Monday, May 10, 2021

Beckett Mufson

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6 weed products the creators of 'High Herstory' can't live without

Move over, Drunk History, there's a new inebriated storytelling show in town. It's called High Herstory, and features hilarious women telling and re-enacting the stories of unsung women while stoned. Despite the internet clamoring for a high version of Drunk History for years, creator Derek Waters thought it couldn't be done. But High Herstory creators Annette Mia-Flores (New Amsterdam), Jenny Joslin (Money Monster), and Kendall Watkins have been proving him wrong since 2017, when they first dropped a web series featuring the stories of birth control philanthropist Katharine Dexter McCormick, sexually-liberated author Mary MacLane, and feminist publisher Valerie Solanas. The show's hosts tell stomach-stitching stories in laid-back, almost ASMR tones that throw viewers into uncontrollable laughter.  [embedded content] “It is a direct response to Drunk History — a more male focused show that celebrates alcohol,” Joslin told Weedmaps News. “Why can't we get the perspective of funny women using this magical plant (which, like ladies, has also been misrepresented and suppressed) to interpret history from a female point of view?” The response from both viewers and press was enormous. “We felt like women were telling us, 'Please make this, I have a story to tell! I want to watch this right now!'”  In a DIY path similar to HBO's stoner dramedy High Maintenance, the trio shepherded their concept into the big leagues. At first, they tried to sell the show to a network which ultimately felt that it was too risky, so they self-produced. The first episode of the first season premiered on SocialTV — an age-gated, cannabis-friendly streaming service also hosting the Emerald Cup — on 4/20.  High Herstory is both the name of the show and a brand new media company catering to the growing segment of cannabis users who identify as women, projected to be 50% of the market by 2022. Both are explicit efforts by a robust community to dismantle the racist, sexist, and oppressive attitudes toward cannabis in America. “It seems like it's a boy's club in the cannabis comedy sphere and we wanted to shatter the grass ceiling by joining forces with more women who are funny and witty and ambitious and maybe also consumers,” the trio said.  The story Behind High Herstory Joslin, Watkins, and Mia-Flores grew up in Texas, which has some of the most restrictive legal weed policies in the nation. As kids, they learned to “Just say no” from DARE, the multi-million dollar anti-drug program that multiple studies found was completely ineffective.  They met waiting tables at a Chinese restaurant while studying at Texas State University San Marcos. They were in various stages in their stoner development at the time — while Joslin and Watkins didn't partake until college, Mia-Flores tried cannabis for the first time in high school — but it became an important part of their collaborative process. “We have utilized weed throughout every step of our journey,” said Joslin. “It was an instant familiarity upon meeting each other and it's been a blast ever since.”  They founded a production company together and came up with the idea for High Herstory while writing another historical fiction series about sex workers. “We had been writing together all day and were taking a smoke break and venting and asking ourselves the question, 'How do we get people to care about hearing these stories?'” the trio recalled. “It struck us. Just like this. Women consuming cannabis and telling stories about other amazing women whose histories were so suppressed, stolen or colonized out of the history books that many of them only exist orally.” Who will you see in High Herstory? Season one is rife with stories from history that are achingly relevant in the modern age. Remember when everyone was up in arms about the Postal Service being defunded? Episode one reminds us of its import with the exploits of legendary mailwoman Stagecoach Mary. Those watching the effort to unionize Amazon can draw inspiration from the story of labor rights activist Lucy Parsons. The tale of Hua Mulan echoes the struggles of any woman who has been told what she isn't capable of. The brilliant leadership of Dr. Sarah Josephine Baker is the kicker amidst a world collectively traumatized by an international pandemic, and as the first director of New York City's Bureau of Child Hygiene, she made public health more equitable for women, children, immigrants, and the differently-abled. The stories are told and reenacted by actresses from every corner of the stream-i-verse, including Roberta Colindrez (Amazon's I Love Dick, Showtime's Vida, Amazon's A League of Their Own, HBO's The Deuce), Shirley Cruz (Netflix's Orange is the New Black), Luna Tieu (CBS's Elementary), Celia Au (Netflix's Wu Assassins), Pooya Mohseni (Law & Order: SVU), and Cece Suavo (ABC's One Life to Live). How High Herstory is making a difference High Herstory is entertaining, but it also represents solutions to the systemic problems facing the media industry. “Mainstream media really shies away from showing female identifying cannabis users, and we really wanted to see ourselves and the cool women we know represented in that culture,” the trio explained. For Joslin, Watkins, and Mia-Flores, it goes deeper than destigmatizing cannabis users. “Women love seeing portrayals of bad-ass female characters from a female gaze, because so often from a Hollywood perspective, that hasn't existed. Underrepresentation isn't just a clickbait term. It deeply impacts the livelihoods of many of us. There aren't enough quality roles, which translate to well paying jobs, with good representation.” Working in the cannabis industry has required the trio to make personal and professional sacrifices, “from not being supported by family, to people dismissing very real hard work because of an association to a plant, to people even questioning our reputation.”  They hope this fun-yet-poignant series will help culture writ large see how normal weed can be. “Some people decompress with a little bit of wine at the end of a long day, and others may choose to have a bit of cannabis,” said Joslin. “We really want to shatter the stigma to show people that they have options and there is no shame in it.' They've also made creative decisions designed to make their company more equitable, such as casting male characters with female actors. “There's something so cathartic about mockingly playing white men antagonists,” said Joslin.  They've also partnered with the Youth Empowerment Project in New Orleans, which helps formerly incarcerated Americans get jobs in creative industries. “Louisiana has one of the worst incarceration rates in the country because of cannabis arrests, so this is a way for the cannabis industry to provide opportunities in a state where the war on drugs feels very much alive,” she added. Ultimately, they've adopted the philosophy that happiness is the best revenge. “The very act of portraying diverse women consuming cannabis is a statement to dismantle oppression,” said Joslin. “Rolling a camera on someone who is consuming a substance that for 90 years has been stigmatized, and is still very much federally illegal, is an act of defiance. Every time a woman smokes on High Herstory, a man from history who helped demonize cannabis [ahem, Harry Ainslinger] rolls over in his grave. We hope that more portrayals of cannabis use will go beyond the 'stoner bro' narrative. Seth Rogan, we love you, but what about a female Pineapple Express?” The creator's favorite weed There are six weed products that Joslin, Watkins, and Mia-Flores cannot live without, making them perfect to pair with the High Herstory premiere on 4/20. Uff! Moon + Womb tincture from Xula Herbs “Tinctures from Xula Herbs, but especially Uff! moon + womb blend.“ With 500 milligrams of CBD and 1,000 milligrams of CBG and other sedating ingredients like passionflower, this tincture is best before bed to soothe any cramps, aches or pains.  Intimacy Lubricants from Foria “Foria's intimacy line is a must have.” Infused with 200 milligrams of CBD and organic MCT coconut oil, Foria's line of lubricants may put you at ease and calm your senses before getting down with your partner. Note: Foria lubricants contain coconut oil, which is not recommended for condoms, as oil-based lubes break down latex.   Prerolls from Lady Jays “A pack of Lady Jays.” If you're all THC'd out, consider lighting up a CBG preroll from Lady Jays. Made with hemp flower from Oregon's sustainable hemp farm Marshall Farming, each preroll offers a smooth hit after a long day. Pink Glitterbomb Bong from Chill “Pink Glitterbomb Chill Bong from Chill - I love how it keeps every hit so icy and you can't break it.” This limited edition bong will be a gorgeous addition to your smoke collection. It stands at nine inches tall, is vacuum insulated, and you won't ever have to worry about breaking it's aluminum downstem.   Bongs and Pipes from Session Goods Started in 2017, Session Goods offers unique pieces that are both functional and visually endearing. “Any Session Goods piece! Such thoughtful designs with versatility of color and bowl size — plus they make it so easy to clean with custom silicone plugs.” PAX 3 Vaporizer from PAX  “Pax 3 Vaporizer.” Enough said. Image courtesy of High Herstory. Graphic by David Lozada/Weedmaps.

6 of the best strains for playing video games, according to gamers

Gaming is all about optimization, and picking the right strain of weed to smoke during gameplay is an important piece of the puzzle. Just as finding the most efficient racing line or the perfect character build brings a sense of joy and accomplishment, so does finding the perfect bud to complement your play style. Rankings of everything from Super Smash Bros. characters to Apex Legends weapons are measured on a scale of S to F — with S being the highest — so we set out to identify what weed belongs in the S-tier of strains for gaming.  And what qualifies a strain to be in the S-tier? Is it one that will make you actually play better? In the world of eSports, cannabis is considered a performance-enhancing drug by organizations like the eSports Gaming League (EGL) that adhere to the World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) recommendations. However, there's a complete lack of scientific evidence connecting cannabis to improved gaming performance, according to NORML. Organizations like the Stoned Gamer League and Snoop Dogg's Gangsta Gaming League have come out as explicitly pro-pot in response.  To find out which strains enhance the experience of gaming on a personal level, we interviewed both gamers who get stoned and cannabis experts who game. Different people have different reactions to terpenes and cannabinoids, but we noticed a pattern consistent across our sources. Strains strong in terpenes like limonene and pinene are recommended for fast-paced games that require deep focus, such as Call of Duty. More laid-back titles like Assassin's Creed or NBA 2K go well with relaxing compounds like myrcene, beta-caryophyllene and CBD. With that in mind, here are six strains you should try while gaming. Cereal Milk Brian “Skatch” Snyder is the Director of Communications and de facto cannabis expert at StackUp.org, a charity that supports veterans' mental health through gaming. “Through our Air Assault program, we bring veterans out to some amazing geek culture events like comic cons and game conventions,” he told Weedmaps. “Quite a few of the veterans we serve use cannabis for everything from pain relief to social anxiety, and I have made it my side mission to understand various strains in order to be able to help provide support and advice to these veterans.” In Snyder's line of work, cannabis and game pairings aren't just a matter of taste, but of mental health. “When you sit down to game, you mostly have two goals in mind: having fun and relaxing.” To that end, he recommends Cereal Milk because, “it has a nice blend of joyful euphoria, and relaxation qualities without giving you couch-lock.” The effects of Cereal Milk's dominant terpenes, caryophyllene and limonene, give it an edge Snyder explained, “[Caryophyllene] has anti-inflammatory properties and brings that stress relief to the whole body. Limonene really helps with the anxiety and keeping calm and focused.”  According to Snyder, Cereal Milk is best for World of Warcraft raids. “It can be stressful because of all the moving parts and other people who all have to come together to defeat the boss. Some Cereal Milk helps to clear the mind and relax the body so that you're playing 'in the zone,' acting almost independently of thought, and just being really immersed in the moment.”  Pineapple Express “I am a big fan of Pineapple Express,” Snyder added. “I have found it to be one of the best 'get out and do something' strains around. I love how creative it makes me feel and it just provides a very fun and pleasant high. It is my go-to, if I can find it, for VR gaming.” King Louis OG Gangsta Gaming League came onto the scene in 2019, and in advance of the competition, a public statement declared that Snoop Dogg's league "will most definitely allow the use of cannabis" and that the contestants would be Snoop's "closest gaming friends."  Those friends include Long Beach rapper and frequent Snoop collaborator, Young Sagg. He met Snoop in 2000 and they've worked on tracks like “Jealous” and “Oops My Bad.” In an interview, Sagg said he learned how to play Madden directly from Snoop, eventually earning the nickname “Bully.” Over Instagram DM, Young Sagg recommended King Louis OG (aka King Louie) for playing games like Madden — a GGL mainstay — and Call of Duty: Warzone. See him and the rest of the GGL in action on the SnoopDoggTV YouTube channel. OG Kush Patrick Haske built his first gaming PC at the age of 12 and played FPS games like Call of Duty competitively for years before shifting his focus to the cannabis industry. As the Chief Marketing Officer for Clear Cannabis Inc, a company that makes formulated cannabis vape pens, he is an expert on how different terpenes affect his customers.  “The ability to dial in with the products and the strains is really what makes a cannabis great for me,” Haske said. Today, he prefers to indulge in relaxing RPGs like Assassin's Creed and Cyberpunk 2079, which pair well with OG Kush. “OG Kush is really my favorite because with an RPG, you sink back and go at your own pace. It's humulene and peppery beta-caryophyllene that's relaxing, but then you still get the pinene and limonene that helps me focus and stay awake.” Lime Sorbet Haske switches it up when he returns to heart-pumping action games. “When I play FPS, like the new Doom, where if you don't make every single turn correctly, you're dead, that's where I go back to the formulated vape pens. Specifically for me, I really like Lime Sorbet — anything citrusy helps me focus.” Cinderella 99 “Determining the S-Tier gaming strains really depends on the game I'm immersing myself in,” said Grape Jugo, a film photographer and 3D animator. He is also active in the cannabis industry, and even shot the cover photo for Emerald Magazine's interview with Black Lives Matter co-founder Opal Tometi. He was also stranded in Spain at the outset of the pandemic because he was supposed to be at Spannabis.  As a 3D animator, Grape Jugo has a unique perspective on gaming. “Smoking is part of my gaming and animation ritual … If you don't have the perfect strain to game pairing, you can definitely blow your high. When I blow my high, I also play the game poorly, because I'm so annoyed that I wasted my high. It's cyclical.”  Cinderella by Trufflez is the strain he recommends for intense games like Call of Duty: Warzone, Cuphead, or PUBG. “It's really all about the terpenes. We all have different needs, endocannabinoid systems, and cultivars that make us feel our best,” he said. “Since there's little fact behind indica and sativa classifications, it all comes down to terpenes. What we traditionally know about 'sativas' is that they generally contain higher levels of pinene and limonene. I definitely need a sativa strain to match my adrenaline.” Featured image by Anton27/Shutterstock

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