Blog

Pleased to Meet Me

You can never reboot yourself too many times, in my humble opinion.

I mean, we’re humans; we change, we grow. To stay static would be unnerving. I am not the same person I was at seventeen, at twenty seven, at thirty-nine. You get my point. So here is me: sort of rebooting myself. Rebooting how I want to engage in the cannabis space, how I want to work within it, and still be true to myself. 

Cannabis has been a life-changer for me. It has soothed my anxiety when I’m in stressful situations; it has relaxed me enough to sleep through the night. But as someone in alcohol recovery (a nice way of telling you I used to be a drunk), it also provided me with deep considerations about having it present in my life. For example, AA is not a model that works for me–there are many reasons, but that’s another time–because of the complete abstinence model. I take an SSRI for my anxiety and panic disorders; I confess I used alcohol as a substitute for years for my conditions, but it wasn’t until I finally got tired of the intrusive thoughts and depression, that I looked into actual prescribed medication. It helped me tremendously. For me, cannabis and my SSRI make my life much better. They both work in tandem to keep me on an even keel, and quite frankly, I know my husband much prefers being around stoned goofy me than dramatic drunk me. 

Right now one of the biggest accomplishments in my life is being sober. And I claim that word: sober. I claim it because my problem was alcohol; no other drugs were ever as appealing and as delicious as booze was, so honestly, if other sober people have a problem with me using that word, I am sorry but I do claim it. Alcohol is my demon that I guard against; cannabis and SSRI assist in keeping that wolf from the door. 

So this space and my business model will rely heavily on being true to yourself. Being aware of others’ judgements, including your own. I didn’t realize how much I was beating myself up for using cannabis at all until I realized that I dictate the terms of my recovery. My only goal is to not drink, and at no time during my use of cannabis recreationally or medicinally (I like the portmanteau “rec-dicinal” coined by Weed Mom Danielle Simone Brand) have I ever wanted to drink or do any other drug. Cannabis lets me get out of my own way.

Hi, I’m Marisa, and I’m a proud stoner. 

Update on the state of weed in Washington DC

Remember when I said that I wasn’t a huge fan of buying weed in Washington DC? 

I guess the city’s mayor has essentially said any DC resident can have a medical marijuana card to access the city’s legal medical dispensaries. This is part of a plan to crack down on the gray market “gifting shops.” But man, you will have to hand over a lot of info about yourself to get that card: SSN (Social Security Number), proof of DC residency, and photo. 

While I love the self-certifying part of having an MM card, I worry how that plays out in a country where it’s still federally illegal, no matter what legal state/district you live in. You have to ask: are you sure it was the hoops to get an MM card that made people use the gifting shops? Are you hoping to find scapegoats if this doesn’t work out?

I have briefly had an MM card here in Canada, but I didn’t find that it was any cheaper than going to my local dispo. True, you can claim it on your taxes, but dang how do medical cannabis patients afford it? In any case, godspeed, America’s Capital. I hope it works out.  

Microdose Week 1 – Are You Feeling Anything Yet?

As y’all know, I am over here microdosing this fine July and if you want more deets, check out this post.

So I am a week in, still on a tolerance break from cannabis to kinda clear the decks, and I am finding the whole process a little bewildering. I keep catching myself to see if it’s a placebo effect when it is Microdose Day, but I can definitely say I am cranky AF on Transition Day. Of course, I am not smoking weed, and I already know I get to be cranky AF during that time. Cannabis very much smooths out my anxious personality; it makes it easy for me to deal with minor stressors, and often, major ones too. For example, my partner and I went to ArtFest Kingston this past weekend, the first real crowd we’ve been in since the Pandy started, and I just wanted to smack everyone. I felt brittle and easily irritated. 

When I have pot in my system, I am much more chill. I am more liable to go with the flow. Pot keeps me grounded in the moment. Tolerance break week is me having a rough first few days and then things seem to even out towards the end of it. (Like, technically the day this blog is posted, my tolerance break is over. I will be in the yard smoking a joint if you need me.) The mushroom microdose is currently making me very energetic when I take it. It’s fun,mostly it feels like–to me, anyway–like having a shot of espresso alongside my coffee.

I had mentioned that my bestie and I have been trying to find a mild to moderate psychedelic experience because you know, that’s what weird middle aged ladies do. This is unquestionably not in either of those categories, but it’s an interesting endeavour to undertake. I wish you could find reliable sources for more intense dosing, or at least better information for laymen, but I won’t stop trying to find it. So many sources aren’t consistent in their dosing information, and I feel like anything that can use hallucinations or profound mental effects should be more uniform.

So that’s the Week One update! I am checking in about it daily on Instagram, so if you want to say hi, please do. 

I Was a Middle-Aged Psychonaut

One of the most memorable times I did hallucinogens in my teenage years resulted in being convinced for ages that the original Disney Lion King movie was merely an hour long. And I don’t know what it says about me that I opted to watch a Disney movie, tripping my face off, and then drove (!!) to a nearby Waffle House for coffee and eggs. I know it at least says “my god teenagers really do think they are immortal, don’t they?”

My experience with hallucinogens was strictly limited to LSD, never magic mushrooms. I have no idea how in a small Southern city surrounded by farmland I was never offered them, but there you go. I honestly have no idea how LSD was plentiful back then either. 

Truthfully, I’m a little scared of them. Stories about bad trips seem to be the norm when you think about trying them again, and so you shelve the idea. But now that the microdosing hallucinogens is a wellness trend, a productivity tool, maybe it’s the dose that determines your ultimate experience? Maybe it’s worth looking into?

The decision to try psilocybin microdosing this July was prompted by reading an extraordinary book by Ayelet Waldman, as well as a friend who was doing it and loved the results. If you were to ask me what I’m looking for out of this experiment, I’d say: “Clarity, maybe? More of a subliminal mood uplift?” I am not particularly interested in more “classic” effects of a magic mushroom trip at this stage, and the dose I’d be on isn’t close to giving me that anyway. 

I’ve long been a fan of the late Terence McKenna, one of the original psychonauts of the 60s and 70s, and while I won’t be joining him in his love of a “heroic dose” of hallucinogens, I am willing to see the possibilities from his point of view. So for the next 30 days, using the James Fadiman protocol, my 125 mg microdosing schedule will look like this:

  • Day 1 – Microdose
  • Day 2 – Transition Day
  • Day 3- Regular Day
  • Repeat

Cards on the table time. I did try a recreational dose of a magic mushroom chocolate bar when I was in Washington, DC, but as I already really stoned beforehand (edibles and flower), I can’t say for certain if I felt anything at all. 

I’ve been wrestling with cannabis consumption question for this 30 day experiment, and I don’t know where I’ll land with it. I take a tolerance break the first full week of every month, so we’ll go from there.

Because I am excited about doing this, I invite you to watch me check in daily on Instagram. Have you ever microdosed magic mushrooms or LSD? Do you have any advice? 

Drop a line in the comments! 

I Bought Weed in DC! (And I Hated It.)

I’d like to state for the record that I am very thankful that I was able to buy cannabis in DC more or less legally, but man, what an odd setup. 

Let me try to break it down for you: in 2014 the District of Columbia legalized recreational marijuana use by a landslide. Hooray! Break out the bong in public, right? Not so fast. Cannabis is still federally illegal, and because the District of Columbia isn’t a state, their laws are subject to review by a congressional committee. So Initiative 71 made possession, growing, and gifting legal but the actual selling of cannabis remained illegal. 

This has meant no real legal storefronts; no sharp-looking pot boutiques found in places like California or Colorado. No, this meant weed retailers had to work with the loophole in the law, thereby creating a very vibrant gift economy. From anywhere to $25 and up, you can “buy” a coffee cup or digital print for that cost and in return, you will be “gifted” whatever amount of weed you asked for. My example is that I bought some very good weed by pretending to have bought a digital print of, I dunno, a cat wearing a clown collar or something. So I’ve got no beef with the weed, but I do have a beef with the vibe. 

Every single one of them made you feel like a criminal, made you feel like you are a shady drug seeker. Talk about perpetuating the stigma! Every place I went to had big security hulks at the doors, and in one place, you had to place your phone in a lockbox. All of them were staffed by the kinds of guys who have probably been selling weed long before legalization and have about as much charm as a cactus. The spaces just felt like men’s spaces and despite the very good weed, I felt so out of place. I felt uncomfortable. 

It tends to be a bone of contention between legacy stoners and new stoners about the “new” representation of cannabis in culture. Having gone from “gateway drug” to “wellness tool” is a hell of a journey for the legacy folks and I understand. But I also understand that the newest generation of legacy stoners will be us Gen Xers. 

And honestly? As a woman, I prefer the shiny slick stores or that gorgeous one in Picton, Ontario that looks like an apothecary over feeling ashamed as I slink into a place that exists on the fringe of legality. I feel seen and safe, and I feel proud of my pre-roll purchase because I don’t have to hide. I don’t want my love of weed to be a shame, and it feels like DC keeps doing the walk of it. 

When Your Get Up and Go Got Up and Went

Well, that was quite a long winter, wasn’t it?

The past few months have been something of a blur to me in the worst ways: terrible weather, low emotional ebbs, and just generally a feeling of aimlessness. There is no reason at all that this particular past cold season should have laid me so low, but here we are. Well, there we were.

Good things happened: I graduated from the Cannabis Coaching Institute, I set up a Saturday Night Sesh for fellow lady stoners, and am hunkering down to properly launch and properly work in this field. If you let me, I will talk your ear off about cannabis, and I genuinely enjoy sharing this knowledge with others. I believe it can change your life if you want.

So here’s me apologizing for not keeping up my blog. One of my favourite ladies, Megan Hamilton, isn’t wrong in that regular blogging is good for business, as well as continually committing to what moves you. I am learning to schedule my time better when it comes to this job. I can’t complain that the needle doesn’t move if I don’t do anything to move it.

Look for new entries on Thursdays. I am going to start talking about terpenes, cannabis trends, product reviews, that sort of thing. And if you’ve been checking back to see if I have written anything new, I appreciate you coming by. Thank you.

And Then the Next Thing You Know

If you had told younger me that my current career path is being a professional stoner with an eye to women’s health, I’d have probably laughed at you.

In a text conversation with one of my oldest friends–who has always been a stoner, and proud of it–asked me how I hopped aboard “the Ganja Train,” as he put it. I’d like to say I had a nice and tidy response, but it took me a while to think and respond. Eventually I shared it was a combination of two factors: curiosity about legal cannabis and subsequent sobriety from alcohol. It wasn’t that I had never smoked weed before; I had, but I had never bought it or sought it out, having inherited the mixed messaging about weed and alcohol. Alcohol was legal and easy to get whereas weed came with the possibility of a criminal record.I never wanted to mix weed and alcohol together, so when my drinking ceased, my interest in cannabis blossomed.

I feel like I know what you’re going to say: Did you just trade one addiction for another? Believe me, it’s the same question I asked myself at the time. I wish I could tell you how I knew it was different, but it was. Cannabis didn’t leave me with erratic mood swings, potential self-harm, and a need for more and more. It mostly left me relaxed, sleepy, and apparently goofy, if my partner is to be trusted. It made me more present in my burgeoning witchcraft, made me appreciate lazy walks around my city, and it definitely made me happier. I didn’t realize that this was what cannabis could do. I believed all the lies, all the stigma, and was shocked when none of it was true.

I became obsessed with finding cannabis books to read, wanting to know more and wanting content geared towards female smokers as well. I wanted to be part of this plant’s impact on the world, and I couldn’t figure out how to do that. Enter the unexpected good fortune of winning a full scholarship to the Cannabis Coach Institute, and here we are. I am combining my love of this plant with a passion to use it to educate and liberate my fellow folx.

Cannabis inspires me to be my best self. I’ve seen how it can change your life for the better. So here I am, on the Ganja Train as my old friend describes it. I am glad to be here; I’m just sorry it took so long. Would anyone else like to join me? 

G.Y.O.W. (Grow Your Own Weed)

I’m getting ready for my second homegrow this year.

Full disclosure: I am not a gardener. I am what I like to call “an aspirational gardener.” I love the concept of growing your own veg, being more self-reliant, etc, but the execution fails me. I just do not have the zen or temperament for gardening. Honestly, when the summer days are upon us, I flee for shade because your girl is a Southerner and we stay inside when it’s frigging hot. Unless we are at the beach, there is no reason to be outside in the heat.

So it’s my lack of green thumb that made me hesitate to grow my own weed. I read up on indoor systems, thinking that it would be easier than trying to pretend I liked being outdoors tending to plants. I drew up ideas, searched for a kit to make the indoor grow dream happen, but as I read more and researched, I realized that: whoa there is a lot to this and this might not work either. Adding nutrients at what stage? Constructing a light tight space for your girls? A pulley system for being able to move the lights as they grow? Uh, I just wanted to grow my own cannabis, dammit! I didn’t want an additional hobby!

Jettisoning the indoor grow idea, I took a more serious look at an outdoor grow. I was buoyed by the adage that if you can grow tomatoes, you can grow pot. I have managed to grow tomatoes at various points in my life, despite a dark brown thumb, so I decided to order some fabric pots (they aerate the soil well), some high quality potting soil purchased at a local hydroponics store, and of course, seeds. I decided which part of the yard the girls were going to live in, and vowed to myself they would get the best of care.

And they did, for the most part. Some mornings I forgot to water them before going to work; other days I spent time outside, talking to them, trimming fan leaves. I was amazed how Nature just did so much of the heavy lifting. They went from decent seedlings to beautiful bushy babes (uh, sorry), and I got to watch their entire life unfold before my eyes. I learned how cool growing your own medicine is, and wow, why aren’t more people growing their own weed??

Seriously, if you can, grow at least one plant. 

I will be germinating my seeds probably late February, early March, but as all vegetable gardeners know, the best part before that is choosing your seeds. I have a single Bubba Kush seed; I have got my eye on some 1:1 seeds on the OCS website to make up the rest of the legal three I’m allowed to grow without a medical card. I will resolve to keep better notes, maybe train the branches for a larger yield. 

I am hoping you will do the same. Grow your own weed. Watch the amazing process from a seed to the plant that helps you so much. 

C is for Cannabis Cookie

Edibles are a good time. 

No, wait, come back! I know you had a horrible experience with edibles and thought your vacuum cleaner was your enemy before you realized you didn’t even own a vacuum cleaner. I understand, I get you, greening out is no fun. But I promise you that if you adhere to the time tested stoner adage of “go low and slow,” you will enjoy edibles and maybe even start making your own (which are better anyway). In fact, let me give you a starter recipe that is pretty easy and will, if you’re so inclined, get you very very high but in a good way. Heck, even if you want to just get mildly high, even a piece of one of these cookies will get you there. 

But first things first: you must decarb your weed. Now contrary to what movies and TV tell you, you will not get high if you eat raw (i.e., not lit) weed. Actually, raw weed contains some lovely cannabinoids called CBDa and THCa that have a whole host of good non-high uses, but that’s another blog. No, in order to reach that lovely euphoria most cannabis users crave, you must gently grind your weed, toast your weed at a low temperature, and that releases the goodness we are looking for. Time-honored ways of doing this usually involve your oven or a slow cooker, but since that’s getting a little involved, have a look at The Loud Bowl’s mason jar method. Before I invested in a LEVO II for Christmas 2020, this was a method I used and I always had good results. Decarbing your cannabis should always be your first stop before making anything.No decarb = no high, simple as that.

Next you’re going to infuse your weed into butter, oil, ghee, coconut oil, etc. Weed is lipophilic, which means it LOVES to bind with fat molecules. If you’re not vegan–like me–go wild and make seriously delicious cannabutter; in fact, Laurie Wolf, the “Martha Stewart of Marijuana Edibles”, has a very easy way to make your own right here. I’ve been veganizing Laurie’s recipes as I find them and so far she has not steered me wrong. 

Speaking as a pretty regular consumer, a batch of cannabis oil stored properly will last you a long time. And honestly, it’s good for more than edibles. I have a cannabis science teacher who swears by infused olive oil for her son’s eczema. I have another who uses a coconut oil base to make hand lotion. Cannabis oil/butter is pretty magical stuff.

But we just have one issue: determining potency.

Well, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that if you use flower purchased from a dispensary, the label plus a potency calculator like the one my science teacher uses here, you can get a very good idea of potency per batch. The bad news is that if you grow your own, the best you can do is find out the rough THC/CBD percentage of your chosen cultivar and go from there with the calculator. I grow my own and err towards heavy body stone cultivars in the Kush family, so I know that I need to be careful when eating a piece of a treat. Either way, remember: go low, go slow. You can always add but you can’t take away, okay? 

Let’s get to the cookies. These were a) delicious cookies with no weed taste which is a bonus, and b) ass kickers. Using my own homemade infused coconut oil using my own home grown weed, these were powerful enough that I couldn’t eat a whole cookie. A half cookie and I was a piece of very contented furniture in the evening. Oh, and I veganized them which I suspect made them more fragile than if they had been made with animal fat and eggs. 

So without further ado:

Laurie Wolf’s Small Batch Peanut Cookies

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Total time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

1 cup natural peanut butter

4 tablespoons canna-butter, softened

½ cup white sugar

½ brown sugar

½ cup flour

1 egg 

Pinch of salt

Heat oven to 340F. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Stir until smooth. Divide the dough into fifteen balls and press them down on a baking sheet covered with parchment. Bake until set and until the edges have the slightest bit of colour, about 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool for 15 minutes. Cookies will get firm during the cooling process. Enjoy responsibly.

I don’t have to tell you to label and safely store ANY edibles away from children, do I?

Good. Now go make cookies, eat a half cookie, wait a couple of hours before eating another cookie, and thank me later.

(if you made these cookies, you go find me on Instagram and tell me what happened.)

Booze content okay, but weed content bad

When you undergo cannabis education, whether it be coaching or another role in legal weed, you start to understand why most LPs and cannabis-related businesses can disappear overnight on social media. In fact, you understand why so many of them have back-up accounts included in their bios. It’s because, even if one resides in a legal state/country, the mere mention of cannabis begins the klaxons of morality and “community guidelines.” Giant social media companies tend to be based in places where cannabis is either illegal or legal areas are patchy. And if you don’t want to get in trouble, you police your content fairly tightly. You pull videos and posts, shadowban folx whose passion is a plant, and generally make your space very 420-unfriendly. 

I encountered this phenomenon last week when I posted a pretty damned innocuous TikTok video about my Top Three Cannabis books for Beginners. I literally did a 15 second video of three book covers, made the rookie mistake of using cannabis as a hashtag in it, and WHOA there goes the morality police shaking their finger at me. I contested the deletion–and it eventually came back in my favour–but for shits and giggles, I decided to do a quick hashtag search on TikTok for alcohol-related posts. Wow, we got about 6.4 billion views under the vodka hashtag alone, and oh yeah oh yeah, it’s videos of young people doing shots and dangerously drinking. Okay, okay, how about just alcohol? Holy cow, so another few million and it’s all portraying alcohol–a known carcinogen–as basically Funtime Forever? Hell, even the cringey hangover videos still had a touch of “lol yup I feel like shit but hey gonna do it again” about them. So this tells me what the community feels is appropriate, and somehow cannabis use isn’t it.

I assure you that I am not coming at this from a killjoy angle. Fun fact: I am in alcohol recovery, will celebrate my 3-year soberversary this February, and this is the kind of content that can keep folx like me from realizing their addiction. Alcohol is so deeply ingrained in our culture that we never question how it really affects our bodies. Alcohol is one of the leading causes of injury and death in Canada; meanwhile, cannabis is over here being touted as a gateway drug leading kids to jump out windows or go on murder sprees. 

As the owner of a very sodden history, I can assure you that cannabis has never led me to do the following real life things:

  • Drive impaired, eventually being arrested
  • Dial friends and weep
  • Make terrible intimacy decisions
  • Pick fights with partners

Near as I can tell, adult cannabis use has me laughing at my own dumb jokes or napping, both of which I’ll take over a night in jail or embarrassed hungover apologies. 

Can you find cannabis content on social media? You sure can; it just seems harder than it needs to be to find new followers, new accounts, or hashtags to join the conversation.

As I learn to navigate platforms hostile to a plant, I also learn how incredibly creative cannabis creators can be with their hashtags and profiles. And while I love to see it, they also shouldn’t have to. Cannabis legalization continues to gain momentum, and there is no reason why we have to wait on the whole world to fully embrace legality to celebrate a pretty damned amazing plant. Meanwhile, I will continue to call out the double standards as I see them, as well as fight for the right to bring a little green into the everyday.