Welcome back to Leafly’s Budtender Spotlight! Budtenders are the first point of contact for many modern cannabis consumers, helping to educate people through the massive array of products available in recreation and medical markets. We reached out to Elena Mishko of Vela in Seattle, Washington, to see which strains and products she’s loving right now. Mishko is an East Coast transplant with a heart the size of Lady Liberty. She gladly shared some of her favorite products and a few tips on how to enjoy yourself while expanding your mind.
What is your ideal day with cannabis?
Elena Mishko: That is a great question. I have so many ideal days using cannabis. I suppose my truly ideal day using cannabis would involve a really nice sativa-dominant strain, hanging out with my friends and using cannabis as an addition to fun and good times with my social circle.
What activities do you mean in particular?
I’m such a huge fan of brunch and cannabis. [My cousin and I] are notorious for waking up, doing a couple of dabs, and going to get some mimosas. It escalated slowly: bowls, then joints, then vaping, and now dabs.
I also like to get sporty with my cannabis, especially now that I’m dabbing; it’s really clear-headed and wonderful. I tend to find that I get home from my fitness classes (I do Krav Maga, and I was a Pilates instructor for a while), and I’ll have already bounced around for the last two hours, I’ll take a dab and continue to bounce around my kitchen for the next 45 minutes.
What do you think newbies to cannabis should know?
Newbies to cannabis should know that you can always get more high, but you can’t get less high without time, water, and all sorts of emotions. So, star slow, work your way up, take one or two puffs, don’t let anyone peer pressure you, and don’t let people tell you, “Just one more hit.” If you want one more hit, I say, GO FOR IT, and if you don’t, I say, DON’T GO FOR IT!
How about for seasoned cannabis consumers? Any tips or tricks or hidden gems that you’d like to share?
There are all sorts of good ways to use cannabis. It’s so extremely versatile; that is one of the things I love about it. Every one of the products in our store can be taken in in an number of different ways, for the most part. Tinctures can be a little more fast-acting when put under the tongue, versus when you [consume edibles] that last longer.
You can take a concentrate and “twax” a joint with it, which makes the strain burn more slowly and smoothly [while adding lots of potency]…Even just different styles of rolling. There is always something new and fun to discover with cannabis, especially with all the new products. I was a tester of our suppository. Those are fun! [laughs] The sex topicals are some of my favorites. One is a coconut-based lubricant, the other is a silicon-based lube. I have thoroughly enjoyed both.
As far as having a voice in the cannabis community, is there anything you’d like to say?
Definitely! Educate yourself! Get involved! Get interested! Really take an interest in what you’re putting in your body. Be mindful. Learn to find a healthy relationship with cannabis. Just like anything else, you can have a healthy or unhealthy relationship with cannabis, and I’m all about trying to find that right balance. Really try to use it in a way that’s therapeutic [and] fun. And share that, too.
We live in a liberal paradise here in Seattle. There is a stigma that still surrounds cannabis all over the country and all over the world, and the best way to fight that is to be kind, be well educated, be outspoken, really know your stuff. That is why I like to educate people, to give them what they need, to help them find what works for them, what fits for them wherever they sit on the [cannabis] spectrum, wherever they sit on dosing, there is something for everyone. Psychoactive, non-psychoactive, even if you don’t like to be high, there are all sorts of good ways you can use cannabis.