Photo: Roberto Caruso/Chatelaine.
Q:Carley, I was and am still blown away by your article “Why I traded in my Wine for Weed”. As a Cannabis Coach and Entrepreneur in the industry I hear so many others say the same thing “I tried it once and got sick”, or “I tried it a long time ago and had a bad experience, I am not doing that again!”. Can you tell us more about your experiences with cannabis years ago?
I’m so glad you enjoyed the piece!
I’ve never been a regular cannabis user. Mostly because I didn’t like the way it made me feel. I was often anxious and my heart would race. Then, when I was 30, I had a very bad brownie experience at a colleague’s holiday party, where I felt so uncomfortable and unlike myself that I swore off of it altogether.
Q: What lead you to want to try Cannabis again?
We had been planning to do a big editorial package about pot in Chatelaine’s September/October issue and were paying close attention to how the cannabis industry was gearing up for legalization. Then I received an invitation from a company called Dosist to visit California, where marijuana is already legal, and try its pre-dosed vape pens. The pens come in six formulas, such as Sleep and Passion, and vibrate after you’ve inhaled a dose. The idea is that you always know what you’re getting and that each dose is so small that you won’t really be high. I wanted to see if weed 2.0 was any different from my past experiences or if it was just savvy branding.
Q: What has surprised you the most, so far, about the new target demographic of cannabis and women?
It became abundantly clear when I was reporting my piece that pot was being positioned as a health and wellness aid for women — a tool for helping us de-stress, sleep more soundly, have better sex and even be more productive workers. Though there’s little solid research to support a lot of the health claims surrounding cannabis, there’s a health halo surrounding the drug, and data shows women are interested in its potential to improve their wellbeing.
Q: In the article, you share that California is the capital of cannabis and wellness. (I totally agree!) While being in the US, what were some differences you noticed pertaining to cannabis, compared to Canada? How is cannabis being more supported and embraced there?
It’s a bit of an apples to oranges comparison since pot has been legal there since January. That industry caters to all types of consumers, but it does skew towards that Californian blend of the luxe and the health-conscious. You’ll find organic cannabis products as well as high-end vape pens. And the market is much less regulated than the Canadian market will be, whether that’s a good thing is a matter of opinion.
Q: Your experience with pairing Dosist with experience’s such as a walk on the beach, sounds like the best retreat and an absolute dream come true. For anyone that hasn’t read the article, can you explain, what Dosist is and what these experiences were like personally?
The company makes vape pens in six formulas that give users microdoses of a cannabis concentrate. Concentrates will not be available to Canadians on Oct. 17, but they will likely be given government approval within the first year of legalization. The trip I went on was designed for media to experience the product in anticipation of the company’s eventual entry into the Canadian market. So you could try, for example, a dose of its Bliss pen during a hike along the coast and a dose of Relief at the end. I was nervous about going on the trip since I hadn’t tried pot in years, but I needn’t have been. The pens didn’t make me high (for me, that’s a plus), they just made me a little more chill.
Q: Here in the Maritimes, NB is much more advanced than NS or PEI, when it comes to education and embracing the flow of change. What is the Cannabis scene like in Toronto?
I honestly don’t know. I haven’t visited the city’s dispensaries and, like I said, I’m not a regular user. There are some cannabis start-ups that are pretty interesting. Dirt, for example, is a small company that puts on cool cannabis-and-food events, like multi-course dinners and a yoga session, where participants have one of its Kush and Push cannabis energy bars before their workout.
Q: How is the stigma around cannabis changing and how do you feel it will change within the next year?
There are a lot of cannabis users who defy the Seth Rogen stoner stereotype and, with legalization, I can imagine as people feel more comfortable discussing their cannabis use, the stereotype will be chipped away at. That said, there’s still a lot of stigma around cannabis use, especially for mothers and people of colour, and these things don’t change over night.
Q: I wrote a blog on May 21, 2018 titled “Do you Drink?”. It explained why I used to drink more often (to relax and relieve emotions), to the present moment of barely ever drinking now that I consume Cannabis every day. How is Cannabis changing and/or adding quality to your lifestyle?
A lot of women I spoke to for my piece also cut down on or cut out alcohol when they started using cannabis more regularly. Beyond my experiment for the piece, I haven’t made that switch. Maybe that will change after legalization, but I do really enjoy a glass of wine.
Q: Do you notice that those around you are also wanting to trade in their “wine for weed?”
I’m not sure I’d say that, but a lot of women I know are very curious about trying it, especially CBD products, after legalization. Many of them don’t like the idea of smoking a joint or being super high, but they are open to more discreet ways to take the edge off, relieve pain or help them sleep.
Q: I will personally be following your work and IG. For anyone else that wants to, what is the best way to do so?
Thanks for the support! The best way to follow me is on Twitter and Instagram.
Q: Chatelaine is a part of my family heritage (my mom and grandmother read every issue). I will be getting the September/October issue to read the Cannabis Starter Kit feature. What else will we will in this Starter Kit?
Along with my piece, there’s a guide to trying pot for the first time (or the first time in years), a primer on how to cook with cannabis, a piece on how marijuana actually affects your health and rundown of the new weed lingo.
Q: Any final words of wisdom, tips or information you would like to share?
With legalization on the horizon, I hope people do some research about cannabis, the various ways to consume it and how it can affect people. I’m skeptical that it’s the wonder drug that many people hope it is, but I do believe you’ll have a better experience if you’re informed. One of the things I learned while researching the piece is that being high doesn’t have to be the end result, but you have to start with a low dose and go slow.