Stephanie Shehan, editor of Vegas Cannabis Magazine reached out to me asking if I would consider being a featured spotlight for their women's issue. I was humbled and beyond excited to have this opportunity. I wanted to share the article here for all of you to have a chance to read it and connect with me.
Meet Janelle Johngrass - The Woman Behind Know Mommy
Tell us about Know Mommy. What services do you offer? -
Know Mommy is an organization that offers opportunities for education, community building, and support for women and their families.
I work to educate and empower women on their paths to healthy pregnancies and healthy families. Know Mommy offers in person and online classes, support groups, and coaching about non-toxic home and personal care products.
Some of the topics I teach related to pregnancy and family health are:
-Preparing Your Body for Pregnancy
-Healthy Weight Gain
-Bonding with Your Baby
Some of the general health topics I teach are:
-Essential Oils for Immune Support
-Non-Toxic Cleaning and Body Care
-Natural Pain Management
Tell us about your background prior to forming Know Mommy -
Growing up I wanted to be an actress. I attended the Las Vegas Academy of Performing Arts and also Pebblebrook High School of the Performing Arts in Georgia. I earned a full-ride scholarship to Wright State University for acting but ended up having to leave college due to health issues.
After leaving college I felt lost for many years, bounced around from job to job before finding my calling as a certified Health Coach.
What made me want to be a health coach?
I was sick a lot as a child from digestive issues and debilitating eczema. Throughout my adolescence and into adulthood, I dealt with addiction which caused me to struggle with my physical and mental health. Growing up I was in and out of doctors’ offices.
As a teenager, I was misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder, manic depression, and at one point, schizophrenia. I was given numerous pharmaceuticals that were not effective and made my mental health issues worse. Some of the side effects I experienced were hysteria, mania, paralysis, confusion, tremors and suicidal thoughts.
When I was 18, I chose to stop all of the medications. Stopping cold turkey was not the best idea and I found myself heavily dependent on drugs and alcohol.
At 23, when I became sick of being sick and tired, I went to a doctor who took a full inventory of my life. He asked me what my daily mental mindset was, how I handled stress, how much I slept, what my exercise routine was, what I ate, and so on.
After I answered his questions, he said, “Janelle, you’re just not taking care of yourself. Eating a salad sometimes, riding a bike and writing in your journal isn’t enough to have whole body wellness.” This was the first time a doctor spoke to me about my daily lifestyle and how it impacted my body and mind.
I didn’t change my life right away but he planted a seed...what does it really mean to take care of yourself?
When I became pregnant at 24, I searched for support and information so that I could make informed choices regarding my pregnancy, birth, and the care of my newborn but I found myself lost in a sea of information and lacking the personal connection I deeply desired with other moms.
When I started learning about preventative care, natural solutions, and began incorporating lifestyle changes into my routine, my moods and digestive issues improved. The eczema cleared and I was finally able to sleep without using a pill.
I felt inspired to share this information with other women. Know Mommy and its mission to help families make educated, non-toxic choices regarding their family’s care was born from that experience.
What role does cannabis play in your life? -
I use cannabis when I feel overwhelmed, to increase my appetite and if I experience digestive upset. I teach people about using cannabis, CBD, and natural solutions to support their physical and emotional needs. I run a Cannabis in Motherhood group to help combat the stigma around cannabis consumption in motherhood.
Can you touch on the benefits of cannabis from a mom/woman's standpoint? -
Cannabis is such an incredible tool for women. The top reasons most women use it are pms, pain, digestive issues, and anxiety. Others use it to combat feelings of depression or the stress and demands of everyday life. Many women use it to feel more relaxed in the bedroom and have more fun between the sheets.
With more than 100 different terpenes in marijuana, the benefits are vast. If you don’t want any psychoactive properties you can use CBD. There are many ways you can consume cannabis: tinctures, salves, candies, flower, oils, and more. Anyone interested to receive its benefits can find a way that works for them.
Are there products/strains that you have found to be perfect for women? -
With so many strains and products, that comes down to personal choice. There are many options available; I recommend going to your local dispensary and speaking with a well informed bud tender for education and information.
Here is a general rule of thumb:
Indica tends to be more relaxing and gives you more of a body high. It is often used for nausea, anxiety, and pain. Due to its sedative effects it is often recommended for nighttime use.
Sativa tends to give you more of a head high and offers a more cerebral experience. Women often use sativa if they want to be more social, need more energy or to focus on a project. Due to its more uplifting and energizing properties, it is recommended for daytime use.
Hybrids are a cross between the two.
Tell us about your Cannabis in Motherhood support group. -
I started the Cannabis in Motherhood group a few months ago for women seeking an education, conversation, and community around cannabis. This group allows mothers to come together, gain education on using cannabis, and sharing stories. Cannabis in Motherhood is a pro-choice group. Only those who are in support of cannabis use in motherhood are welcome to attend.
This group is for women only, no men are allowed.This is an opportunity for women to talk about issues openly with other women. Kids are welcome to attend with their mothers.
No cannabis use is allowed at these meetings or on the premises. All laws must be respected and abided by. Cannabis is for people 21+ only. Nothing is for sale.
The group meets at Know Mommy’s office, 1800 Industrial, Suite 104A, LV, NV, on the 3rd Thursday of the month.
If there is a need, I will add additional days, times, and locations.
What issues/roadblocks do women/moms face in regards to cannabis? -
I think the biggest roadblock is the stigma and shame around marijuana. Cannabis has been illegal for so long and still is in many states. There are people who do not see it as a plant with medicinal properties but as a schedule 1 drug.
Many women who use cannabis feel shame due to the lack of support from family and friends. This lack of support often comes from a lack of education which then results in fear and anger towards the plant, the lifestyle, and those who use it.
The party culture has been associated with marijuana for so long, people often think “pothead” when they see or hear people talking about it which can then translates to drug addict. That impression is what needs to change in our culture.
Yes, it is true, there are some people that use cannabis that also use illegal drugs but the people that I know and discuss this topic with are not using illegal drugs.
Most of the women I know who use cannabis are mindful and nature based in how they live. They desire to combat their physical and emotional needs in a natural way. They love their children and want to be great mothers, humans, and leave the world a better place. Some women use cannabis for recreational use and some use it for medicinal; I think if women can sit down and have a glass of wine or use an ibuprofen without someone calling CPS, it’s time cannabis and the women who use it have the same respect.
How do you think we can overcome these roadblocks? -
Education and conversations. Advocates of cannabis do this by writing articles, running support groups like mine, Cannabis in Motherhood at Know Mommy, talking face to face, community outreach programs, getting the science and research out into the public, and being honest with family and friends that you are in support of cannabis.
As more people learn and see that human beings of all ages and in all stages of life use cannabis daily, the stigma against cannabis will breakdown and become normalized.
You offer essential oil guidance. How does cannabis coincide with essential oils? -
Thank you for asking that question. I am passionate about ending physical and mental suffering and educating people to be empowered in using natural tools to experience more hope, health, and happiness in their lives.
Cannabis and essential oils are amazing tools for the mind and body. They have many similar benefits; when used together they can create synergistic effects.
Terpenes are found in all plants; cannabis and essential oils have terpenes. I teach my clients which terpenes work to help specific ailments so they can use cannabis and essential oils more effectively.
I use a tool called an iTovi scanner which is a unique galvanic response tool that allows me to personalize my clients wellness plan. The iTovi scan tells me which doTERRA essential oil products my client’s body will respond to.
Knowing which oils the iTovi scan recommends allows me to know which strains of cannabis to also recommend which in conjunction with the oils is powerfully effective.
For example: If the scan recommends Black Pepper which is high in β-caryophyllene to help with pain and inflammation, I would recommend a strain that is high in β-caryophyllene like Death Star or Lemon G.
Do you need an appointment to visit Know Mommy? If not, when are you open? -
If you would like a private coaching session or to shop my product lines, it is by appointment only.
Weekly classes and events vary; you can find that information at: www.knowmommy.com or on Know Mommy’s FaceBook page: https://www.facebook.com/KnowMommy/
I also do pop up events around town such as at Market In The Alley and First Friday.
Can we follow you on social media? Website?
Yes! I appreciate my followers and run specials for them.
You can find me on FaceBook and Instagram: @knowmommy
Anything else you want to add? -
I want to mention that in addition the services I offer the Know Mommy office is available to rent for events and workshops. Please call or message me for pricing and availability.
Thank you for this opportunity to share my passion for natural health and wellness and to talk about Know Mommy and its mission. I look forward to connecting with your readers and empower their families to live healthier happier lives.