5 Reasons It *Might* Be Time To Try Weed Again

Van der Pop papers

They call us ‘born again’.

If you’re anything like me, you may or may not have dabbled in marijuana in high school. And maybe, like me, you chose to leave Mary Jane back in 1999 when you realized that the phrase “smoke a joint and relax” didn’t apply to you. Maybe it was more often, “smoke a joint, get majorly fidget-y and try to breathe normal” type of a vibe. But as summer approaches—when weed will be legal for recreational use in Canada and sold in LCBO’s Ontario Cannabis Store—I got all canna-curious again with the ladies at Tokyo Smoke. In conversation with Odessa Paloma Parker, the brand’s head of content, and April Pride, founder of stylish toking accessories brand Van der Pop, I hereby present the top five reasons to re-consider taking up “flower,” as the herb is now called. But no peer pressure, that’s never cool.

April Pride Van der Pop
Van der Pop’s April Pride (Portraits: Emily Wraith)

Alright, let’s start with what’s most important: the fear of getting too high. We are busy women, we have careers, some of us have kids. We can’t afford to be shitfaced after smoking any random joint. The good news? Sophisticated marketing is taking the guesswork out of choosing which strain to buy.Whether you want to feel creative, reduce anxiety, fall asleep, treat symptoms of menopause or more serious medical issues, you can specifically address different things,” says Paloma Parker. Hence, the reason Van der Pop (a subsidiary of Tokyo Smoke) recently partnered with licensed medical marijuana producer WeedMd on two branded strains: Cloud Burst, a cobweb-clearing morning strain heavy on THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the chemical compound that causes a euphoric sensation) and Eclipse, a relaxing evening delight balanced by CBD (cannabidiol, the compound that taps into your body’s natural endocannabinoid system to relieve pain and inflammation but doesn’t get you high). Pride believes in the next five years, advertised effects will be even more tailored as the wellness industry takes hold.

Odessa Paloma Parker Tokyo Smoke
Tokyo Smoke’s Head of Content Odessa Paloma Parker

Just like my university professor in toxicology class used to say, ‘It’s the dose that makes the poison.’ Coming legalization day to Tokyo Smoke or the Ontario Cannabis Store—depending on which province you’re in—a new Canadian company called Dosist is out to make sure your buzz is reliable. Like Van der Pop, Dosist offers six clearly labelled strains in the form of dose-controlled vaping pens: bliss, sleep, calm, relief, arouse, and passion. Except this device, available in 50 or 200 use units, emits precise 2.25mg doses—every time. You simply bring the ‘smart’ mouthpiece to your lips, inhale, and stop when the pen vibrates. The brand promises a consistent result no matter how deeply you inhale or for how long. (In other words, it’s even safe enough to gift to my Dad.) Originally out of California, Dosist has scooped up innovation awards from Time Magazine and Fast Company, and calls Gwyneth Paltrow a fan.

Van der Pop Poppins bag
Poppins Bag, Van der Pop

Van der Pop’s owner April Pride started out in architecture school and earned her Masters at Parsons, so it’s no wonder she designs beautiful and modern toking accessories that include sculptural, geometric pipes, graphic grinder cards and black glass stash jars. But the Seattle-based Mom wasn’t going to stop at ‘pretty’ when she set out to create the brand’s minimalist-chic stash bags, dubbed the Poppins. No, it had to be tamper-proof too, which is why it looks like a makeup bag but boasts a 3-digit code and a key lock, in addition to an odour-resistant exterior.

Tokyo Smoke Ashtray
Accessories, Concrete Cat

From CBD-infused lube to strains that stimulate, weed is coming for your bedroom, too. Pride’s own entrée into pot for sexual pleasure was infused cannabis oil, said to boost relaxation and coax more blood flow (deeper orgasms, hi) made by a company named Foria. “You’ve got to try it a few times before it works but then it was one of those moments when both my husband and I were like, ‘Jesus, that was incredible!’ As far as what to smoke, Pride recommends sticking to hybrid strains that are Sativa dominant. This ensures you get the ‘upper’ quality that will keep you from wanting to go to sleep as soon as your head hits the pillow while CBD works to chill out your body without any mind-altering. (Too complicated? Just try VdP’s Eclipse, mentioned above.)

An assortment of accessories, Tokyo Smoke

The potential for CBD in self-care is obvious given its rep for pain relief—think, PMS-soothing bath bombs—but the potential for CBD-enhanced cosmetics might surprise you. “There are already mascaras and lip glosses infused with CBD and historically, even THC,” says Paloma Parker, referencing active products you can only find in a dispensary (not commercially available hemp products like The Body Shop’s Hemp Soap On A Rope). “We talk about skin creams infused with floral extracts, and marijuana is really just another floral extract.” But just what is the benefit of CBD-enriched mascara, we wondered? Turns out the taboo flower also offers moisturizing benefits, good for dry lips and lashes, and anti-oxidant abilities, known to fight the free radicals that cause sun spots, wrinkles, even cancer. “I have been travelling a lot and my eczema has been acting up,” mentions Pride. “But I put some cannabis-infused face oil on last night, and it’s pretty much cleared up today.”

My how weed has grown.