Susan Kaplow is an internet executive who lives in Brooklyn with her two teenage daughters, Evan and Claude, her husband Mark, and her dog Ori. Susan has been using CBD as part of her wellness routine for over two years and she cannot imagine living a healthy, productive life without it.
Wow. You’ve been using CBD for two years—you’re an early adopter. How and why did you start?
My husband was sampling different tinctures for an article he was editing about using CBD for athletic injuries. I tried some of the products he brought home and found that Charlotte's Web hemp oil was quickly becoming my new best friend. Just a dropper full at night helped me calm my nerves without feeling drugged or separated from my body and mind. With it, I slept better and felt relaxed, clear, motivated and connected into the next day.
Is that the only CBD product you take?
These days I’m taking a 2:1 ratio of CBD to THC and it’s the perfect blend for me. I don’t feel high, just very calm and present. A quarter of a gummy at night helps me breathe into the evening and reconnect with myself and my family. My favorite 2:1 gummy products are made by Wana, a female-run company based in Boulder, Colorado. I have a good friend who lives in Boulder and she sends them to me.
What’s your evening relaxation ritual?
After family dinner, doing the dishes, a load or two of laundry, taking out the recycling and responding to emails (whew)--I happily take my quarter of a gummy around 10:00 and run a hot bath. I’ll either read, listen to a podcast (I love the goop podcast, Oprah's SuperSoul Conversations, Call Your Girlfriend, The Cut on Tuesdays and Design Matters) or watch a show (nothing too stressful, my favorite series are Grace and Frankie, Atypical and Big Mouth) while I'm in the tub. Sometimes my husband and two daughters will come hang out and talk to me, but usually it's my time to be alone and chill.
What are your other self-care musts?
So many! I’m devoted to my morning two mile walks, practicing yoga with the Glo site and app at home, meditation with the Insight Meditation app at least 20 minutes a day, my matcha cacao oat milk lattes that jump-start my brain, listening to tons of music all the time (I keep WFUV on all day), burning Bodha Incense (I love the “Ground” blend), watching good movies with my family, eating my husband Mark’s amazing cooking, hanging with my daughters and snuggling with my dog every chance I get.
What unhealthy things have you stopped doing that you can’t believe you ever did?
I can’t believe I ever smoked cigarettes, but back in the 80’s when I was a teenager and in college, we all did. It took me a long time to quit: I was 31 and quit right before my wedding. I’ve never been a big drinker, so I’ve never been attached to alcohol. I gave up coffee a while ago--it’s never been good for my stomach or mood. I never take prescription drugs anymore, thanks to CBD. I used to have a nibble on half of Xanax every now and then, but no longer. These days we never order in take-out— that’s a good thing to give up. It’s much better to make yourself something simple and healthy. My favorite fast and easy dinner is roast potatoes and spinach on a corn tortilla with hot sauce.
What are you realizing about your well-being as you get older?
I'm 52 and I feel better than I ever have. What’s great as you get older is that you’re no longer trying to achieve a physical ideal. That’s not to say that you give up--far from it. But instead of focusing on being thin, you focus on staying healthy, keeping your joints, organs, and bones healthy, and keeping your brain curious and nimble. I think getting older is incredibly liberating. David Bowie said it best: An incredible thing happens as you get older--you become the person you were always meant to be. He’s right.
"David Bowie said it best: 'An incredible thing happens as you get older--you become the person you were always meant to be.' He’s right."
Editor's notes: interview conducted on November 12, 2018 and edited for length and clarity.