Ricki Lake is a TV legend, but before that, I simply call her my friend. It's a bit of a name drop, but it's straight up wild that someone I grew up watching on television is now someone that I can text when I'm feeling sad. But that's who she is. Before any of the accolades as a TV host, actress, film producer, or celebrity, she's a humanitarian first. It showed in the night we connected at SXSW, it shows in the love she gives the world, and it especially shows in the work she's done most recently.
Lake and her production partner, director Abby Epstein, have been on a mission with their series The Business Of films, including the 2008 documentary The Business Of Being Born, and her news project, The Business of Birth Control. Both documentaries provide an internal look at many of the health issues women face in the world. In addition to their activism for women, Lake and Abby have also highlighted issues in cannabis with their documentary Weed the People, now on Netflix.
Ricki Lake and medical cannabis
Weed the People was a six year endeavor that told the stories of five children fighting various cancers with medical cannabis and the behind-the-curtains look at how hard it is, both financially and legally. Throughout the journey, which was inspired by Lake's late husband Christian Evans, Lake's image of medical substances changed forever.
On medical cannabis and alternative medications in general, Lake told us, “I believe [cannabis] is medicine. And I believe it can heal the planet and heal people on this planet in so many ways. That's what I learned through my [late] husband [Christian Evans]: it's a medicine. It's something I judged, and was fearful of, and I was so indoctrinated with 'Just Say No' to drugs back in the '80s. And my show, when I was hosting that show, I was so anti-drug and so closed minded. And now I could not be more supportive of all medicine.”
Lake continued, “Psychedelics, I'm a huge supporter of these medicines being used in therapeutic settings. Ketamine, mushrooms, all of it. What the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) is doing is super, super important work, particularly right now when all of our mental health is so at stake. And the chronic pain that comes from our mental state, it's all connected, our nervous system, all of it is coming from a place of, 'what the fuck is going on in this world and how are we going to get through the darkest of times?' So yeah, cannabis can be a lifesaver for that, for all of us.”
WIth Lake's guest spot on Netflix' Cooked with Cannabis, you'd expect her to be a huge stoner, but she actually uses the plant pretty seldomly. On her experience with cannabis, Lake said, “I love how it can enhance any sort of experience. Whether something tastes that much better, or something is that much funner, or whether your connection is that much deeper or lighter. One of the things I love about it, but that also freaks me out, is that it's always unpredictable. Like even the same dose of the same medicine, it's always different for me, depending on if I have food in my stomach, and all these variables. I don't really have a handle on it, which is why I tread lightly. Although, in the case of that show, I ate everything that was put in front of me and rolled with it. But for the most part, I'm pretty cautious with my intake.”
Taking caution with her intake, Lake still likes to indulge in cannabis when the time and setting are right. Here are 3 products she can't live without.
Lowell Farms Pre-Rolls
Immediately out the gate, Lake named Lowell as one of her favorite cannabis brands. She loves everything about them, and especially loves their packaging.
Lowell Farms produces a full line of cannabis flower, edibles, and concentrates. Out of the line, their pre-rolls are the superstars, touted on their website as California's best-selling pre-roll. “California has fucking great medicine,” said Lake.
Kiva Camino Gummies
“I don't get high regularly, I never have. I love indulging in edibles, but I don't like to smoke, I'm not good at inhaling,” says Lake. Asked which edibles, she responded, “I love Kiva. I used to do the chocolate bars, but now it's the Caminos. And I like The Chill kind, that's been my jam. I can take one of those whenever. It kind of peps me up, it doesn't chill me out. It seems to have the opposite effect of what it says it's supposed to.
Kiva Confections is a California edibles brand that produces chocolate bars, gummies, mints, and bites. Their Wild Berry Camino Gummies are 5 milligram doses of THC that include “chill terpenes” like myrcene, linalool, beta-caryophyllene, and humulene.
Om Edibles is an edibles and topicals company started by Maya Elisabeth, formerly of Whoopi & Maya. The company produces three different types of products: body, edibles, and elixirs. The body line includes balms, oils, and epsom salts, which are Lake's personal favorite. She swears by both Maya and her products, “They have bath products that I love. Her products are beautiful and I'm a big big fan. And the edibles she makes are so good.”
Featured photo courtesy of Ricki Lake. Graphic by David Lozada/Weedmaps