Danielle Simone Brand is a writer covering the cannabis and parenting spaces—and their many overlaps. A few years ago, she wouldn't have self-described as a "weed mom" but she's found her sparkle in writing about cannabis to inform, uplift, and occasionally challenge her readers while helping push the conversation toward a more progressive place. She has worked as a yoga teacher and trainer, a staff writer, and a researcher on issues of international conflict resolution.
Danielle’s new book Weed Mom is an essential guide for women interested in learning more about cannabis and how to naturally relax, de-stress, and be a better partner and parent. This book made just for busy moms is packed with friendly and practical advice, including: the basics of THC and CBD, what to look for at the dispensary, microdosing to boost mood and stay productive, how to talk about cannabis with family and friends, understanding the potential downsides, using cannabis to enhance your sex life and self-care, and much more.
1. George Harrison - My Sweet Lord
It amuses me how much I love “My Sweet Lord” since I’m definitely not into the trappings of religion, nor do I visualize the divine as a dude! (Plus, the ‘60s were well before my time.) But when I’m high, my peace and love vibes get kicked up—and since the world right now feels like the complete opposite of peace and love, I deeply appreciate how much good feeling this track sends my way. Infused with Hare Krishnas and Hallelujahs, it’s essentially bhakti: the yoga of devotion for people who get all juiced up through song and chant and dance. Bhakti is the path of love, and “My Sweet Lord” stirs it up for me big time.
2. Joni Mitchell - Carey
It’s my writer's side that draws me to Joni Mitchell’s work. She’s a songwriter who wields details so precisely that she creates a scene—even a whole story—within a song. When I smoke a bowl, I sometimes like to muse about the backstories of my favorite music and “Carey” presents the perfect lyrical tableau for meandering down all kinds of fun, fictional pathways. The song is playful, sweet, and tinged with melancholy—like I find a lot of Joni’s work. Plus, few can sing high as well as Joni Mitchell… and by that, I mean that she’s a soprano, not that she actually performed high, though she probably did. I mean, right?
3. Les Nubians - Embrasse-Moi
I’ve read that one of the reasons cannabis and music go so well together is because our time perception is different, slower, when we’re high. We might notice more of the individual notes, pauses, and layers that—taken together—yield a richer listening experience. I feel that hard when listening to music with rhythm and well-timed pauses, like this one.
I discovered “Embrasse-Moi” in the late ‘90s, during a heavy Francophile phase in which I studied French, lived in France, and dove into its art, film, and music. I’ve since grown très rusty, but nonetheless still enjoy the occasional French language track in an attempt to decode lyrics. Embrasse-moi means “kiss me,” and the song is hands-down one of the sexiest around in any language. Les Nubians, two French sisters of African descent, bring their gorgeous voices to this slow, danceable jam that pairs best with a chill, not couch-locked, kind of smoke such as Gelato.
4. The Pixies - Where is My Mind?
For me, few other songs conjure up the mixed-bag of teen emotions—where newfound freedoms conflict with the chafing reality that you’re actually still a kid—as well as “Where is My Mind?” The track was released in 1988, but was still a staple of the after school, music-filled drives I’d take with friends well into the mid ‘90s, when I was in high school. Mood is the most salient attribute of this song and the reason it’s such a great listen when high: the dreamy, almost otherworldly rock puts me in a contemplative and curious state and reminds me that there’s more than one way to see the world and my place in it. At its best, that’s what cannabis does for me, too.
5. Nina Simone - Sugar in My Bowl
This slow soul track is perfect for winding down a music-and-smoke-sesh. If I still drank, I’d pour myself a stiff whiskey to go along with this track, but fortunately a bit of RSO takes me to a similar place without the headache. “Sugar in My Bowl” may be a plea for romantic attention, but it’s so clearly about more than that—infused as it is with the evident pain of being a Black woman in America in 1967. Nina Simone was active in the Civil Rights movement and wrote songs about race and social justice issues at a time when doing so was incredibly risky.
For that, and for her unequalled style, I’m grateful. I want to feel when listening to great music, and Simone’s voice—while not the most beautiful by conventional standards—brims with feeling. With “Sugar in My Bowl,” Nina Simone is pleading for more kindness and beauty in her world. I can relate.