Today we’re joined by Laurel Pantin, a renowned editor, stylist, and the creative force behind two of our favorite newsletters, Earl Earl & Your Mom. Laurel opens up about her cannabis journey, revealing how she incorporates weed into her life as a powerful tool for managing anxiety and becoming a more patient parent. She also shares valuable tips on discovering your personal style and embracing sustainability in your wardrobe. Join us for an insightful conversation that explores the multifaceted world of fashion, cannabis, and the art of mindful motherhood.
Ellen Scanlon (00:00):
This podcast discusses cannabis and is intended for audiences 21 and over.
Laurel Pantin (00:06):
It sounds counterintuitive that something that I was using to check out can make me feel more present, but it really does make me feel like I’m able to enjoy the sensory aspect of where I am and worry less about everything else, live less in the future, and just be more in that experience with them.
Ellen Scanlon (00:24):
Welcome to How To Do The Pot, a podcast helping you feel confident about cannabis. I’m your host, Ellen Scanlon. You just heard from California-based Laurel Pantin, an editor, stylist, and the writer of two very successful newsletters, Earl Earl and Your Mom.
I reached out to Laurel in a totally cold email at 10:00 one night after reading a newsletter she wrote called Your Mom’s Guide to Getting Stoned. She wrote about how she loves to get a teeny tiny baby bit stoned, the rules she developed for herself around how she consumes and some of her favorite products.
I was extremely excited because it’s not every day that one of my favorite creators writes about weed. And then Laurel wrote me right back. When we talked, I learned more about how she loves weed and very happily micro doses cannabis. Whether you are into fashion or not, many of you are also really into microdosing cannabis.
Our episode about microdosing is one of our most popular shows. I’ll link to it in the show notes if you haven’t listened yet. This is kind of a special episode for me because fashion and weed are two of my passions. I love reading Laurel’s fashion focused newsletter Earl Earl and have bought some of my favorite things on her recommendations.
Reading Earl Earl makes me feel like I have a very stylish friend giving me cool outfit ideas because she really wants me to feel my best. I highly recommend it. In today’s episode, Laurel’s going to share how she incorporates cannabis into her life as a tool for managing anxiety and as a secret weapon for being a more patient parent. We’ll get her tips on how to find your personal style and how to be more sustainable with what you wear.
I had a long journey to becoming a mother and faced many years of unexplained infertility. If motherhood is a difficult topic for you, please know that in this episode we will be talking about it.
I am thrilled to share some very exciting news. How to Do The Pot has been nominated for two Signal Awards. The Signal Awards seek to honor and celebrate the people and content that raise the bar for podcasting. I’m honored that we’ve been nominated alongside popular shows like The Problem with John Stewart and On Purpose with Jay Shetty.
We’re nominated in two categories, The Best Conversation Starter show and in the Advice and How To category. Voting for How to Do the Pot helps normalize the conversation around cannabis and I appreciate the support for the show so much. Please vote today and I’ll add a link to the show notes.
If you like fashion and this is the first that you’re hearing about Laurel’s newsletter, Earl Earl, this is your lucky day. Earl Earl has a loyal following of people who love Laurel’s fashion tips and that she doesn’t shy away from writing about complicated topics, whether it’s about style, about being a woman or being a mother of young kids who consumes cannabis. She shares how it started.
Laurel Pantin (04:28):
Earl Earl is a newsletter that I started during the pandemic. I have always really loved writing and at various points in my career I was a fashion editor and then a writer. I worked for a digital publication that valued these personal stories and confessional stories or things that you could be really funny or you could be a little bit more creative and that is where I feel like I’m the best.
Ellen Scanlon (04:56):
The pandemic moved Laurel unexpectedly from New York to her hometown of Austin, Texas with a brand new baby and a toddler. It was a tough time and she was looking for a creative outlet.
Laurel Pantin (05:11):
My second child was born at the very beginning of the pandemic in March, 2020 in New York City. I was very, very New Yorker nowhere. I never wanted to leave, but we practically couldn’t make our lives work there during the pandemic with a two-year-old and a two week old in our apartment and ended up driving down to Austin thinking we were going to be there for two weeks and we never went back to our apartment in New York.
I was just so lonely and heartbroken and missing my friends and I had all of these feelings that I didn’t really know what to do with so I just started writing this newsletter. The response was wonderful and I started to feel like it was making a difference to people or made them feel, “That’s exactly the thing I’m feeling.”
I love being able to nail a thought or an emotion that’s really, really abstract and so that’s kind of where it went from there. That’s it, Earl Earl just primarily shopping links but not with the intention of making people buy into trends or buy into things that don’t feel authentic to them or things that I don’t really believe in. It’s basically wardrobe classics at five different price points.
You don’t actually need that many things and maybe it’ll help you see something that you already have in a new context.
Ellen Scanlon (06:26):
Laurel’s second newsletter, Your Mom, had a different inspiration.
Laurel Pantin (06:31):
The thing that outside of my professional world I’m very interested in is the ideas around motherhood and your identity. I’m not interested in parenting techniques or childhood development. I’m interested in being a woman, all of the expectations that are put on you and the way that your life changes.
I want to talk about what that was like for me and I want to also hear about what it was like for other people, but I wanted it separate from Earl Earl so that people who don’t have children or are having a hard time or don’t want to read about children with Earl Earl don’t feel alienated by it.
Ellen Scanlon (07:12):
Laurel dabbled in weed when she was in her 20s working in magazines and living in New York City. After having kids, she worried that consuming cannabis would increase her anxiety.
Laurel Pantin (07:25):
I was pregnant and afterwards I had really bad postpartum anxiety. Then I got pregnant again pretty quickly and was nursing and we were in Austin and weed wasn’t readily available. I just felt so on the verge all the time anyway that I was worried that if I got stoned it would just send me over the top into this crazy anxiety spiral, which I’m prone to.
Ellen Scanlon (07:46):
When I talked to parents who are curious about cannabis as a way to lower stress, often they tell me that they’re kind of scared to experiment. What if they feel worse, more anxious too high and then have to manage responsibilities with their kids?
For Laurel, once she was living in California with legal adult use, she felt more comfortable trying cannabis as a way to manage anxiety and the experimentation period was a little rocky. She decided to create some rules for herself around consumption.
Laurel Pantin (08:21):
I have really severe anxiety and I can be kind of intolerable when I’m having a period of intense anxiety. I don’t have much patience. It seems to really help with that, the weed, and make it better.
When I find that something is helping, I’m super all or nothing, so I’m like, “Okay, it’s helping. I’m just going to wake up, have a five milligram gummy.” Four hours later, have another one. Four hours later, have another one and just be stoned all day.
Not during the work week, but on the weekends I would kind of just be stoned all day. Then it started to feel like I was self-medicating again and just chilling myself out into this fog where everything’s cool. But then when it would start to wear off, I was even more irritable than I was before.
I was also, I love to sleep. I would take a five milligram gummy formulated for sleep when my kids were in the bath, so it started to work right as I was putting them down to bed. Then I would go lay down in my bed and I would go to sleep at the same time as them. And once a month or twice a month, that’s great to do that and to go to bed at 8:00 PM and sleep 12 hours, that feels great, but when you’re doing it every night, it started to just feel like I was sleeping through my life.
So then I had to create these rules about when I could and couldn’t get stoned so that I just didn’t fall into this pleasure zone of always being high. Because it does feel very good.
Ellen Scanlon (09:50):
So how did Laurel come up with the rules that work best for her?
Laurel Pantin (09:54):
I started dabbling more after they had gone to bed or when I knew I was going to be with other trusted adults and I started out tiny. I would take a nibble off of an edible and what I realized is sativa upness just makes my anxiety run free and that’s when I start to get really paranoid.
So I discovered that it was more of a blend that makes me feel good and that I could work through the right amount and how it was going to make me feel. Doing it kind of more in private or at home at night before I was ever going to try being out in the world with my family feeling stoned.
There were some weekends where my husband will be driving and we’ll go to Malibu or we’ll go to do something and as we’re running out the door, I’ll just take a tiny nibble or a half of an edible and it’s not really even enough for probably anyone to notice anything. When I’m out in nature, I feel so much better and I’ve started leaving my phone at home and taking all these other steps to feel more present and to be more aware of my surroundings and more aware of my kids.
It sounds counterintuitive that something that I was using to check out can make me feel more present, but it really does make me feel like I’m able to enjoy the sensory aspect of where I am and worry less about everything else. Live less in the future and just be more in that experience with them.
Ellen Scanlon (11:15):
Laurel writes about how she likes to get a teeny tiny baby bit high, micro stoned. I asked her what it feels like.
Laurel Pantin (11:25):
It’s like you’re running out the door with your family to go do something fun and you think like, “Oh my God, maybe I’ll just have a tiny bite off this edible.” So you nibble the corner off and you sort of forget that you’ve had it and an hour later you’re laughing extra hard at something your kids did.
You don’t feel high and you don’t have a body high. Everything’s just a little bit happier and funnier and easier, and then the wind blows on your skin or the sun’s on your skin and it feels just like a little bit extra good and you have more patience. For me, the patience piece is really important.
Your kids are taking extra long to get out of the car or get back into the car, but it’s fine, whatever. You’re stretchier a little bit. That is the feeling.
Ellen Scanlon (12:11):
The transition to becoming a mother and parenting young kids can be really hard. Laurel is sharing her story because she thinks weed helps her to be a better mom.
Laurel Pantin (12:23):
I think that parenthood should you choose to do it is amazing. It unbelievably challenging and you can’t explain to someone before they go into it how literally everything they do is going to change seemingly overnight. And whatever you can find to make yourself feel a little bit cared for is worth pursuing. Whether it’s weed, exercise, anything that can help you come to terms with becoming a new person literally overnight is helpful.
It’s such a huge shift in all the practical aspects of your life and then in every aspect of your identity. I think as a woman, I got really caught up in the beginning in what I call the unfairness spiral where I was like, “Well, my husband can leave and go out in the world and no one’s like, ‘Hey mama, how are you?'” I was like, “I don’t want to be called mama. I don’t even want anyone to know that I have a kid.”
Even if you have the most helpful partner in the world who’s sharing the labor with you 50/50, it’s still your body and it’s still an identity shift you have to come to terms with. So just giving yourself the permission to explore whatever it is that’s going to make you feel better is really valuable. I think it helps me be a better mom.
It helps me be more present, which at the end of the day is like I’m five years in, I’m finding is the most important part of being a good parent is just not worrying about your phone, not worrying about the future. Just being there and available and open-minded for your child, whatever gets you there is 100% worth pursuing.
Ellen Scanlon (14:05):
Laurel is great at helping people look and feel their best and she keeps it simple. I really wanted her to give me, I don’t know, five perfect style tips that would change my outlook on my clothes. And when I asked her for these tips, her answer reminded me of what I say a lot to you on this show.
I’m here to help you feel confident about cannabis and you’ll have to experiment a bit to find what’s best for you. Laurel’s approach with fashion is similar. She asks, “When do you feel good in your clothes?”
Laurel Pantin (14:44):
I get asked so many questions about what should I invest in or what should I buy this season? And I think my answer is kind of a non-answer. It’s sort of a punt back to the person who’s asking me a question, which is really just how do you live? And to think more about how you live and the things that make you feel really good rather than what someone is telling you you should buy because they think you should buy it.
I think denim is an excellent example. Historically there was this season, it’s low cut, boot cut jeans. Then it’s mom jeans, and it’s all these different things that people are trying to sell you or trying to get you to try. It’s a good example because everyone’s body is so different and everyone’s style is so different that you can’t tell someone that they need to buy wide leg jeans if they just don’t look good on them.
So it’s not really a tip. It’s more just ignore what anyone else says and think more about yourself. Do you sit at a desk or do you chase your kids around or are you outside all day or do you sit in a car? What’s going to be comfortable physically on you and then how are you actually wearing your clothes?
Ellen Scanlon (15:47):
As a person who loves fashion, I also know that the fashion industry has been a major contributor to climate change. My son was born on Earth Day. I really care about the climate and the future we are leaving to our children. I asked Laurel how fashion and sustainability are evolving.
Laurel Pantin (16:10):
I try and get people to consider what you already own. If you have a pair of black pants that you already own and you really love and you feel great in them every time you wear them, but you think you can only wear them to the office because they’re like quote unquote “office pants,” try them with a tank top. Try them with something that’s not something you’d wear to the office and kind of play with what you have before you bring in new things.
I love a sustainable brand, but there’s obviously a lot of green washing and it’s difficult to know how true the statements are that designers and brands are making when they claim sustainability or they claim eco-friendliness. But another element to sustainability and fashion that I think is equally, if not more important, is just not over consuming. It’s buying what you need and really wearing the things you have.
So taking into consideration how much something is going to make your life easier or if you’re not even ever going to think about it again once it’s in your closet. Just really taking into consideration how much you actually will use something before buying it.
I was talking to my friend Delphine, who’s French. She’s always posting these, “The 10 secrets of French girls.” She just thinks it’s ridiculous and funny. She’s like, “We just wear our clothes. You buy a beautiful cashmere sweater and you don’t save it for a special occasion, you just wear it.” That also makes your clothes look more beautiful when they’ve been worn and enjoyed.
You just have to decide to wear the stuff you have and not save it for a special occasion. You never know if it’s going to come around.
Ellen Scanlon (17:35):
I hope you’ll check out Laurel’s newsletters, Earl Earl and Your Mom. You can find both on Substack and I’ll add links in the show notes. Laurel has one last great tip about jewelry and making memories with your personal style.
Laurel Pantin (17:52):
Jewelry’s tricky because it is so sentimental in the way that clothes wear out, it usually doesn’t wear out. But when I feel the urge to buy a piece of jewelry, I think, again, “How much am I going to wear this?” Because most of the pieces that I have when I die one day, I want my kids to say, “Mom wore this all the time.” I want them to get it and to really feel like it was a part of me and my life and that our memories are tied to that thing.
Is this going to be something that I wear enough that my kids will see it one day and remember the time that I picked them up from preschool and took them to get ice cream and whatever. They’re not going to remember preschool but you know what I mean. It just kind of all goes back to the same idea of how much use will this thing get and how much value will it add to my life.
I wrote about this in one of my newsletters, but I cleaned out 75% of my closet and same with my jewelry box. There’s just so much in there that I will never wear again. It’s not comfortable. I don’t change out my jewelry that much and it feels great to be able to set these things free and then hopefully someone else can have them and appreciate them.
Ellen Scanlon (18:58):
Next week we turn our attention back to women’s health and begin our new series All About Menopause. So many women may already be experiencing perimenopause or menopause without even knowing it. It can start as early as your late 30s. There are more than 30 symptoms and it affects every woman differently. In this series, we’ll share how to find good information if your doctor doesn’t know a lot about menopause.
We’ll dig into why women are trying cannabis for relief from symptoms like sleep challenges, low libido, hot flashes, or for managing mood swings. We’ll hear from medical experts, cannabis experts, and women of all ages who offer practical tips and advice that I hope you’ll share with all your friends. Stay tuned.
Thank you for listening to How To Do The Pot. For lots more information and past episodes visit dothepot.com. Are you one of the thousands of people who love How To Do The Pot newsletter? If you’re not getting it, please sign up at dothepot.com. And if you like How To Do The Pot, please rate and review us on Apple Podcasts. It really helps people find the show.
Thanks to our producers, Madi Fair and Nick Patri. I’m Ellen Scanlon and we’ll be back soon with more of How To Do The Pot.