Think you’re the only mother who secretly smokes a joint after her kids go to bed?
Let Rachel Colic and Gill Polard show you “a thousand other women who are doing it, too.”
The two Canadian cannabis entrepreneurs – Colic is the founder of Eves of Eden and Polard created The Her(b) Life – started the podcast after becoming increasingly frustrated with what they saw as a glut of male-centric cannabis media.
“We were sick of seeing all the men getting all the platforms to talk about cannabis and their businesses, to be the face and the voice of cannabis. We thought, ‘there aren’t enough platforms for women,” Colic tells Civilized.
“We really wanted to create a safe space where other women could listen to well-respected, educated, upstanding women who are unapologetic about their cannabis use.”
On each episode of the podcast – which is set to launch in early-to-mid December – Colic and Polard welcome guests onto the show to tackle subjects like sex, parenting, and sustainability through a cannabis-friendly lens.
“Those of us who work in the industry kind of live in a bubble, and it’s easy to forget that not everybody knows everything that we do and believes everything we do about cannabis, so... the podcast is really meant to be approachable and [geared toward] the mainstream.”
Reaching an audience that doesn’t necessarily feel comfortable talking about cannabis is really the podcast’s raison d'être, says Colic.
That’s because, despite the fact that more women are consuming cannabis than ever before, research shows that they continue to conceal their use at higher rates than men.
A new study commissioned by cannabis lifestyle brand Van der Pop found that, among North American women who use cannabis multiple times per month, 69 percent believe there is a negative stigma attached with consumption and 66 percent try to hide their usage at least some of the time.
Moreover, a study commissioned by Civilized earlier this year found that Canadian women are almost twice as likely as men to conceal their cannabis consumption from friends.
It’s a troubling trend – one that Colic and Polard are eager to dismantle.
“The acceptance of cannabis as a whole is changing dramatically, but the number of women still in the cannabis closet is quite high,” says Colic, who blames this partly on the widespread perception that “moms who consume cannabis are endangering their children.”
“We glorify this idea of ‘baby on the hip, wine on the lips’ even though alcohol is incredibly destructive in so many ways. And yet I’m constantly getting slack about my promotion of cannabis as a parent ... Women are demonized for so much of what we do. We’re held to a different standard.”
Colic fears that this kind of destructive dialogue often prevents women from talking about their cannabis use – or, in some cases, trying cannabis at all. Considering the “transformational” impact the plant has had on Colic’s own life, it pains her to think of the many women who may feel stymied by stigma.
“When I learned for myself what cannabis could do for me, I felt a whole new sense of autonomy and power over my health and my ability to make those kinds of choices for myself. I’ve seen this happen to lots of other women, too,” says Colic.
“I think every woman I know says [cannabis] makes her a better mother – so let’s talk about that. Health Canada isn’t going to give us a platform and the men aren’t talking about it, so let’s talk about it ourselves.
“Let’s open it up. Let’s air it out. Let’s shine the light in the dark corner. Let’s stop apologizing and pretending like we have anything to apologize for.”