In Grow Your Own
, we cover cannabis from all sides — it’s a well-rounded primer on the plant's culture, chemistry, consumption, and cultivation. (You can find out more about the book and meet some local cannabis movers and shakers at our launch party
on Wednesday, September 27, 6-10 p.m. at Holocene.)
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This playlist is purely a celebration of cannabis consumption — a mix to get stoned to. I get stoned for all sorts of reasons, but I am lucky enough to say that my favorite way to get a little stoned is in the company of my favorite humans.
I reached out to some of those humans and asked them to send me selections of songs they love to hear when they’re high, and from that list put together the very varied mix you see here. As it turns out, my friends like to get down with the ganj in pretty different ways. Turn on the playlist to get you through a long trimming sesh post-harvest — or a roundtable product sampling — or just to keep you company while you watch clouds drift by, lying on your back in the leaves.
"With a Little Help From My Friends" by Joe Cocker
There’s a reason it’s a cliché. There’s something about getting stoned with your friends. You laugh harder and longer than you thought possible, and find an openness and ease to your conversations that wasn’t there before.
"Sometimes Always" by The Jesus and Mary Chain
Sarah Bess’s pick. The last time I got stoned with Sarah Bess we came upon a gathering of Germans on an empty industrial waterfront block in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. They were celebrating the new sausage cart they were preparing to launch the next day. We joined in their exuberance, and shared the remainder of our Durban Poison. There was so much enthusiasm for that half-smoked roach! I had become so used to the legal weed paradise of the west that I’d forgotten how precious a few remaining tokes on a stranger’s joint can be.
"Make Me Yours" by Phyllis Dillon
The plants’ pick. Yes, we play music for our plants, and yes they hear a lot of reggae. I am a firm believer in energy in equals energy out when it comes to raising cannabis. Surround your garden with good vibes, and expect to feel those good vibes returned in your end product.
"Paradise by the Dashboard Light" by Meatloaf
Steve’s pick. Steve taught me how to roll a joint (actually, the same joint rolling technique we lay out in the book). This song is perhaps the perfect embodiment of the stoner attention span. Yes, it’s over eight minutes long, but it’s also about seven different songs rolled into one. If you’re high enough, you’ll forget you’re still listening to Meatloaf at least twice before the song is over.
"Emotional Rescue" by The Rolling Stones
My pick. After watching Ralph Fiennes dance to this in A Bigger Splash
, this is the vibe I imagine every time a spliff is passed my way.
"If You’ve Got It, You’ll Get It" by The Headhunters
Ben’s pick. Maybe my best birthday party theme was “Things on Strings.” Think Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrors
installation, but rather than beautiful dots of light, there were just lots of strings hanging from our patchily-plastered high ceilings. Attached to these strings was a bizarre amalgamation of found objects, dares, fortunes, secrets, etc. The invite instructed guests to bring “yourself and a surprise." As the friend who lives in another state, Ben's surprise employed the long con: getting publicly excited for the party, talking up his surprise, and then tragically cancelling. Cut to 4:20 p.m. the night of the party, when the doorbell rings, and there’s Ben, in full surprise glory.
"Feels Like We Only Go Backwards" by Tame Impala
Lena’s pick. Did I mention my birthday is April 20th? That’s right, I am a 4/20 baby, and so is Lena. (There are plenty of theories regarding the 420 origin story, and we list a few of them in the Grow Your Own
glossary.) Lena has helped me figure out how I relate to cannabis as an adult woman consumer. This year we kicked off summer by cannonballing into the river, attempting to light a chillum while treading water in high wake, and grinning like fools.
"Althea" by Grateful Dead
David’s pick. My business partner, and coauthor of Grow Your Own
, was the one to introduce me to "Althea." One of my early questions for David (and there were a lot — sorry David, I am just so very curious when stoned) was if he had any names he had been saving up to use as we began breeding in-house strains. David had one name on his list. Of all the names to find resonance with, of all the Grateful Dead songs to hold closely, there was just "Althea."
"Sound and Color" by Alabama Shakes
Hannah’s pick. Fun fact: Wisconsin is the only state in the nation to require cheesemakers to be licensed. Hannah knows cheese. She taught me how to make beautiful chèvre rounds, and I taught her how to finish them with decarboxylated cannabis, cacao nibs, and rose petals. She then taught me that you only eat half of one of these rounds at a time, especially if you are about to get on an airplane. (This is what we call a lesson learned the hard way. Luckily, we teach you all about edibles dosing in Grow Your Own
…and about decarboxylation, should you attempt this on your own.)
"Book Song" by Fairport Convention
Jonah’s pick. The very first time I got stoned with Jonah, we shared a joint of Super Silver Haze on a swimming dock. We then played foosball in the woods, and were beat (literally one-handed) by our opponent. There are many benefits to consuming cannabis, but fine motor skills is not one of them.
"Fireflies Made Out of Dust" by Happy Jawbone Family Band
uses this song in their truly excellent series about a weed delivery dude in NYC. Each episode is centered around one of the dude’s delivery clients. In addition to its wonderful storytelling, it rings so true to just how nuanced and personal cannabis consumption is for us all.
"Silver and Gold" by Neil Young
Kelan’s pick. Oh, do I wish I had known all of the wonders of strain selection when I was smoking with Kelan. There were giddy afternoons of building tin can telephones to connect our apartment fire escapes. There were also times when I wound up anxious and paranoid while couch-locked in a heady philosophical conversation I wanted no part of. Strain selection! Back in 2009, I had no idea you could control your cannabis experience.
A huge component of my cannabis education was learning how and why cannabis interacts with my body and brain the way it does. Once that understanding is in place, it’s not just “getting high” anymore. Smoking, vaping, eating, rubbing it on your skin — these are all ways to interact with cannabis and they all produce different outcomes. Add to that an understanding of how various strains interact with you personally (not as intimidating as it sounds, we even made you charts), and you’ve got a really complex web of potential experiences. It took me many years to get to my current relationship with cannabis. I realize that a lot of people don’t have the luxury of devoting as much time to researching and developing that connection, so think of Grow Your Own
as a condensed tool to help you get to that place on your own.
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is Raven’s Creative Director and Head of Product Development. A designer, illustrator, fine artist, stylist, and art director by trade, before moving to the Pacific Northwest, she worked as a footwear and accessories designer for Madewell in NYC. This background, combined with her deep interest in alternative medicine, nutrition, wildcrafting, and the natural world, led her to the creation of Raven and its product offerings. Her favorite strain is Raven’s own Frida. She is coauthor of Grow Your Own