An Anonymous Philly Mom Opens Up About Microdosing THC
It’s not just for psychedelics. Some moms are turning toward small doses of the compounds found in marijuana to get through the day.
I first learned about microdosing from a friend in California, which makes sense, because West Coasters take the art of mellowing very seriously. (They also gave the world luxury sweatpants, not working but making lots of money, and Snoop Dogg.)
I was visiting her in November of 2019 for my 40th birthday. We were drinking cocktails by the pool when she reached into her diaper-bag purse and pulled out a witchcraft-y glass vial filled with an amber-colored oil. She unscrewed the top and with the precision of a chemist filled the dropper with .25 milliliters of liquid THC, which is way smaller than the dose of Tylenol you’d give an infant. “Want a microdose?” she asked, then explained what it is: a mini hit — not enough to get you loopy, but just enough to chill you out. “You know, take the edge off,” she said as she dropped it into her mouth. “I do it before work sometimes because our meetings can be so intense.”
Mind. Blown. When I headed home to Philly three days later, I had an identical vial hidden in my luggage.
As someone who has smoked pot on and off since high school, I immediately got the genius of microdosing. Weed was always an escape for me — a way to slow down, giggle with friends, really enjoy ice cream. But up until that moment, it also felt like something I couldn’t control: Smoking pot was smelly, made me cough, made my eyes red, and left me either up all night or passed out on the couch. You sort of never knew what you were going to get — a luxury I didn’t have as a parent.
Microdosing, on the other hand, offers all the benefits of marijuana without any of the unknowns. It quickly became a regular part of my week. It’s as discreet as taking a vitamin and reliably consistent. It makes me a more relaxed mom, a fun one who’s willing to forgo the stack of laundry for a game of Go Fish and give second-grade drama stories my full attention. I’m never high or goofy, just a more present (and pleasant) version of myself. As one microdosing friend who lives in Haddonfield says: “It takes me from a 10 to a two. When my kids fight or someone spills something, I can just let it go instead of letting it ruin my night.” Mostly, it just helps me ignore — for a few hours — the constant, crushing weight of adulting.
It felt almost divine that microdosing came into my life months before the pandemic. I — like many of us — needed something to dull the doom-scrolling and home-schooling and hand-sanitizer-sourcing. Taking a tiny drop of this liquid gold felt less destructive than my previous nightly rituals of downing a bottle of wine or popping a Xanax. (Worth noting: More than 10 percent of women in this country ages 45 to 64 take anti-anxiety medication, which is nearly double the percentage of men.)
I happen to be writing this on my birthday, two years to the day after I first heard about microdosing. Since then, the many new forms of THC — lozenges, oils — have finally migrated to the East Coast. And I meet more and more women who are partaking, responsibly. Going small means self-soothing without fully numbing. It’s a step in the right direction, in my unprofessional opinion: It paralyzes my ability to multi-task just enough to make me — finally, actually, healthfully — slow down and remember what’s important. Which, most definitely, isn’t the laundry.
Published as “Philadelphia’s Psychedelic Revolution” in the January 2022 issue of Philadelphia magazine.