Stop us if you’ve heard this one before – the average cannabis user is a grungy, lazy slacker with no work ethic. While the stoner stereotype may have its place in Hollywood (along with the reefer madness propaganda of the 20s and 30s), the cannabis industry is working tirelessly to challenge perceptions about the kinds of people who use cannabis products – and for what reasons they consume.
Jenn Raley, the artisan jewelry maker behind Myla James Designs, is one of those people. And while she’s not exactly shouting about it from the rooftops, Jenn has no problem explaining the personal benefits she’s enjoying from this amazing little plant.
“I’m a kinked-up, high-stress, high-strung kind of person,” she laughs. And instead of unwinding with alcohol – you know, the socially accepted relaxant that’s widely mom-approved – she’s doing it with CBD. And minimal amounts at that.
“I have a very low tolerance,” Jenn says, meaning half a square of her favorite infused chocolate – Kynd’s dark chocolate with sea salt – and she finds the balance she’s after. “I love that there’s no downtime in the mornings with CBD. I don’t wake up feeling terrible, paying for the night before. I can go to pilates or start working in my studio, just get on with my day,” she says.
Sitting in her airy studio, surrounded by glittering pieces of jewelry and bleached wood, Jenn looks every inch the artisan jewelry maker – and nothing like a slacker. In fact, she’s been making jewelry since she can remember, stringing together beads as a child, creating beautiful pieces for friends, and only in the last few years, finally getting serious about turning her hobby into a career path.
Once you see her work – delicate and detailed earrings, bracelets, and necklaces with a beach-inspired 70s vibe – you only wonder why it took so long.
Jewelry making is an intricate, detail-oriented process. Jenn often spends long hours bent over her worktable, and it isn’t until she’s finished for the day that she realizes how much her body is protesting.
“I have wrist problems, neck problems, sleep problems,” she says, “and CBD helps it all.”
The Kynd Balm specifically has proven particularly therapeutic for Jenn. “At night, it’s one of the last things I do before bed, rubbing it into my shoulders, my neck, all the tender spots that need a little attention. It’s exactly what I need to start winding down.”
Jenn’s cannabis use falls into the realm of recreational, since she isn’t a medical patient. And yet, she’s using these products to address stress, anxiety, and tension. She just chooses to do so in a manner that’s as natural as possible. Instead of over-the-counter options like ibuprofen and acetaminophen, both of which are widely used for managing generalized pain and tension, Jenn simply opts for minimal amounts of CBD and an infused balm.
“It’s funny, because I’m not advertising this stuff,” Jenn says, “but when it comes up – and I’ve spoken about it with yoga moms, real estate agents, all kinds of people – most of them are really interested. They ask lots of questions and want to try some chocolate.”
And that’s just it – perceptions really are beginning to shift.
“We can’t be afraid of what people think,” says Jenn. “More people are using these products than you know. We just aren’t really talking about it yet.”
We’re working to change that. And talented, motivated people like Jenn make it easy.
Visit Jenn’s Instagram account for a look at her jewelry, @myla_james.