Celebrating Another Lap

By: Ben Mervis

“Birthday” no longer refers just to the day of your birth – didn’t ya know?

Some people claim a birthday week, some a long weekend, and we all know somebody who stretches their celebrations over an entire “birthday month” – we’ll call them #NationalHolidayBirthdayPeople. When our Blog Manager let me know my birthday blog wouldn’t be coming out until 3+ weeks following my birthday, my first thought was, yas – remind them of the momentous occasion.

Tyler Oakley Pay Attention To Me GIF from Tyleroakley GIFs

Fortunately, there’s no rule on birthdays – except that you only get one each year. Okay maybe two rules because (per the community standards of my last blog) murder remains a universal NO…. even on your birthday. #NoPurgeParties

I’ll even endorse the “it’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to” approach. I get it girl – if you want to cry, hide, escape, lie about your birthday – live your life.

The only thing I truly believe we should all do on our birthdays is to take a moment and honor ourselves. Celebrate another lap around the sun that was never promised, and set intentions for the coming year.

This year some of my very best friends offered to come spend my actual birthday with me – which is special since we’re rarely all in the same place at the same time. I was ready to celebrate another year of growth with lots of laughs and many many carbs. I also wanted to honor and practice the forms of self-care that I’ve been finding most beneficial.

I knew I wouldn’t be sleeping particularly well for two nights between the general excitement of all being together, and sharing my bed. So I mentally prepared myself to skip the gym. It can be difficult to break from a routine, but I’ve regained a lot of power by planning the breaks ahead of time, rather than trying and failing to fit a mountain of activities into one day.  

I do get some great meditation time in during my workouts though, so I made sure to get it in a different way. I put away my Soaked (which I use almost every day) – and instead opted for an energizing and nourishing BIRTHDAY MORNING BATH, adding both an Awaken and a Love bath bomb to the water! It was my only 30-minutes alone in the 24-48 hour span, and it was perfect.

Next, in lieu of gifts, I asked my friends to go through their closets and do some spring cleaning. I declared that we would donate everything to the LGBT Youth Center here in Hollywood; from there, they serve at-risk LGBT youth and young adults across the greater-LA area. I was so proud to see what just the 6 of us were able to pull together.

And since we’d made so much room in our closets… I wanted the big “activity” of my birthday – besides a heavy incredible Italian dinner – to be an interpretive costume contest! We each pulled spirit guide cards out of a deck from @TheWildUnknown and adventured to DTLA for some shopping in the wilds of Santee Alley – which resulted in some phenomenal LEWKS and lots of laughs.

Pictured from left to right: a panther, a moth, a shark, an oyster, a beaver, and a dragonfly.

Pictured from left to right: a panther, a moth, a shark, an oyster, a beaver, and a dragonfly.

It was a birthday well-spent, and I feel great about our clothing donation, particularly with the change of seasons upon us, and at-risk and homeless youth numbers on the rise. We all know what it’s like to crave a wardrobe update – so here’s hoping our once-treasured items bring joy to someone who has very little. Consider incorporating something like this into your own birthday, for a cause near to your heart! Even if it’s one of those Facebook fundraisers – it might be one of the best gifts you give yourself.

If you’d like to keep the birthday spirit alive and have the means, please consider donating to the Los Angeles LGBT Center through their website.

Don’t Forget to follow and tag @kushqueenshop & @kushqueenco in your instagram posts and stories.

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The Different Types of CBD

By: Olivia Alexander

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Another day we continue our quest to educate the world on CBD. If you missed our first blog, All Hemp Is Not Equal make sure to check it out.

Now it’s time to discuss the different types of CBD. At Kush Queen, we’ve been labeled a beauty brand but we will always first and always be a cannabis company. We spent years cultivating, extracting, and learning as much as we could about the plant.

Our products are created for self-care and wellness. We aimed to create a product range that would honor the plant in its most effective form to help you achieve ultimate wellness. In our experience, feeding our endocannabinoid system daily is not only a way to feel better, but to practice preventative wellness. With this being the philosophy that guides us, the type of CBD is important to some consumers and as always at Kush Queen transparency is our top priority. Accordingly, we always mention what type of CBD is in every product. We’ve carefully considered each product and the type of CBD used with you in mind.

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Hemp Seed Oil

Hemp seed oil is cold pressed from hemp seeds. It does not contain CBD or any phytocannabinoids.

Isolate

Some products contain CBD isolate, which is a purified CBD molecule. CBD isolate is white and powdery in its appearance. It does not contain other phytocannabinoids like full or broad spectrum.

Full-Spectrum

Full Spectrum refers to cannabis-derived from the whole plant that contains CBD and other phytocannabinoids such as THC, CBN, THCA, CBC, and CBG.

Broad-Spectrum

Broad Spectrum contains all phytocannabinoids in the plant but does not contain any detectable amount of THC.

Nano CBD

Nano CBD is a compound where the molecules of CBD are shrunk down to extremely small sizes (less than 100nm) and turned into a water-based form. This process allows the CBD to pass through skin much more easily and quickly than any oil-based form.


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Festival Life: Prep & Recovery

By: Angela Viesti

Spring has sprung and festival season has begun. Each year, new and established festivals publish their set times, maps, and afterparties to the eagerly awaiting masses who’ve secured their coveted (and costly) tickets and lodging.

A three day festival weekend can easily cost a couple grand, depending on where you stay and what you bring. Then there’s the question: how far will you go to make a statement? The outfits, the accessories, the grooming–all expressions of You. And finally, you have the physical preparation and post-fest recovery, which varies greatly from person to person and festival to festival.

In order to bring you the best tips and ideas for making the most of your experience, I consulted two queens from the cannabis space who happen to be well versed in the festival scene:

Leah Stella, a resident Kush Queen, has worked and attended just about every type of festival that exists as an experience creator, performer, and booth manager, among countless other roles, and Roni Stetter, a blogger and cannabis professional at The Hurt Guru by day and a festival enthusiast, harm reduction advocate, and safety volunteer by night.

Leah and Roni were kind enough to share some incredible insights that I sprinkled in throughout this blog. Read on and take what resonates with you into the 2019 festival season!

Festival Bod

Festival attendees are known for donning eccentric fashions and baring lots of skin. Many spend weeks and even months at the gym shredding and counting macronutrients. I fully support anyone wanting to get fit and feel their best, however, I see nothing healthy about overworking your body and depriving yourself while obsessing over the way you look.

Commit to healthy food choices leading up to the event rather than “quick fixes” or weight loss supplements, as most result in temporary results and have unpleasant to downright unhealthy side effects. Balanced nutrition, proper hydration, and sleep will fuel you and help you perform at your peak while supporting your body’s recovery in preparation for and, as echoed by Roni, in recovery from a festival.

Take the perspective of building stamina, strength, and flexibility to prepare your body for all the dancing and walking you’ll do so you can focus less on external results. Pay attention to your body and give yourself time to rest between intense workouts. Challenging yourself is great, but if you wind up injured you’ll set yourself back in terms of your fitness goals and you could ruin your festival experience if you hurt yourself.

To boost your recovery, draw yourself a bath and drop in a Kush Queen bath bomb (Relax and Relieve make a great combo for post-workout!) or try the DIY Infused Bath recipe from our blog. Incorporate tinctures or edibles to ease pain and heal from within. After your bath, apply Melt pain relief lotion to any tender and sore areas to keep the pain at bay while you sleep or go on about your day. Adapt this as your post-festival recovery by taking your bottle of Soaked with you to the bathroom or showers.

Festival Threads

Festivals are all about self-expression, and as such, considerable time is spent shopping for and putting together unique festival outfits. To save money, experiment with DIY embellishments, shop at vintage or second-hand stores or organize a clothing swap with your festival loving friends. I asked Leah for tips on hosting clothing swaps as she had this to say:

“Make them mostly female so girls are comfortable undressing around each other…lots of food, drinks, and mirrors. It’s so fun to see other girls enjoy your clothes and to find new gear for yourself. Arrange everything into piles by type of clothing.”

If you must buy something new, shop socially responsible brands that pay livable wages and provide safe work environments, or support a local artist or maker who’d love for their creation to be at a festival. Since your threads are an expression of you, customize pieces to make them unique and special. Leah chimed in with this:

“Go downtown or a craft store and buy cool appliques to attach to clothes. Glue/sew jewels onto clothing and accessories. Don’t just buy whatever trends are current for “festival fashion” in social media. People support originality and can always tell if you’re wearing something that isn’t you. Be comfortable above all else.”

Roni seconded the importance of being comfortable and added:

“…Having comfortable shoes goes a long way in ensuring that you’ll only have good memories of the event. Everyone loves a crazy costume, but when choosing your clothes and gear for the night, try to think of how you’ll feel at 2 am.”

So true. It may not seem necessary at noon when you’re getting ready to head to the venue, but consider packing a light sweater for the later hours. A long day in the sun followed by a long night under the stars will impact your body temperature, especially if you suddenly go from a dense crowd to a wide-open field. Thinking ahead will save you from a potential disaster and misery.

Festival Fundamentals

Exercise caution when it comes to bringing cannabis. All three of us agree that although cannabis is always present at festivals, it’s not always allowed–with the exception of some cannabis festivals (yes, some…there are weed festivals that don’t allow consumption, believe it or not)–and you run the risk of having it confiscated (or worse) by entering a festival with it.

It’s important to protect yourself from the elements whether you’re out perusing the fairgrounds, splashing away at a pool party, or setting up your campsite. Failure to do so can result in the dreaded festival flu–not pretty at all. I’d highly recommend bringing these items:

  • Sunscreen (must-have) and a hat or parasol to block direct sunlight

  • A water container that you can clip to yourself (a great suggestion by Leah)

  • A bag that attaches to you, like a fanny pack, backpack, or crossbody bag

  • Bandana or mask to protect your respiratory system from dust

I’ve never camped at a festival before, so I asked Leah what first-time campers should know and she offered this wisdom:

“Be ok with manual labor, heavy lifting, and ‘living’ with your campmates; don’t camp with people you don’t know because you’ll be living together and working together. Come prepared. Don’t mooch…[to make the most of your experience,] go with people you truly like.”

Speaking of people, it’s important to have a plan in place with the folks you’re attending with since you’ll all be in a new element that’s nothing like the outside world. Roni suggests this:

“Being with a group, or at least a buddy, at all times is your best bet for staying safe at a big event – and these should be people you trust….identify where all the first aid stations are in the venue… [and] set a meet-up spot in case someone gets separated (cell phones rarely work at large-scale events).”

Despite interference from shitty cell service, download the Find My Friends app (for iPhone here or Android here) and share your location with your squad for the duration of the event. Phones may not always work but this extra step could make all the difference. Just don’t forget to turn it off afterward!

Frolic Festively

The real point in going to a festival is to have a good time and discover something new about yourself, about humanity, through music, art, and connection. Leah offers up some excellent reminders about being present for the experience:

“We go to festivals to play and reconnect with our inner child…Get lost by yourself at least once…get off your cell phone…practice being in the moment and not worrying about schedules.”

No matter the type of festival you’re drawn to–music, art, cannabis, transformative, or anything else–there are universal ways to make the most of your time and have a life-changing experience. Test out these tips and let us know what worked for you and your festival crew!

Don’t forget to follow and tag @kushqueenshop & @kushqueenco in your Instagram posts and stories.

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DIY Defynt Face Mask

By: Morgan English

CBD and skin care. Everyone and their mother is talking about the two right now. And I get why because CBD mixed with your skincare routine will produce amazing results. The problem is that not all CBD is created equal and some brands are pushing products with absolutely no CBD in them.

You might be wondering why CBD is even mixed with skin care? You hear of it helping with inflammation for pain and easing anxiety, but your skin? Well, it helps that too. Every awful skin symptom I’ve had, I have been able to fix with DEFYNT, a CBD skin serum. Puffy eyes from stress or not enough sleep? DEFYNT has you covered. Red splotchy cheeks? DEFYNT has you covered yet again. Need something moisturizing? You can already guess my answer by now.

As a cannabis consumer who loves a good night of self-care with a face mask (and a bath, and a joint), I really wanted to combine CBD into my routine but wasn’t sure what products on the market to trust. So, I made my own using DEFYNT, and wow. It was completely worth the (little) effort of making my own face mask.

First I did some research on at home DIY masks and honestly got overwhelmed, thank you anxiety and trying new things, so I settled on getting this premade kit to start. It came with three base options (rose, french green clay, and volcanic clay) as well as two essential oils (peppermint and lavender), and gave me the ability to test out what I liked before spending too much money on all things face masks. Truthfully, I can’t lie, this little kit was the perfect starting point. It made everything easy and even came with the cutest little storing containers.

Now to actually make the mask!

The kit makes making your own mask really simple and nearly mess-free (a wonderful bonus for any neat freaks out there). It’s three easy steps and then straight on to self-care time!

  1. Add 2 scoops of clay powder to face mask base, mix until completely combined

  2. Add 3-4 pumps of DEFYNT skin serum, stir

  3. Optional: add a few drops of essential oil, mix until completely combined

Once your mask is made, apply an even layer to a clean, dry face. Let it sit for at least ten minutes or until it’s dry; this is the perfect time to light up a joint in case you were wondering… Rinse the mask off with warm water and pat dry! Hello, fresh face!

As for choosing which clay powder or essential oil, think about your skin and what it needs. If you have sensitive skin or dry skin, use rose powder! Oily or acne prone skin? Try out the french green clay mask. Still feeling unsure? The volcanic clay is a safe bet for anyone.

My personal favorites were a simple Rose Clay + CBD mask and the Volcanic Clay, CBD + lavender essential oil. I’ve been switching between the two, doing one face mask a week, and my skin has never been better. It’s radiant, more even toned, and moisturized. For the first time in my life, I don’t mind leaving the house without a full face of makeup.

Not really one to make your own face mask but still curious about adding CBD to your routine? Just grab some DEFYNT skin serum and apply it daily; either in the morning so that the serum can work its magic under your makeup or before bed to let it soak in overnight. And lastly, don’t be afraid to add it to any store-bought face mask; it will still work wonders. Using a sheet mask? Apply a thin layer of DEFYNT to your skin before putting the sheet on your face and you are all set.

Happy masking, my friends!

Don’t forget to follow and tag @kushqueenshop & @kushqueenco in your instagram posts and stories.

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Crystals, Carbs and Cardio: An Approach to Balance and Awareness

By: Ben Mervis

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THE PRE-(R)AMBLE

There’s a heated debate over the phrase “everything in moderation” – but I remember my Bubbe saying it, so I hold in high regard. A quick Google search shows that the phrase triggers the haters because some things really are not good, even in moderation: self-harm, cancer-causing chemicals… murder (?).

And so while I’m certain that whoever first-coined the phrase never expected to need this disclaimer, I’ll just start this blog by establishing that as a community standard: “all things” in this case are things that do not inherently cause harm.

Another way to look at “everything in moderation” is to think about balance, right? In a growth-oriented world, balance allows us to build a strong foundation, to identify areas that are growing at different rates, and gaps where we may not be growing at all.

When seeking sustainable abundance we need self-awareness: what have I done that has led to this success, and what can I do to keep it going? Few people find abundance by luck, and even fewer sustain it.

When practicing self-awareness, we need patience for understanding and experience for appreciation. Self-care, humility, generosity, boundaries – what good is an abundant life if these other pieces are missing.

Fun fact: Jennifer Lopez was 33 when “Jenny from the block” came out – 3 years after her debut studio album “On the 6” was released. Sure she was in the game much earlier, but rather than become a full-blown diva at a young age, she waited, and she’s outlasted so many others.

TO BRING THIS BACK TO EARTH and talk about this in tangible terms, I’ve chosen to focus on three important areas where I’m trying to achieve balance in my life. They are really figureheads for greater self-awareness, and for some reason, I’ve always had an affinity for alliteration, so here it goes: crystals, carbs, and cardio.

CRYSTALS – the energy I give and receive

  • The need for moderation: I inherited a giant crystal collection about a year ago; 1-2 pieces of every mineral from A-to-Z, which in many of my circles, is a wet dream. But I actually found it pretty overwhelming. The need to understand them, the desire to create altars, and set intentions, the guilt of doing so, while still forgetting gem’s names, and the chakras they ground.

  • The awareness I’m practicing: Setting and sticking to intentions. I acknowledged said-guilt and released myself of it. My altars are smaller, so I stand a better chance of remembering everyone’s names – and now I focus more on the intentions that I’ve set, I make a practice of breathing good energy into them. I also tell people about my intentions, particularly when they visit my home. I cherish the opportunity to share them, to give them a voice and a real place in my life outside of my head.

  • The long-term goal: Keep the energy exchange positive and beneficial. Reflect often and in-aggregate, express gratitude.

CARBS – the way I fuel myself, and loving the body I’m in

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  • The need for moderation: I’ve never met a carb I didn’t like, and have always claimed pasta as my favorite meal, but about 6-months ago I started calling myself a #carbinfluencer on Instagram. I just wanted to give people the carby content that they wanted… but a few short months later (and a couple of months ago), I also found myself at the highest body fat percentage I’d ever hit. I’m actually still there, although (twist) I’m also at my most-muscular.

  • The awareness I’m practicing: I know better, so I can do better. Not all carbs are created equal (here’s looking at you chocolate croissants and super-processed mini-muffins). Carbs also cannot replace major food groups like vegetables; pesto pasta was not what the doctor meant about ‘eating my greens.’

  • The long-term goal: Truly hold in-balance my carb consumption with my nutrition and energy exertion (read as: exercise). Continue to allow myself to enjoy the carbs I REALLY love, and make *cheats* less often so I can appreciate them more. (Here’s looking at you bread pudding).

CARDIO – movement, breath, and forgiveness

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  • The need for moderation: Work out too much, work out too little – kept in context of the carb influencing – it makes a difference in how I look, but more importantly in how I feel.

  • The awareness I’m practicing: Understand that no Instagram bodybuilder, no doctor, no personal trainer, certainly no supplement salesman knows my body better than I do. I know the level of fuel (aka carbs) I’ve consumed, and I know how my muscles are feeling – so I have to be the one to decide how much energy I can burn, and it’s my responsibility to monitor that. Stretching has become a non-negotiable and feels almost meditative at this point – turning something rhythmic all the way up on my headphones – and connecting with my body bone by bone.

  • The long-term goal: Stay in balance – grow, feel strong, be flexible – and understand that we only get one body, so I’d better take good care of it.

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I’m giddy at the thought of keeping these three areas in balance; partially because they feel like choices – my choices. They feel like part of the intentional living I admire in others – they feel like steps of growth, and I feel prepared to take them on. And for me, blogging about crystals, carbs, and cardio might be one of my steps in sealing my intentions. For you, it might be journaling your intentions, writing them on some of that wish paper and lighting it on fire, or just sharing them with a best friend. Just know that however we do it, the only person who should hold you accountable is, well, you. But feel free to ask me how things are going, I love sharing updates on my public Instagram account @ben.mervis, and have learned so much from other people’s experiences on similar paths.


Don’t forget to follow and tag @kushqueenshop & @kushqueenco in your instagram posts and stories!

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Urban Outfitters + Kush Queen

By: Olivia Alexander

I will never forget the day we got our first email from Urban Outfitters. They were interested in selling our CBD products and I couldn’t believe it. I immediately ran into our warehouse to tell everyone the good news. I always knew the world would change and cannabis would become mainstream, but I never realized it would be so soon.

As it always seems to go in cannabis, things would not be simple, and it was only the beginning of nearly a year-long process. One of the misconceptions about CBD is that it can be sold like any other product, but there are a number of hurdles to overcome. Even for a global company like Urban Outfitters.

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Our excitement was building for weeks after they placed their order. It was almost time to ship, everything was ready to go and then the call came. They had a legal issue and we couldn’t move forward. This was not a surprise for a small cannabis company, but disheartening none the less. On top of it all, our internal world was crumbling as my mother was diagnosed with a brain tumor. It was a heartbreaking time for us and it truly felt like we were on a roller coaster. You can see an inside look at this journey in our web series here.

Luckily, our team is resilient. We held out hope that it wasn’t a matter of IF our products would launch in Urban Outfitters, but when. So we all waited patiently and kept going. Many months went by and the email finally came. We would launch online and in their top retail locations. A collective sigh of relief, joy, and anticipation rang through the office. It was finally happening.

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Seeing our products on a website I have shopped at since I was 14 is mindblowing. Being in the company of so many other brands I aspire to be and of other women-owned CBD companies is a proud moment. I have received many messages from small women-owned startup cannabis companies who have been so inspired by this moment. While it’s been a rocky journey, every struggle makes it sweeter.

This moment is about creating access points for CBD that had not previously existed. It will inspire other specialty and big-box retailers to bring this category into their stores. It will put our product in front of so many people who have not yet tried CBD. It may seem like just a bath bomb in a store, but it is part of a larger movement.

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Every moment pushing CBD forward should be celebrated. When businesses move, the government and banks will eventually need to follow. It’s what we need to keep the momentum going, so we can free CBD and cannabis from its chains. Then, we can free the millions of people who need this nutrient and the prisoners of the drug war from their chains as well. This is why it is important to continue to support CBD and Cannabis Brands.

You can shop CBD products at Urban Outfitters online and grab our Kush Queen Relax, Love, and Sleep Bath Bombs right now! Our Relax Bath Bomb will also be available in select Urban Outfitters stores in the coming weeks, so keep your eyes peeled!

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Don’t forget to follow and tag @kushqueenshop & @kushqueenco in your Instagram posts and stories.

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Soak Like a Queen – DIY Infused Bath

By: Angela Viesti

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If there’s a downside to using Kush Queen bath bombs and topicals, it’s that you become spoiled to the point that nothing else is good enough. These were my sentiments exactly one cold January evening after I’d gotten home from the gym and decided to take a bath before realizing I was out of bath bombs. I had a mini shit fit then reluctantly proceeded to prepare a bath sans bomb. As I gathered my Epsom salts and a few essential oils to spruce up the lackluster bath water, I remembered that I had a bottle of Soaked Transdermal Shower Gel and figured I could use it as a bubble bath. What ensued was a euphoric, meditative bath experience that I wasn’t expecting, but embraced wholeheartedly and have repeated many times since.

To create this experience at home, you’ll need:

  • Bathtub or footbath

  • Soaked Transdermal Shower Gel (I used the THC version, available in CA dispensaries; you can order the CBD version here.)

  • Epsom Salts

  • Essential Oils

  • Optional: diffuser, candle, smudge stick, flower petals

I opted to go with a full bath experience, but if you’re not into baths or don’t you have a bathtub, you can use this recipe as a foot soak instead. Topicals and soaks are great for novices, but I’d recommend starting with the CBD Soaked or a very small amount of THC Soaked until you’re familiar and comfortable how these products affect you. (Use about a third of the recipe for foot soaks.)

I always like to clear the space and set the mood for relaxation when preparing a bath, so I use sage or palo santo to smudge the bathroom, set the intention to honor myself and make space to heal, and give gratitude for the opportunity to practice self-care with cannabis. Then I light some candles so I have soft lighting during my bath and draw the bath water. I like hot water because I spend at least 30 minutes in the tub, but you can opt for warm water if that suits you.

When the tub is about half way full, I add in 2-3 cups of Epsom salts, a blend of essential oils (try lavender, chamomile, and bergamot for a relaxing, end of day bath), and 2-3 pumps of Soaked. Bump up the aromatherapy factor by diffusing essential oils while you bathe. I love eucalyptus and clary sage for refreshing spa vibes, but play with whatever scents call to you.

Since the formula for Soaked is transdermal and contains nano-CBD and nano-THC, the effects of the shower gel are felt instantly–easing pain, soothing tension, moisturizing skin, and increasing circulation throughout the body–making this the perfect way to enjoy a bath or foot soak for just about anyone with any needs.

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I must advise those of you dipping your toe in the THC-infused bath water for the first time, that the psychoactive effects are intensified the more submerged your body is under water. Since Soaked is a transdermal formula, it penetrates the skin and enters the bloodstream. This makes the experience more euphoric and allows you to reach deeper meditative states. I urge you to ease yourself into the water and remain present to the sensations you feel at all times. You can always shift so that only part of your body is underwater to better gauge how your body responds to the psychoactive effects. And you can always decrease the amount of Soaked you use or opt for the CBD formula instead.

By mixing Kush Queen’s innovative products and some everyday healing tools I keep on hand, I accidentally stumbled upon my new favorite way to practice self-care. Give it a try and let us know how your experience went!

Don’t forget to follow and tag @kushqueenshop & @kushqueenco in your Instagram posts and stories.

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A Year of Queening

By: Ben Mervis

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Like so many millennials, from a young age, I’ve felt the calling to be a part of something special, something big… my own path, not one with a well-worn trail. So, after graduating from college with a hard-earned Bachelor’s degree, I went and worked in a restaurant. (LOL). I negotiated the title of Marketing and Events Coordinator, and when I wasn’t upselling private party menus from chicken to steak frites, I was cutting flowers, taking pictures, and serving sass as a front-door host with the most.

The 6+ months I spent in that role gave me time to manifest a job in public health, where I could merge my passion for developing creative marketing campaigns with programs that could make a real impact in our world. That’s not to diminish that a steak frites upgrade really will improve your life, sorry plant-based friends.

Since those early post-college months, I’ve had a pretty exciting career reshaping how health messages are marketed, first from our State and Federal Governments, and for over 2-years now, from cannabis companies.

The thing about marketing is that it’s all around us, and people are constantly working to steal more of your attention to try to get some of your hard earned dollars and coins.

So when I first met Kush Queen CEO Olivia Alexander and saw how much she cared about her social media communities, and Kush Queen customers, I was impressed and inspired. Olivia’s passion rivals that of many of my former colleagues who had (then) been working on public health campaigns since 1975.

In my many years, I’ve seen that it’s mostly been women who have been advocating for public health; creating heartfelt campaigns about women’s breast and pelvic cancer screenings, nutrition and health assistance for single mothers and their children, and campaigns to keep children from smoking cigarettes. These women have been the behind the scenes backbone of public health for generations, and I’m a proud supporter and ally of female leaders taking their seats at tables of all kinds, from boardrooms to whatever table Senators, Congresswomen, and Governors sit at.

I’m going to tell you one of our recipes for success at Kush Queen. It only works because it comes from the top – and I hope Olivia doesn’t mind that I’m spilling the tea – but we evolve based on the needs of our communities, and we do our best to represent different people not just in the color of our models, but in the stories, the fantasies, the experiences, the heart and soul of who we are. It’s a pulse, an energy that runs through the products we release, the creative campaigns we create, and the partnerships we enter.

Very few cannabis brands get this right – and very few consumer services and brands do it at all. Medmen does a great job with their Ember magazine, diving deeper into the facets and intersections of our communities. Equinox maintains a market-leading presence as a home for athletes and wellness at all stages. Whole Foods does an amazing job – even in the aftermath of an Amazon acquisition – of valuing organic local products, and expanding accessibility to food deserts. Apple has worked hard to protect customer privacy and data, and to be a trustworthy voice in this new age of digital lives and histories.

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This first year of queening has been nothing short of kismet. I feel so very fortunate to work for a brand and CEO that can make us feel like royalty, just by loving ourselves a little bit more. Thank you to my colleagues, our customers, our photographers, our models (who often start as customers) – everyone that makes this feel like that something special that this millennial always wanted to be a part of.

Don’t forget to follow and tag @kushqueenshop & @kushqueenco in your Instagram posts and stories.

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Keeping Love in Practice Year-Round

By: Angela Viesti

As we kiss February goodbye and anticipate the arrival of spring, it seems timely to set the intention of keeping love in our hearts throughout the year. Romance aside, we all have people, animals, places, activities, and belongings that bring us joy and keep our hearts open. Love is the most powerful and transformative feeling in the Universe, so what can we do to tap into love, when times are tough and our vibes are low?

Stir up Memories of Love

A great way to get out of a mental funk or share yourself with a loved one is to indulge in the nostalgia of happy memories. Open up a photo album (either digital or physical), spark up a joint, and reminisce on the good times. This temporary escape will shift your mood in an instant and allow greater connection as you share yourself with your partner or loved one. Go back to the simpler times and consider all that’s changed since then. No doubt, you’ll find yourself laughing at obsolete technologies, remembering old friends, and asking yourself how anyone got around or got in touch using Thomas guides and landlines.  

Another way to reminisce and get into a headspace of love is to play old music from back in the day–whatever that means to you. Open up your Spotify and find a playlist rich with Motown jams, lowrider oldies, love songs from the 80s, or those 90s R&B tracks that peppered your childhood with the desire to be in love. If you have company, take turns sharing your favorite love-inspired music from the past and see if your tastes intersect. Try dancing to the music or switch to something more upbeat to get you moving and sweating out that stagnation.

Surround Yourself with Loving Energy

Being stagnant is defined as an inactive person, society, or body of water, with no flow or movement and little change or progress. Under those conditions, it’s nearly impossible to create positive feelings of love within our beings, but we have the ability to change that at any time.

There are several ways to physically get out of a mental funk and move the energy stored in your body. Taking a brisk walk, stretching in between periods of being seated, and getting up and moving (like dancing, as described above) are effective ways to kick up our energy and get it flowing through our bodies. If weather and location permit, get to the ocean or a lake to help stimulate flow or create the experience at home by filling a tub with warm water and a Kush Queen Love bath bomb, with Frankincense and Bergamot to elevate your vibe.

Create a sacred space in your home that reminds you of the things that bring you joy. Collect pictures of loved ones and beloved pets, your favorite crystals, and gift or tokens of affection and create an altar of love to help you drop into your heart when you need a break from the day to day minutia.

Heart Opening Practice

If you’d like a more refined practice to get you back into a state of love, try these simple exercises to open your physical heart space and let love flow. You can do these solo or with a partner or group:

  • Sit or stand up with your feet evenly placed on the ground and take a deep breath in. Roll your shoulders forward and up toward your ears 3-5 times; reverse the direction and repeat as desired to loosen up your shoulders and chest

  • Continue sitting or standing with feet placed evenly on the ground and clasp your hands together behind your back with fingers interlaced and palms touching (if possible). Gently pull your knuckles down toward the floor for 5-10 deep breaths; maintaining this position, roll your shoulders just like in step one. Gently sway side to side and feel your heart space stretch and expand.

  • Place a mat or a towel down on a solid surface and lay down on top of it; extend both arms into a T position and bring your knees up above your hips. Let your legs drift to one side while you turn your head to face the opposite direction for 3-5 breaths before switching sides. Repeat as desired.

  • Take a yoga block or a small, firm pillow and place it in the center of your upper back (think of the place where a bra strap would land) while still on the mat or towel; you can also use a foam roller instead and place it vertically under your back. If desired, place a pillow under your head. Extend your arms out and bend at the elbows, creating a goal post position, lean your head back gently and take 3-5 deep breaths.

  • Remove props from underneath you and lay flat on your back with your eyes closed. Place one hand on your heart and the other on your abdomen below your belly button. Take 3-5 breaths here and repeat as desired.

  • Gently bring one knee up to your chest and then the other; wrap both arms around your bent knees and pull them towards you. Bring your head in toward your knees and tightly clench the muscles in your face for 5-10 seconds. Release and extend your arms upward above your head and your legs beneath you in an upside-down V shape for 5-10 seconds. Repeat 3 times or as desired.

Keep Love in Practice Year-Round

I hope this blog helps you to actively keep love in your life long after the Valentine’s Day high comes down. Adapt this practice to fit your life and style and add in anything that expands your capacity to feel and receive love.

Don’t forget to follow and tag @kushqueenshop & @kushqueenco in your instagram posts and stories.

Feeling the FOMO? Shop Kush Queen below!

Shop Now!

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