitchen, and I was mixing it up, and I was like is this going to clump, or is it going to dry perfectly?
It was perfect. It was just great. It was super mild. I was able to take a little bit, put it in my coffee, and it was able to just kind of like bring me down, you know? It was just kind of soothing. And when I talk to people now, I say I'm just easy. I'm easy, like Sunday morning.
I love that. It takes away a lot of the stress, you know? It's like you must get your mind to connect with your soul. Cannabis does that because, you know, you think about relaxing, I need to calm down, I need to calm down, but how do you connect it and make it happen so you can calm down?
Emily: That is so spot on. On my website, I have an article about the endocannabinoid system, and I don't know if you've delved into it at all, but it's the system in our body that reacts with the cannabinoids that we consume.
I don't know if it was Dr. Ethan Russo, but someone said the endocannabinoid system is the true core of the mind-body connection. And that just goes perfectly with what you just said because it really is. It brings the two together in such a beautiful way. So I'm so glad you said that.
Jennifer: Yeah. Awesome. Wonderful.
Emily: All right, so along this journey, you have created something, and I'm super interested to learn more about it, and it's called Journaling the Journey. And you say it's a collection of writings about being a woman, so I'd love for you just to share a little bit about that with us.
Jennifer: Yeah, it is a collection of writings that I've written over the years, talking about being a mom, talking about the college experience, with trying to help my children get through school. I have four, and they're all college graduates. I'm so super, super excited.
Emily: Good job, mama!
Jennifer: My youngest just finished, and just talking about that process and talking about getting like a mammogram and how painful it can be, and just everyday conversations.
Throughout the book, there are blank pages so that people can journal their own journey if something that I'm talking about sparks an interest in whatever it is that you're dealing with in your life. And the book also, just before it was published, that's when my husband passed, so I was able to go back and do a dedication page for him. So, you know, it had a silver lining kind of, sort of, in it and everything.
Jennifer: So, but the book is just like lifeworks of just different topics, just conversations, just you know, things that kind of make you go, "Hmm."
Emily: Do you think you will add any cannabis work to that in the future?
Jennifer: That would be awesome. I would love to do something like have fireside chats and just kind of talk about experiences, talk about different components of the book, and just have a chat and chew kind of situation, you know, just to share knowledge, just to gain knowledge.
I think we're more alike than we are different if we just take the time to sit and get to know each other.
Emily: Absolutely, and I just love the idea of fireside chats. I envision women together, just like women now get together and have a glass of wine, where now we can just get together and enjoy cannabis and talk about it and how it impacts our everyday lives.
It sounds like that's exactly what you're doing with Journaling the Journey. If people wanted to learn more about that, can they get that somewhere or learn more about that?
Jennifer: Absolutely. It is on Amazon.
Emily: Amazing. I'll put the link in so people can get right to it because I do feel like so many women, especially later on in life, you said your kids are grown, really can connect with that because I don't feel like there's a lot of resources for that age group right now. I feel like people will find that and be like, oh my gosh, finally, someone who understands me.
Jennifer: Yes, absolutely. And someone who is willing to share.
Emily: Yes, absolutely. I find, especially in the cannabis space, that so many people are so scared to share. Did you ever feel that way? Do you feel that way now?
Jennifer: I am coming more and more into myself, and not that I don't care, but I don't care.
Jennifer: Because I want to be able to share. Early on, I was, because I was wondering what people would think about me, you know, what they would say and all of that kind of stuff.
But, you know, it's such freedom. And just like in one of the taglines in my book, my journey is not necessarily yours. So if it works for you, it does, and if it doesn't, that's okay.
Emily: I really, really love that so much because I don't know if you find this, but when women are brand new to cannabis, they kind of want it to be like a magic pill where they try it the first time, and it's just perfect, and it works perfectly for them.
But cannabis really is a journey, and it will take some time to find what works for you and what works for your body. Being patient and knowing, just because it works for one person, doesn't mean it will work for another, but being patient on that journey, I think, is so important.
Jennifer: Absolutely; I mean, a nice segue into things that I enjoy and that I don't enjoy. I don't like to smoke it, but I do love it in the seasonings and in the sugar that.
I am a country girl, and so sometimes I'll make preserves because I have a fig tree in my backyard and put a little bit in that, and it's just so good. It is just so good, and I love it. But I don't like the edibles. They're a little bit too, I don't know what, but I think I just like it more in the natural food, that that's kind of like my space, my area.
Emily: Perfect. When you find your perfect thing, and you're like, this is for me, and you know it, and you're confident in it, I feel like that's like the ultimate prize in the cannabis game, so I'm so happy you found that.
Jennifer: Yes, yes.
Emily: I have to ask about the seasonings. What kind of seasonings are you making, and how are you making them?
Jennifer: I, again, I don't; I'm not as precise as you are.
Emily: You don't have to be.
Jennifer: But I love taco seasonings type of mix. And then I love lemon pepper. So those are the two ones.
Emily: a good one. Are you just putting decarbed flower into the seasoning?
Jennifer: Yes, I am. And it's just like, I have this grinder, and I mean, you can't really even taste it. I have a convection oven, so the process is much faster. It's a lot simpler. And, you know, I'm just humming around the kitchen and just like enjoying myself. It's amazing.
Emily: I'm so glad you shared that with us because a lot of people still are under the misconception that smoking is the only way to consume cannabis. And so many people are like, I won't try cannabis because I don't want to smoke.
But in your case, I mean, adding some to coffee in your seasonings, like, what is a better way to enjoy it in a way that makes you feel good too, and that you don't feel bad about?
Jennifer: Yes, and you have total control over how much to add. And it's just perfect. Just perfect.
Emily: It sounds amazing, and I'm so glad that you have found cannabis because it you light up when you talk about how you feel, and I feel like that is everything and truly the epitome of why we're doing this and showing that you can live well with cannabis.
I want to be respectful of your time. Before I let you go, I will ask all my guests the same four questions. Are you ready for them?
Jennifer: I'm ready.
Emily: All right. Perfect. To date, what are you most proud of?
Jennifer: The growth that I've made in just who I am as a person and the things that I am allowing to work for me and my journey, and not allowing outside forces dictate, you know, my enjoyment and what works for me. So that's what I'm proud of.
Emily: These are some words of wisdom. I hope someone on the other end listens to this right now because you are just so perfect. If you could go back 10, 20, or 30 years ago and give yourself some advice about cannabis, what would it be?
Jennifer: It would be don't be so hard on yourself, do your research, and you are going to be amazing. So ease up on yourself and just live your life.
Emily: Beautiful. And as you emerge into this cannabis space, and you're working with Journaling the Journey, if you could be remembered for just one thing in the cannabis space, what would it be?
Jennifer: It would be that once upon a time, you were afraid, you were scared of what other people would think of you as a cannabis user, and you evolve to respecting the herb, taking care of the herb, and taking care of yourself. And it is a part of your self-care, and it works for you.
Emily: Ah, I just love that you tied that in with self-care. That is so perfect, and I hope anybody listening can take your words of wisdom. I feel like someone on the other end will be listening to this and just soaking it up.
Thank you so much for being willing to share your journey and experience and how you've grown, and I absolutely will link to your book so other people can find it and work along with you. Thank you so much for being here with me today. This was such a great conversation.
Jennifer: Thank you so much, and I will continue to lift you up in prayer as you make your journey. You're doing great work. Thank you.
Emily: Thank you so much. I truly appreciate it, and I'm really glad we've gotten to connect this way.
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