The Canna Culture X Higher Self Care interview series features some of the most influential people operating in the Cannabis and CBD industries. Over the course of November we have been exploring how future-forward brands are navigating their businesses, shaking off the stigma and developing a new culture around health and lifestyle.

In the final instalment of our series exploring the CBD and Cannabis industry, we invite Marina De Salis, founder of creative project Canna Curious Club to discuss her life and work. Canna Curious Club offer editorial content and conversations surrounding Cannabis smoking, as well as a beautifully-crafted products and more collaborations. As well as her views on the CBD revolution and her own path to Cannabis consumption, Marina also gives insight into how she runs her independently-run brand.

What was your early introduction to cannabis and how has your relationship with the plant developed over the years?

Like most people in their teens, I first smoked at house parties mixed with tobacco and alcohol. It barely had any effect on me and actually made me feel pretty awful. It wasn’t until years later that I properly discovered the positive effects that cannabis could have on me. Over the years I’ve used it to help me overcome anxiety, side-effects of PCOS and stress, and I’ve found that it helps sustain my creativity. In social settings, it helps me build deeper relationships with people, and has allowed me to cut out alcohol completely.

There is definitely a rise in people’s desire for more sophisticated smoking products. Do you feel like these things attribute to changing attitudes in how the mainstream perceives cannabis use?

I try to stay away from ‘branded’ things, and emphasise individuality and expression through handmade and personalised smoking accessories. The positive feedback I’ve received over the years does indicate that a more conscious approach to design and quality definitely contributes to how cannabis is currently perceived.

What is your stance on CBD and are you a fan?

Yes and no. I understand the health benefits that CBD can have, but the conversation is just beginning and it’s still very hard to find true, reliable sources and products. There are an enormous amount of companies willing to take major shortcuts in order to achieve a quick cash grab, because they see the trend and opportunity in this field. I have always been one of those people that puts a lot of time into researching products that I put on or in my body, and considering things right down to if the packaging or design is really well done. When it comes to a highly unregulated product like cannabis, a pretty box doesn’t mean it’s good. For now, I use CBD very minimally until a truly trustworthy product arrives on the market.

What lessons did you learn when you first launched Canna Curious Club?

Less is more- I really wanted to build an authentic platform, so from the beginning I decided on a ‘less is more’ approach. I only posted on my blog and Instagram profile when I felt I had something unique to share, and I kept all my marketing to a minimum unless I had something useful to offer. Being selective with who you choose to work with is also crucial to building a consistent, independent brand.

Invest in yourself- As someone who is both a consumer and involved in the cannabis industry, I realised I had a unique opportunity to use my own experiences and lifestyle to create stories. I do all of my own photography and design, travel to events, write my own copy and if there’s something I can’t do, I teach myself.

What cities that you have travelled to have been most open to your brand?

Everywhere I’ve travelled to in the last 3 years since starting CCC, I’ve found people who are cannabis consumers, one way or another. I consume cannabis privately, but I don’t hide my use, so I’ve had some really interesting conversations that developed from an initial mutual appreciation and respect for the plant.

What do you love most about your work?

I love being part of a global revolution. An opportunity to re-invent something (especially as a creative) is a rare thing.

How do you respond to people who challenge or oppose mainstream cannabis use?

I listen to what they have to say, and 99% of the time their beliefs are based on outdated ideas. I’m a visual person, so I encourage those new to the concept of ‘modern cannabis’ to check out some infographics, articles and brands that I feel are an accurate representation of where things are at now.

What are you working on at the moment?

I’m developing a global membership and events program, and working with other brands to expand our creative network. I’m also putting together our annual lookbook, which is always exciting because I get to go nuts in my studio!

When it comes to business, who are your biggest inspirations or mentors?

I’m inspired by my friends, who are all self-starters, entrepreneurs, creatives and go-getters. Most of all I really value those relationships and my goal is to honour those shared ideas and collaborations we’ve all been working towards, by creating a global network. I believe in surrounding myself with people who are better than me, to motivate and inspire me to keep pushing forward.

Visit the Canna Curious Club website and find them on Instagram