Let them eat “Ugly” Cake: A Summer Inspired CBD Recipe

By: Rochelle Herman

I have an unapologetic and infinite sweet tooth. I will gladly skip dinner so I can have pie ala mode or a delicious infused brownie ala mode. But it’s summertime…and I completely agree, some desserts are just too heavy during those stifling Summer months, plus you don’t want to ruin that summer bod you’ve been working on. 

That’s why this summer dump cake recipe, or ‘Ugly Cake’, is perfect for indulging your sweet tooth while keeping that summer bod. Dump cakes, by title alone, are meant to be so easy you just dump the ingredients in a pan and bake it. Foolproof. The name “ Ugly Cake” came from a friend of mine, who recently was lovingly enjoying the cake and stated, “This Cake sure is Ugly, but it’s delicious.” Having had made, and enjoyed it half a dozen times now, I and my friends would absolutely say it turns out ugly every time. 

So, how could a cake possibly be good for your summer figure? It’s cake right?! Pure sugar?

Well, this cake is made with a box of Angel food mix, a bag of frozen berries, whatever berry screams summer to you, and some sparkling water. To make it CBD infused, just add a few droppers of Kush Queen bare CBD tincture. This is actually an imitation of an old Weight Watchers dessert, and it turns out to be a super low-fat option.

This is a recipe I’ve used for years. Back before I really knew how to cook or had the “courage” to cook from scratch. Before I had the trust in myself to follow copious amounts of directions. I have in fact destroyed many a delicious idea in my past. Dill in homemade spaghetti sauce for instance…was a terrible and disgusting idea. The coveted idea being a delicious homemade spaghetti sauce. Sometimes it’s nice not to have to think about it, and just dump and go. Enter my “Ugly” Cake creation.

Now, how you choose to share this as Ugly Cake is up to you. It could be served a playful joke because you know you’re not a trained baker, and not everything you make turns out bakery floor ready. Served lovingly and dressed up to your liking with powdered sugars and whipped creams.

OR… you could use it as a telling sign, a way to stick it to your guest, so to speak. Maybe your horrible in-laws are coming over, or your bully of a boss, or even a “friend” who you know really just comes over to smoke all your weed. A real master mooch. WELL… Let them eat Ugly Cake. And really make a point to say it to them. “Here, enjoy some Ugly Cake!” As you smirk and haphazardly drop it on the table. Cheeky, but also tasty.

How ever you choose to enjoy it, here’s how you make it.

Grab any loaf pan or casserole dish you have. Dump a bag of frozen fruit in it. I chose a bag of Mixed Berries which had, blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries. Don’t worry about greasing the pan first. Just dump. Add a bag of Angel food cake over the frozen berries. Angel food cake is what will keep this summer-friendly, as it is light and airy and lower in carbs and sugar, but any box of cake will do. Open a can of Sparkling water, I chose some with Lemon flavoring to add another flavor kick because any dessert with lemon in it is a good idea to me! Pour the sparkling water over the cake mix and frozen berries. That’s it. 

If you’d like to make this recipe CBD infused, then after you’ve added the sparkling water, you will add a full dropper (or more to your dosing desires) of Kush Queens bare CBD tincture and mix it together. Just grab a spoon and give it a Gentile stir, making sure the CBD is fully incorporated, evenly through the cake mix. 

THEN…bake it at 350 for 50 min. It may not look pretty, but it will be devoured by you, and any friend or family member you choose. The only thing you’ll need to worry about is if you’ll have enough for later, when the midnight munchies hit.

The lightness of the Angel Food Cake combined with the brightness of the mixed berries and lemon, make this one of my go-to summer recipes and one I don’t feel the least bit guilty about eating all on my own!!

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

Want to try adding CBD to your favorite sweet treats? Grab a bottle of Bare Daily Wellness below!

Empowering the Solar Plexus

By: Angela Viesti

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The solar plexus chakra, also known as the third chakra, is located behind the navel. It’s Sanskrit name, Manipura, means “illustrious gem” and is symbolized by a yellow 10 petaled circle with an upside-down triangle in its center. The last of the physical chakras, the solar plexus is home to our feelings of personal empowerment, control, and abundance. The “gut feeling” we often refer to, when our intuition communicates through our bodies, stems from this chakra. 

Keeping this chakra in balance is key to feeling a sense of security, self-confidence, and self-assurance. The solar plexus is associated with the fire element and signifies our ability to take action and build momentum in our lives. The phrase “being fired up” is a nod to the sensation of heat in the solar plexus when we feel excitement and enthusiasm. 

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Imbalances in this area can manifest as lack of control and fear of being overpowered. Perfectionism, people-pleasing, and overactivity/being busy are often signs of a shrunken solar plexus. Obsession with gaining power, controlling behaviors, and an overinflated ego is associated with an enlarged third chakra. 

Because our chakras operate as a holistic system of energy centers, balancing each one is essential to overall wellbeing. For a refresh on how to balance first and second chakras, check out the blogs on the root and sacral from earlier this year.

As always, there is no single way to maintain balance in our lives, we can utilize a variety of alternative therapies to reach a homeostatic state. 

Trust Your Gut

Based on its location with respect to the body, the stomach and digestive system are associated with this energy center. Issues with weight, gastrointestinal problems, and poor gut health are symptoms of an imbalanced solar plexus. Good nutrition is a tool for optimizing all chakras, especially the third. Foods that enhance the solar plexus are:

  • Citrus fruits (especially lemon)
  • Bananas
  • Pineapple
  • Mango

Choosing fresh, organic foods when possible and avoiding processed foods, refined sugar, alcohol, nicotine, and animal by-products can help clear a blocked solar plexus.

Get Fired Up 

Since the solar plexus is associated with the fire element, building heat in the body through movement increases clarity and balance in this area. Yoga poses, like Boat, Bow, and any Warrior pose, activate this energy center, while restorative poses like Child’s Pose and Corpse, or Savasana, help calm and soothe it. 

Exercises that work the core, like Pilates and Barre, create fire energy in the solar plexus and strengthen more than just our abs–they increase our sense of self and personal mastery. Other heat building workouts, like High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and kickboxing, help build a sense of empowerment and self-confidence with practice and growth over time. 

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Scents of Empowerment

Targeted aromatherapy is a super simple way to bring the solar plexus into balance at home and on the go. Try these essential oils in a diffuser or DIY spray for third chakra healing:

  • Bergamot
  • Rosemary
  • Lemongrass
  • Cedarwood
  • Chamomile 

If you want to clear your space and balance your energy, add the plant equivalents of the above essential oils to a sage bundle for smudging.

If you really want to create a vibe, there’s a bath bomb experience for that! Combine the Crystal Cult Manipura bath bomb with Kush Queen’s Citrus bath bomb in hot water for a heat-inducing, sense-awakening soak. Choose a mantra, like “I Can” to meditate on while playing gentle music targeted toward the solar plexus.

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Crystal Healing

After your Citrus Chakra bath, you’ll have a pink aventurine to add to your crystal collection. Other stones to help balance the third chakra include:

  • Citrine: Associated with fire element; activates self-confidence; increases mental clarity and courage; acceptance of abundance
  • Green Calcite: Fire & water elements; grounds and focuses energy; promotes healthy gallbladder, liver, pancreas, and intestine; helps adjust to change
  • Gold Tiger’s Eye: Fire element; creates a sense of safety and protection; helps with remembering dreams and mental clarity; release jealousy and build self-confidence; invites blessing and good fortune

When choosing crystals for healing, finding stones that speak to you is most important. Above all, crystals are tools to help strengthen your intuition and relationship to self.

Namaslay, Queen!

A healthy solar plexus is your best ally for slaying it at work and in life. I hope this blog helps you discover your power and build a practice that works in favor of your highest good. Namaste, Queens!

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

Want to add some CBD to your Chakra healing work? Shop Kush Queen below!

Summer Salads with CBD Dressing

By: Kate Marley

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When you think of summer foods, what comes to mind? Grilled foods, crisp tropical fruits, ice cream?

For me, when hot weather rolls around, I get intense cravings for salads. Cold, crunchy, healthy salads that make you feel fresh and light. There’s something always so delightful about raw veggies in the summertime. However, I also know that salads can get boring sometimes, especially if you eat them all the time. 

Today, I’m going to share three amazing vinaigrette/oil-based recipes made with Kush Queen CBD oil, and show you what types of salads I used them for.

Chimichurri for Steak Salad

Chimichurri is a raw, parsley-based sauce originally from Argentina. It’s overwhelmingly fresh and sharp and works so well when paired with red meat, citrus, and salt. And it’s actually pretty easy to make, as long as you have access to a blender! 

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I just tossed all of my ingredients, minus the CBD oil, in a small blender, and pulsed until it reached a nicely chopped, semi-emulsified consistency. You may have to add more olive oil as you go. I also definitely added a little too much garlic the first time around, which hits you right in the face when it’s raw. But hey, it’ll definitely keep you healthy.

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I added two full droppers of CBD after my other ingredients were blended.

I used my chimichurri to top a giant steak salad, packed with raw vegetables and even an elote-style corn salad. My sauce was thick and potent and made every bite delicious.

Easy Lemon Vinaigrette for Greek Salad

This vinaigrette is the simplest of the three because there’s no blender involved, and honestly, you don’t even have to pre-mix the ingredients if you’re feeling bold. 

It’s just olive oil, CBD oil, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. That’s really it! It’s the perfect base vinaigrette to add to, with ingredients like cayenne pepper, cilantro, etc. I kept it to the basics for this batch but don’t be afraid to experiment.

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I used my lemon vinaigrette for a fresh and summery Greek salad. Crunchy cucumber, peppery onion, sweet tomato, and salty feta are all it takes to toss together something delicious. I also recommend adding avocado or olives for an extra kick. Well, now I know what I’m making for dinner later.

Raspberry-Orange-Poppy Vinaigrette for Peach and Goat Cheese Salad

I absolutely love fruit-heavy vinaigrettes. They add sweetness and tartness with more depth than lemon juice alone. This pretty-in-pink dressing gets its flavors from orange juice, orange zest, and fresh raspberries. The poppy seeds are optional if they’re not your jam, but they’re mostly tasteless and you get the added benefit of fiber and vitamins. 

I throw my fruits, juice and half of the olive oil in the blender first, leaving out the CBD and poppy seeds.

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Strain the mixture through a sieve to remove all the raspberry seeds. It doesn’t add a very nice texture if you leave them in, in my opinion.

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Add the remaining olive oil, the CBD oil, and the poppy seeds and whisk well. Sometimes raspberries and oranges end up on the tart or sour side. If you find your dressing is a bit more mouth-puckering than you’d like, it’s super easy to add a little bit of honey or sugar until you’re happy with the sweetness. And that’s it! 

I used my vinaigrette for a fruity, vibrant salad. I topped peppery arugula with fresh peach, tangy goat cheese, and red onion. I made a decently large batch of dressing, and it’s great for different types of salads—try it with grilled chicken or even seasoned tofu, if you’re vegetarian!

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

Ready to add CBD to your favorite recipes? Shop Bare CBD oil by Kush Queen below!

Rainbow Summer Rolls with CBD Peanut Sauce

By: Kate Marley

Okay, I might still be on a rainbow kick. I’m not at all sorry, though, rainbows are delightful. This week, I’m back with another rainbow veggie recipe, but this time, we’re keeping the veggies raw and bright. It’s always so hot in July, and there’s nothing I’d like more than to continue my fresh, cold, crunchy food trend. 

And whether it’s July or December, salad weather or soup weather, I’m honestly always craving Vietnamese and Thai food. I moved away from my favorite Thai restaurant in February and my life just hasn’t been the same since. I miss it every Friday. My typical Thai orders involve satay chicken and spicy curry, but no meal is complete without summer rolls. They’re addicting even though they’re so simple, and making them at home is not as hard as it seems. Plus, summer rolls are often served with peanut sauce, and I could bathe in that stuff (Kush Queen hasn’t approved a  peanut sauce-scented bath bomb yet, so I guess I’ll stick to the Citrus and Matcha bath bombs for now). But this peanut sauce is twice as dope because it’s got a healthy dose of CBD oil. Who knew you could make peanut sauce even better. 

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Summer rolls are actually Vietnamese, but have become popular in Thai restaurants as well. They are different than spring rolls—it’s summer name was a seasonal play on spring rolls—primarily because they are not fried, and are usually a little bit bigger, but sometimes the terms are interchanged. Though I love a crispy spring roll, I prefer the refreshing chill from a summer roll. They’re often made with shrimp, but are also made with chicken, tofu, and just veggies on their own. It’s an all-around wonderful and versatile meal that’s easy to make too much of.

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The most time-consuming part of this recipe is cutting up your rainbow veggies. I recommend julienne-style so you get an easier mouthful but also because it’s easier to roll. It always takes me forever but it’s worth it, I promise. In this recipe, I’ve also added a hint of sweetness with a few slices of strawberry and mango in my rolls. Once that’s done, everything else is smooth-sailing. Usually.

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While you’re cutting your vegetables up, bring a pot of water to a boil. When the water is bubbling, add your vermicelli rice noodles and stir. Be mindful, because these noodles are very thin and do not take as long to cook as traditional noodles, it’s easy to forget about them. But if they’re overcooked, they’ll turn to mush in your hands and won’t make nicely-shaped rolls.

Prepare an ice bath for the noodles (ice baths are simply ice and water in a bowl that will shock your hot foods and immediately stop the cooking process). When your noodles are ready, strain them and toss them in the ice bath. When the noodles have cooled, I like to drain them and sprinkle a bit of rice vinegar and salt on them. I do the same thing when I make sushi rice, and I like the flavor it adds to the rolls.

Next, we’ll make the peanut sauce. I like to do this prior to assembling the summer rolls, because I find that summer rolls will do one of two things the longer they sit: they either get too soft and sticky and tear easily, or they get stiff and chewy.

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The peanut sauce is so quick that you can throw it together in the microwave. You could also heat it on the stove, but I’m all about shortcuts. Combine all the ingredients except the Bare CBD oil in a small bowl, and microwave for 15 seconds at a time. Depending on your honey and peanut butter, sometimes it can come to a boil quickly. I love crunchy peanut butter and think it adds a nice additional texture to the sauce, but creamy peanut butter works great, too. When the sauce is hot and the peanut butter melts with a quick stir, add the CBD oil. If you cook the sauce too long and it becomes thick, I find adding a little extra water at a time smoothes the sauce out and makes it much easier for dipping.

Lastly, let’s assemble!

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Prepare a hot water bath in a wide bowl. It needs to be a higher temperature than lukewarm, but needs to be comfortable to the touch. Take one sheet of rice paper wrapper at a time, and submerge the sheet in the water. After a couple of seconds, place the wrapper on a cutting board or smooth surface. I like to dangle a very small bit of the wrapper from the edge of the cutting board to make it easier to grab.

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Layer your ingredients. I usually start with noodles first but there’s no hard and fast rule. If you add a decorative top, like I’ve done with my fruit, place them slightly above the rest of the ingredients. It will help separate them with a wrapper layer and they’ll stay clean and pretty.

When I roll, I start from the bottom and follow the same rules as burrito-wrapping. Bring the bottom over your primary ingredients, and pull in slightly to tighten the wrapper around. Then, fold the left and right sides over. Lastly, continue to roll the rest of wrapper up, pulling inward to yourself with just enough pressure to keep everything tight.

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You can cut your rolls in half, or in quarters, if you’d like. I really enjoy keeping them whole because I lose less filling when I dip them in the peanut sauce. However you’d like to plate them, I hope you enjoy them. I know I could eat them every day and never get bored. So, continue enjoying the rainbow this summer and save yourself a few bucks on delivery!

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

Upgrade your favorite recipes with Bare Daily Wellness CBD Oil! Shop below!

CBD Topicals: The Gateway to Healing

By: Angela Viesti

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CBD topicals are the gateway to healing. At least in my opinion.

I say this because as a cannabis advocate, I’ve seen people squirm at the idea of smoking a joint or eating an edible, usually because of an unpleasant past experiences. But the reaction to topicals is quite different.

When I came out about my cannabis consumption and career path to my family a few years ago, an older, somewhat conservative family member gleefully informed me that their friend had given them a homemade topical, which they kept stored in their refrigerator. I’ve since introduced a number of seniors to cannabis and CBD products, usually starting with topicals and exploring other forms of cannabis from there. Many of them go on to introduce their friends and family to CBD. It’s truly a pleasure to see people go from being skeptics to becoming advocates by way of their own healing journeys.  

Now that CBD has taken the health and wellness space by storm, I’m constantly being approached by clients who are curious about CBD and open to trying topicals. There are a few reasons why topicals are so popular and I’ll explore them with you here.

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Traditional Topical Use

Like tinctures, cannabis and hemp-based topicals were among the early medicinal applications of cannabinoids, long before prohibition and the War on Drugs. Cultures from around the globe, beginning in parts of Asia, extracted the essence of cannabis and made medicines. The anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and analgesic properties of cannabinoids provide localized relief for hours with a relatively short onset.

Today, we see an influx of CBD topicals turning up everywhere, from the local drugstore to the local farmers market.

Topicals appeal to the mass market for a number of reasons:

  • They’re discreet

  • They’re versatile

  • They’re effective

  • They’re non-toxic

  • And they’re non-intoxicating (most of them, at least!)

While topicals can be made at home by simply soaking plant material in fat or alcohol, a number of products now exist that marry traditional plant medicine with modern science and technology for better, more effective outcomes. Let’s explore them here.

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A Modern Take on Topical Pain Relief

Some of the most common uses of topicals are for relieving localized pain, muscle soreness, cramps, and spasms, as well as treating skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and chronic dry skin. Cannabinoids like CBD already work wonders to relieve these symptoms, so adding other carefully selected ingredients amplifies their effectiveness.

Take Melt Pain Relief Lotion: Nano-emulsified CBD is blended into an aloe-based topical that absorbs quickly into the affected area, tackling inflammation and pain, while soothing and conditioning skin, locking in moisture. Essential oils like peppermint, menthol, capsaicin, and camphor relax the surrounding muscles and provide lasting relief. I have clients with severe arthritis who swear by Melt, noting that its non-greasy formula makes it great for everyday use. Whether you’re easing tension from a stressful day or a tough workout, or you’re battling pain from debilitating menstrual symptoms, Melt is an all-in-one remedy to keep handy.

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Outside the Box Topicals

As mentioned above, applying CBD to the skin can improve its condition and relieve symptoms from chronic skin issues. It’s also effective in improving the appearance of skin and diminishing scars from acne and sun damage.

Bacteria, inflammation, excess oil, and hormones can cause acne flare-ups well beyond our teenage years. Of course, what you’re putting into your body plays a huge role in your skin’s appearance, but you can also support healthy skin from the outside. CBD is now found in beauty products and skincare-targeted topicals, like the Anti-Serum by Defynt.

A blend of antioxidant-rich CBD, anti-aging vitamins and minerals, and organic plant extracts work together to protect the skin from free-radicals and reverse signs of aging and sun damage.

Taking this outside-the-box approach to topicals a step further is the rise of CBD and cannabis-infused intimate products, commonly referred to as weed lube or CBD lube, although not all products in this category are actually lubricants. CBD increases blood flow and when applied to the genitalia, can cause greater sensitivity and arousal without the use of hormones. The presence of cannabinoids in a lubricant can help to bring about a sense of relaxation and ease tension.

Kush Queen’s Ignite CBD Lube is made with nano-emulsified CBD and non-toxic, latex- and toy-safe ingredients–and it’s actually a lubricant. Ignite can be used for solo exploration, is safe for use with toys, and is ideal for intimate moments with a partner or partners. Just be ready, though, because Ignite’s onset happens in a matter of seconds!

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The CBD Self-Care Takeover

Self-care is all the rage right now and CBD is its perfect companion. Millennials aren’t adopting the all-work-no-play lifestyles that generations before us lived. Finding balance is about working toward our goals and taking better care of our bodies and minds. Cannabis has been a longtime staple in my self-care toolbox, ages before I called it “self-care”. What used to be lighting a joint for mental relief has expanded to include yoga, meditation, self-massage, and CBD-infused baths and showers.

Quieting the constant mental noise is essential to self-healing. But it can also be extremely challenging when stress is high and personal time is low. Before meditating or practicing yoga, or whenever I’m in need of a quick pick-me-up, I’ll take a drop of Melt and massage it into the bottoms of my feet and my shoulders. The cooling sensation brings me back into my body and the self-massage gives me something to focus my attention on.

If I had a really hard day and need to get out of my head, I’ll draw a bath and throw in a Kush Queen Citrus Bath Bomb for a blend of invigorating scents and a relaxed vibe. There’s nothing else that can soothe my body and mind so completely and so quickly. Taking a CBD-infused bath is a form of meditation. It’s a break from my phone, an act of self-love, a moment to connect with myself without interruption. And like all topicals, it leaves my skin feeling soft and moisturized.

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Topicals: Elevating You Daily

Now that you know what kinds of topicals are out there, share the knowledge! You may inspire a closeted cannabis advocate to come out.

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

Ready to add some CBD topicals into your daily routine? Shop Kush Queen below!

Shop CBD Topicals

History of Cannabis & LGBTQIA+

By: Olivia Alexander

Image Via CBS

Image Via CBS

As Pride season kicks off, its the perfect time to celebrate the shared history of cannabis and the LGBTQIA+ community. With the weed being so hot right now, we never want to forget that this progress was hard fought by some of the most marginalized people in society: the activist and leaders of the LGBT movement. It was the fight for LGBTQIA+ liberation and against HIV/AIDS that led to what we know as modern legalization. We don’t believe we would have progress without the work of these often overlooked heroes. It’s our hope to honor their spirit and keep their passion for medical cannabis access alive.

The Spark

Our modern Pride celebrations commemorate the Stonewall riots, which were only 12 years after the AIDS epidemic had first flared. This was only 3 years after the 1979 White Night Riots in San Francisco. These riots were triggered by the lenient sentencing of ex-cop and ex-supervisor Dan White for the assassination of openly gay Harvey Milk and his political ally, city mayor, George Moscone.

Harvey Milk was the first elected Queer in America, he pioneered decriminalization laws in his brief time in office. Milk was influential in the passing of Proposition W, the first initiative to decriminalize marijuana in San Francisco.

Image via PBS

Image via PBS

The Shift

The death of Harvey Milk would lead to a more fervent community activism machine that would eventually mobilize local funds for AIDS care and research. It would also build momentum and agitate for statewide medical cannabis access. The outrage over Milk’s death would energize a community unknowingly on the brink of an emergency. It would lay the foundation for lifelong activists out of many LGBTQ individuals in a time they would need it most. Activist like Cleve Jones, who was elected in 1982 to the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee where he served three terms. He was crucially in a position of power,  as the community demanded funding for AIDS research and care. Patients and activists were lucky to have Jones and the board of Supervisors in San Francisco during this time who allocated millions to AIDS programs in the early ’80s. The city of San Francisco allocated millions more than the National Institute of Health did for the entire country.

While San Francisco managed to deal with the epidemic in a compassionate and swift manner, AIDS funding and the search for treatment hit federal roadblocks. Ward 86, founded in San Francisco General Hospital, was known as the worlds first AIDS clinic, established with the board of supervisors investments. The FDA and NIH would drag its feet for years when it came to testing and making available promising treatments from overseas. But with AIDS, people could not wait for federal help.

As the epidemic spread and the Federal government did nothing to act, aids patients wondered if they would die from AIDS or from the side effects of AZT. To compound the issues, the Regan Administration began its war on drugs, denying AIDS patients access to Cannabis which helped to combat the painful side effects of treatment. Thousands with AIDS died alone and many were cast out by their own families.  

Image by Maureen Hurley

Image by Maureen Hurley

The Activists

While many watched and ignored as these injustices were unfolding, there were people like Mary Rathbun who refused to sit idly by. Mary was a volunteer at San Francisco General Hospital, also known as “ Brownie Mary” because would hand out cannabis-infused brownies to the patients.

Dennis Peron, a friend of Harvey Milk’s would rise to be the father of medical marijuana. Peron was part political activist, part outlaw. He was a local dealer previous to the epidemic but quickly saw the plants healing properties helped with the side effects of AZT. Peron’s lover, Johnathan West would long inspire his work around medical cannabis access and compassionate care.

Peron told the LA Times “Marijuana made me the person I am.” and shared how it felt when his lover lost the battle with AIDS. “At that point, I didn’t know what I was living for. I was the loneliest guy in America,” Peron said. “In my pain, I decided to leave Jonathan a legacy of love. I made it my moral pursuit to let everyone know about Jonathan’s life, his death, and his use of marijuana and how it gave him dignity in his final days.”

Image by Andy Kuno via The New York Times

Image by Andy Kuno via The New York Times

The Change

It’s from these roots of activism and compassionate care that Peron and “Brownie Mary” would found the San Francisco buyers club, arguably known as one of the first dispensaries in American. Peron and Rathbun would help pass Proposition P in 1991. They would then go on to ultimately write Proposition 215 in 1996.

Sadly, Dennis Peron passed in early 2018, but the legacy he left behind will not be forgotten. It is thanks to him and the many other activists that committed their lives to supporting the medicinal use of Cannabis, that we are able to openly and passionately share this plant. This is why it is so meaningful to celebrate the LGBTQ communities work from the lens of a cannabis company. Our roots are deeply intertwined with LGBTQ history and now more than ever we believe in the importance of standing up for equality.

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This year proceeds from our Pride Collection will be donated Trans Life Line as we stand in solidarity with our LGBTQIA+ community.

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

Shop Kush Queen CBD Products and the Limited Edition Pride Collection below!

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Pride 2019: Representation Matters

By: Ben Mervis


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.


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.


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.


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!”

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

Need some CBD to help relieve the Anxiety? Shop Kush Queen Below!

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Rescuing your Summer Skin

By: Angela Viesti


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Ready to rescue your summer skin? Shop Kush Queen CBD below!

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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!!

Want to add CBD into your Anxiety Reducing Workout Routines? Shop Kush Queen below!

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