Welcome to the KushKush #WomenInWeed series: an ongoing meet and greet of some brilliantly successful and sophisticated women who are trailblazers in their respective fields and who are also effortlessly redefining cannabis culture.
In this first round-up, we meet three local South African women who are holding their own against long-standing societal stigmas whilst also defying the stereotypical stoner-bro haze, in their own way of course.
Words: Kelly Fung
Design Strategist, eternal student and local style muse Kenny Jules Morifi-Winslow is an undeniable trendsetter with a self-confessed love for learning. While she continues to inspire her audience through her social platforms, Kenny is no stranger to suffering from anxiety and the difficulties it brings with it. Cannabis has been an effective alternative to anti-anxiety medication for her, a welcome reprieve from an endless catalogue of chemical pharmaceuticals.
Despite South Africa being a more conservative society, still working to unpack the negative assumptions around cannabis usage, Kenny believes we have been progressive in leading the charge around its laws. Even so, there is more to consider, she says. “I'm passionate about the laws governing the sale, distribution and possession of cannabis resulting in jail time, which, before the new wave of decriminalisation began worldwide, disproportionately affected communities of colour, specifically black men.”
From rolling it in organic, raw papers and occasionally using canna-butter in her baking, to her daily dose of CBD tincture, specifically for anxiety and insomnia, Kenny has positively assimilated the plant into her lifestyle. “I smoke more recreationally or when my spirits are low. I love the freedom of being a little high, the weightlessness, I can laugh without being hyper self-aware, feel things more intensely without being consumed by them. It really turns you towards your sense of humanity.”
“I’m a woman, I’m half white; there are so many layers to the things that affect our perceptions of people and their habits. I think it’s important to acknowledge how expensive sustainable CBD is though, which is a huge barrier to entry for a lot of people who could benefit from its use.”
Kenny admits how lucky she is to be able to move in spaces that are accepting and appreciative of cannabis as both medicinal and recreational. As such, she openly recognises that she has been shielded from a lot of preconceived notions the wider public might have about its prolonged use.
“Cannabis has been an integral part of the experience of medicine and spirituality for so many communities, for thousands of years - it’s almost laughable that commercial society is only catching up now.”
Writer and director Zandi Tisani doesn’t see the use of cannabis as that deep. She smokes a little recreationally from time to time, and is slowly easing into oils and tinctures. For her, it’s an enjoyable occasional ritual, nothing more.
Her Point of View
Through her writing and film work, it is clear that Zandi has always stood for under-represented voices, and through her generous and bold spirit, has ultimately advocated for those voices to have a secure place in the landscape of creative production. For her, cannabis use is not so much about influencing her creative process or being a primary source of health and happiness. For Zandi, quite simply, it's about personal satisfaction.
“I’m mostly into smoking but I've also moved into tinctures, which have far fewer side effects, I find. Oils are great if you have trouble sleeping.“ Zandi is careful around edibles, advising that they need to be approached with caution knowing the after effects can last for hours and for her, are not always pleasant.
Zandi’s rebellious mindset allows her to uncomplicate the matter of legalities and see past the stigma many people grapple with when it comes to weed; “I don't see it as overcoming challenges, I’m not fighting for freedom here. It's just weed. Some people like it, others don't.”
“Cannabis has been around longer than all of us, and it will outlive us all - it doesn't need my advocation. I'm not interested in converting ‘non-believers’, I can only speak for myself and how I respond to it.”
Creative consultant, producer and thought-leader, Kitsi Sebati, has always stood for simplicity, beauty, courage, freedom of rights and equality in her work and social musings so it’s not surprising then that she advocates for our right to use cannabis to help alleviate health problems.
Her Point of View
Despite the progressive stance that South Africa has taken when it comes to personal consumption in private spaces since September 2018, as well as the now-legal distribution of health products that contain 20mg or less of cannabidiol, Kitsi firmly believes that “cannabis should be made fully legal”.
In her own personal capacity, the networker microdoses with a CBD oil daily to help her deal with her anxiety, insomnia and joint pain, she shares; “I’ve definitely seen an improvement in my sleep and I’m happy with the results.”
“Cannabis still tends to get a pretty bad reputation, mainly because I don’t think a lot of people understand it, and how it can be used.”
Look out for Part 2 of this exciting series, coming soon!
Know of a #womaninweed (or are one yourself!) that you think we should feature? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org - we'd love to hear from you.