(Video by Calvin Stovall / Music by Thelonious Martin & Darian Steward)
For International Women’s Day, Erykah Badu joined Leafly for a quick sesh to discuss what strain she’s smoking, how cannabis helps her perform, and which healthy munchies she loves to snack on when her high is coming down.
Didn’t cha know? Leafly landed the first look at Erykah Badu’s new strain collab with Cookies, appropriately titled That Badu.
With That Badu dropping in Cookies and Lemonnade stores across California today (March 8), we got to talk to Ms. Badu about her relationship with cannabis—from getting her first contact high back in the day, to using the plant to help write songs and heal others as a doula—our chat could have gone on and on.
To celebrate International Women’s Day, Erykah joined us for a quick sesh to discuss what strain she’s smoking, how cannabis helps her perform, and which munchies she loves to snack on when her high is coming down.
What are you smoking?
“Well, right now my favorite is C-7, but you’ll know that as That Badu. C-7 was just the working name we used, it’s a combination of cannabinoids in two different strains, and they are Limoncello and Jet Fuel Gelato.”
“We had women in mind. It was interesting to me to further the conversation on women’s studies in cannabinoids… As a doula, and an advocate who uses the plant medicine in my ritual work, my spiritual work, my art, my creativity, I also use it for my birth mothers as a doula. A doula is a person who helps babies to come through. And I also serve as a doula for the rest bed. That means people who are dying, going to another place.”
“So [cannabis is] used in tinctures and lotions for labor pains and soreness. The flower itself is crushed up and eaten. Cannabis has been used in ritual work and spiritual work for women for centuries and centuries. And I think it’s important that we start using some of this language so that we begin to respect this gift that we have been given, which we use in our culture is self-medication. But the research was done specifically with women in mind.”
When did you fall in love with cannabis?
What are your favorite munchies to snack on?
“My favorite munchies: I like kale chips. The kale chips when they are baked with seasonings, like yeast flakes and lemon pepper, and things like that. I like something savory and tangy. Other people may go toward the sweet stuff, but I like the savory tangy snacks.”
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How does cannabis help you perform?
“I’ve noticed it mostly in my art, where my art aligns with my spirituality. It’s the bed in which those things can become one, can be married—Art, spirituality—cannabinoids are one avenue for that. And we take advantage of that. I tell my band, ‘Either we all sober or we are all high, on this show, which one y’all wanna do?’ Because it really aligns us as artists and we become one. And that energy transfers to the audience. And it’s all spirit work. You know, we try not to abuse it. In my world, it’s all spirit work.”
“It provides a space of safety for an artist. You don’t feel guilty or self-conscious. And there’s a paranoia, but it’s the good kind of paranoia, that is a natural instinct. It helps us to align with the natural instincts that we have. Especially me with my band when we’re in legal states. We become one living, breathing organism, because the plant medicine is a real energy. You know, it’s a spirit that contains all of us when we are in the same euphoric state. So the performances are different. It’s slower, but it’s potent.”
“When we get out there, we like to be aligned and on one accord, because we don’t have rehearsals. You know, we just go out and I call our songs. And we somehow make them flow together. If everybody in the building smoking, we already know that ahead of time. Cause we smell it. So we know this is our smoking show.”
On working with Berner and Cookies
“I f*** with Berner. First of all, he is a dope MC and I love his music. I’m part of his cult following… I be YouTubing the shit outta Berner. But that wasn’t it, though. It wasn’t that he was a B-Boy, and ’cause I’m a B-girl. That wasn’t it. And then I tasted his weed and I saw his presentation in his labs and things, but that wasn’t it. It was the fact that he was so open and kind to me about it.”
“As someone who was getting into his field and obviously a very competitive field since the legalization phase has started across the country. He was giving with his words, his studies, his contacts, he was just a plug completely, you know, and it created this comfort for me. He mentors me, guides me along the humble beginnings of my journey as a grower, as a connoisseur, as an advocate, as an activist, you know? So that’s what it was. It was his kindness and his beauty as a human.”
On her new documentary ‘Pussy & Weed’
“I’m looking forward to furthering the dialogue and maybe changing the narrative that was once taboo with women and not only just women. I’m gonna interview men as well to see how you feel about women in cannabinoids and this arena growing.”