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How to Use Cannabis for Self-care During Your Divorce


Written by L.A.'s Premiere Cannabis Business Attorney Alexa M. Steinberg, Esq.

As a former Family Law attorney, I have experience handling the legal side of financial and custodial arrangements while simultaneously serving as a confidant for my clients’ suffering. I had a front-row seat to some of the most hostile, disruptive, and dysfunctional relationships. Without a doubt, divorce weighs on your health and mental state. It was not easy to witness personally, and it even took a toll on me as a lawyer. So I decided I needed a change.

From Family Law, I stepped into the wonderful world of weed. I’ve been a Cannabis Law attorney for the better part of a decade now, working alongside my all-female team of attorneys. I advise innovative cannabis businesses on corporate strategy, compliance, and how to change the face of the cannabis industry. Today, cannabis has taken on a new look, especially in the realm of wellness.

Using Cannabis to Relieve Stress

Amongst the emotions and stress of a divorce, sometimes we forget that a little self-care can go a long way. Here is where my past and present worlds collide.

Divorce is often the end of a monumental chapter in one’s life that, as I’ve seen firsthand, can cast a dark shadow over someone’s sense of self-worth and personal value. It's difficult not to get lost in the turmoil of family breakdowns. While I have never gone through a divorce myself, I have been through my fair share of bad breakups and life struggles. Working with cannabis companies and brands, I have seen the miracles that cannabis and CBD products can help to facilitate, even in my own personal use. As the cannabis industry slowly emerged from the shadows, so did my relationship to the plant. I started using cannabis to manage my stress, get through tough times, and lessen the blow of my blues.

The healing properties of pot

Cannabis and CBD products have incredible healing powers. It's not just about “getting high” or altering your current state. It's about turning down the noise and taking control of how you want to feel.

The differences between cannabis, hemp, CBD, and THC:

You don't need to be a scientist--I certainly am not--but a basic understanding of how cannabis affects your body can go a long way. The active ingredients in cannabis, THC, and CBD, directly interact with receptors in our bodies that are connected to things like appetite, sleep, energy, stress, and pain. THC is responsible for cannabis’ most well-known psychoactive effects, while the popular CBD is marketed for its more therapeutic effects. I’ve learned that there are greater therapeutic effects from CBD when it’s combined with a small amount of THC.

One thing that many people don’t realize about CBD, is that it can come from two different sources: cannabis and hemp. Cannabis-derived CBD is not federally legal, but it’s regulated in California by the state and available in dispensaries across the state. Hemp-derived CBD, on the other hand, is federally legal, but there are no state or federal regulations currently in place. However, due to the federal legality of hemp-derived CBD, we have seen hemp CBD products flood the marketplace, with marketing companies jumping on the CBD bandwagon by adding it to their wellness products. Despite CBD being all the rage, it’s important to make an educated decision about the products you ingest rather than just going along with what’s trendy. Be careful not to fall prey to marketing schemes and empty claims that lure buyers with promises of pain relief and medicinal aid. Because of the lack of CA regulations for hemp CBD, there is no oversight as to the health claims made or what chemicals are used to manufacture the CBD.

The market is getting increasingly flooded with cannabis and CBD products that are being marketed as therapeutic and healing, and it can be super scary when you don't know where to start or which companies to trust. With a little insight from my journey, I am hoping to give you a good place to begin.

The First Steps In Your Cannabis Guide

1. Your cannabis journey is personal

It's important to know that the cannabis experience is individualized and different for everyone. I found that the most important first step in this journey is to find your threshold and comfort level. I started with trial and error. For me, it simply came down to what lowered my anxiety to a tolerable level. I did this by using micro-doses to gauge how I felt. You can also use helpful tools like Endocanna Health which uses your DNA (much like 23andMe) to generate personalized reports to help discover the right products for specific genetics.

2. Know where to go for your cannabis

Here’s a helpful tip: Hemp-derived CBD products can be purchased from your local Erewhon or Wholefoods. When buying hemp CBD, look for CBD products that contain full-spectrum hemp oil (not hemp seed oil). Cannabis-derived CBD products can be purchased at your local cannabis retail dispensary. All of the products stocked by legal dispensaries must comply with state labeling, testing, and dosage requirements. Don't be afraid to go inside, ask questions and explore all of the products they have to offer!

3. Figure out how you want to feel

My personal approach to cannabis is based on how I want to feel. There are so many great products and brands that I gravitate toward to curate my cannabis experience. Some of my favorite companies like Dosist and Canndescent have created pens that aim to elevate your lifestyle by targeting your feelings with flower and cannabis pens labeled for their specific effect: calm, create, charge, arouse, sleep, relief. I also enjoy edible products like Kiva Confections and Plus Gummies. These treats allow me to have a little more control over my dosage and bring me an all-encompassing feeling of ease. I also highly recommend Papa & Barkley’s Releaf Capsule or balm for whole body relief. All of these are cannabis-derived CBD and THC products and can be purchased at your local dispensary.

Divorce is hard enough. So as you go through it, don’t forget the importance of rebalancing our imbalances, managing what may seem unmanageable, and taking control of living well. I found that adding a little CBD and cannabis to my routine did just that.

About the author, Alexa M. Steinberg, Esq.:

As part of the firm's Cannabis and Corporate Groups, Alexa Steinberg skillfully assists her clients in navigating the cannabis industry's complex legal terrain.

From corporate formation and governance, licensing, and compliance to business transactions, general business strategy, and investments, Alexa advises cannabis operators, brands, landlords, and investors on their business and legal matters.

With an intricate understanding of operations and compliance, Alexa‘s sharp skills working with startup and legacy operators throughout all levels of the supply chain on production and distribution contracts and management agreements, as well as sales, purchases, and transfers of state and local licenses are particular assets.

Alexa has extensive experience managing evolving local, state, and federal cannabis regulations, which combined with her keen sense of business strategy allows her to create the most effective solutions for her clients.

Not only an advocate for her clients, Alexa is also engaged with her community and is currently serving a two-year term as a Studio City Neighborhood Councilwoman. Elected to the Council Board in May 2019, Alexa has liaised with the Los Angeles City Council, District 2 Councilmember Paul Krekorian, the Los Angeles Department of Neighborhood Empowerment and Studio City residents, business owners, and stakeholders.

Alexa is often sought after by the media and conference organizers for her insights on topics related to cannabis business and regulatory law. She has been invited to participate in numerous panels all over Los Angeles, speaking on the topics of cannabis businesses, best practices, compliance and permitting. She also has sat on legal cannabis panels held by various law schools and business schools speaking on the topic of cannabis law, regulation, and industry climate.

To connect with Alexa, tap here. You can also hear her interview with Laura Wasser on Divorce Sucks! by clicking this link.