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Life & Style

life & style // no. 9 • Babies aren’t for everyone • Considerations for getting inked • TV: Entertainment or distraction? ...and more

Enviable excitement Morgan Hannah Life & Style Editor


ave you ever been ridiculously excited over something small and simple? I certainly have. The thing is, I think I may have found my favourite new lip balm and it surprised me when I read the ingredients list to find out that this bad boy is chockfull of occlusive agents like coconut oil and castor oil—perfect for nourishing those distressed lips—as well as mango butter, which just sounds delicious, doesn’t it? And last but not least, THC. That’s right, this magical little lip lubricant contains tetrahydrocannabinol. I’m talking about the Raspberry Vanilla lip balm from Miss Envy Botanicals, a Vancouver-based company that produces medical cannabis products for Canadians. Now, I’m not the sort of person who would use medical cannabis-infused products, and I can’t say I really have a good reason for my hesitance considering I’d likely be a good candidate for the curative herb with my asthma, eczema, and deep passion for all things skincare. But after contacting the Miss Envy team, I was set up with a sweet swag box containing a wide variety of Miss Envy’s organic smoke-free alternative medical cannabis products that had me thinking, why not! “We wanted to create a stigma-free alternative to what was available in the current landscape, a high quality, organic alternative to all the ‘chronic xyz’ and ‘killer death abc’s that plague the local dispensaries,” said Michael Dubuc, a representative from the Miss Envy team, in an email to the Other Press. I knew what Dubuc was getting at right away— there really is a stigma against cannabis,

and it doesn’t help when it is referred to as “weed” or “pot” when cannabis is just a plant with some positive benefits to public health, to the economy, and to the many individuals who chooses to develop a healthy, balanced relationship with it. I get it, medical cannabis can be daunting for those who don’t smoke or are cautious of the plant—but when we’re talking bath bombs, massage bars, and oils that help to improve the condition of your skin, relieve headaches and body aches, help with depression, and help regulate insulin (and so much more!), what’s there to be cautious about? In moderation— like anything else—cannabis can be helpful, and it is a natural alternative to prescription health and wellness. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound in cannabis with significant medical advantages, and unlike THC it is nonpsychoactive, making it an attractive choice for individuals seeking relief from their health problems. As a bonus, CBD and THC-infused lotions, balms, salves, and oils don’t get you high or make you test positive on a drug test, counter to common misconceptions—in fact, these nonpsychoactive products are absorbed directly through the skin to relieve localized pain and inflammation. A quality cannabis topical is a healthy alternative to steroid ointments. I’d recommend Miss Envy’s Signature Blend Buddha Buddah, which contains essential oils, organic shea butter, and coconut oil. This “buddah” helps to improve and distribute moisture in the skin and has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, thanks to the solvent-free THC. Not to mention it has an amazing peppermint smell. Final thoughts? My

Photo by Morgan Hannah

››Miss Envy product review

hands have reached a new level of soft after giving this product a try. I was pleasantly surprised to find a set of four tinctures in a variety of doses, and even more pleasantly surprised by the very thoughtful packaging of seafoam green, turquoise, and navy-blue glass bottles all wrapped up in paper cartons. I didn’t really notice much from one or two drops at a time, but higher doses offered a natural alternative for headache cures as well as providing positive effects for my metabolism. And the best part? There’s no taste, so I could add a couple drops to my coffee or in cooking! Speaking of food, fitting in with my wheat and dairy-free lifestyle, I gave the turmeric and pumpkin Bully Bites dog treats a try. Although crunchy and a little bland for my palate (yes, I did actually give these a taste), they would be excellent for dogs, and apparently for birds too. The crow that swooped in and snatched up one of my treats will now be the coolest crow

on the block. Last but not least, I used a THC bath bomb a few days ago, and shortly after dropping it into the bathwater the room became a lemon-lime sauna. A light film of oil on the water’s surface didn’t leave my tub slippery but rather locked the moisturizer into my skin, causing less need for lotion afterwards. Once fully dissolved the bathwater lost its smell, but the refreshing, organic ingredients remained, including natural clay. Overall, I found this to be a very nice product that left me feeling purely pampered. Through the delightful assortment of products and education, Miss Envy Botanicals continues to aim to be the leading source of quality cannabis wellness choices for a natural lifestyle, and from what I’ve tried, thanks to the Miss Envy team’s generosity, care, and quality, they leave little room for competition. Now I’ll never go back to another lip balm brand again.

Pour Boy: Growing more than garnishes ››Fresh herbs for your home bar Jacey Gibb Distribution Manager Gardening is a difficult hobby to cultivate in an urban setting like Vancouver. For one, most folks are confined to yardless apartments, so there’s no space to grow anything beyond what you can cram onto your balcony. Secondly, it feels like everyone hops addresses every few years, so it makes long-term greenspace planning a pipedream. For the transient, spaceconfined individual though, I present the herb garden. An herb garden is a fantastic entry point to gardening—relatively cheap to set up, takes up minimal space in your apartment, low-maintenance—and they’re a great addition to any fledging home bar. Some cocktail recipes call for fresh herbs, but most require the herbs to be in syrup form. Don’t panic though: Making herbal syrup is a lot easier than it sounds.

Simply bring a cup of water to boil and add one cup of sugar. Whisk until the sugars have dissolved and then add whichever herb you’re working with. Let the mixture boil for one minute, then remove from heat, allowing the herbs to soak for roughly half an hour. Strain the syrup of any debris or plant matter and keep in a sealed container in the fridge. Which plants you decide to grow will depend on your tastes and preferences for cocktails. I’ve listed a few of the most common herbs, but feel free to deviate based on the space you’re working with. Mint The most popular herb also happens to be one of the easiest to grow. In fact, it sometimes grows too well, so plant mint in a container by itself or else it’ll overrun the other herbs. Mint is essential for mojitos and juleps, but fresh mint is a welcome addition to many other cocktails. Mint also

comes in a variety of offshoots including lemon mint, chocolate mint, and even pineapple mint, so there are plenty of different routes to take. Basil Basil plants are notoriously difficult to keep alive, which is unfortunate because they’re mighty handy for cocktails and noncocktails alike. Basil’s flavour goes well with gin-based smashes or vodka gimlets but it can also be used in lieu of mint in most cocktail recipes. Keep in mind that basil plants generally only last for a few weeks, so keep a rotation of seeds planted to ensure you always have some on hand. Rosemary Rosemary plants can be tricky to grow indoors, since they prefer hot and arid temperatures. Infusing rosemary with simple syrup is the best way to extract the savoury flavour, but the sprigs also make

for immensely satisfying garnishes. Similar to basil, rosemary pairs well with gin or lemony flavours. Lavender In addition to being great in cocktails, lavender is one of the most popular plants for attracting pollinators. Lavender itself has a subtle, floral flavour, which can sneak into a lot of cocktails without dominating your taste buds. My personal favourite lavender drink is the Lavender Bee’s Knees, which calls for lemon juice, honey, lavender simple syrup, and gin. If starting your own herb garden sounds like an impossible feat, you can always opt for the bitters version of the above-mentioned herbs. However, if you’re looking to test-drive your green thumb and don’t have a lot of—or any—garden space to work with, then give growing herbs a try. Your cocktails will thank you.

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The Other Press - June 4, 2019  

The Other Press - June 4, 2019