Pride 2019: Representation Matters

By: Ben Mervis

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Since the clock struck June the commercial color of the season seems to be rainbow. So far the reviews have been mixed, and I get it. In the grand scheme of things, I’m proud of corporate America’s rush to embrace the LGBT audience, although I’m also skeptical.

The marketing world has placed a high value on “their” LGBT audiences. Most pride campaigns paint a picture of highly educated men and women on a socioeconomic level akin to our straight counterparts — and that’s great, aspirational, inspirational and something we can’t take for granted. When I was a kid, I would have felt so much relief by seeing today’s marketing campaigns.

That being said, commercial advertisers paint this picture because it’s their ideal customer – someone who can actually afford to go shopping and will participate in the free PR that comes along with our overly social, super-documented lives.

But when you’re addressing pride — which I’ll remind you, started as a riot — you can’t just stop at the parts of our population that are doing well.

  • The Williams Institute does some of the nation’s leading research on LGBT topics and estimates that 40% of homeless youth served by agencies identify as LGBT

  • According to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) so far in 2019, seven transgender people have been violently killed: all black trans women. Additionally, trans women of color make up four out of five anti-trans homicides, the HRC has said.

  • The Transgender Military Ban is still an ongoing issue, which even if it has not removed people from their posts, has certainly caused stress for our armed forces, and could keep some of our nation’s brightest minds from joining their ranks.

It’s easy to understand why those at either end — from the most disenfranchised to the trailblazers — are quick to feel like rainbow logos and two boys holding hands isn’t quite enough to call your company supportive. It doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate it… it’s just hard to take it as seriously.

I was recently in a pride event-related meeting where one of the organizers had a hard time saying the acronym “LGBT,” and nobody was throwing them a bone. Not only could this person not get the letters right, but when one of their peers offered something almost right, they still resolved to a default “whatever” to end the sentence. I was honestly offended that this person had probably put more thought into their celebration outfit than the community they were celebrating, but I helped them find their words, and I always will in these types of situations.

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I’d like to think that when one group within our LGBTQ+ communities gains representation and more of a voice, we all win. I recognize that as a cisgender white gay male, I’m one of the “easier” concepts for the simple mind to grasp; I feel and act upon the weight of that responsibility. I certainly can’t speak for other gays, but with this voice of mine and the spotlight I’ve been given, I will use it to raise up my less represented peers no matter their gender, race or religion.

Among the variety of progress displayed by big brands this year – the ads, logos, icons, packaging, shelf designs – there’s a big difference between pandering and representation. Here are some organizations that did it RIGHT this year.

  • Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg’s pride gear incorporated black and brown into the rainbow, which is inclusive AF.

    • Bonus points for Pete(‘s social manager) adding his preferred pronouns to his Instagram bio

  • Calvin Kleina brand synonymous with bodies and sexuality — featured a variety of homosexual and gender non-conforming models in their pride campaign.

    • This is huge in a world where we’re beginning to learn more about the ethos behind a brand, and it’s not always in alignment with our own.

  • Kush Queen’s Pride 2019 Collection hit the trifecta.

    • Kush queen put actual history on the pride collection packaging, educating consumers of the intersections between cannabis and LGBT progress.

    • Donating 20% to the Trans Lifeline is a generous donation by most corporate standards. This is an organization that puts boots on the ground and helps people every day – they need cash!

    • Kush Queen’s Pride campaign is 100% queer-produced creative.

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I’ve been working with content producers/photographers/ directors/models for 6+ years, and the majority of that work focuses on our LGBT communities. I have two simple rules when it comes to this:

  • Only LGBT photographers should shoot LGBT storylines

  • Only LGBT talent should star in LGBT storylines

I’d like to take this moment to thank Courtney Charles for bringing queer creatives together to produce a beautiful, conceptual shoot for Kush Queen. I also want to thank our CEO Olivia Alexander for being one of the truest allies our communities could ask for.

It’s easy to be a hater, but easy isn’t the name of this game. I’m proud of everyone for speaking their feelings and not settling for what we’re given, but make sure you’re talking about the things that matter, not just shouting into the void.

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I’m also going to take this moment to remind everyone that Ignite is Kush Queen’s INCREDIBLE water-based CBD Lube, which is condom safe. Health is wealth! STD’s are everywhere, and not always treatable. You can take care of yourself and have a good time. So do that.

Happy Pride, everyone.


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

Kush Queens Pride Collection is Limited Edition and going fast! Grab yours before their gone and we will donate 20% of your purchase to Trans Lifeline!

Shope Pride!

Taking Back Power

By: JS Brunson

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Let’s talk about abortions. I’m going to be blunt with you because I don’t want to be deceptive. One of my best friends in college had an abortion. I didn’t find out about it until two years later. When I asked her why she kept such an important secret, she said she felt scared and ashamed and didn’t want to be judged. She said she knew it was the right decision for her, but feared if she was open about it her parents and friends would disown her. I remember looking at my friend as she was crying and pouring her heart out to me, and I told her that I would never judge her. That wasn’t my right to do so. I became so upset that she felt she had to defend her decision to the world. She felt she was alone in this. So much so that she went to the clinic by herself.

That moment forever changed me. After all that women have done for this world, including literally birthing it, I believe it’s shameful that we are still discussing what a woman is allowed to do with her own body.

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Now in case you missed it, this is a loaded statement. Before I break it down, grab a CBD PreRoll and drop some Kush Queen Bare CBD Tincture into your coffee because, hunnie,… it’s going to get deep.

Before you go off on me claiming that I want to kill human beings, let me be clear. I’m not discussing that. Literally not at all. I am solely talking about the policing of women’s bodies. Whether that policing comes from the Bible, the Quran or the United States government, it’s wrong because it places the power out of the hands of the individual and into the opinion of the masses.

Every single person on this planet has been birthed by a woman. Yet, we have been policing women’s bodies since the beginning of time. Women have been called unfit, weak, useless, less than, etc. Women in the past have been regulated to wearing multiple layers of clothing so that their natural shape wouldn’t entice men. During the days of slavery, Black women’s bodies were stripped naked and put on display in traveling circuses because white men and women couldn’t understand how their bodies became so curvaceous. Women, and especially Women of Color, have been fighting for equal rights since the dawn of patriarchy. To sit here in 2019 and still have to fight for the choice of what I am allowed to do with my own body is insulting. Yah, I’m gonna need some more CBD (and maybe some controlled breathing)!

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At the end of the day we aren’t talking about lives here, we’re talking about who holds the power over human beings. Is it not odd that Alabama, the same state that created the strictest abortion laws in modern history, executed a prisoner one day after declaring their heinous abortion laws. I’ll say that again. Alabama Governor Kay Ivey enacted a near total ban on abortions saying that a woman cannot legally abort her fetus once she finds out she’s pregnant even in the cases of rape and insest. That was on May 15th. On May 16th Alabama executed a convicted murderer. Which tells us that it isn’t about all lives but rather our perception of that person’s value in life. Where is the logic in that? Neither should be our choice. Should there be consequences in life? Absolutely. But those consequences should not be controlled by a person who has no real stake in the game.

HEAR THIS: If you have never been a woman, if you have never bled from your uterus multiple times a year, if you’ve never been faced with the decision of having to have an abortion or potentially living a life you aren’t prepared for, if you dislike people of color for whatever self-hating reason you have, then you should not have the authority to tell me what to do with my body.

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If you’d like to learn more, including how you can get involved, I encourage you to visit: https://www.plannedparenthoodaction.org/issues/act.

There, you will be able to:

  • Find an event near you

  • Sign a petition to fight back against 6-week abortion bans

  • Speak out to oppose the gag rule

  • Find out how to contact your local lawmakers

No matter what side of the issue you’re on, one thing remains true. If we take away a women’s right to choose what she does with her own body, we give up our power to those who have the potential to use it for their own personal gain. Let’s keep our life given power of choice. Let’s stand in our truth and tell the world “Get Your Hands off My Womb!”


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Rescuing your Summer Skin

By: Angela Viesti

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Summer’s right around the corner and that means pool parties, backyard BBQs, festivals, vacations, staycations, beach days, retreats and road trips. The quintessential summer agenda has me salivating for warmer weather so I can bust out the shorts & bathing suits that’ve been collecting dust since fall (because WTF SoCal?).

With the change in season comes the biggest threat to my fair skin–a sunburn. I always seem to get one good one each year (usually an awkward and embarrassing one), so caring for my skin post-burn is as essential as protecting it from the sun’s UV rays. Even if you don’t burn easily like I do, it’s still important to protect and care for your skin, especially if you’ve been exposed to more sun than is normal.

Other factors like dry heat, humidity, and fluctuating temperatures can make you a sweaty hot mess and wreak havoc on your skin’s condition and appearance–but they don’t have have to! My arsenal of Kush Queen’s CBD products that prime and heal my skin will be in heavy rotation all summer long and here’s how I plan on using them.

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Chin Up

Your face is exposed to the elements more than any other part of your body. What you put on your face can either help or hinder your skincare goals. Every morning, wash your face with a gentle soap then dab a thin layer of DEFYNT Anti-Serum to your face and neck. Its gentle rose scent instantly calms and uplifts your mood–it’s like stopping and smelling the roses while you get ready. The water-based serum’s silky texture nourishes the skin and the Amplifi nano-CBD protects it from bacteria, acne, free-radicals, and inflammation.

This CBD infused serum saved my skin last summer when I had the opportunity to test it prior to DEFYNT’s official launch. I changed little about my skincare routine, other than applying the Anti-Serum twice daily before moisturizing, and my skin was noticeably clearer and brighter in less than 2 weeks. After a month, my pores had shrunk, I was devoid of acne, and my skin was glowing. The aloe leaf juice soothed and moisturized my sunburned face and prevented the dreaded snake-like peeling that comes with a burn.

Next on the agenda is a tinted moisturizer with SPF 50 UVA/UVB broad spectrum protection. I recommend that you always wear a sunscreen with SPF 30 or more, even when it’s not hot or sunny. When you’re planning on being in the sun for extended periods of time, it’s wise to pack sunscreen so you can reapply as needed. Sunscreen protects the skin from signs of aging and can be instrumental in the prevention of skin cancer.

If you wind up with a sunburn and need to give your face some extra TLC, test out this DIY CBD Face Mask from our blog archives. Play around with the ingredients to find a blend that suits your skin type.

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Neck Down

My fair skin isn’t just prone to sunburns; it’s also sensitive, making it susceptible to rashes, chapping and other irritating conditions. Not a good thing when it’s hot out and I’m on the move. This is when I pull out my Melt Pain Relief lotion and apply it directly to the rash or dry skin for soothing moisture and instant relief from irritation. Melt is an aloe-based lotion with pain relieving properties that can help heal your skin if you forgot to reapply your sunscreen.

We all know we should exfoliate, but how often do we take the time to actually do it? During the summer months we want to keep our skin healthy and looking its best. I love using Renew Lavender Sugar scrub on my feet and hands during an at-home mani-pedi, revealing soft, rejuvenated skin. Renew can be used as a pre-shave exfoliator to prevent ingrown hairs with CBD and essential oils that help condition the skin and minimize inflammation. Modify this DIY CBD Infused bath with cooler water and add a Renew scrub to keep your skin glowing.

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From Within

Earlier this year, I talked about healthy skin from within. On the blog and I stand by my sentiments, particularly now that things are heating up in the Northern Hemisphere. What you consume will eventually be released, some of which happens through the skin. Do your best to eat as many whole, plant based foods as you can. Simply cutting out refined sugars and processed foods that are devoid of nutrition and replacing them with a healthy option will do wonders for your skin and you energy levels. If you don’t believe me, try it for 2 weeks and see how you feel. Add an antioxidant boost to your homemade dips or salad dressings with a dropper full of Bare Tincture. It only has two ingredients, olive oil and CBD, so you can add it to any recipe that calls for olive oil.

Dehydration is the enemy of healthy skin. While alcohol can feel like a refreshing summertime staple, it can be problematic because of its dehydrating effects. I love a cold IPA as much as anyone, but waking up hungover and parched is no fun. So make sure you’re drinking plenty of water when you choose to drink, especially during the summer, and especially when you’re at a festival or party where you’ll be on your feet or moving a lot.

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Keeping your skin healthy is just that simple—always remember your sunscreen, drink plenty of water, and stock up on Kush Queen’s skin rescuing topicals this summer!


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

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Anxiety Reducing Workouts

By: Ben Mervis

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As a person who is alive and woke in 2019, I find that there are far more natural triggers for anxiety than there are for endorphins. This might also explain why we’re also a generation that’s honing the skills and therapies for self-care – which is great because we all know things aren’t going to be easier for today’s children.  

I don’t mind admitting this, but Elle Woods inspired me in many ways; if I work hard there’s almost nothing I can’t do (what, like it’s hard?), the bend and snap will always work if you’re trying to get a man’s attention, and exercise is a great way to naturally create mood-enhancing endorphins.

Admittedly, the title of this piece is misleading – this is not a step by step guide of exercises to practice when you’re feeling anxious. Rather some reminders that helped me find my own footing in the fitness world, which in turn has really been a great tool in my handling of stressful times.

It’s also worth noting that there are some really strong connections between exercise and CBD. Yes, a CBD topical (or ingestible) can help with pain relief and recovery – but CBD can also help make your workout more impactful. By reducing inflammation ahead of exercise, our bodies are better able to circulate blood carrying nutrients, energy, and endorphins.

**Medical disclaimer** by no means am I an expert here. These tips are based on my lived experience, and advice that I’ve gotten from fit friends like Aaron Marcotte over the years.

1. It’s all about the timing

We’re all usually trying to fit more into a day than we should – and I’ll speak for myself when I say that being overscheduled can cause some serious anxiety. So when I’m fitting in a workout, I make sure to know how long I can commit to it. I recommend that anyone who is not already on a regular workout routine, give this a moment of planning and save yourself some stress. Make sure to include time for warming up, exercise, cooling down/stretching, showering and refueling.

I give myself 2-hours from the minute I walk out my door, to when I finish my post-shower protein shake. This is usually 5:30 am – 7:30 am, but that’s just what works for me. There was a time where I’d fit the whole shebang into a 1-hour lunch break… but I found myself skipping my stretches, straining my muscles, and generally feeling more anxious than before I left the office.

2. Practice mindful breathing – your body can’t do anything if you’re not breathing.

This is something I often forgot when I first started lifting, but I really learned the importance of breathing through yoga and spinning classes. I found it incredibly helpful to have a coach/teacher reminding me to breathe, and actually connecting my movements to my breath and the beats. It’s become a form of active meditation for me.

3. Stimuli

From the get-go, I began working out with headphones in, and something full-blast. Whether I was listening to music, podcasts, or something else… it felt like a given that I should be plugged in during a workout.

It was only about a year ago that I realized the audio inputs can be distracting, and even anxiety-inducing in and of themselves. What’s coming on next? Why don’t I have better playlists? Am I dancing and lip syncing without even realizing it? Is the cute guy on the treadmill next to me interested in chatting?

I’ve worked on understanding when I’m already overstimulated, and I make those days no-headphone days.

4. Stretching and recovery

The number one way to reduce anxiety through exercise, in my experience – is a good stretch at the beginning and end of my workout. I find so much peace in reconnecting with my breath, and taking a moment to appreciate my body for the work it’s just done. This is another opportunity to work some CBD into your routine; I recommend a CBD tincture like Bare or one of Kush Queen’s CBD nano topical such as Soaked. In these cases, the CBD should help to fight post-workout inflammation, and keep your blood flowing and feeding your body’s recovery.

So the next time you feel a wave of anxiety coming, or anticipate an anxious day/week/month – make sure to set aside some time for exercise – but don’t let it add to your stressors. Even a walk around the block should be enough to get your blood and endorphins flowing, you’ve just gotta give it a chance.


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

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Tie Dye Your Way to Pride

By: Maria Spiridigliozzi

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Let me be totally honest, large crowds sometimes freak me out. Loud sudden noises, and even loud sustained noises, sometimes freak me out. Waiting for many hours in a large crowd, sometimes freaks me out. What I’m saying is, my anxiety disorder and the typical Pride parades and parties are not a good match.

I like to celebrate pride in other ways. Some things that are fun are supporting LGBTQIA+ artists, seeing a concert (Hi Mitski!), going to an event (QueerFest in Silverlake is a chill alternative to the Pride parades in West Hollywood). What always makes me feel connected to the community is outwardly showing my pride through my craft projects.

How to Tie Dye Your Way to Pride

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  • Pick your shirt!

    • This can be any type of white or light (the closer to white the better) colored shirt. Above are the shirts I used today.

    • A great way to show your pride before even touching any dye is to pick up some Pride swag from your local shops. Check out any LGBTQIA+ owned businesses in your area. If that’s not an option, some of the big stores have a line of Pride clothing that is A+ (Saturday School, Ralph Lauren will even put your name on this sweatshirt, Madewell, H&M)

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  • Prep your area!

    • There aren’t many things you need to tie-dye. If you’ve got a tarp or giant plastic sheet ala Twin Peaks then you can lay them down inside and have this party in your bathroom or living room. I don’t have such things so I cut up a trash bag and used that to cover my coffee table. Who says luxury isn’t possible on a budget?

    • It’s also a good idea to use gloves when working with tie-dye. Dye is right there in the name, so if you don’t use gloves expect some colorful fingers for a day or two.

    • Rubber bands make for the best hold, they just snap right into place. If you want to tie your shirt with string grab a buddy to help hold the shirt while you tie around it.

    • Scissors are optional. I used them to cut up one of the shirts as it was GIANT and as you can see it makes a much better tank top.

    • Prepping your shirt

      • The dye adheres better to wet fabric, so you’ll want to give your shirt a lil’ bath before you start. Once it’s nice and damp ring out any excess water. See here.

  • Start your design!

    • Designs in tie-dye shirts are all based on the tie part. So however you twist your shirt will dictate how the colors show up. I’m partial to the crumple method and the traditional spiral, but you can find so many others online.

  • For the spiral (see above)– pinch up where you want the center of the spiral. On this shirt, I went just above center and to one side so it kind of sprays across the chest. If you’re going to crop, take into consideration where the crop will be. Sometimes it helps to cut the shirts beforehand so you know exactly what you’re working with. But honestly, go with your gut on this one. As you can see I cut this so it’s a tank top.

  • Once you’re satisfied start rubberbanding around. I used 4 rubber bands to really hold it in place.

  • Crumple method (see above) is exactly what it sounds like, you crumble. This one runs the risk of coming out either all one color or very muddy if you use a lot of the dye. The basic method is, lay the shirt flat and start crumpling it up until it’s as crumpled as you like. The more wrinkles the more interesting the design.

  • Then start rubberbanding. It helps to keep them in a sort of spiderweb formation.

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  • Get to dying!

    • Literally, this is where you lay down on the floor and wait for the imminent cold hands of death to grab you. Just kidding! It’s time to cover these shirts in fabric dye. As you can see some of my containers are already full and some aren’t. This is only because I’ve already used this tie dye set before. The dye will last a good while once you’ve mixed it.

    • To mix your dye simply add a little tap water to the bottle then shake. Once you’re pretty sure the dye is incorporated fill the bottle to just below the top and shake again to really mix that dye.

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  • Now is the really fun part, where you take dye to fabric. This time, as I’m making shirts to wear for Pride, I was inspired by Kush Queen’s Rainbow CBD Bath Bomb (which comes in the Relax blend).

  • You will see there are these great lines of distinct color in the bath bomb and I wanted to mimic that on the shirt.

  • The other shirt takes inspiration from my personal sexual identity as pansexual. In case you’re unfamiliar it means I’m attracted to people across the gender spectrum and when choosing a partner am interested in people across the gender spectrum.

    • Pride is the perfect time to support those in the LGBTQIA+ community as well as bear your (literal) flag.

  • Once the top layer is completely covered in dye, flip it over and cover the back side. Here’s an example of my pansexual shirt top and bottom covered in dye.

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  • Let it rest!

    • Yeah, there’s an exclamation point there, because now is when you wrap these puppies in some plastic and let them marinate. It’s the perfect time to pop that CBD Bath Bomb in the tub and relax for an hour (or two).

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  • The dye needs to really set into the fabric so you can leave these as short as two hours or as long as a week depending on your dye.

  • Most dyes suggest up to 24 hours. The longer you let it marinate the easier it will be to rinse the dye out and the more vibrant the dye will be once it is washed out.

  • Unravel and rinse!

    • As you can see my shirts came out pretty damned good! Very excited to rock these around Pride all month long.

    • Once you unravel you can either rinse them in the bathtub by hand or put them in the washing machine on a delicates cycle.

      • Truthfully, this is the part I messed up on. I tried hand rinsing before switching to the washing machine and then my boyfriend accidentally included them in a load of normal clothes, so they’re extra faded now.

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  • Drying!

    • If you can line drying then I would highly recommend that. You don’t want a ton of heat involved in drying. If you don’t want to/can’t line dry, then you can use a normal dryer on low.

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Now all thats left to do is get out there and show off your hard work! Tie-dye your way to your own Pride!


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

Shop Kush Queens Pride Collection and 20% of all  sales will directly benefit Trans Lifeline; a national trans-led 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to improving the quality of trans lives by responding to critical needs with direct service, material support, advocacy, and education.

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The Women and the Queer History Behind Pot Brownies

By: DM Blunted

Illustration by @ dmblunted

Illustration by @dmblunted

Pot brownies are one of the most, if not the most, notorious edibles known to stoner culture. The use of edibles in religion and for pleasure has been around for centuries. What is less known is that it wasn’t a popularized recipe until a queer woman in the 1950s published a recipe for “Hashish Fudge,” and just like that, the iconic stoner treat had its start in the United States. But it wasn’t until the 1980s, with the help of an LGBTQ+ ally, that the pot brownie as we know it was engraved into pot culture and our hearts.  

When Alice B. Toklas moved to Paris at the age of 29 from San Francisco, five months after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, I doubt she imagined she was going to find her life partner the day after she arrived. But she did when she met Gertrude Stein, an American writer, and art collector also living in Paris (yes, that Gertrude Stein). They lived together hosting expat writers and avant-garde artists in their home for almost four decades. While Stein wrote, Toklas acted as her muse and confidant. So much so that Stein wrote a book in 1933 titled “The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas,” which ended up becoming her bestselling book. They remained a tight unit until Stein’s passing in 1946. When she died, she left a large portion of her estate and many high-value Picassos to Toklas. But like many queer partnerships before the protection of federal laws, Toklas’s and Stein’s union wasn’t recognized legally. Which made it a cakewalk for Gertrude’s family to swoop in like a kettle of vultures and take those valuable pieces from Alice’s home while she was on vacation.

Alice B. Toklas Illustration by @ dmblunted

Alice B. Toklas Illustration by @dmblunted

This forced Alice to ask friends for money and scramble for new streams of revenue. And that’s how we got, “The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook,” filled with memories and recipes from friends. One of those recipes, a Moroccan inspired “Hashish Fudge” came from her close friend Brion Gysin. After the obvious shock and backlash, Harper’s, the publisher, pulled the recipe from the US print, but the media and the public weren’t done with hashish fudge. The pot brownie prototype frenzy quickly propelled the cookbook to bestselling heights and even immortalized Toklas’s last name in pot culture. Ever wonder where the term “toke” came from? Look no further than Alice B. Toklas. Even though there is no evidence that Toklas used this recipe, it doesn’t take away her place in cannabis history.

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40 years after Alice B. Toklas hit cookbook was published, Mary Jane Rathbun (yes, that’s her real name) was working in a San Francisco IHOP, perfecting her pot brownie recipe in her free-time. Rathbun soon began selling her “magically delicious” brownies on the streets of San Fransico’s gay district, Castro – quickly gaining her notoriety in the city. A few years into her sales and Rathbun began to notice the health benefits of her cannabis-infused pastries for her chronically ill customers. Mind you this was during a time when the United States government had waged a war against its LGBTQ+ community by not speaking out on the HIV/AIDS epidemic that was devastating the community. With Nixon going out of his way to ignore the issue, it was left to the LGBTQ+ community and its allies to take care of one another. And that’s where “Brownie” Mary Rathbun came in. Soon after she realized how her brownies could help the ailing, she started showing up at her local AIDS and cancer wards, brownies and fresh pots of coffee in hand. And even though she had retired from her job at IHOP, she used her $612 Social Security check to supply the sick with edible medicine. But just like with anything good in life, the police caught wind of Rathbun’s charitable deeds and wanted to put an end to it.

Mary Jane Rathbun Illustration by @ dmblunted

Mary Jane Rathbun Illustration by @dmblunted

So in 1981 Rathbun’s public-housing apartment was raided, where police found 18 pounds of high-grade cannabis, 35 pounds of margarine (which Mary would let the public know it was butter and not margarine), 50 pounds of flour and sugar, 22 dozen eggs and 21,000 sq ft of plastic wrap. At the age of 57, Mary Jane Rathbun was arrested for the first time. Rathbun received national news and the mercy of the judge in charge of her case and was let off with 500 hours of community service. Many of those hours she spent at gay thrift stores, soup kitchens and a hospice center called the Shanti Project. Ten years after her arrest and Rathbun was still selling brownies but was even more involved as an advocate and an ally to the cannabis and LGBTQ+ community. In 1991, her work with gay cannabis advocate Dennis Peron, came into fruition when Prop P was passed with 80% of the San Franciscan vote, Which made it the first MMJ law in the United States. A year later and Peron and Rathbun opened the first public dispensary in the nation, The Cannabis Buyers Club.

The pot brownies history is as deep and rich as it’s flavor, and it’s important that we acknowledge the reasons of who and why we’re able to enjoy this infused delight. Because behind every one of these stories lies the LGBTQ+ community. Toklas didn’t just publish a best selling cookbook she also founded the United States first LGBT Democratic Club. Rathbun dedicated her life to aiding the LGBTQ+ community in San Francisco up until her passing in 1999. These women used their lives to uplift the LGBTQ+ community, so shouldn’t it be innate for the cannabis community and industry to do the same?  

Illustration by @ dmblunted

Illustration by @dmblunted

Right now, as you read this,  LGBTQ+ rights are being slowly and painfully stripped away. Our black trans sisters are being murdered in the streets with no justice. And in 2016 58% of all Black folks diagnosed with HIV were either gay or bi men. Being an ally doesn’t just stop at rainbows and Pride, there are 365 days out of the year where you should continue to think about our community. It goes beyond gender or sexual identity, it’s about privilege and using yours to help others with it. Do.Your.Part.


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

Shop Kush Queens Pride Collection and 20% of all  sales will directly benefit Trans Lifeline; a national trans-led 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to improving the quality of trans lives by responding to critical needs with direct service, material support, advocacy, and education.

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What does it Mean to be Seen?

By: Tiffany Whitmore

Before I sat down to write this post in long form, I outlined the post with the title of “The Feeling of Pride.” When I got settled in my writing spot and started reflecting on the sections, I found myself lost in thought of what the feeling of pride is for me.

I asked myself what the feeling of pride is multiple times to get to the real answer. It was a pivotal moment and my answer was surprising and to be honest liberating.

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The Phases of Pride

As a member of the elder millennial LBGTQIA+ community, I’ve gone through the pride lifecycle. We can all appreciate the shy early stages of our youth to the bold, rainbow-everything college years and finally settling into our authentic “this is who I am everyday” self.  

Each one of the stages taught me so much. In the beginning, self-discovery and exploration ruled my identity as a sense of pride was still developing. Fast forward a few years to the opposite end of the spectrum where everything about me was pride oriented from my “alternative lifestyle” haircut, rainbow flag armband (give me a break it was the mid-2000s), and living an out life was something fundamental to who I was at the time.

Now that I’ve gotten older, thankfully, my sense of self-expression has evolved and so has my sense of pride. So when I asked myself what the feeling of pride is, I tried to dig deep into answering how my sense of pride aligns with the core of who I am.

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To Be Seen Is My Feeling of Pride

When I got to the core of my answer, I realized that for me to truly feel a sense of pride is for my complete self to be seen. What does that mean?

Experiencing the significance of my existence in the smallest of ways gives me the most genuine sense of pride. As a member of a community that is continuously being marginalized, the feeling of significance is powerful. I’ve come to realize that significance for me is a two-fold idea of being given the space to be seen and someone seeing you for exactly who you are.

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Kush Queen Sees Me

When I first laid eyes on this year’s Kush Queen Pride Collection, I felt excited and drawn to the collection, and these are products I already use daily – so what’s the difference?

I felt seen. Olivia and the entire Kush Queen team create space for the LGBTQIA+ community. The pride bäre, pride bath bomb, and pride ignite are the physical representation of that significance. It’s not just new packaging for a month; it’s the feeling that someone believes you and your community are significant enough to acknowledge, celebrate, and speak out on topics that you face every day.

DM Blunted summed it up in their post DM Goes to LA, “to be embraced by Oliva and to be told that I’m family, is a constant reminder that I don’t need to alter my morals or stances to be successful or wanted.”

The feeling to be seen is something that everyone benefits from. That equal energy exchange is the ultimate glow up. Kush Queen and the Kush Queen Pride Collection sees us, let’s celebrate that together.

Pride is a Year Long Celebration, Not Just a Month Long Thing

Use the month of June to be intentional in your representation, educate yourself on the shared history of the LGBTQIA+ communities and cannabis, be seen in your community. And always remember to make events inclusive to everyone in the community.

Here are a few Pride month activities I’ve participated in over the last few years:

•    Donate gently used clothing and housewares to a local LGBTQIA+ support organizations

•    Go to Pride events

•    Read about LGBTQIA history or a life like Billy Jack Gaither.

Enjoy the month of June and don’t forget there is a whole team of people at Kush Queen that see you!


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

Ready to stock up on the CBD Pride Collection? Shop Kush Queen below!

Pride Collection!!!

10 Cannabis Memes for the Kush Queen in all of us

By: WolfieMemes

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@Wolfiememes is our favorite millennial memer and loyal Kush Queen supporter. So she stopped by to drop some cannabis memes featuring some of your favorite MOODS and Kush Queen products like our Sleep bath bomb and our Ignite lubricant . Relatable AF.

Don’t forget to follow @wolfiememes and @kushqueenshop for more Kush Queen content!

1. Weed Lube

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2. Summer Mood

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3. When You’re A Kush Queen

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4. All day, Every day

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5. Soul Mates

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6. Dry Vibes

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7. High Maintenance

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8. Munchies

9. Work Mood

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10. Post Sleep Bath Bomb

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Share your favorite Kush Queen products with us by following and tagging @kushqueenshop and @kushqueenco in your Instagram posts and stories!!

Looking to re-up on your CBD? Shop Kush Queen Below!

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Kush Queen’s Wellness Toolbox: CBD & Intentional Breathing

By: Angela Viesti

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We take our first breath when we’re born. We take our last breath when we die. And in between we have breathtaking moments and moments of breathlessness.

We hold our breath when we’re underwater or detect a foul smell. Moms-to-be in Lamaze class prepare for childbirth–the final descent before baby’s first breath. We use breathing as a remedy to calm down in times of high stress, panic, or anger. Cardio workouts demand that you marry the relationship between breath and movement. You may deepen or shallow your inhale/exhale as an automatic response to pain or tension.

It’s a vital physiological function that happens involuntarily most of the time. What makes breathing such a powerful tool for connecting us to ourselves is that we have the ability to control its rhythm and pace to optimize our mental state and physical performance.

Connecting to your breath is vital when:

  • You’re experiencing pain

  • You’re stressed out (travelling, traffic, relentless workday, etc.)

  • Your heart rate is up

  • You’re frustrated or angry

  • Anxiety strikes

Intentional breathing helps regulate the body’s response to stressors in our environment…and so does CBD. There are a number of ways to pair breath with CBD products that trigger an entourage effect of benefits.

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CBD & Breath for Your Mind

Short, shallow breathing enhances anxiety and stress, while deep, intentional breathing can relieve them. Certain activities demand that we connect to our breath, taking the burden of “remembering to breathe” off our plates. Because the body operates as a whole, eliminating stress and anxiety holistically is more effective than treating individual symptoms. By incorporating breath, CBD, and movement into our routines we can eliminate and prevent stress and anxiety.

Try these activities that connect you to your breath

  • Yoga – To deepen your presence during practice, take a Kush Queen RX CBD Gummy about 30 minutes before you begin. The calming effects of the CBD will serve you whether you’re holding Warrior II longer than usual or you’re sinking into a deep Sleeping Pigeon. Remember to tap into your breath when you feel challenged.

  • Pilates – The Joseph Pilates method of exercise emphasizes the combination of breath with movement to deepen stretches and allow for greater mobility. Pilates awakens muscles that are otherwise dormant, so rub a dose of Melt CBD Pain Relief Lotion on your neck, shoulders, and low back to loosen up for this workout.

  • Meditation – If mental chatter stops you from meditating, focus on your breath and notice how it can help you get out of your head. Breath in for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, and exhale for 4 seconds. Repeat for 3 cycles and as needed.

  • Cardio (running, biking, dancing, etc.) – Without proper breathing, cardio will leave you panting and exhausted in a matter of seconds. Find your rhythm and pace and match your breath to your movement.

  • Hiking, Beaching, and Being (Outdoors) – If you can get outdoors to connect to your breath–DO IT! Fresh air in natural environment is excellent for your mind, body, spirit, and lungs. The ocean is a great tool for syncing our breath with a natural rhythm

  • Fresh Air Indoors – Create a green space inside with indoor houseplants that produce fresh oxygen and give your home a calm vibe. Check out our very own Ben Mervis’ Insta story, Plant Father if you need some inspo. You could even grow your own weed to bring plant life indoors!

There’s no one right way to take CBD, so experiment with a blend of topicals, ingestibles, and smokables to find the combination that you prefer for each activity. Check out our Understanding CBD blog for tips on how to find your “sweet spot”.

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CBD & Breath for Pain

Physical pain impacts everyone throughout life. Pain happens as a result of injury and illness. It can be acute or chronic. Isolated or systemic. No matter how we end up with it, pain hurts.

Acute pain is the body’s normal response to injury or biological changes within (think sports injury or menstrual cramps). As normal as it may be, it’s still pain and it still hurts. Chronic pain is often accompanied by systemic inflammation, which contributes to a number of serious conditions if left unaddressed.

Improper breathing can contribute to and even cause pain by creating a tightening of the muscles, causing them to pull and strain. But breathing can also be a most effective tool for easing pain and that effectiveness is amplified by the presence of CBD and other botanicals.

To treat pain and inflammation, take a sublingual dose of Bare CBD Tincture and while holding the oil under your tongue, inhale deeply through the nose and exhale completely through the nose. Do this for about a minute before swallowing the oil. Continue breathing deeply and direct your breath to the area you’re experiencing the pain; exhale completely through the mouth. Repeat twice times per day or as needed to relieve sporadic pain.

To go deeper into relaxation and pain relief, bathe in a tub of warm water and a Kush Queen Relieve CBD Bath Bomb. Continue breathing intentionally as you soak in the bath.

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CBD & Breath for Your Body

Another way to connect to yourself using breathwork and CBD is through pleasure and exploration. This can be done alone or with a consenting partner. Orgasms are known to release a euphoric cocktail of hormones that leave us feeling relaxed and happy. CBD lube heightens sensitivity and increases circulation when applied to the genitals, which will speed up the arousal process. Deepen those orgasms and you deepen all the sensations that come with it..

Enter a mild meditative state by breathing slowly, focusing on where your breath travels in your body. After a few complete cycles, start to direct your breath and awareness to your sacral chakra (think womb/pelvis/sexual organs). When you feel relaxed and in your body, apply a pump of Kush Queen’s Ignite CBD lube to yourself or your partner. The effects of Ignite can be felt within seconds of application, so be ready!

CBD lube stimulates the sensitive tissues in and near sexual organs, bringing a greater level of sensation and awareness to the targeted area. Painful intercourse or arousal are minimized as the CBD acts to relax increase blood flow and release tension.

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Wellness Toolbox

Maintaining wellness is all about having tools at your disposal to call on when you need extra support. Your breath is one that you almost always have access to and with practice it can become your sharpest instrument in achieving homeostasis.


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

Want to incorporate CBD into your Intentional Breathing Rituals? Shop Kush Queen Below!

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Introducing The 2019 Pride Collection

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Celebrating the shared history of cannabis progress, and the LGBTQ+communities, Kush Queen presents our limited edition 2019 Pride Collection. The Pride CBD bath bomb with 25mg CBD, Pride Ignite Water Based CBD Lubricant, and our 1000mg Bare CBD Tincture.

Our access to cannabis would not exist without the incredible men and women who fought for Proposition 215. Because of them, California would adopt its first medical cannabis legislation in 1996, opening the doors for AIDS patients and many others to gain access to plant medicine.

As a womxn-owned company, Kush Queen is dedicated to honoring the shared history of the LGBTQ+ communities and cannabis. We are committed to the pursuit of equality and fostering a more accepting world not just during pride season, but all year long.

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20% of all pride collection sales will directly benefit Trans Lifeline; a national trans-led 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to improving the quality of trans lives by responding to critical needs with direct service, material support, advocacy, and education. Their vision is to fight the epidemic of trans suicide and improve overall life-outcomes of trans people by facilitating justice-oriented, collective community aid.Celebrating the shared history of cannabis progress, and the LGBTQ+communities, Kush Queen presents our limited edition 2019 Pride Collection. Our access to cannabis would not exist without the incredible men and women who fought for Proposition 215. Because of them, California would adopt its first medical cannabis legislation in 1996, opening the doors for AIDS patients and many others to gain access to plant medicine.

Check back all summer long for amazing pride content!


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

Grab your Kush Queen Limited Edition Pride Collection below!

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