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JADEO Women's Health 6 days ago / Toronto, Ontario


Women In Cannabis Wednesday: Edition 9 - Hayley Dineen and Lana Van Burnt

In this week’s Women in Cannabis Wednesday, JADEO catches up with the high vibing duo behind Sackville + Co., a contemporary, design focused cannabis lifestyle brand. Here business partners Hayley Dineen and Lana Van Burnt share what inspired them to get into business, the value of social platforms in building an independent brand, and what they are hanging their stars on next.

To begin, tell us about your company. What is Sackville + Co.?

Hayley: Sackville + Co is a design focused cannabis lifestyle brand. We want to bring a new aesthetic to the space that has a lot of value to us, and to the space. The brand helps people take their consumption outside the dark. The same way you’d have a beautiful bar cart to host family or friends, we wanted to take cannabis and put it in the same light.

Lana: We are just acknowledging its commonplace in your lifestyle. Like, if friends came over for a drink. We create accessories that people are proud to show off and represent that aspect of their lifestyle.

How did two you meet?

Hayley: We met pretty organically. Around the fall of 2017 Lana was working at Vice with my husband when we first started chatting. We both had a vision and a dream of the type of brand we wanted to bring to market. After a few conversations we figured out that we saw the same vision and we saw the same future. That’s kind of what got us to launching Sackville + Co. to start. We actually launched as a lifestyle brand before legalization was even announced, so that when it was announced, it was like “ok now let’s go into hyperdrive.”

We weren’t sure how we were going to launch the brand and they when they announced October 17th would be the day of legalization we were like oh wow! And the date also happened to be my birthday, so we took that as a big sign from the Universe!

Lana: We were thinking about our experiences and of the female experience in general of going into a head shop and how, it’s wasn’t really a friendly or inviting place. There was nothing that represented cannabis the way that I buy all of the rest of the products in my home and my life: the way I buy clothes, the way I buy everything else. Thinking about all this, we just recognized at the time that this was not the future.

How did you figure out your distinct roles within a partnership?

Hayley: It’s funny it actually wasn’t a conversation but we realized we had very different skill sets.

Lana: We kind of joke how it’s just so inherent to us, because it’s a small business, we both do everything in a way.

Who we are, the way we approach things, is just so complementary that there’s really no question of who owns what when. And since we talk 400 times a day it’s pretty easy to separate the who what when.

What about your backgrounds has prepared you to run this company?

Hayley: My background is in fashion. I lived in England for 7 years where I worked for a bunch of different luxury fashion brands. As well I worked for the ITC doing consulting, then when I moved back to Toronto I took over as design director for October’s Very Own where I was doing a bit more streetwear stuff.

With Sackville + Co we’ve tied that all of our experience into the brand synergistically. We’ve talked about this before but for so long, there’s only been one real aesthetic that went along with cannabis culture which had a headshoppy, masculine kind of look. So we just wanted to spice it up.

Lana: I came from traditional advertising, then worked in music for a while, then media, then business development… so I round out the other end of Hayley.

How do you know how to go from having a job to knowing how to run a company?

Lana: You don’t, you learn. It’s on the job learning. You don’t give up. One foot in front of the next constantly… (laughing) with a blindfold on, holding hands.

How do you feel about being female founders and independent?

Lana: It’s something that, in our day to day we aren’t overly focused on it. We are doing this out of an inherent desire. We recognize it, we see it, we’re conscious of it, and we’ve kinda had our own experiences - but It’s like emblematic of a lot of things and we hope to see the industry level out a bit.

Hayley: Ya I mean, I think you hope that generally in society, in this industry but also in every other industry, that we are working towards more equal opportunity for women, and more diversity in all aspects of business. It’s something we all have to be fighting for to make that change.

Lana: The good thing is that for the women that are in the industry, it’s a very tight knit community. Everyone is incredibly supportive and I think the way that we all operate with each other is going to inspire more women to get involved in the industry. The whole environment is really quite incredible.

Hayley: People really hold each other up and I think that’s really important.

What were your thoughts about the cannabis industry before you founded your company? What were your concerns?

Hayley: Well, I think Canada is a difficult place to operate in, in that it’s so heavily regulated. We aren’t doing consumable, we do a lot of lifestyle goods that are outside of consumables, like candles, or jars, so we have found a path that works for us. When we first started of course we had dreams of being more in the flower side. As you get more involved and learn more, you realize that flower is one part of a massive industry that has many other really vital arms to it. There are so many ways you can be in the industry without touching flower.

Lana: As much as if feels like it’s everything we talk about, everything we do, it’s funny how you get isolated in this cannabis industry warpzone and you realize other people are not as in it.

Hayley: I think that’s one of the things I’ve learned is that people inside the industry don’t have a realistic viewpoint of how people see cannabis outside of it. People are still learning, it’s so new for so many people! For example people think that putting cannabis cream on your body will get you high, or people have assumptions built from anti-cannabis propaganda. People often think the consumer is way far ahead of that, but really they’re looking to learn the basics.

What has the journey taught you? Loves / dislikes? Challenges?

Lana: It’s funny we talk about this a lot. It’s very much, starting a business and being an entrepreneur is a rollercoaster and the cannabis industry is a whole new set of ups and downs. But, every part of it is wildly rewarding: the challenges, the relationships that we are building along the way. Even just personally, the amount of growth we’ve both seen personally in the last year

Hayley: They always say this, but it’s so true: you learn so much more by getting involved and getting your hands-dirty. And the more that you do, the more that you learn, and the more you figure out how to do it better. It’s a wild ride!

Lana: I think the biggest thing we’ve really learned is that it’s honestly just persistence. It is just, no matter what, taking a step forward every day. You don’t always know in what direction.

What kind of milestones have you hit since you launched?

Hayley: the OCS deal was a big milestone for us.

Lana: We have aggressive timelines, the OCS one was a big one, and now we’re moving into larger wholesale contracts and International distribution. There’s a lot of pieces for us as we always have our sight set 10 steps ahead. So, while there’s been some really great milestones and I think we just see all the other things that we’re excited to step into.

How has instagram helped platform your brand? Are you worried about our account being taken down?

Hayley: It’s been an interesting one. In terms of brand awareness I would say world-of-mouth has been the most important. We’ve participated in a few in-person events like rolling salons or things like that, and It’s been amazing because people get to touch and try the product. From all the feedback we’ve gotten people really love the product and that’s what it comes down to at the end of the day.

Lana: Instagram’s been incredible for creating relationships. We talk to so many entrepreneurs in the space. Our brand is really rich within music, art, fashion, culture those kinds of things. We’ve had a lot of relationships built through that social network.

Hayley: All through those DMs baby! I mean it’s true though, you’re able to connect with people you would never connect with otherwise.

Lana: It allows us to connect globally. One of our big pillars is our artist collaborations, and we’ve created some great relationships Internationally with women who are creating artisanal products worldwide and it’s all been through that platform. It is a great way to meet people with shared values.

Hayley: Ya, we are about to release our next collaboration with an artist in Mexico, which will be all handmade products.

What can you tell us about your next venture?

Lana: We can’t say that much right now but we have big things coming. We are launching our next venture called Parlor. We are incredibly passionate about both brands and both offerings.

What advice would you give to women wanting to break into the industry?

Hayley: I would say, show up, so go to all the events, go to all the meet ups. You’ll learn a lot of tidbits. Take the stuff that suits you. It’s a good way to gauge what you want to go into, what inspires you and peaks your own interests. Really whatever your passion is, there’s a way to match it to cannabis.

Lana: To Hayley’s point, it’s like: “learn learn, learn.” There is so much to learn and understand within this space, I think there’s so many avenues you can build on but it’s all about showing up, participating and soaking it in. It’s interesting because there are a lot of companies that are larger than us, and some our size. So we trip and fall and then the next cohort of people coming up can learn to not trip on the same things as us.

Hayley: That’s one of the amazing things, how quickly things evolve and change. The industry so much is going to open up so much more even by this October. It’s amazing really.

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Mike Robinson Women's Health 2 weeks ago / Santa Barbara, Alberta

There's always a reason to smile ~

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JADEO Women's Health 2 weeks ago / Toronto, Ontario


Women in Cannabis Wednesday: Edition 8 - Janelle Powell

This week we interviewed Janelle Powell, Director of Marketing for JADEO. She shared with us how her career led her to this fearless work, how she thinks outside the box as a marketer, and how cannabis is incorporated into her creativity and self care.

Tell us about the moment you were at in your career when you jumped into the role with JADEO.

At that point I was teaching a digital marketing course, looking for something new, something different, something exciting. I was at a stage in my career where I was really ready to “up the anti.” At that time it was becoming clear that the whole cannabis legalization thing was going to happen, and it was all pretty exciting.

Can you tell us a bit about your background / education?

I went to Trent University and studied Cultural studies, Mass Media Film + Video. I had been working in digital marketing for many years after that in different capacities. I had worked for a few food + beverage type companies, like Pinkberry Canada, Yogen Fruz. I also had experience in government organizations like Government of Ontario, start-ups, multinational companies, retail, real estate...many industries! Cannabis was one of the industries that I had never touched before, so it was extremely intriguing to me.

What were your thoughts about cannabis prior to working for a startup in the space?

I grew up on the Caribbean island of St.Kitts, and foreigners often have this stereotype of Caribbean people - that we smoke all day, like “ya mon,” when in fact that was the farthest thing from the truth. There was actually a really negative stigma around cannabis. I grew up putting this stigma in my head, that only low-lives, or school dropouts smoked. Later, as I made friends with people who consumed and realized they were successful people and they weren’t low lives or drop outs, the stigma started to dissipate.

Then, when I took on the role with JADEO I was doing research and writing articles and I began to learn a ton about cannabis as a plant, and what it’s used for. I remember thinking: “Oh my gosh, it’s medicine. It’s a prescriptive medical drug. This actually can help people who have medical conditions, or pain, stress etc. really it does so much good.”

How did you feel about being a mom and sharing this info about your job with other parents, friends?

My friends were all receptive; a lot smoke casually or even regularly. They think it’s cool that I am getting to be a part of fighting the stigma.

My family initially was more confused: “What do you do, are you selling weed?” they would ask. I’d answer: “Even if I were, is that so bad?” Eventually they understood what I do, then I naturally became the de facto educator in my family. To those with anxiety for example I would make a suggestion, like: “maybe you should try some cbd.” Now I have family members who have tried it, and are now promoters themselves.

However, I do still feel some judgement as mom who works in cannabis and uses cannabis not from family and friends but from outside people. And that’s why I think it’s important for me to show that you can be successful in your career, be a good mom, AND use cannabis...really just showing a lot of these stereotypes are false.

What do you like most about legalization?

I think what I like most about it, is that it’s an opportunity to open people’s minds. There are so many old stereotypes and misconceptions. Legalization gives us an opportunity to talk about it, share our positive insights, be honest, learn, and educate.

What do you think will change now that we have legal retail?

I think once we get to that point where we have enough stores and supply, it’s going to be a great experience, because for the most part people actually prefer buying it in person. It’s been reported that 80% of people prefer buying cannabis from a physical location. A lot of people are new, and not connoisseurs. Retail shopping enables people to be able to ask questions in person, to figure out if its the solution for them.

Are you in the conversation on social media?

I have no problem sharing information - I happily share articles and info on my facebook and my twitter etc. Even if all my followers don’t read what I share but a few do, the information is still getting out there and touching people’s lives.

How does the Cannabis Act make your job challenging with JADEO ?

I think it’s a good challenge, in that it forces me to think outside of the box and be creative. You are heavily policed in terms of how you market, so it’s all new territory. We are all learning as we go along.

What are the unique opportunities that it leaves for marketers?

I think for most, it’s a matter of tapping into the creativity. A lot of people just go with the flow and do the basics or bare minimum. The Cannabis Act means we really have to be extremely innovative while following the law.

And that’s part of why JADEO exist. It’s a community for people interested in cannabis but it also offers unique advertising opportunities for entrepreneurs and marketers in the industry.

What do you love most about your job?

For me, I definitely love my team everyone has such diverse, varying backgrounds and there’s so much to learn from each other. I love being a part of a movement. The information that we provide our members access to can literally help people lead better lives. I realize this...and you start to feel like you’re a part of a much bigger thing.

How do you like directing the marketing for JADEO?

I am in love. I think it’s exactly what we need in Canada, and the world. It’s a place where you can feel comfortable and ask questions. A lot of people are wading the waters and don’t know where to ask questions. If you don’t know, somebody on JADEO knows. It’s such a community, such a vibe and I love spreading that message to Canada!

There are a bunch of platforms out there that are just content hubs and that’s great. We are about education and community, so when you factor all those things in, it’s a wonderful place that I enjoy sharing. People are signing up who want to share their knowledge with others, so a lot is unfolding on the platform. The best way to be a part of the movement is to become a member and stay locked in.

What is one of the things you love most about the work we are producing?

One of the things that I love about JADEO is our #wcw series. I’m honored to be a woman in cannabis feature. When you hear a lot of rhetoric, and recognize such a lack of diversity in the industry - you see how this work is making a difference. This is an opportunity to showcase a bunch of badass women, some of whom are the brains behind the brands. A lot of amazing women are involved in this movement, who people don’t realize who are pushing the industry forward. We are speaking up for people who can’t speak for themselves, painting you the full picture. We aren’t just saying it’s all great. We give you the full picture.

How does cannabis play into your self-care?

For me, I am a mom and I work fulltime and admittedly you have moments where that can become stressful and overwhelming. So it definitely helps me to relax after I’ve had a tough day, and allows me to get in tune with myself. I tend to feel a lot better after I get that.

I also was recently diagnosed with sleep apnea, and I found that adding cannabis to my sleep routine allowed me to get a much more sound and restful sleep.

As for cannabis and productivity, I love a good blue dream; it really gets me in the zone and gets me focused. I find myself at my best sometimes times when I do that. When you think about the stereotypes, like smoking cannabis can’t be productive - it’s not the case. I often find that’s when I’m at my most productive state.

Do you want to talk about the way you consume?

I have found that vaping has been a lot easier for me. It’s so easy to tuck a little vape in your pocket, it’s not obnoxious or overly obvious. I also like the fact that there’s no smoke, that’s the biggest thing to me. It’s definitely my preferred way of consumption. In social settings though I will smoke a joint. There’s something very classic about smoking a joint!

Do you have advice for people wanting to get into the industry?

Yes. I think as a woman of colour, a lot of people see the industry as having a lack of diversity. Whether that’s true or not, don’t let that limit your progression - apply for the job! If you’re a woman or person of colour, don’t doubt yourself. There is a place for you. Have major self confidence.

Also, a lot of people associate cannabis with selling it. When in fact, a lot of other jobs still exist within the cannabis industry. Realize that there are opportunities at every level for anyone.

If you feel like you lack knowledge or experience, you can learn about cannabis. Remember the industry is still fairly new. Things are constantly changing. You can definitely come in with limited information as long as you have a willingness to learn.

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JADEO Women's Health 3 weeks ago / Toronto, Ontario


Women in Cannabis Wednesday: Edition 7 - Aliza Sherman

This week JADEO caught up with Aliza Sherman, co-founder of Ellementa, a global network, and resource to connect women to cannabis experts and brands. She shared with us a bit about her groundbreaking background, her journey with medicinal cannabis and more about the women’s network she’s developed specifically for the cannabis space.

To begin, can you tell us a bit about Ellementa for those who aren’t familiar?

At Ellementa, we are focused on health and wellbeing and on women’s roles as caregivers. As women, we care for our children, our partners, and our parents as they begin to age. We sometimes are searching for our own health, wondering “how can I take better care of myself,” or “how can I feel better?” We might want to help a friend. At Ellementa, we want to be a woman’s guide to trusted, quality products. We try to be a clearinghouse of useful information. We do this through monthly in-person gatherings in over 45 cities across North America, as well as our website, email, live webinars, and private online forums.

How did your background lead you to create Ellementa?

A. I started the first woman-owned internet company “back in the day.” I helped pioneer the web for women and started an organization in the 90s to teach women how to use the internet. Many of my books have been around business and the internet. Cannabis is like the Internet industry in many ways - and with Ellementa, I started the first women’s global network where women teach women about cannabis.

What made you decide to break into the cannabis industry this way?

When I first looked at the cannabis industry it was from a professional standpoint. At the beginning of 2016, I was looking for where to go with my skills and had a long time digital marketing company. I quickly began learning about cannabis. I grew up in the 80s with the national anti-drug campaign of “Just Say No,” and was told that cannabis was a gateway drug to heroin. I began recognizing all the misinformation out there, and as I started to understand the medicinal health benefits of cannabis, I started to wonder how I could use it for myself. I wasn’t looking for a job, I was just looking for a place to get new business. I also get paid to do future trends for clients which is why cannabis got on my radar. I wasn’t looking at it otherwise.

How was cannabis appealing to you for purposes of your own self-care?

I was going through menopause early because when I finally had a baby at 41, it sent me immediately into menopause. This is not uncommon, but at a younger age, no one told me it would be this bad. I had insomnia that was becoming a real problem. My neck was hurting from arthritis from all the years of using technology: no one knew how badly we were harming our bodies with technology. No one had ever told me that cannabis could help me, but I started looking specifically at cannabis for self-care.

Did it work?

The first time I tried it I slept through the night. I woke up the next morning and I cried. I thought: why don’t people know about this?

Wow, so what was next?

Well, I just happened to be moving back to Alaska where cannabis had been decriminalized in 1975 and a regulated industry since 2016. I was able to find a grower who became my caregiver. Another woman told me how to use a flower vape pen. All I remembered at that time was from what we were told in the 80s, but I became empowered to begin exploring medicine for myself.

How do you introduce products to your community?

We are careful about how we recommend and what we recommend. When we introduce a new product we’ve made sure to have vetted the company. Several individuals on our team try the products, depending on the type of product and the delivery. No one can pay to buy a review from us. We will review based on things found to be effective.

Aren’t the rules around cannabis different everywhere?

Yes, and that means we have a lot of hoops to jump through and mazes to navigate to get information to women.

Why are you only targeting women?

Because women hold the healthcare decision making power in households: which doctors do we see, which products do we use? When one of our friends is diagnosed with something, we reach out with support or suggestions. When you tell one woman about the health benefits of cannabis and she is inspired, she instantly influences her community at large.

Can you tell us more about how the monthly meetups work in connection with sponsorship?

The right sponsor for Ellementa is a company with a willingness to educate. They have to be education forward. To reach our community, we use a combination of different pathways or channels, both online and off. Depending on the sponsorship level, we may showcase someone from a company at a Gathering or provide information about their products or include them on a webinar or survey our members for a brand.

Why does education play such an important role in your mission?

I use as an example when I tried a product for women’s sexual wellness - a CBD oral spray with a bunch of herbs. After taking this particular product, suddenly I had night sweats and insomnia all over again. It turned out that the herbs combined in the product I was using were not good for menopausal women, but I had to research that before I figured it out. Although it sounded really good, the product was more suitable for a pre-menopausal woman. Women’s hormones are very different. How you take care of yourself when you’re at different physical life stages is totally relevant and there is no one size fits all. It’s important to be mindful of that as women explore cannabis considering all the products being made right now. Education helps us question how products are made and how they can help us - or not.

What advice would you like to give to women who want to break into the Cannabis industry?

Bring your talents and skills to the cannabis industry. We need you! Whether you’re a lawyer, accountant, salesperson, graphic designer, or writer, your experience is valid. You can learn all about cannabis. What we learn over time in our careers are things like a good work ethic, professionalism, and business savvy plus the ancillary skills that can support cannabis companies. Ask questions, get everything in writing, and stand up for yourself. Your voice deserves to be heard.

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Janelle Simone Women's Health 1 month ago / Scarborough, Ontario

I found this article really interesting. As a mom who uses cannabis, I agree that there is far more judgment around that as a parent than the use of alcohol. Hoping to dispell the myth and show that moms can use cannabis and be responsible parents. https://www.babble.com/body-mind/private-world-mothers-smoke-weed-marijuana/

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Inside the Private World of Mothers Who Smoke Weed

Babble

Editor's Note: This post is not intended as medical advice, and any opinions expressed in this post are the author's own. Always consult a medical professional or physician before treatment of any kind. A few months ago, I mentioned to someone that my husband and I were planning our son's upcoming birthday party at a local chocolate factory.

https://www.babble.com/body-mind/private-world-mothers-...

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JADEO Women's Health 1 month ago / Toronto, Ontario


Women in Cannabis Wednesday: Edition 6 - Savina Fierro

This week JADEO caught up with Portland-based cannabis collage artist Savina Fierro (@savinamonet) and got to hear about how she found herself working in this creative niche within the industry.

When did you start working in collage?

Collage was something I started in 2015 while I worked as a receptionist. I did nothing all day... I did absolutely nothing. So, I decided to open up my office’s paint program. I downloaded Gimp, a free version of Photoshop and began cut and pasting and trying out themes. I also tried to do it at home, using paper.

What made you decide on the title “cannabis collage artist?”

It was kind of a title I was given. People would say “she’s a cannabis collage lady!” It was stifling at first, like I could never branch out, but I’ve embraced it.

Can you tell us how cannabis became a central theme in your art?

Cannabis has always been in my life, so it became obvious to throw it into my art. I love to make surreal landscapes, and I’d think woah, (I probably was high one day)... cannabis can be a big tree! I played with that in my collage, and started exploring. Cannabis, after all, is a flower, and a part of nature just as anything else; a tree, a bush. It works. People are familiar with the flower cannabis, but also familiar with the feeling. I try to evoke the feeling in my work.


When did you decide to turn it into a business?

It really has evolved - now I’m a collage artist, graphic designer, and creative director for the cannabis industry. It actually first started back in the Fall of 2016 because I was trying to create a cannabis design agency that would offer other services. I had a partner who saw my collages and thought it would be cool for our social media, back in November 2017. It was supposed to be a catered media company towards the cannabis market, but in January 2017 when the Cole Memo came out in the United States, it stated that anyone associated with cannabis industries are still breaking federal law and will be prosecuted. My partner was spooked enough to want to stop. After my partner decided not to continue, I said - ok this will be a one-woman show. Oregonians are so secure in our little bubble of cannabis legalization that we’re not as afraid of that anymore.

Have companies found you through Instagram?

Oh my goodness, I devote my career to Instagram! When I first started, I got a list of cannabis companies registered with the state - I would go down and call them and see if they needed anything. I didn’t get any clients that way. All of my current clientele has been through word of mouth: “hey I’ve seen this, or so and so told me.”

Tell us about some cool projects you’ve worked on.

I did a project with NuLeaf Portland, they are a capital raising company for people of colour here, looking to get into the cannabis industry. I mostly do commissions for brands, and that’s how I’ve seen my art transform into products for people’s companies. I try to incorporate part of the brand’s personality. You can tell it’s Savina, but it still keeps the essence of the brand.

Are there any other projects you’re particularly fond of?

Another one I’m proud of, which is channeling a different style, is a magazine called Mercatus that’s coming out in June. It started as a collective for entrepreneurs of colour in Portland, with an online directory where people could go for support. It’s grown so much they are putting out their first publication. And they are inclusive of people of colour working in the cannabis industry. That’ what I love about cannabis, it gives us that liberty we all love, in something people are passionate about.

How do you use cannabis in your self-care?

I don’t use cannabis as much as I think I would. I probably smoke a joint or take a dab in the morning, and then not again until the end of the day. I do consume daily because it helps me keep a baseline. I am super neurotic and I get too zoned in, so it helps me return to “normal.”

Have you been approached by any Canadian companies?

I did a commission for a cannabis distributor called The Cannabis Complex for your legalization day. I think that was the only one.

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JADEO Women's Health 1 month ago / Toronto, Ontario


Women in Cannabis Wednesday: Edition 5 - Katrina Malmqvist

This week we met with budding cannabis nutritionist Katrina Malmqvist, who is the brains (and beauty) behind Gräs (@grasgoods), for a very special Women in Cannabis feature. Katrina is a high vibing mom whose journey with cannabis began roughly 15 years ago. Here we share her story on becoming a cannabis nutritionist as a mompreneur, how cannabis plays a role in her self-care and how her Instagram @grasgoods is poised to break important ground from the voice of a conscious cannabis advocate.

Q. You say your journey with cannabis began many years ago, can you share some of that story with JADEO readers?

Absolutely. I’ve been a cannabis advocate for as long as I have used the plant and as a young woman, witnessed the profound physical, mental and emotional benefits cannabis had on my terminally ill Father. Throughout my studies in health and exercise sciences and holistic nutrition, I really started to understand the intricacies of the human body and the effects that diet, exercise, and lifestyle choices had on our overall health. I became fascinated with the medicinal qualities of cannabis and how it could help people with specific conditions, in conjunction with other lifestyle interventions. The research at this time was slim but what occurred to me is that cannabis was underutilized and over scrutinized alternative health modality that had so much potential when used appropriately and with conscious intention.

In truly believe that strain, dose and consumption type specific cannabis use, when used in combination with a healthy lifestyle (fitness + nutrition) is where the entourage effect of cannabis is multiplied.

Q. How did you become a cannabis nutritionist?

Fast forward to roughly 4 years ago and my close family friend was going through radiation for breast cancer. I had a few nutrition clients dealing with chronic diseases, and I had just experienced multiple miscarriages. I started to develop and make really healthy edibles for symptom relief. At that time I was making chocolates that were gluten, soy, dairy and refined sugar-free - so no matter what kind of dietary restrictions were present, everyone could enjoy them. I was infusing the edibles with strain-specific cannabis. Even though at that time my cannabis knowledge was minimal, I did as much research as I could to understand the strain used and their general effects on individuals. As a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, I was careful in how I took an integrated approach to knowing their health histories and their goals and chose specific strains accordingly. For example, for one it was for symptom relief from radiation, but other individuals had different goals and needs. That was where I started seeing the amazing effects of it in myself and others.

I had been working in the corporate world in organizational health and wellness for almost a decade at that time, and this little passion project sparked a realization within myself, that I was able to affect change on an individual level with two of my great loves- nutrition and cannabis.

Q. So how did you decide to create Gräs?

Since I am married to a Swede and Swedish is spoken in our household, it was only fitting to give a nod to that. Gräs in Swedish means cannabis, also straight up grass. It also embodies ‘natural’, exactly what my products are.

The backstory to how Gräs was born, as I described, was essentially out of the need in the market for microdosed, healthy edibles. I noticed a common dialogue with a few circles of mine which was that people wanted to introduce or reintroduce cannabis into their lifestyle for the health benefits but weren’t interested in smoking it and some were even hesitant to vape it. Edibles are discreet and tasty but there is also a fear associated with them as so many people have had a ‘bad trip’. I noticed the edibles that were illegally available in the market, were very sugar laden, and full of stabilizers, artificial colours and flavoring not to mention, dosed higher than the average user could handle. Also, for those individuals who were making their edibles as home, they typically had little knowledge on how to properly create the infusions and understand how to dose.

So many people care about the quality of their foods (organic, gluten-free, local, whole etc) on a daily basis, why would they want to ingest an edible that contained unhealthy and possibly harmful ingredients and an undesirable dose? I started the product development process, playing around with infusions, purchasing equipment, learning about dosing, about decarboxylation, and kept testing and testing. It was really important that each product came out the same through various forms of testing.

With the current framework of legalization, I’m not currently selling Gräs, but I have begun an Instagram account to educate and create awareness on cannabis and it’s possible role in a healthy lifestyle. Another reason is to participate in the conversation of breaking down the stigma of Cannabis use. Until legalization occurred, I found it to be hard as a professional who works in health and wellness, and as a mother, to be out in the open about cannabis without fear of judgment. There are such outdated and uneducated mentalities around cannabis use and I am so excited for the shift in this is the coming years.

I don’t want to say that Instagram has helped me “come out of the closet,” exactly, but seeing so many other amazing entrepreneurs, professionals, athletes, and parents starting to open up about their cannabis use has been incredible. People who use cannabis are no less productive than anyone else and in fact, cannabis can skyrocket creativity, productivity and focus when used with a little education and intention.

Q. Tell us why the edibles you developed are known as “fat bombs”?

The reason I developed the fat bombs is that personally, fat is my macronutrient of choice. We as modern day humans are in general not getting the right amount of healthy essential fats and people are still shying away from fat and opting for low-fat foods, which is unfortunate. The decades-old low fat craze is still ingrained in many people’s minds as a way to keep weight down and stay healthy. When in fact healthy saturated fats such as organic grass fed butter and coconut oil, provide us with incredible dietary and health benefits. ‘Fat Bombs’ are not a new creation and are big in the Keto world.

As as a nursing mother, I began to realize that I needed more fats and calories that I was naturally eating to keep my supply up, so I started making fat bombs after my second baby was born. They were delicious, quick fuel providing me with the nutrition I needed, but I started to think - why don’t I infuse these with a microdose? Since cannabinoids are fat soluble, I began infusing cannabis into organic coconut oil, which I found to be the best carrier. What I discovered was what we call the entourage effect; a microdose with full flower infusion of just 3mg was giving such a beautiful, layered effect. It is long lasting and delivers this slow, wonderful elevation that I found really helped me deal with some postpartum anxiety I was experiencing.

As I spoke openly about the everyday stressors of parenting, many of my friends could relate, so I began sharing microdosed fat bombs with friends, family, and neighbours.

Gräs goods kind of caught fire within my own circle fast. I was so intrigued by the response I continued innovating and making batches of different flavour profiles of fat bombs and dropping them off to my network with a list of ingredients, strain type, and suggested use and in exchange wanted to know, ‘how does this help you if at all, what is the effect?’ The verdict was my product was more than just a cannabis edible, it was a nutrition product with benefits. In fact, the fat alone has profound positive effects. Essential fats play a role in hormone and blood sugar regulation, musculoskeletal health, digestive functioning, and the list goes on. This product takes into account the principles of holistic nutrition and whole foods by using the whole cannabis flower and real, organic ingredients. Like the tagline, it’s macronutrients with micro elevation.

Q. How do you incorporate cannabis edibles into self-care?

I like to incorporate microdosed cannabis in everyday life. My life is very active, and a microdose of sativa, for example, is a trusty companion for long hikes, waterfront walks, pre-workout or just cleaning the whole house and loving it versus feeling like it’s a big chore. The way I feel will determine the strain - for example, I’ll choose an Indica fat bomb, do a little yoga, and run a hot bath when I really need to shut my brain off and feel frazzled from the day of toddler meltdowns etc.

What’s really cool is I find that when I have a healthy edible, once the effects come on, I am able to tap into my body’s wisdom better. The choices I proceed to make come from a place where I am so in tune with what my body needs now, it’s undeniable: “I need this green juice,” or “I gotta get down and stretch out my psoas.” I think that is the entourage effect coming from the full flower combined with the high-fat ingredients- an elevated entourage effect of sorts.

I think it’s also important to note, sometimes it’s just not the right time for an edible or cannabis in general, even a microdose. I’m lucky in the fact I live in an amazing and walkable Toronto neighbourhood (Roncesvalles), so I don’t drive often and am on Maternity leave. Obviously, if you are driving the day of, you would never take even a microdosed edible. It’s about responsible and conscious use and I believe that I have a role as a budding influencer in the space to model this.

Q. What will keep you busy in advance of edibles becoming legal in the marketplace?

As a registered holistic nutritionist I am focused on holistic health, and I can see my place as a cannabis edibles startup filling a much-needed niche. A non-combustible, microdosed and healthy nutritional edible free of typical dietary offenders. The way I see it, Gräs is foundationally a nutrition product. Health practices and cannabis shouldn’t be separate and in my mind, the future of cannabis will be integrated into other health modalities. It can be incorporated into a healthy lifestyle so well if you’re using the right product and you have a bit of education on this wonderful plant.

I’m busy currently getting a Cannabis Science Education through Sativa Science Club’s six-month certification program and look forward to continue backing Gras with the latest cannabis research.

I think eventually, I’ll be producing the fat bombs in partnership with an LP, but for now, I want to focus on consumer education and product development. I strongly believe people need to learn how to dose accordingly if they are making their own edibles and I plan on starting up a series of workshops on healthy edibles in the near future.

I view myself as a conscious cannabis advocate. It’s not about getting high, it’s about elevating your natural self, connecting with yourself and others on a different level, experiencing relief and gaining a new perspective. That is the beauty of microdosed cannabis edibles and I’m excited to play a leadership role in this fast-growing industry.

Follow Katrina on Instagram to find out when she’ll be offering any upcoming edibles workshops @grasgoods.

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JADEO Women's Health 1 month ago / Toronto, Ontario


Cannabis and Sex: A Destigmatized look

In today’s world, when we discuss how cannabis plays a role in the bedroom, it’s not just about “hitting the bong and getting it on.” In fact, there are many different ways to incorporate cannabis into one’s sex life, and many emerging businesses are looking to capitalize on this area of cannabis enhancement. While in Canada the restrictions have held back any forms of edibles or topicals that may enhance sexual arousal or pleasure, there are a plethora of cannabis products on the market today in legal states; namely, sex lubes, and supplements like cannamojo. Cannamojo is touted as the "first male enhancement pill infused with THC on the market that gives users an elated sensation or ‘buzz.’”

Ted Naylon, the 45-year old Rochester based entrepreneur behind the product explains that “the THC is also an aphrodisiac.” While it has not been tested in women, he says that “together with the ‘mojo,’ it boosts both the desire and physical effects the man wants.” One little pill as a pathway to pleasure? Perhaps, but we felt there was more to consider in the canna-sex space than the consumption or application of THCs product to enhance sex, so we looked to sexperts for their say on the matter.

That’s when we discovered Dr. Carlen Cost; a sexologist, relationship psychotherapist, and cannabis educator who has made her voice loud in the cannabis space through Women in Weed events with Vanderpop. In her counseling work and online brand “the Goddess Foundation,” she empowers women to embody an unapologetically passionate lifestyle through intimacy, sexuality, sensuality, self-worth, body-image, and relationships.

This month she explained to the Edmonton Star that “cannabis can help clients with relaxation, pain relief, increasing connection and sensation, and acceptance of sensuality.” By contrast, she said people mixing alcohol with sex are more likely to “perform poorly” or “be challenged in the moment.”

Her Instagram (@carlen.costa) provides coaching-style insights into sexuality that encompasses her holistic approach which can include cannabis. “Release the Orgasm Goal:” she writes, “when we have sex, we can become so wrapped up in “getting there” that we forget to taste all the pleasure that is being served or asking to try something new. If we can share in physical pleasure with someone and sink into how our bodies feel when it is being shared and, eliminate the pressure to cum, we share intimacy, rather than sex.”

So how does cannabis play a specific role in her practice? It comes from a response to the need she’s observed: “When people come to me, they’re looking to figure out ‘How can I connect better with myself, how can I connect better with my partner, how can I relieve some pain, how can I get back into my body and enjoy the experience?’ Cannabis is one of the tools that people are starting to turn to in a variety of different ways,” she says.


Her approach is echoed by Amy Johnson, creator of Nox Shop, an online boutique for sex toys and sexual wellness products based in Montreal. The young entrepreneur was interviewed by 48 North’s Latitude Magazine earlier this month for a special feature on sex and cannabis. She shared how “cannabis can really help a lot of people get out of their head and just relax, which, for a lot of people, is a huge part of enjoying sex. Whether people prefer smoking, taking tinctures, or using an infused lube, it comes down to personal preference.” She also addressed the medicinal aspects of cannabis when she described how “people who have pain associated with sex, or their muscles tighten and don’t allow them to relax, are now able to feel pleasure through sex in a totally different way than before.”

While more articles and public talks on the subject will continue to play an important role in destigmatizing the topic of using cannabis for sex, we wanted to know if there are facts that can back their insights? It turns out there are. Studies have been coming out about general findings on cannabis and sex, with the biggest study to date by Stanford researchers. What they found was that compared to cannabis abstainers, men who used it weekly reported 22% more sex, and for women, it was 34% more. Among those who used cannabis more than once per week, the sexual frequency increased even more.

More recently, an Ipsos poll gathered responses from 1,002 Canadians, including 120 Albertans, between Jan. 29 and Feb. 1. The poll found that 75% of cannabis users in Alberta have used weed as part of their sexual experiences. From that group, 88% said it made sex better, 52% said it increased their pleasure and sensations, 48% said they felt a better connection with their partner and themselves, and 33% reported experiencing stronger orgasms.

While the statistics can back what the sexperts say, there is still more to the subject. Seth Prosterman, a San Francisco-based certified sex therapist told Vice in 2017 that “weed isn’t a one-way ticket to pleasure town, but it can help you get there.” Prosterman explained his view: “Pot can give us a glimpse into our sexual potential. Working towards our sexual potential, with our partners, is part of developing a higher capacity for intimacy, passion, and deep connection.” This connection goes beyond what cannabis can offer, as he emphasizes: “While pot can help bring out our most sexy selves, dishibit us, or relax us during sex, I would highly recommend that people learn to be in the moment and deeply feel and connect with their partners without using enhancing drugs.”

How does cannabis play a role in your sex life? JADEO provides readers with a safe place to share and ask questions, so one by one we may break the stigma together.

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Shared by Natasha Fierce

22 2 months ago / Caledon, Ontario

https://www.greenentrepreneur.com/article/328065

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Women Bought Twice As Much Cannabis in 2018 Than The Year Before

GreenEntrepreneur

3 min read Opinions expressed by Green Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Many have called 2018 the Year of the Woman. And the cannabis industry was no exception. According to a new report by Eaze, an online market place and technology platform for legal cannabis, the number of women buying cannabis in California doubled in 2018 from the year before.

https://www.greenentrepreneur.com/article/328065

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JADEO Women's Health 2 months ago / Toronto, Ontario


Women In Cannabis Wednesday: Edition 4 - Connor Christine

This week we caught up with JADEO Co-Founder Connor Christine to learn more about her journey to starting up one of the leading online platforms for cannabis networking and education in the new legalized world. She shared with us how the idea for JADEO came to be and how she incorporated cannabis into her self-care.

Tell us how you first became interested in the cannabis industry?

It’s actually kinda funny how I got involved in the cannabis industry. I never thought that I’d end up here. I sort of began as just a recreational user and didn’t even know the difference between indica and sativa. Then, when Michael ( Co-Founder and CEO of JADEO) started acting as a consultant in the industry, my questions began to build up. It was through those questions that we started to notice there were a lot of gaps in the industry; primarily around education, networking, and marketing. Our wheels started turning, and we started thinking of different ways we could help improve these gaps. The more we talked, the more we discovered what was missing in the cannabis space, leading us to create a unique opportunity for what is now JADEO.

What gave you the push to start JADEO?

Well, at that time we attended a Lift&Co conference in Toronto. We noticed how all these brands, small and large - were limited to getting the word out about their brand at trade shows. As you know, conferences are very expensive. When we're thinking particularly about the smaller brands, we wondered how on earth could they afford a conference? These smaller brands are using up their annual budget at one conference! We wanted to create an equal opportunity to service small and large brands by essentially creating an online platform that can act as a conference 365 days a year.

How do you like running a startup?

Since working within the cannabis industry, I have a newfound love for Mondays. I am not a Monday person or a morning person, but since working in this industry I love it all. I love my job, I love my team, and I love the community that we’ve created. It’s an online space where people can come to feel safe asking questions, can trust the information they’re getting and feel comfortable sharing their knowledge. We cover all topics around education, wellness, the law, and much more all while giving business a trustworthy space to advertise - which is rare at this time in this industry.

How do you feel being showcased for our Women in Cannabis Wednesday?

As a young entrepreneur, I’m all about empowering women. Over the years that we’ve been developing JADEO, there have been so many wonderful women around me, and when I see how hard they’re working it’s so inspiring. When my team recently brought forth the theme for #wcw as a feature on our platform, I was thrilled. I felt it was a great way to showcase all these powerful, hard working women. In fact, one of my favourite quotes that fits well into this industry is: “let’s root for each other and watch each other grow.” That’s how I feel about being a woman in cannabis.

How do you maintain self-care working in an uncertain startup environment?

So far this journey has been amazing! We’ve been through a lot of ups and downs as young entrepreneurs, but I think it’s super important to always see the good in a situation. I always try to think “what is this teaching me?” instead of “why is this happening to me?” Mindset is so important, and when you have a team, it’s an important part of leading a team.

To help with that mindset, I like to fill up my pax with Blue Dream. I also always love to take a bath, and it’s my favourite way to end my workday. Life is busy, so it’s hard to find a routine - but that’s why PAX and a bath is a daily self-care ritual I honor.

Related comments

  • From Kenneth Joaquin

    Fantastic! Way to go Connor.

  • From Janelle Simone

    One of the most amazing women in cannabis I'm happy to know!

  • From Michael Joseph

    Well said, Connor! We at JADEO are all so very proud of you!

  • From 22

    Excellent and great to see how and why you entered the industry... ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • From Connor Christine

    Thank you Everyone! I am so blessed xoxo

  • From DRogerson

    You go girl! Thank you for being an inspiration to women everywhere.

JADEO Women's Health 2 months ago / Toronto, Ontario


Women In Cannabis Wednesday: Edition 3 - Melissa L'Heureux-Haché

We caught up with traveling hemp self-care guru Melissa L’Heureux-Hache to find out more about what it was like to found a company with her partner, how she stays glowing, and how she uses her product line while she’s on the go.

Tell us about your brand and how you got started

Our company is the Great Canadian Hemp Company. I started the company with my partner Edan in 2016, to create a brand that was socially and environmentally conscious, and to raise awareness about hemp in Canada. We felt it was important to dispel misconceptions about hemp - it’s gotten a bad rep over the years because of its association with cannabis (and this was before legalization!). We also love that it grows right here in the country we call home.

We chose the name because we wanted people to know that hemp was the base of all of our products, although it has made it difficult for us to advertise online. Most social media platforms are American, and they aren’t as hip to hemp as we are in Canada! So we’ve had to get our boots on the ground and meet our customers in person - which we love! We have exhibited at wellness shows, green living shows, yoga expos, and of course hemp and cannabis shows. It’s been wonderful to meet people face to face and connect with a public who may not be familiar with cannabis, but are willing to learn about it in a wellness oriented atmosphere. It’s been part of an effort to break the stereotypes about cannabis culture, in favour of promoting natural, plant-based care.

Where are you based? Are the shows you do primarily in Canada?

We’re currently splitting our time between Ottawa and Toronto, but we do shows all across Canada! We’ve even done events in the US, Denmark and the U.K. By traveling so much with our business, we’ve been able to get an idea of how people perceive hemp abroad, and develop a sense of what the market is like elsewhere.

How do you feel about working with your partner?

Well, we met, fell in love and started the company together pretty much immediately! We had a concept in mind, bootstrapped it with our own savings, and are now both able to work it full time. I’m really lucky that I have a partner in this adventure that I can lean on, and who fully understands how crazy this industry can be!

Besides your love for hemp body care, how do your values align?

We are both environmentalists, and really let that show through our company initiatives. For instance, we started a program called Seed The 6ix, where we plant 6 seeds in Canada for every product we sell. We also have a recycling initiative to encourage our customers to do good by our packaging, and we donate to different charities every month. We think it’s important to stick to our core values as we build this business - for ourselves, and for our customers.

All that travel must wear you out. Tell us about how you maintain your self-care rituals while jet setting!

Since I’m always in a different country or time-zone, my self-care ritual is not so much a routine - it’s more like good habits that I practice through this unpredictable flow that is my life. Having a big water bottle is a must - hydrating is key for healthy skin. Plus, almost all of our products are less than 100 ML so I take my full care routine on the plane with me in my carry on! My go-to product for a flight is our Healing Balm - it’s unscented, so it’s perfect for public spaces, and can be used for dry hands, chapped lips, or pretty much anywhere that needs a little moisture! It doesn’t have any CBD in it yet, but hopefully we’ll be able to talk about exciting new developments soon. Cannabis infused topicals is definitely the industry we’re gearing up for.

What about when you’re not jet-setting off to a trade show?

The first thing that comes to mind when we’re home is how much we love using our bath salts to unwind from a long day. We also love taking 10 minutes to do a clay mask together. If you check out our website, there's a whole write up on how to use it, but also how important it is to practice mindful self-care. It makes our skin look great, but we also have so much fun and always have a good laugh when we end up looking like cliché, green-faced spa goers.

Can you use any of your products in the bedroom? How do you see this incorporated into self-care?

We have a phenomenal hemp body oil that can be used for massage, an aromatherapeutic bath, or touching extra sensitive spots - perfect for fun in the bedroom. Whether you want to use the body oil on your own or with your partner, taking the time to give yourself pleasure is important. Maybe it’s just me, but conventional lubes are unappealing - they don’t have a natural texture and most are based with synthetic chemicals that I don’t want on my body, let alone in my body. I eat a plant-based diet and don’t like consuming foods with synthetics, so chemical-filled lubes are out for me. The last thing I’d want would be to taste synthetic blueberry cheesecake while making love with my partner!

What are your thoughts about cannabis and sex?

I definitely think there’s a big place for cannabis in the bedroom. It can be new and exciting, can increase sensitivity and awareness, and can really help you feel present in the moment. A lot of people have anxieties that might affect their ability to enjoy sex, whether it’s self-confidence or being with a new partner, and cannabis can help them relax and reach orgasm that much easier. At the end of the day, it’s all about pleasure, and being present in that moment with your body and your partner.

How can JADEO readers DIY a lube with THC while waiting for the regulatory framework to open up on cannabis topicals?

Although infused topicals aren’t regulated quite yet, you can absolutely DIY your own. To do so, you can purchase either CBD or THC oil from a Licenced Producer and mix it in to your favourite, body-safe lube (or body oil of choice!). Alternately, you can make your own from scratch by infusing coconut oil with dry flower cannabis over the period of a week or so, or google how to infuse the oil using a slow cooker. There are plenty of resources online, so do what feels best - although using a strain you already know works with your body and your preferences is always a good start.


Stay Informed. Stay Healthy.
#WeAreJADEO

Related comments

  • From Janelle Simone

    I'm loving these features. It's great to see other women amazing women in the industry and getting some insight on how they got here, and how they live life.

    • From Kenneth Joaquin

      Agreed! It's probably the best thing I've seen since following the cannabis industry. There are so many female leaders and it's refreshing to see! Can't wait to see what comes next for Melissa and GCHC.

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JADEO Women's Health 2 months ago / Toronto, Ontario


Sex and Cannabis: an Explosive Mingling?

This month we open up the conversation with JADEO readers around the role cannabis plays in the bedroom since it’s no longer taboo to talk about cannabis and it’s far-reaching uses - we wanted to know more about how to incorporate it into playful and intimate aspects of self-care.

As Canada and 10 legal states open up the marketplace, we’re seeing a wave of cannapreneurs on Instagram - one of whom, Ashley Manta, is a sex educator teaching couples “exciting new ways to combine cannabis and sex. “It’s not just about getting high and having sex,” she explains in a video on her Instagram account @cannasexual where she is the self-proclaimed High Priestess of Pleasure. The brand name cannasexual is a word the entrepreneur created to “describe anyone who mindfully and deliberately combines sex and cannabis to deepen intimacy and enhance pleasure. Her brand services are based on the preface that cannabis can be used to promote intimacy, and acknowledges that cannabinoid infused products can enhance sensation or ease discomfort without making a person high. The sexpert offers one on one coaching, as referred to in the “Stoned Sex” episode of “Slutever” you may have caught on VICELAND TV.

Another female in the cannabis space, Ashley Siebert, acknowledges the use of cannabis and sex in her Little Book of Cannabis, where she does a deep dive into the common historical use of the plant as an aphrodisiac. She explains: “Cannabis was used in conjunction with sex in India in about 700 CE. Its use for both tantric sex and yoga arose out of what researcher Dr. Michael Aldrich calls ‘an explosive mingling’ of different elements of Shaivite Hinduism and Tibetan Buddhism.” While in recent years the drug may have had a negative stigma associated with its prohibition, “the tradition of drug yoga is an ancient and honourable one in India, developed to its fullest extent in tantric practice. Her book uncovers how marijuana fits into Hindu folk medicine: “The Tantras transform Hindu sexual practices into a means of meditational yoga. Cannabis use served not as a ‘disinhibiting agent,’ in this culture, but as an awareness booster that was essential to tantric ceremonies.”

Putting the plant’s use into such a context can help us build an appreciation for the medicinal use in lovemaking. Fast forward to Canada post-legalization in 2019 and we are going to see more and more products come to market which promotes the use of cannabis in sex, which is an often overlooked area of self-care, vital to deepening connection in our lives.

An emerging brand in the cannabis space you may have caught in person at Lift + Co is HighOnLove; a product line of sensual oils and body paint with pharmaceutical-grade cannabis oil. As we wait on the regulatory framework to shift in favour of legal THC topicals, HighOnLove has kept their products in the legal space by using only hempseed oil. The line boasts promises to bring heightened style and intimacy for the discerning woman who knows what she wants in the bedroom.

Creator Angela Mustone told The Her(b) Life how her “products will take you somewhere totally new, believe me!” She goes on to explain: “they’re blended with extremely high-quality natural ingredients so they’re great for all skin types. Using cannabis in oils in this way brings added stimulation, pain reduction and increased blood flow for extra pleasure.”

While we can’t wait to try all the forthcoming topicals in the bedroom, for now, we vape and wait. Have any experiences making your own bedroom friendly topicals? Write to our team ([email protected]) to share your insights for our next sex and cannabis feature.

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JADEO Women's Health 6 days ago / Toronto, Ontario


Women In Cannabis Wednesday: Edition 9 - Hayley Dineen and Lana Van Burnt

In this week’s Women in Cannabis Wednesday, JADEO catches up with the high vibing duo behind Sackville + Co., a contemporary, design focused cannabis lifestyle brand. Here business partners Hayley Dineen and Lana Van Burnt share what inspired them to get into business, the value of social platforms in building an independent brand, and what they are hanging their stars on next.

To begin, tell us about your company. What is Sackville + Co.?

Hayley: Sackville + Co is a design focused cannabis lifestyle brand. We want to bring a new aesthetic to the space that has a lot of value to us, and to the space. The brand helps people take their consumption outside the dark. The same way you’d have a beautiful bar cart to host family or friends, we wanted to take cannabis and put it in the same light.

Lana: We are just acknowledging its commonplace in your lifestyle. Like, if friends came over for a drink. We create accessories that people are proud to show off and represent that aspect of their lifestyle.

How did two you meet?

Hayley: We met pretty organically. Around the fall of 2017 Lana was working at Vice with my husband when we first started chatting. We both had a vision and a dream of the type of brand we wanted to bring to market. After a few conversations we figured out that we saw the same vision and we saw the same future. That’s kind of what got us to launching Sackville + Co. to start. We actually launched as a lifestyle brand before legalization was even announced, so that when it was announced, it was like “ok now let’s go into hyperdrive.”

We weren’t sure how we were going to launch the brand and they when they announced October 17th would be the day of legalization we were like oh wow! And the date also happened to be my birthday, so we took that as a big sign from the Universe!

Lana: We were thinking about our experiences and of the female experience in general of going into a head shop and how, it’s wasn’t really a friendly or inviting place. There was nothing that represented cannabis the way that I buy all of the rest of the products in my home and my life: the way I buy clothes, the way I buy everything else. Thinking about all this, we just recognized at the time that this was not the future.

How did you figure out your distinct roles within a partnership?

Hayley: It’s funny it actually wasn’t a conversation but we realized we had very different skill sets.

Lana: We kind of joke how it’s just so inherent to us, because it’s a small business, we both do everything in a way.

Who we are, the way we approach things, is just so complementary that there’s really no question of who owns what when. And since we talk 400 times a day it’s pretty easy to separate the who what when.

What about your backgrounds has prepared you to run this company?

Hayley: My background is in fashion. I lived in England for 7 years where I worked for a bunch of different luxury fashion brands. As well I worked for the ITC doing consulting, then when I moved back to Toronto I took over as design director for October’s Very Own where I was doing a bit more streetwear stuff.

With Sackville + Co we’ve tied that all of our experience into the brand synergistically. We’ve talked about this before but for so long, there’s only been one real aesthetic that went along with cannabis culture which had a headshoppy, masculine kind of look. So we just wanted to spice it up.

Lana: I came from traditional advertising, then worked in music for a while, then media, then business development… so I round out the other end of Hayley.

How do you know how to go from having a job to knowing how to run a company?

Lana: You don’t, you learn. It’s on the job learning. You don’t give up. One foot in front of the next constantly… (laughing) with a blindfold on, holding hands.

How do you feel about being female founders and independent?

Lana: It’s something that, in our day to day we aren’t overly focused on it. We are doing this out of an inherent desire. We recognize it, we see it, we’re conscious of it, and we’ve kinda had our own experiences - but It’s like emblematic of a lot of things and we hope to see the industry level out a bit.

Hayley: Ya I mean, I think you hope that generally in society, in this industry but also in every other industry, that we are working towards more equal opportunity for women, and more diversity in all aspects of business. It’s something we all have to be fighting for to make that change.

Lana: The good thing is that for the women that are in the industry, it’s a very tight knit community. Everyone is incredibly supportive and I think the way that we all operate with each other is going to inspire more women to get involved in the industry. The whole environment is really quite incredible.

Hayley: People really hold each other up and I think that’s really important.

What were your thoughts about the cannabis industry before you founded your company? What were your concerns?

Hayley: Well, I think Canada is a difficult place to operate in, in that it’s so heavily regulated. We aren’t doing consumable, we do a lot of lifestyle goods that are outside of consumables, like candles, or jars, so we have found a path that works for us. When we first started of course we had dreams of being more in the flower side. As you get more involved and learn more, you realize that flower is one part of a massive industry that has many other really vital arms to it. There are so many ways you can be in the industry without touching flower.

Lana: As much as if feels like it’s everything we talk about, everything we do, it’s funny how you get isolated in this cannabis industry warpzone and you realize other people are not as in it.

Hayley: I think that’s one of the things I’ve learned is that people inside the industry don’t have a realistic viewpoint of how people see cannabis outside of it. People are still learning, it’s so new for so many people! For example people think that putting cannabis cream on your body will get you high, or people have assumptions built from anti-cannabis propaganda. People often think the consumer is way far ahead of that, but really they’re looking to learn the basics.

What has the journey taught you? Loves / dislikes? Challenges?

Lana: It’s funny we talk about this a lot. It’s very much, starting a business and being an entrepreneur is a rollercoaster and the cannabis industry is a whole new set of ups and downs. But, every part of it is wildly rewarding: the challenges, the relationships that we are building along the way. Even just personally, the amount of growth we’ve both seen personally in the last year

Hayley: They always say this, but it’s so true: you learn so much more by getting involved and getting your hands-dirty. And the more that you do, the more that you learn, and the more you figure out how to do it better. It’s a wild ride!

Lana: I think the biggest thing we’ve really learned is that it’s honestly just persistence. It is just, no matter what, taking a step forward every day. You don’t always know in what direction.

What kind of milestones have you hit since you launched?

Hayley: the OCS deal was a big milestone for us.

Lana: We have aggressive timelines, the OCS one was a big one, and now we’re moving into larger wholesale contracts and International distribution. There’s a lot of pieces for us as we always have our sight set 10 steps ahead. So, while there’s been some really great milestones and I think we just see all the other things that we’re excited to step into.

How has instagram helped platform your brand? Are you worried about our account being taken down?

Hayley: It’s been an interesting one. In terms of brand awareness I would say world-of-mouth has been the most important. We’ve participated in a few in-person events like rolling salons or things like that, and It’s been amazing because people get to touch and try the product. From all the feedback we’ve gotten people really love the product and that’s what it comes down to at the end of the day.

Lana: Instagram’s been incredible for creating relationships. We talk to so many entrepreneurs in the space. Our brand is really rich within music, art, fashion, culture those kinds of things. We’ve had a lot of relationships built through that social network.

Hayley: All through those DMs baby! I mean it’s true though, you’re able to connect with people you would never connect with otherwise.

Lana: It allows us to connect globally. One of our big pillars is our artist collaborations, and we’ve created some great relationships Internationally with women who are creating artisanal products worldwide and it’s all been through that platform. It is a great way to meet people with shared values.

Hayley: Ya, we are about to release our next collaboration with an artist in Mexico, which will be all handmade products.

What can you tell us about your next venture?

Lana: We can’t say that much right now but we have big things coming. We are launching our next venture called Parlor. We are incredibly passionate about both brands and both offerings.

What advice would you give to women wanting to break into the industry?

Hayley: I would say, show up, so go to all the events, go to all the meet ups. You’ll learn a lot of tidbits. Take the stuff that suits you. It’s a good way to gauge what you want to go into, what inspires you and peaks your own interests. Really whatever your passion is, there’s a way to match it to cannabis.

Lana: To Hayley’s point, it’s like: “learn learn, learn.” There is so much to learn and understand within this space, I think there’s so many avenues you can build on but it’s all about showing up, participating and soaking it in. It’s interesting because there are a lot of companies that are larger than us, and some our size. So we trip and fall and then the next cohort of people coming up can learn to not trip on the same things as us.

Hayley: That’s one of the amazing things, how quickly things evolve and change. The industry so much is going to open up so much more even by this October. It’s amazing really.

Related comments

JADEO Women's Health 2 weeks ago / Toronto, Ontario


Women in Cannabis Wednesday: Edition 8 - Janelle Powell

This week we interviewed Janelle Powell, Director of Marketing for JADEO. She shared with us how her career led her to this fearless work, how she thinks outside the box as a marketer, and how cannabis is incorporated into her creativity and self care.

Tell us about the moment you were at in your career when you jumped into the role with JADEO.

At that point I was teaching a digital marketing course, looking for something new, something different, something exciting. I was at a stage in my career where I was really ready to “up the anti.” At that time it was becoming clear that the whole cannabis legalization thing was going to happen, and it was all pretty exciting.

Can you tell us a bit about your background / education?

I went to Trent University and studied Cultural studies, Mass Media Film + Video. I had been working in digital marketing for many years after that in different capacities. I had worked for a few food + beverage type companies, like Pinkberry Canada, Yogen Fruz. I also had experience in government organizations like Government of Ontario, start-ups, multinational companies, retail, real estate...many industries! Cannabis was one of the industries that I had never touched before, so it was extremely intriguing to me.

What were your thoughts about cannabis prior to working for a startup in the space?

I grew up on the Caribbean island of St.Kitts, and foreigners often have this stereotype of Caribbean people - that we smoke all day, like “ya mon,” when in fact that was the farthest thing from the truth. There was actually a really negative stigma around cannabis. I grew up putting this stigma in my head, that only low-lives, or school dropouts smoked. Later, as I made friends with people who consumed and realized they were successful people and they weren’t low lives or drop outs, the stigma started to dissipate.

Then, when I took on the role with JADEO I was doing research and writing articles and I began to learn a ton about cannabis as a plant, and what it’s used for. I remember thinking: “Oh my gosh, it’s medicine. It’s a prescriptive medical drug. This actually can help people who have medical conditions, or pain, stress etc. really it does so much good.”

How did you feel about being a mom and sharing this info about your job with other parents, friends?

My friends were all receptive; a lot smoke casually or even regularly. They think it’s cool that I am getting to be a part of fighting the stigma.

My family initially was more confused: “What do you do, are you selling weed?” they would ask. I’d answer: “Even if I were, is that so bad?” Eventually they understood what I do, then I naturally became the de facto educator in my family. To those with anxiety for example I would make a suggestion, like: “maybe you should try some cbd.” Now I have family members who have tried it, and are now promoters themselves.

However, I do still feel some judgement as mom who works in cannabis and uses cannabis not from family and friends but from outside people. And that’s why I think it’s important for me to show that you can be successful in your career, be a good mom, AND use cannabis...really just showing a lot of these stereotypes are false.

What do you like most about legalization?

I think what I like most about it, is that it’s an opportunity to open people’s minds. There are so many old stereotypes and misconceptions. Legalization gives us an opportunity to talk about it, share our positive insights, be honest, learn, and educate.

What do you think will change now that we have legal retail?

I think once we get to that point where we have enough stores and supply, it’s going to be a great experience, because for the most part people actually prefer buying it in person. It’s been reported that 80% of people prefer buying cannabis from a physical location. A lot of people are new, and not connoisseurs. Retail shopping enables people to be able to ask questions in person, to figure out if its the solution for them.

Are you in the conversation on social media?

I have no problem sharing information - I happily share articles and info on my facebook and my twitter etc. Even if all my followers don’t read what I share but a few do, the information is still getting out there and touching people’s lives.

How does the Cannabis Act make your job challenging with JADEO ?

I think it’s a good challenge, in that it forces me to think outside of the box and be creative. You are heavily policed in terms of how you market, so it’s all new territory. We are all learning as we go along.

What are the unique opportunities that it leaves for marketers?

I think for most, it’s a matter of tapping into the creativity. A lot of people just go with the flow and do the basics or bare minimum. The Cannabis Act means we really have to be extremely innovative while following the law.

And that’s part of why JADEO exist. It’s a community for people interested in cannabis but it also offers unique advertising opportunities for entrepreneurs and marketers in the industry.

What do you love most about your job?

For me, I definitely love my team everyone has such diverse, varying backgrounds and there’s so much to learn from each other. I love being a part of a movement. The information that we provide our members access to can literally help people lead better lives. I realize this...and you start to feel like you’re a part of a much bigger thing.

How do you like directing the marketing for JADEO?

I am in love. I think it’s exactly what we need in Canada, and the world. It’s a place where you can feel comfortable and ask questions. A lot of people are wading the waters and don’t know where to ask questions. If you don’t know, somebody on JADEO knows. It’s such a community, such a vibe and I love spreading that message to Canada!

There are a bunch of platforms out there that are just content hubs and that’s great. We are about education and community, so when you factor all those things in, it’s a wonderful place that I enjoy sharing. People are signing up who want to share their knowledge with others, so a lot is unfolding on the platform. The best way to be a part of the movement is to become a member and stay locked in.

What is one of the things you love most about the work we are producing?

One of the things that I love about JADEO is our #wcw series. I’m honored to be a woman in cannabis feature. When you hear a lot of rhetoric, and recognize such a lack of diversity in the industry - you see how this work is making a difference. This is an opportunity to showcase a bunch of badass women, some of whom are the brains behind the brands. A lot of amazing women are involved in this movement, who people don’t realize who are pushing the industry forward. We are speaking up for people who can’t speak for themselves, painting you the full picture. We aren’t just saying it’s all great. We give you the full picture.

How does cannabis play into your self-care?

For me, I am a mom and I work fulltime and admittedly you have moments where that can become stressful and overwhelming. So it definitely helps me to relax after I’ve had a tough day, and allows me to get in tune with myself. I tend to feel a lot better after I get that.

I also was recently diagnosed with sleep apnea, and I found that adding cannabis to my sleep routine allowed me to get a much more sound and restful sleep.

As for cannabis and productivity, I love a good blue dream; it really gets me in the zone and gets me focused. I find myself at my best sometimes times when I do that. When you think about the stereotypes, like smoking cannabis can’t be productive - it’s not the case. I often find that’s when I’m at my most productive state.

Do you want to talk about the way you consume?

I have found that vaping has been a lot easier for me. It’s so easy to tuck a little vape in your pocket, it’s not obnoxious or overly obvious. I also like the fact that there’s no smoke, that’s the biggest thing to me. It’s definitely my preferred way of consumption. In social settings though I will smoke a joint. There’s something very classic about smoking a joint!

Do you have advice for people wanting to get into the industry?

Yes. I think as a woman of colour, a lot of people see the industry as having a lack of diversity. Whether that’s true or not, don’t let that limit your progression - apply for the job! If you’re a woman or person of colour, don’t doubt yourself. There is a place for you. Have major self confidence.

Also, a lot of people associate cannabis with selling it. When in fact, a lot of other jobs still exist within the cannabis industry. Realize that there are opportunities at every level for anyone.

If you feel like you lack knowledge or experience, you can learn about cannabis. Remember the industry is still fairly new. Things are constantly changing. You can definitely come in with limited information as long as you have a willingness to learn.

Related comments

  • From Lindsay Le Blanc

    Go Janelle!

  • From Brianne Campbell

    Love this!

  • From Romes_416

    One amazing lady!

JADEO Women's Health 3 weeks ago / Toronto, Ontario


Women in Cannabis Wednesday: Edition 7 - Aliza Sherman

This week JADEO caught up with Aliza Sherman, co-founder of Ellementa, a global network, and resource to connect women to cannabis experts and brands. She shared with us a bit about her groundbreaking background, her journey with medicinal cannabis and more about the women’s network she’s developed specifically for the cannabis space.

To begin, can you tell us a bit about Ellementa for those who aren’t familiar?

At Ellementa, we are focused on health and wellbeing and on women’s roles as caregivers. As women, we care for our children, our partners, and our parents as they begin to age. We sometimes are searching for our own health, wondering “how can I take better care of myself,” or “how can I feel better?” We might want to help a friend. At Ellementa, we want to be a woman’s guide to trusted, quality products. We try to be a clearinghouse of useful information. We do this through monthly in-person gatherings in over 45 cities across North America, as well as our website, email, live webinars, and private online forums.

How did your background lead you to create Ellementa?

A. I started the first woman-owned internet company “back in the day.” I helped pioneer the web for women and started an organization in the 90s to teach women how to use the internet. Many of my books have been around business and the internet. Cannabis is like the Internet industry in many ways - and with Ellementa, I started the first women’s global network where women teach women about cannabis.

What made you decide to break into the cannabis industry this way?

When I first looked at the cannabis industry it was from a professional standpoint. At the beginning of 2016, I was looking for where to go with my skills and had a long time digital marketing company. I quickly began learning about cannabis. I grew up in the 80s with the national anti-drug campaign of “Just Say No,” and was told that cannabis was a gateway drug to heroin. I began recognizing all the misinformation out there, and as I started to understand the medicinal health benefits of cannabis, I started to wonder how I could use it for myself. I wasn’t looking for a job, I was just looking for a place to get new business. I also get paid to do future trends for clients which is why cannabis got on my radar. I wasn’t looking at it otherwise.

How was cannabis appealing to you for purposes of your own self-care?

I was going through menopause early because when I finally had a baby at 41, it sent me immediately into menopause. This is not uncommon, but at a younger age, no one told me it would be this bad. I had insomnia that was becoming a real problem. My neck was hurting from arthritis from all the years of using technology: no one knew how badly we were harming our bodies with technology. No one had ever told me that cannabis could help me, but I started looking specifically at cannabis for self-care.

Did it work?

The first time I tried it I slept through the night. I woke up the next morning and I cried. I thought: why don’t people know about this?

Wow, so what was next?

Well, I just happened to be moving back to Alaska where cannabis had been decriminalized in 1975 and a regulated industry since 2016. I was able to find a grower who became my caregiver. Another woman told me how to use a flower vape pen. All I remembered at that time was from what we were told in the 80s, but I became empowered to begin exploring medicine for myself.

How do you introduce products to your community?

We are careful about how we recommend and what we recommend. When we introduce a new product we’ve made sure to have vetted the company. Several individuals on our team try the products, depending on the type of product and the delivery. No one can pay to buy a review from us. We will review based on things found to be effective.

Aren’t the rules around cannabis different everywhere?

Yes, and that means we have a lot of hoops to jump through and mazes to navigate to get information to women.

Why are you only targeting women?

Because women hold the healthcare decision making power in households: which doctors do we see, which products do we use? When one of our friends is diagnosed with something, we reach out with support or suggestions. When you tell one woman about the health benefits of cannabis and she is inspired, she instantly influences her community at large.

Can you tell us more about how the monthly meetups work in connection with sponsorship?

The right sponsor for Ellementa is a company with a willingness to educate. They have to be education forward. To reach our community, we use a combination of different pathways or channels, both online and off. Depending on the sponsorship level, we may showcase someone from a company at a Gathering or provide information about their products or include them on a webinar or survey our members for a brand.

Why does education play such an important role in your mission?

I use as an example when I tried a product for women’s sexual wellness - a CBD oral spray with a bunch of herbs. After taking this particular product, suddenly I had night sweats and insomnia all over again. It turned out that the herbs combined in the product I was using were not good for menopausal women, but I had to research that before I figured it out. Although it sounded really good, the product was more suitable for a pre-menopausal woman. Women’s hormones are very different. How you take care of yourself when you’re at different physical life stages is totally relevant and there is no one size fits all. It’s important to be mindful of that as women explore cannabis considering all the products being made right now. Education helps us question how products are made and how they can help us - or not.

What advice would you like to give to women who want to break into the Cannabis industry?

Bring your talents and skills to the cannabis industry. We need you! Whether you’re a lawyer, accountant, salesperson, graphic designer, or writer, your experience is valid. You can learn all about cannabis. What we learn over time in our careers are things like a good work ethic, professionalism, and business savvy plus the ancillary skills that can support cannabis companies. Ask questions, get everything in writing, and stand up for yourself. Your voice deserves to be heard.

Related comments

JADEO Women's Health 1 month ago / Toronto, Ontario


Women in Cannabis Wednesday: Edition 6 - Savina Fierro

This week JADEO caught up with Portland-based cannabis collage artist Savina Fierro (@savinamonet) and got to hear about how she found herself working in this creative niche within the industry.

When did you start working in collage?

Collage was something I started in 2015 while I worked as a receptionist. I did nothing all day... I did absolutely nothing. So, I decided to open up my office’s paint program. I downloaded Gimp, a free version of Photoshop and began cut and pasting and trying out themes. I also tried to do it at home, using paper.

What made you decide on the title “cannabis collage artist?”

It was kind of a title I was given. People would say “she’s a cannabis collage lady!” It was stifling at first, like I could never branch out, but I’ve embraced it.

Can you tell us how cannabis became a central theme in your art?

Cannabis has always been in my life, so it became obvious to throw it into my art. I love to make surreal landscapes, and I’d think woah, (I probably was high one day)... cannabis can be a big tree! I played with that in my collage, and started exploring. Cannabis, after all, is a flower, and a part of nature just as anything else; a tree, a bush. It works. People are familiar with the flower cannabis, but also familiar with the feeling. I try to evoke the feeling in my work.


When did you decide to turn it into a business?

It really has evolved - now I’m a collage artist, graphic designer, and creative director for the cannabis industry. It actually first started back in the Fall of 2016 because I was trying to create a cannabis design agency that would offer other services. I had a partner who saw my collages and thought it would be cool for our social media, back in November 2017. It was supposed to be a catered media company towards the cannabis market, but in January 2017 when the Cole Memo came out in the United States, it stated that anyone associated with cannabis industries are still breaking federal law and will be prosecuted. My partner was spooked enough to want to stop. After my partner decided not to continue, I said - ok this will be a one-woman show. Oregonians are so secure in our little bubble of cannabis legalization that we’re not as afraid of that anymore.

Have companies found you through Instagram?

Oh my goodness, I devote my career to Instagram! When I first started, I got a list of cannabis companies registered with the state - I would go down and call them and see if they needed anything. I didn’t get any clients that way. All of my current clientele has been through word of mouth: “hey I’ve seen this, or so and so told me.”

Tell us about some cool projects you’ve worked on.

I did a project with NuLeaf Portland, they are a capital raising company for people of colour here, looking to get into the cannabis industry. I mostly do commissions for brands, and that’s how I’ve seen my art transform into products for people’s companies. I try to incorporate part of the brand’s personality. You can tell it’s Savina, but it still keeps the essence of the brand.

Are there any other projects you’re particularly fond of?

Another one I’m proud of, which is channeling a different style, is a magazine called Mercatus that’s coming out in June. It started as a collective for entrepreneurs of colour in Portland, with an online directory where people could go for support. It’s grown so much they are putting out their first publication. And they are inclusive of people of colour working in the cannabis industry. That’ what I love about cannabis, it gives us that liberty we all love, in something people are passionate about.

How do you use cannabis in your self-care?

I don’t use cannabis as much as I think I would. I probably smoke a joint or take a dab in the morning, and then not again until the end of the day. I do consume daily because it helps me keep a baseline. I am super neurotic and I get too zoned in, so it helps me return to “normal.”

Have you been approached by any Canadian companies?

I did a commission for a cannabis distributor called The Cannabis Complex for your legalization day. I think that was the only one.

Related comments

JADEO Women's Health 1 month ago / Toronto, Ontario


Women in Cannabis Wednesday: Edition 5 - Katrina Malmqvist

This week we met with budding cannabis nutritionist Katrina Malmqvist, who is the brains (and beauty) behind Gräs (@grasgoods), for a very special Women in Cannabis feature. Katrina is a high vibing mom whose journey with cannabis began roughly 15 years ago. Here we share her story on becoming a cannabis nutritionist as a mompreneur, how cannabis plays a role in her self-care and how her Instagram @grasgoods is poised to break important ground from the voice of a conscious cannabis advocate.

Q. You say your journey with cannabis began many years ago, can you share some of that story with JADEO readers?

Absolutely. I’ve been a cannabis advocate for as long as I have used the plant and as a young woman, witnessed the profound physical, mental and emotional benefits cannabis had on my terminally ill Father. Throughout my studies in health and exercise sciences and holistic nutrition, I really started to understand the intricacies of the human body and the effects that diet, exercise, and lifestyle choices had on our overall health. I became fascinated with the medicinal qualities of cannabis and how it could help people with specific conditions, in conjunction with other lifestyle interventions. The research at this time was slim but what occurred to me is that cannabis was underutilized and over scrutinized alternative health modality that had so much potential when used appropriately and with conscious intention.

In truly believe that strain, dose and consumption type specific cannabis use, when used in combination with a healthy lifestyle (fitness + nutrition) is where the entourage effect of cannabis is multiplied.

Q. How did you become a cannabis nutritionist?

Fast forward to roughly 4 years ago and my close family friend was going through radiation for breast cancer. I had a few nutrition clients dealing with chronic diseases, and I had just experienced multiple miscarriages. I started to develop and make really healthy edibles for symptom relief. At that time I was making chocolates that were gluten, soy, dairy and refined sugar-free - so no matter what kind of dietary restrictions were present, everyone could enjoy them. I was infusing the edibles with strain-specific cannabis. Even though at that time my cannabis knowledge was minimal, I did as much research as I could to understand the strain used and their general effects on individuals. As a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, I was careful in how I took an integrated approach to knowing their health histories and their goals and chose specific strains accordingly. For example, for one it was for symptom relief from radiation, but other individuals had different goals and needs. That was where I started seeing the amazing effects of it in myself and others.

I had been working in the corporate world in organizational health and wellness for almost a decade at that time, and this little passion project sparked a realization within myself, that I was able to affect change on an individual level with two of my great loves- nutrition and cannabis.

Q. So how did you decide to create Gräs?

Since I am married to a Swede and Swedish is spoken in our household, it was only fitting to give a nod to that. Gräs in Swedish means cannabis, also straight up grass. It also embodies ‘natural’, exactly what my products are.

The backstory to how Gräs was born, as I described, was essentially out of the need in the market for microdosed, healthy edibles. I noticed a common dialogue with a few circles of mine which was that people wanted to introduce or reintroduce cannabis into their lifestyle for the health benefits but weren’t interested in smoking it and some were even hesitant to vape it. Edibles are discreet and tasty but there is also a fear associated with them as so many people have had a ‘bad trip’. I noticed the edibles that were illegally available in the market, were very sugar laden, and full of stabilizers, artificial colours and flavoring not to mention, dosed higher than the average user could handle. Also, for those individuals who were making their edibles as home, they typically had little knowledge on how to properly create the infusions and understand how to dose.

So many people care about the quality of their foods (organic, gluten-free, local, whole etc) on a daily basis, why would they want to ingest an edible that contained unhealthy and possibly harmful ingredients and an undesirable dose? I started the product development process, playing around with infusions, purchasing equipment, learning about dosing, about decarboxylation, and kept testing and testing. It was really important that each product came out the same through various forms of testing.

With the current framework of legalization, I’m not currently selling Gräs, but I have begun an Instagram account to educate and create awareness on cannabis and it’s possible role in a healthy lifestyle. Another reason is to participate in the conversation of breaking down the stigma of Cannabis use. Until legalization occurred, I found it to be hard as a professional who works in health and wellness, and as a mother, to be out in the open about cannabis without fear of judgment. There are such outdated and uneducated mentalities around cannabis use and I am so excited for the shift in this is the coming years.

I don’t want to say that Instagram has helped me “come out of the closet,” exactly, but seeing so many other amazing entrepreneurs, professionals, athletes, and parents starting to open up about their cannabis use has been incredible. People who use cannabis are no less productive than anyone else and in fact, cannabis can skyrocket creativity, productivity and focus when used with a little education and intention.

Q. Tell us why the edibles you developed are known as “fat bombs”?

The reason I developed the fat bombs is that personally, fat is my macronutrient of choice. We as modern day humans are in general not getting the right amount of healthy essential fats and people are still shying away from fat and opting for low-fat foods, which is unfortunate. The decades-old low fat craze is still ingrained in many people’s minds as a way to keep weight down and stay healthy. When in fact healthy saturated fats such as organic grass fed butter and coconut oil, provide us with incredible dietary and health benefits. ‘Fat Bombs’ are not a new creation and are big in the Keto world.

As as a nursing mother, I began to realize that I needed more fats and calories that I was naturally eating to keep my supply up, so I started making fat bombs after my second baby was born. They were delicious, quick fuel providing me with the nutrition I needed, but I started to think - why don’t I infuse these with a microdose? Since cannabinoids are fat soluble, I began infusing cannabis into organic coconut oil, which I found to be the best carrier. What I discovered was what we call the entourage effect; a microdose with full flower infusion of just 3mg was giving such a beautiful, layered effect. It is long lasting and delivers this slow, wonderful elevation that I found really helped me deal with some postpartum anxiety I was experiencing.

As I spoke openly about the everyday stressors of parenting, many of my friends could relate, so I began sharing microdosed fat bombs with friends, family, and neighbours.

Gräs goods kind of caught fire within my own circle fast. I was so intrigued by the response I continued innovating and making batches of different flavour profiles of fat bombs and dropping them off to my network with a list of ingredients, strain type, and suggested use and in exchange wanted to know, ‘how does this help you if at all, what is the effect?’ The verdict was my product was more than just a cannabis edible, it was a nutrition product with benefits. In fact, the fat alone has profound positive effects. Essential fats play a role in hormone and blood sugar regulation, musculoskeletal health, digestive functioning, and the list goes on. This product takes into account the principles of holistic nutrition and whole foods by using the whole cannabis flower and real, organic ingredients. Like the tagline, it’s macronutrients with micro elevation.

Q. How do you incorporate cannabis edibles into self-care?

I like to incorporate microdosed cannabis in everyday life. My life is very active, and a microdose of sativa, for example, is a trusty companion for long hikes, waterfront walks, pre-workout or just cleaning the whole house and loving it versus feeling like it’s a big chore. The way I feel will determine the strain - for example, I’ll choose an Indica fat bomb, do a little yoga, and run a hot bath when I really need to shut my brain off and feel frazzled from the day of toddler meltdowns etc.

What’s really cool is I find that when I have a healthy edible, once the effects come on, I am able to tap into my body’s wisdom better. The choices I proceed to make come from a place where I am so in tune with what my body needs now, it’s undeniable: “I need this green juice,” or “I gotta get down and stretch out my psoas.” I think that is the entourage effect coming from the full flower combined with the high-fat ingredients- an elevated entourage effect of sorts.

I think it’s also important to note, sometimes it’s just not the right time for an edible or cannabis in general, even a microdose. I’m lucky in the fact I live in an amazing and walkable Toronto neighbourhood (Roncesvalles), so I don’t drive often and am on Maternity leave. Obviously, if you are driving the day of, you would never take even a microdosed edible. It’s about responsible and conscious use and I believe that I have a role as a budding influencer in the space to model this.

Q. What will keep you busy in advance of edibles becoming legal in the marketplace?

As a registered holistic nutritionist I am focused on holistic health, and I can see my place as a cannabis edibles startup filling a much-needed niche. A non-combustible, microdosed and healthy nutritional edible free of typical dietary offenders. The way I see it, Gräs is foundationally a nutrition product. Health practices and cannabis shouldn’t be separate and in my mind, the future of cannabis will be integrated into other health modalities. It can be incorporated into a healthy lifestyle so well if you’re using the right product and you have a bit of education on this wonderful plant.

I’m busy currently getting a Cannabis Science Education through Sativa Science Club’s six-month certification program and look forward to continue backing Gras with the latest cannabis research.

I think eventually, I’ll be producing the fat bombs in partnership with an LP, but for now, I want to focus on consumer education and product development. I strongly believe people need to learn how to dose accordingly if they are making their own edibles and I plan on starting up a series of workshops on healthy edibles in the near future.

I view myself as a conscious cannabis advocate. It’s not about getting high, it’s about elevating your natural self, connecting with yourself and others on a different level, experiencing relief and gaining a new perspective. That is the beauty of microdosed cannabis edibles and I’m excited to play a leadership role in this fast-growing industry.

Follow Katrina on Instagram to find out when she’ll be offering any upcoming edibles workshops @grasgoods.

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JADEO Women's Health 1 month ago / Toronto, Ontario


Cannabis and Sex: A Destigmatized look

In today’s world, when we discuss how cannabis plays a role in the bedroom, it’s not just about “hitting the bong and getting it on.” In fact, there are many different ways to incorporate cannabis into one’s sex life, and many emerging businesses are looking to capitalize on this area of cannabis enhancement. While in Canada the restrictions have held back any forms of edibles or topicals that may enhance sexual arousal or pleasure, there are a plethora of cannabis products on the market today in legal states; namely, sex lubes, and supplements like cannamojo. Cannamojo is touted as the "first male enhancement pill infused with THC on the market that gives users an elated sensation or ‘buzz.’”

Ted Naylon, the 45-year old Rochester based entrepreneur behind the product explains that “the THC is also an aphrodisiac.” While it has not been tested in women, he says that “together with the ‘mojo,’ it boosts both the desire and physical effects the man wants.” One little pill as a pathway to pleasure? Perhaps, but we felt there was more to consider in the canna-sex space than the consumption or application of THCs product to enhance sex, so we looked to sexperts for their say on the matter.

That’s when we discovered Dr. Carlen Cost; a sexologist, relationship psychotherapist, and cannabis educator who has made her voice loud in the cannabis space through Women in Weed events with Vanderpop. In her counseling work and online brand “the Goddess Foundation,” she empowers women to embody an unapologetically passionate lifestyle through intimacy, sexuality, sensuality, self-worth, body-image, and relationships.

This month she explained to the Edmonton Star that “cannabis can help clients with relaxation, pain relief, increasing connection and sensation, and acceptance of sensuality.” By contrast, she said people mixing alcohol with sex are more likely to “perform poorly” or “be challenged in the moment.”

Her Instagram (@carlen.costa) provides coaching-style insights into sexuality that encompasses her holistic approach which can include cannabis. “Release the Orgasm Goal:” she writes, “when we have sex, we can become so wrapped up in “getting there” that we forget to taste all the pleasure that is being served or asking to try something new. If we can share in physical pleasure with someone and sink into how our bodies feel when it is being shared and, eliminate the pressure to cum, we share intimacy, rather than sex.”

So how does cannabis play a specific role in her practice? It comes from a response to the need she’s observed: “When people come to me, they’re looking to figure out ‘How can I connect better with myself, how can I connect better with my partner, how can I relieve some pain, how can I get back into my body and enjoy the experience?’ Cannabis is one of the tools that people are starting to turn to in a variety of different ways,” she says.


Her approach is echoed by Amy Johnson, creator of Nox Shop, an online boutique for sex toys and sexual wellness products based in Montreal. The young entrepreneur was interviewed by 48 North’s Latitude Magazine earlier this month for a special feature on sex and cannabis. She shared how “cannabis can really help a lot of people get out of their head and just relax, which, for a lot of people, is a huge part of enjoying sex. Whether people prefer smoking, taking tinctures, or using an infused lube, it comes down to personal preference.” She also addressed the medicinal aspects of cannabis when she described how “people who have pain associated with sex, or their muscles tighten and don’t allow them to relax, are now able to feel pleasure through sex in a totally different way than before.”

While more articles and public talks on the subject will continue to play an important role in destigmatizing the topic of using cannabis for sex, we wanted to know if there are facts that can back their insights? It turns out there are. Studies have been coming out about general findings on cannabis and sex, with the biggest study to date by Stanford researchers. What they found was that compared to cannabis abstainers, men who used it weekly reported 22% more sex, and for women, it was 34% more. Among those who used cannabis more than once per week, the sexual frequency increased even more.

More recently, an Ipsos poll gathered responses from 1,002 Canadians, including 120 Albertans, between Jan. 29 and Feb. 1. The poll found that 75% of cannabis users in Alberta have used weed as part of their sexual experiences. From that group, 88% said it made sex better, 52% said it increased their pleasure and sensations, 48% said they felt a better connection with their partner and themselves, and 33% reported experiencing stronger orgasms.

While the statistics can back what the sexperts say, there is still more to the subject. Seth Prosterman, a San Francisco-based certified sex therapist told Vice in 2017 that “weed isn’t a one-way ticket to pleasure town, but it can help you get there.” Prosterman explained his view: “Pot can give us a glimpse into our sexual potential. Working towards our sexual potential, with our partners, is part of developing a higher capacity for intimacy, passion, and deep connection.” This connection goes beyond what cannabis can offer, as he emphasizes: “While pot can help bring out our most sexy selves, dishibit us, or relax us during sex, I would highly recommend that people learn to be in the moment and deeply feel and connect with their partners without using enhancing drugs.”

How does cannabis play a role in your sex life? JADEO provides readers with a safe place to share and ask questions, so one by one we may break the stigma together.

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JADEO Women's Health 2 months ago / Toronto, Ontario


Women In Cannabis Wednesday: Edition 4 - Connor Christine

This week we caught up with JADEO Co-Founder Connor Christine to learn more about her journey to starting up one of the leading online platforms for cannabis networking and education in the new legalized world. She shared with us how the idea for JADEO came to be and how she incorporated cannabis into her self-care.

Tell us how you first became interested in the cannabis industry?

It’s actually kinda funny how I got involved in the cannabis industry. I never thought that I’d end up here. I sort of began as just a recreational user and didn’t even know the difference between indica and sativa. Then, when Michael ( Co-Founder and CEO of JADEO) started acting as a consultant in the industry, my questions began to build up. It was through those questions that we started to notice there were a lot of gaps in the industry; primarily around education, networking, and marketing. Our wheels started turning, and we started thinking of different ways we could help improve these gaps. The more we talked, the more we discovered what was missing in the cannabis space, leading us to create a unique opportunity for what is now JADEO.

What gave you the push to start JADEO?

Well, at that time we attended a Lift&Co conference in Toronto. We noticed how all these brands, small and large - were limited to getting the word out about their brand at trade shows. As you know, conferences are very expensive. When we're thinking particularly about the smaller brands, we wondered how on earth could they afford a conference? These smaller brands are using up their annual budget at one conference! We wanted to create an equal opportunity to service small and large brands by essentially creating an online platform that can act as a conference 365 days a year.

How do you like running a startup?

Since working within the cannabis industry, I have a newfound love for Mondays. I am not a Monday person or a morning person, but since working in this industry I love it all. I love my job, I love my team, and I love the community that we’ve created. It’s an online space where people can come to feel safe asking questions, can trust the information they’re getting and feel comfortable sharing their knowledge. We cover all topics around education, wellness, the law, and much more all while giving business a trustworthy space to advertise - which is rare at this time in this industry.

How do you feel being showcased for our Women in Cannabis Wednesday?

As a young entrepreneur, I’m all about empowering women. Over the years that we’ve been developing JADEO, there have been so many wonderful women around me, and when I see how hard they’re working it’s so inspiring. When my team recently brought forth the theme for #wcw as a feature on our platform, I was thrilled. I felt it was a great way to showcase all these powerful, hard working women. In fact, one of my favourite quotes that fits well into this industry is: “let’s root for each other and watch each other grow.” That’s how I feel about being a woman in cannabis.

How do you maintain self-care working in an uncertain startup environment?

So far this journey has been amazing! We’ve been through a lot of ups and downs as young entrepreneurs, but I think it’s super important to always see the good in a situation. I always try to think “what is this teaching me?” instead of “why is this happening to me?” Mindset is so important, and when you have a team, it’s an important part of leading a team.

To help with that mindset, I like to fill up my pax with Blue Dream. I also always love to take a bath, and it’s my favourite way to end my workday. Life is busy, so it’s hard to find a routine - but that’s why PAX and a bath is a daily self-care ritual I honor.

Related comments

  • From Kenneth Joaquin

    Fantastic! Way to go Connor.

  • From Janelle Simone

    One of the most amazing women in cannabis I'm happy to know!

  • From Michael Joseph

    Well said, Connor! We at JADEO are all so very proud of you!

  • From 22

    Excellent and great to see how and why you entered the industry... ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • From Connor Christine

    Thank you Everyone! I am so blessed xoxo

  • From DRogerson

    You go girl! Thank you for being an inspiration to women everywhere.

JADEO Women's Health 2 months ago / Toronto, Ontario


Women In Cannabis Wednesday: Edition 3 - Melissa L'Heureux-Haché

We caught up with traveling hemp self-care guru Melissa L’Heureux-Hache to find out more about what it was like to found a company with her partner, how she stays glowing, and how she uses her product line while she’s on the go.

Tell us about your brand and how you got started

Our company is the Great Canadian Hemp Company. I started the company with my partner Edan in 2016, to create a brand that was socially and environmentally conscious, and to raise awareness about hemp in Canada. We felt it was important to dispel misconceptions about hemp - it’s gotten a bad rep over the years because of its association with cannabis (and this was before legalization!). We also love that it grows right here in the country we call home.

We chose the name because we wanted people to know that hemp was the base of all of our products, although it has made it difficult for us to advertise online. Most social media platforms are American, and they aren’t as hip to hemp as we are in Canada! So we’ve had to get our boots on the ground and meet our customers in person - which we love! We have exhibited at wellness shows, green living shows, yoga expos, and of course hemp and cannabis shows. It’s been wonderful to meet people face to face and connect with a public who may not be familiar with cannabis, but are willing to learn about it in a wellness oriented atmosphere. It’s been part of an effort to break the stereotypes about cannabis culture, in favour of promoting natural, plant-based care.

Where are you based? Are the shows you do primarily in Canada?

We’re currently splitting our time between Ottawa and Toronto, but we do shows all across Canada! We’ve even done events in the US, Denmark and the U.K. By traveling so much with our business, we’ve been able to get an idea of how people perceive hemp abroad, and develop a sense of what the market is like elsewhere.

How do you feel about working with your partner?

Well, we met, fell in love and started the company together pretty much immediately! We had a concept in mind, bootstrapped it with our own savings, and are now both able to work it full time. I’m really lucky that I have a partner in this adventure that I can lean on, and who fully understands how crazy this industry can be!

Besides your love for hemp body care, how do your values align?

We are both environmentalists, and really let that show through our company initiatives. For instance, we started a program called Seed The 6ix, where we plant 6 seeds in Canada for every product we sell. We also have a recycling initiative to encourage our customers to do good by our packaging, and we donate to different charities every month. We think it’s important to stick to our core values as we build this business - for ourselves, and for our customers.

All that travel must wear you out. Tell us about how you maintain your self-care rituals while jet setting!

Since I’m always in a different country or time-zone, my self-care ritual is not so much a routine - it’s more like good habits that I practice through this unpredictable flow that is my life. Having a big water bottle is a must - hydrating is key for healthy skin. Plus, almost all of our products are less than 100 ML so I take my full care routine on the plane with me in my carry on! My go-to product for a flight is our Healing Balm - it’s unscented, so it’s perfect for public spaces, and can be used for dry hands, chapped lips, or pretty much anywhere that needs a little moisture! It doesn’t have any CBD in it yet, but hopefully we’ll be able to talk about exciting new developments soon. Cannabis infused topicals is definitely the industry we’re gearing up for.

What about when you’re not jet-setting off to a trade show?

The first thing that comes to mind when we’re home is how much we love using our bath salts to unwind from a long day. We also love taking 10 minutes to do a clay mask together. If you check out our website, there's a whole write up on how to use it, but also how important it is to practice mindful self-care. It makes our skin look great, but we also have so much fun and always have a good laugh when we end up looking like cliché, green-faced spa goers.

Can you use any of your products in the bedroom? How do you see this incorporated into self-care?

We have a phenomenal hemp body oil that can be used for massage, an aromatherapeutic bath, or touching extra sensitive spots - perfect for fun in the bedroom. Whether you want to use the body oil on your own or with your partner, taking the time to give yourself pleasure is important. Maybe it’s just me, but conventional lubes are unappealing - they don’t have a natural texture and most are based with synthetic chemicals that I don’t want on my body, let alone in my body. I eat a plant-based diet and don’t like consuming foods with synthetics, so chemical-filled lubes are out for me. The last thing I’d want would be to taste synthetic blueberry cheesecake while making love with my partner!

What are your thoughts about cannabis and sex?

I definitely think there’s a big place for cannabis in the bedroom. It can be new and exciting, can increase sensitivity and awareness, and can really help you feel present in the moment. A lot of people have anxieties that might affect their ability to enjoy sex, whether it’s self-confidence or being with a new partner, and cannabis can help them relax and reach orgasm that much easier. At the end of the day, it’s all about pleasure, and being present in that moment with your body and your partner.

How can JADEO readers DIY a lube with THC while waiting for the regulatory framework to open up on cannabis topicals?

Although infused topicals aren’t regulated quite yet, you can absolutely DIY your own. To do so, you can purchase either CBD or THC oil from a Licenced Producer and mix it in to your favourite, body-safe lube (or body oil of choice!). Alternately, you can make your own from scratch by infusing coconut oil with dry flower cannabis over the period of a week or so, or google how to infuse the oil using a slow cooker. There are plenty of resources online, so do what feels best - although using a strain you already know works with your body and your preferences is always a good start.


Stay Informed. Stay Healthy.
#WeAreJADEO

Related comments

  • From Janelle Simone

    I'm loving these features. It's great to see other women amazing women in the industry and getting some insight on how they got here, and how they live life.

    • From Kenneth Joaquin

      Agreed! It's probably the best thing I've seen since following the cannabis industry. There are so many female leaders and it's refreshing to see! Can't wait to see what comes next for Melissa and GCHC.

JADEO Women's Health 2 months ago / Toronto, Ontario


Sex and Cannabis: an Explosive Mingling?

This month we open up the conversation with JADEO readers around the role cannabis plays in the bedroom since it’s no longer taboo to talk about cannabis and it’s far-reaching uses - we wanted to know more about how to incorporate it into playful and intimate aspects of self-care.

As Canada and 10 legal states open up the marketplace, we’re seeing a wave of cannapreneurs on Instagram - one of whom, Ashley Manta, is a sex educator teaching couples “exciting new ways to combine cannabis and sex. “It’s not just about getting high and having sex,” she explains in a video on her Instagram account @cannasexual where she is the self-proclaimed High Priestess of Pleasure. The brand name cannasexual is a word the entrepreneur created to “describe anyone who mindfully and deliberately combines sex and cannabis to deepen intimacy and enhance pleasure. Her brand services are based on the preface that cannabis can be used to promote intimacy, and acknowledges that cannabinoid infused products can enhance sensation or ease discomfort without making a person high. The sexpert offers one on one coaching, as referred to in the “Stoned Sex” episode of “Slutever” you may have caught on VICELAND TV.

Another female in the cannabis space, Ashley Siebert, acknowledges the use of cannabis and sex in her Little Book of Cannabis, where she does a deep dive into the common historical use of the plant as an aphrodisiac. She explains: “Cannabis was used in conjunction with sex in India in about 700 CE. Its use for both tantric sex and yoga arose out of what researcher Dr. Michael Aldrich calls ‘an explosive mingling’ of different elements of Shaivite Hinduism and Tibetan Buddhism.” While in recent years the drug may have had a negative stigma associated with its prohibition, “the tradition of drug yoga is an ancient and honourable one in India, developed to its fullest extent in tantric practice. Her book uncovers how marijuana fits into Hindu folk medicine: “The Tantras transform Hindu sexual practices into a means of meditational yoga. Cannabis use served not as a ‘disinhibiting agent,’ in this culture, but as an awareness booster that was essential to tantric ceremonies.”

Putting the plant’s use into such a context can help us build an appreciation for the medicinal use in lovemaking. Fast forward to Canada post-legalization in 2019 and we are going to see more and more products come to market which promotes the use of cannabis in sex, which is an often overlooked area of self-care, vital to deepening connection in our lives.

An emerging brand in the cannabis space you may have caught in person at Lift + Co is HighOnLove; a product line of sensual oils and body paint with pharmaceutical-grade cannabis oil. As we wait on the regulatory framework to shift in favour of legal THC topicals, HighOnLove has kept their products in the legal space by using only hempseed oil. The line boasts promises to bring heightened style and intimacy for the discerning woman who knows what she wants in the bedroom.

Creator Angela Mustone told The Her(b) Life how her “products will take you somewhere totally new, believe me!” She goes on to explain: “they’re blended with extremely high-quality natural ingredients so they’re great for all skin types. Using cannabis in oils in this way brings added stimulation, pain reduction and increased blood flow for extra pleasure.”

While we can’t wait to try all the forthcoming topicals in the bedroom, for now, we vape and wait. Have any experiences making your own bedroom friendly topicals? Write to our team ([email protected]) to share your insights for our next sex and cannabis feature.

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JADEO Women's Health 2 months ago / Toronto, Ontario


Women In Cannabis Wednesday: Edition 2 - Josée Duranleau

Topicals in Canada have been a hot topic in recent months, as regulatory guidelines have heavily restricted the legal marketplace and kept out products many consumers have already discovered and loved. This week JADEO features a budding cannabis female entrepreneur who is cautiously positioning her brand, Folia Essentials, to become a legal enterprise once creams and other body products become permissible in the cannabis space.

Meet Francophone Torontonian, Josée Duranleau, whose story begins when her 83 year old mother, Jacqueline, suffered a back injury. After trying every holistic treatment imaginable, nothing was helping Jacqueline relieve her pain. After months of watching her mother in agony, Josée remembered reading an article about a cannabis pain relief cream and thought it would be worth a try. They discovered that the cannabis pain relief cream provided Jacqueline almost immediate relief. With such success, the other ladies at Jacqueline’s senior’s residence wanted to try it too. It was a huge hit! This moved Josée to begin her research journey into the benefits of cannabis and inspired her to create her own product line to introduce others to the near-miraculous healing powers of cannabis.

As the clock slowly ticks for topical cannabis products to become legal, Josée is busy strengthening her expertise with a recently developed medicinal cannabis course through Fanshawe College and studying herbalism through an online course. Her goal is to partner with a company that holds a processing license and exudes the same values, shares the same goals, and wants to offer a chemical free, pesticide-free product.

Until the Folia product line can come to market, we were curious about the role that cannabis and her infused creams play in her everyday life and asked her to share with JADEO.

You came out to the world with Folia Essentials last summer at Lift + Co - very ahead of your time. Why?

I did it for brand awareness and to meet people in the industry. I was able to build an email list, and meet the public face to face as Folia. Now as I wait for regulations to change, I continue to share my news and knowledge with people interested in my products.

How do you stay connected as a solopreneur who technically can't startup yet?

I have been going to many networking events, other conferences, educational talks, I have met a lot of great people in the industry. Last year I was awarded a female founder scholarship by 48 North for the Leaf Forward cannabis start-up bootcamp. I’ve created a pitch deck and am in talks with several licensed producers to find the best fit for Folia.

Let’s talk about your topicals. What have you developed and why?

I use all of my products, except the beard oil! Everything started with the pain cream, then the more I studied and researched, the more I was just blown away. Every time I read something, it was another miraculous benefit I discovered. That’s why I developed the other products. The creation of each one came from a need I recognized for myself or others in my life. Aging skin, broken skin, dry skin, all those types of issues can be helped with cannabis. All of my products have higher THC than CBD because that’s what I’ve discovered so far to work.

Tell us about how they play into your beauty regime.

Basically, when I get up in the morning I have 500ml of water - right off the bat. Then I’ll have my breakfast and take my shower. My skin care routine begins by washing my face, then I use my eye serum around my eyes and also around the lips because I have lines there too. I apply the face cream and my body lotion.

At bedtime, it’s basically the morning regime again - but on my hands, I use my skin salve at night. Especially in winter, I get such dry skin around my nails. I use it to highly moisturize my hands.

How does cannabis play a role in other aspects of your self-care?

My self-care is really through diet, since I’ve had various autoimmune and health issues that I pretty much heal through diet and all natural medicines. Years ago I found that my joints, my hands, my hips were killing me and especially my lower back. I switched my office chair, my mattress, you name it! I began taking doctor prescribed CBD and removed grains and sugar from my diet. It’s worked wonders. I have a cannabis clinic that I go to at St.Clair and Yonge in Toronto. They take a pee sample, take my blood pressure, ask me how I’m doing. With the cannabis I use from my doctor’s prescription I have found tremendous relief of many symptoms.

What was your relationship to cannabis before using it medicinally?

I’m not a recreational user, so doing this now - it makes me laugh. I never thought I would be “that person” using cannabis, but after trying everything under the sun that’s natural, this is one of the only things that really works for me.

What other symptoms has it helped?

I suffer from insomnia and often have a difficult time shutting off my mind. I worry. I was doing meditation, which was helping but at night I found it very difficult to “shut the mind.”

Although I have CBD for daytime which helps with pain and anxiety, at night I would take a THC oil, but I found that I didn’t do well ingesting the medicine. It made me very tired the next day, but I also don’t think it was the right strain for me because it made me a little anxious. Instead, I use a vaporizer and take 2 puffs from an Indica, then sleep like a baby.

You say before CBD you were a huge worrier. How has the cannabis helped you maintain a positive mindset?

CBD I use for daytime. I’m currently using the yellow oil from Spectrum, containing 20% CBD and 1%THC. I’ve been using it for 2.5 years. I find when I use it, especially when I’m anxious or overwhelmed it really helps to calm me down. And, the sleep to me is a gift.

How do you determine the “right strain”?

The medical cannabis clinic I go to has been very helpful in recommending the right strains for my needs. When the THC oil they had suggested for sleep was not working, they helped me switch to an Indica dominant dried flower, which I also purchased from Spectrum, Bedica by Bedrocan. Unfortunately, the brand and strain are no longer available in Canada so I checked out the OCS site out of curiosity for the very first time to see what they had. I looked for the level of THC - some were very high. I looked at each strains’ terpene profile then researched them more online before making a choice. Royal High is the brand I purchased. The strain I chose is 12% THC, we’ll see how it goes! I recognized that I prefer a lower THC strain, anything above 14% turns my mind on, making it too active at bedtime.

What are you working on now?

I have just infused a new oil! I used Blue Dream, which has a higher THC content than CBD. I am going to get it tested to know more about the cannabinoids. I pay $250 to find out the profile.

Blue Dream Infused Cannabis Oil

I’m also beginning my cannabis course at Fanshawe College, so between that, networking at events, studying herbalism, giving educational talks, connecting with LPs and running my PR business, I keep very busy, believe me!

-

Stay Informed. Stay Healthy.
#WeAreJADEO

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JADEO Women's Health 3 months ago / Toronto, Ontario


Women in Cannabis Wednesday: Edition 1 - Laura Chodola

Laura Chodola, Westside mom and serial entrepreneur; Tealish Fine Teas, JOYN Botanicals

As we’ve welcomed the new year, the team at JADEO has been putting our self-care into greater focus and wanted to get support from women in cannabis who seem to have it all going on. We lined up some Q&As with some cool women in cannabis as inspiration to lead balanced, career-driven lives.

With this renewed sense of interest in our overall well being, we asked a top Torontonian entrepreneur and mom to give us insight into how she maintains a healthy routine while running a company, or two. We caught up with her at her westside tea boutique in Roncesvalles, which acts as a flagship for her tea and wellness lifestyle brand, Tealish. You might recognize the iconic tea brand from large and small gift retailers across Canada, or their flagship shop which was born on Queen Street West and migrated to the charming west side neighbourhood of Roncesvalles in recent years.

Laura shared her personal tips in self-care mastery and gave us insight into what it’s like to be taking a leap into the cannabis space after 14 years in the tea biz, with her founding partner and husband, Michael Rachmel.

Before we dive into your juicy self-care tips, can you give our readers a little background on what made you want to start a tea business and a give us quick glimpse into the journey that brought you to now?

My husband Mike and I started Tealish many years ago, and have always had an interest in food, drinks, and natural products. We were known as trailblazers in the tea industry, starting Tealish on Walnut Street in 2005, which was Toronto’s first modern tea shop. We’ve since grown our business to serve many retailers, restaurants, and cafes across Canada and have expanded our product offering from tea to many other wellness products that we feel fit seamlessly into a lifestyle that our brand promotes.

You’ve recently founded a Biotech Company called JOYN Botanicals that sounds a bit ahead of its time. Can you tell us more about it?

We are big believers in herbal medicine, essential oils, homeopathy, and all around holistic lifestyles, and are passionate about educating customers regarding herbal therapeutics. My love for health, healing, and hydration has lead the way for many of the teas and products we’ve developed since we began Tealish 13 years ago. Because we saw such an excellent fit between tea and cannabis as part of that wellness lifestyle, we set out to create a way to blend cannabis into tea in a seamless and elegant way.

This idea led to us found our startup, JOYN botanicals, where we have created technology that turns cannabis oils into a water-soluble powder. While we aren’t currently making cannabis tea, we are gearing up to partner with or serve licensed producers, as the law permits. By developing an edibles technology, we are able to pursue opportunities in the industry that will enable us to produce teas with the benefits of cannabinoids for the Canadian market. Both Mike and I are very excited about the possibilities that lay ahead with Joyn.

What is the inspiration behind the name?

The name JOYN came from both the word Joy and Join. The purpose of our technology is to join water and cannabis together seamlessly, resulting in more choice for consumers when it comes to healthy cannabis beverage options. We believe herbal medicine and cannabis experiences can be joyful, so it all kind of came together organically from there.

What made you so enthusiastic about developing a brand with this form of consuming cannabis?

We were very excited to develop this technology because it is completely unique, and has massive potential to elevate and simplify the cannabis beverage market. Ultimately, it's all about the consumer and giving more choice to consume cannabis in ways beyond smoking and vaping. Many of the cannabis beverages we have tried in US markets are not good at all, and it was our goal to change that!


Self-care Rituals

Let’s look at your life in a day. How do you fuel yourself to get out the door with stamina while getting two kids fed and ready for school?

To begin my day I practice detox principles with a cup of hot water with lemon to hydrate while I come to life. Next, I like to sip a strong bulletproof coffee while I prep the kids’ breakfasts and get lunches organized. This is also when, on days when I have that perfect amount of ‘extra time,’ I make my morning superfood smoothie. I love getting experimental with combinations that I read about on goop, well + good, or WuHaus. One of my most perfected smoothie recipes includes mango, coconut milk, some spinach, matcha, and our CBD powder. The polyphenols from the tea give me a cheery boost of steady energy while the CBD fights inflammation, relaxes me just a titch and keeps my nervous system in check.

When do you workout?

Usually, after I drop the kids off, I do some cardio or go to yoga class. A current fave is Breathe Studio in the Junction. It’s in this little pocket of the day when I feel I can best make time, and getting in fitness always helps the rest of my day go more smoothly. I am usually sipping tea from a travel water bottle, and love trying out new brands. Because I design and create product lines for Tealish, I always love trying designs from other companies to see what works best in my own lifestyle, so I can curate for our customers with total confidence.

You’ve arrived at the office. What key elements have you chosen to create an inspiring workspace?

I start by saying good morning to the team as I arrive at the shop, where our office and design studio lives nestled at the back. I try to be mindful of creating a positive work environment with the energy I bring with me to support and encourage the staff I lead. I’ll chat with everyone for a few minutes as I fill up a large glass of water and perhaps prepare a cup of daily detox tea to bring to my desk. I always have a few beverages going. (laughs) Some tease me for always having 3 different drinks on the go throughout the day, but I see hydration as a super important element of wellbeing. Next, I prepare some essential oils in the diffuser, turn on some chill/focus music, and open up my laptop to jump into the workday.

It smells great in here and your office is adorable; the art, the furnishings, the big windows.

Thank you! I love surrounding myself with beautiful things and plants, so the office aesthetic has been designed with these sensibilities. I think it’s important to have a lot of natural light and that everywhere you glance is another thing you enjoy the sight of!

It can be hard to focus even in the best of spaces. What products do you incorporate to get you in the zone at work?

I really feel that essential oils help to keep the momentum up, which is why after being so into them for years we began blending our own. Today I am diffusing AM detox - which is a blend of energizing and inspiring citrus fruits. It has a subtle smell that uplifts and motivates me.

Tell us about your lunch… UberEats or somewhere in Roncesvalles? What’s on your plate?

Hmmm… that’s tough since it changes all the time! For the most part, I try to bring some kind of fun salad for lunch which I will have prepared at home. One of my current favourites would be a salad with arugula, chicken, feta, toasted almonds, avocado, and broccoli… truly as many greens as possible with some kind of citrus vinaigrette. On days when I haven’t prepared a lunch, I love ordering Bolt Fresh bar using UberEats or the Simple Kitchen on Roncy is a favourite.

As the hours go on, how do you get through the afternoon slump? How do you keep the ideas flowing and not get fatigued?

I often have a matcha latte in the afternoon, our shop offers soy, almond, and dairy milk and is famous for great matcha drinks. Making sure to stay very hydrated all day also helps me through my afternoon workflow. If I get hungry between lunch and dinner I often will snack on a handful of almonds. I also stay energized by working at a standing desk. If I need to, I’ll get up and do some stretching, or go outside for a breath of fresh air.

Midday I always like to chat with a friend or meet up for a quick catch up somewhere in Roncy. My girlfriends are super important to me and we like to check in and see how the day is going. I often find that a quick chat will invigorate me for the rest of the day.

The workday is over and you’re back at home. Is there any special magic to your evening routine?

Our weeknights actually vary a lot. Often evenings I am out for kids activities or join friends, so typically there will be only a couple of chill nights while the rest of the week, evenings are pretty busy. I cherish the evenings I am home to unwind with tea and a good book.

After the kids are to bed, I definitely need some unwind time, and since I’m really excited about the concept of microdosing, I’ll often incorporate that into my evening wellness ritual. I don’t need a lot, so I will add a microdose of our cannabis powder to a cup of tea that I just brewed (PM Detox or Lemon Meringue are favourites), and take it easy for a little while before bed.

What kinds of things do you like to do while you sip your evening tea?

I love to read, so usually, I will read a few chapters of one of the books I have going, and then indulge in a Netflix show.

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  • From Connor Christine

    Love this!

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The views and opinions expressed in this video are of the presenter and do not necessarily reflect the official policies or positions of JADEO.

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