Canna-Pregnancy - Quanita Booley

Patient – Doctor, I would like to use cannabis in my pregnancy. What are your thoughts?

Doctor – The answer is no; it will be too risky for the baby.

This is the kind of response that a woman can expect to receive when she speaks to her doctor about consuming cannabis in her pregnancy. This is the first part into a two part series that details my experience during my pregnancy and the experiences after the birth of my baby, which I will share with you in the second part.

My name is Quanita Booley, mother of 2 kids, cannabis activist, health and wellness enthusiast, and this is my experience throughout my canna-pregnancy.

My first born is 6 years old and I refer to him as my “Panado Baby”. My second born is 3 years old and is a full-term cannabis baby who has also not been vaccinated.

My first pregnancy was a horrible experience to go through. My morning sickness and nausea was so bad that I could no longer work, I was depressed the whole time, it was an overall bad experience that I did not want to go through again and so began my research into the potential benefits and risks with regards to the use of cannabis throughout my second pregnancy.

In my time of cannabis activism in 2017 before the decriminalisation of cannabis I was pregnant and, in that time, became knowledgeable on what cannabis does for the Endocannabinoid System. First and foremost, cannabis has always been a tool for me to use to attend to my mental wellness. I was on pharmaceutical drugs before the pregnancy, but they weren’t recommended for use during pregnancy, and so cannabis was my only option. My extensive research led me to the benefits of cannabis on a molecular level in the increase of immunity.

Being a Muslim woman in the cannabis space there is always a lot of judgement in my sphere of existence. Therefore, initially I was very careful around choosing the right form of consumption to begin with. So, now equipped with the wealth of knowledge from my research where all the benefits and risks had been analysed, I first started with taking FECO. This assisted me on many levels, I felt great. It assisted me to cope with my mental illness and nausea throughout the first trimester.

As I neared the end of my first trimester, I was able to make the educated and well-informed decision to continue the use of cannabis through my second trimester. This was due to the copious amounts of research I did as well as being very lucky to have the full support from a Clinical Technologist here in South Africa that assisted me with clinical guidance when needed as well as the experiences of women in an all-female cannabis organisation in the USA.

From the outset, I started to experience a notable difference from my first pregnancy. During the canna-pregnancy I only experienced nausea twice throughout the entire term of the pregnancy, I had no back pain whatsoever, and there was no swelling in my hands and feet. What’s best of all was that I felt happy all the time, it was an overall enjoyable experience. I could eat well as the nausea was gone and was able to maintain a healthy diet that would cater to my baby’s needs and requirements.

There is a lack of information and the stigma attached to the use of cannabis. It’s been removed from medical journals for over a century. And so, medical professionals are being taught that the Endocannabinoid System is not applicable to our human development. This needs to change, more people need to speak out about their experiences. A pregnant woman is vulnerable. Her body is going through one of the most intense experiences that any person could go through.
When I was 5 and a half months into my pregnancy, I attended an event called 420 Sundaze. There, I witnessed a Rastafarian woman further along into her pregnancy than I was smoking a joint. Witnessing this gave me the confidence I required to indulge in my canna-pregnancy unconditionally.

I smoked joints, ate edibles, took FECO, smoked bongs; anything that I would have normally done if I were not pregnant. This was at the peak of my activism and so I had access to a wide variety of strains, but what worked for me the most were indica dominant hybrids.

There are no case studies available to South Africa to suggest that canna-pregnancies can work. I hope that this encourages more women to look deeper into the benefits of a canna-pregnancy and be able to make this decision for themselves if they need it, there are a lot of women who want to but are just afraid to.

I feel very secure around the decision I made and in terms of how the public perceives me. It’s really about introspection; I know that my intentions around what I had done were pure and informed. I welcome anyone who would like to challenge this, they are decisions I made for the sake of my body, life and mental health that affected only me. I know for a fact that cannabis works, it’s worked for me as an active, educated and well-informed cannabis user for the past 4 and a half years.

I educate myself and my kids. My kids can pick up cannabis and appreciate what it smells like in its raw form. I afford my kids the opportunity to see, feel and smell, that is the first step to destigmatising cannabis. It’s not going to happen in our time, it’s going to be the next generation who will be the ones who will be able to move forward in creating this into a normal way of life. I hope that one day my daughter can make the decision to use cannabis for her pregnancy without medical professionals giving her a hard time around that decision.

I really hope that when other women read this article they can make this decision confidently for themselves.

By Quanita Booley

Disclaimer: This story has been shared by Quanita of her experience when using Cannabis through her pregnancy. This article is not intended by any means to give any medical advice nor claim that Cannabis is safe to use during pregnancy either by Quanita Booley or Skyf Co Magazine.