We catch up with Jen Newton, the co-host of female-focused podcast HIGHTEA, a thoughtful and blunt exploration of pot and its magic.

Hello, dear readers. As a writer for WDBX and a lover of promoting strong, successful women making a difference in their field, I thought it was high time to start a series here to promote women in the wonderful world of cannabis.

And so, when I heard creator and super-babe extraordinaire, a one Jen Newton, was launching a new podcast with a fellow femme, I knew I’d have to hit her up first to pop the cherry of this all new WDBX-exclusive series.

Here’s my conversation with Jen Newton, co-host of HIGHTEA the podcast you never knew you needed (and couldn’t live without!)

Can you give me an elevator pitch on HIGHTEA?

HIGHTEA is a high-vibe podcast for women who also smoke weed (though a ton of dudes listen too). We confabulate on anything and everything that’s on our minds, all told through the lens that cannabis delivers to peoples’ lives.

This is a thoughtful and blunt exploration of pot and its magic, the role it has in the lives and process of cool and creative people everywhere, and an evolving cannabis culture we’re seeing happen before our eyes.

We’ll be talking to some of the most interesting names in and out of the industry; sharing stories, trying shit first, and connecting women all around the world who use cannabis creatively.

Why did you guys start this podcast?

It came together pretty organically after chatting about the respective work we each were doing in the cannabis space. Michelle (my co-host) is a writer for a number of cool Canadian publications and is coming out loud and proud as a working mom who partakes. I’m a creative and brand-builder, so followed my nose into this space a number of years ago with a desire to create elevated ideas and experiences in weed. I’m currently consulting, working on a product line, an art series and more – beyond the cannabis conversation and community we’re currently building with HIGHTEA. It’s a space we both desire to add our voices and curiosities to.

What’s your opinion on women in the cannabis industry?

This segment of enterprise is becoming the first (the only) industry where women and men are at-pace with each other, in terms of ownership and leadership. But I think it’s only scratching the surface of the role women will play in weed.

Let us not forget – this plant that’s changing lives and changing the world – is female. It’s the female flower that delivers the magic, the gifts that we all so benefit from. There’s an insight there, a seed of truth that speaks to the role, connection and understanding that women have toward this plant, and vice versa: that the plant delivers to women and their lives. I believe that connection will continue reveal itself in the structure of the industry as it evolves – provided we can keep our ownership and rightful seats at tables where the money is moving.

Do you have any go-to cannabis infused beauty products that you use?

I’m personally a big fan of Miss Envy, an organic medicinal cannabis CBD line based out of Vancouver. She’s an original player – with products like topical skin care, lube and massage oils, cannabis oil (Phoenix Tears), pet care and even culinary additives – all medicinal MMAR/MMPR grade. Her ingredients are non-GMO and totally love-infused.

I started using her Buddha Buddah (a CBD-salve) a number of years ago on my hand, which after an accident and surgery has now developed arthritis. On the nights it’s stiff and sore I apply the salve and voila – somehow the next morning it’s less sore, less stiff and more like the hand I remember. So now I put that shit on everything. My friend’s Mum puts it all over her face/rosacea. It’s worked for people who suffer from eczema, and other serious skin conditions. It’s the good stuff.

Michelle’s go-to cannabis beauty faves aren’t CBD but hemp-based. She digs the eye cream from Love Buds (heads up boys they’ve got a beard oil) as well as the Hemp Seed Soap from Marley Natural. I’d love to try a cannabis-infused deodorant, if anyone has any reco’s hit me up @goddessofchi

When the rise of self-care came up, everyone started to deep dive into the wellness industry and hopped on the bandwagon of #selfcaresundays and face masks and and and. Now that we’re talking openly about cannabis culture and use, what advice would you give to a novice? Where’s a good place to start?

Good question – it’s been a part of my own self-care routine for so long it’s easy to forget there are still those that haven’t opened up to its incredible benefits yet, for whatever reason. Stigma, fear, previously-intense experience lol.

I think the best place to start is coming to understand a bit more about what you want it for, i.e. do you want something that helps you sleep? Look for a indica-heavy strain. Do you want something that gives you a burst of energy and ideas? Sativa’s your girl. Are you looking for something that gives you pain/physiological relief, and would rather avoid feeling high or stoned at all? You need CBD only. Do you enjoy getting high but suffer from anxiety? You need CDB ALSO. There’s a solution that serves what you’re looking for and at the same time also helps you avoid what you’re not. Talk to your budtender.

I expect a novice smoker will come to realize that while they might be looking for something that helps one aspect of your life – the plant ultimately helps many aspects of our life. There’s a benefit to mind, body and spirit that can be realized, once you come to know your preferred method – and ideal dosage.

I’d say my one caution to novice tokers is to take too much. It can be easy to go overboard (pop the whole edible, smoke the dutchie like a cig, etc) and that’s where your experience may sour. It’s a delicately exquisite plant, and must be consumed properly and with respect.

For women I often say that means smoking elegantly. Long, thin pinners. Two toots (two tokes) to start – then wait and see how you feel. Take your time with the experience, and what it begins to reveal to you. Engage with what’s in front of you – be it another person, your food, your art, music, what have you. Keep the tv off. Take in the magic as the plant dances with your head instead.

Anything else?

Whatever stage we are at with our Mary Jane experience, I’d like to encourage more people to open up to it – and then open up to being open about using it. The stigma that still surrounds the plant, the secrecy, while historically understandable   must begin to clear for the benefit of all.

All around the world there are people just like you and I – intelligent, curious, creative, and connected – using cannabis to enhance and expand their daily lives

Instead of being hidden, lets be outspoken if we get the chance. I think it’s high-time all of these kick-ass women stand up and take a toke together.

Listen to HIGHTEA on Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud and hightea.life