This Black Cannabis Advocate Is Shifting The Narrative Around Weed During The COVID-19 Pandemic

Photographed by Helena de Bragança
Solonje Burnett, co-founder of cannabis immersive education and advocacy platform Humble Bloom, is making it her mission to equalize the cannabis industry. As a creative and activist based in Brooklyn, New York, she advocates for the rights of others in her community. And as the cannabis industry continues to grow, Burnett educates about the healing benefits of marijuana, she also stands for the inclusion of those underrepresented in the industry. 
Cannabis is now legal in some states, including California, Massachusetts, and Maine. But there is still a disproportionate number of Black and brown people incarcerated across the United States for low-level weed charges. 
“Humans are in cages, convicted for something that is no longer a crime, while others are elevated and get the opportunity to build intergenerational wealth doing exactly the same thing,” Burnett tells R29Unbothered. She says the more we know, the better chance we have to change the stigma and injustice as it pertains to the Black and brown population. And Burnett, who is using her platform to transform oppressive systems during COVID-19 quarantine, is urging others to use their platforms to fight for progressive humanist and regenerative solutions.
For Burnett, one of those solutions is shifting how cannabis is perceived. In the realm of wellness, Burnett says that cannabis has created a positive change for herself and the many ways women can utilize it. 
Since the start of the shelter in place order in response to the COVID-19 pandemic — which has affected thousands around the world— she's been using time in quarantine to maintain spiritual balance through her “4 M’s” mantra: medicate, meditate, masturbate, and motivate. She wants women to know that, even in these uncertain times, there are ways to tap into your wholeness and feel empowered through the use of cannabis.
While the CDC does not recommend smoking during this time, there are other ways you can medicate. Burnett recommends using CBD and THC in the form of face masks, oils, soaks, drops, body serums, cooling rub, or edibles. You can even make your edible treats with a decarboxylator — a tool used to help activate the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in cannabis through a process called decarboxylation — from brands like Ardent Cannabis. Some brands she recommends include Shea Brand, Moon Mother Hemp, Unplugged Essentials, among others.
“All of these brands are small businesses owned by women and/or POC,” Burnett adds. “Where and how you spend your money matters more than ever. Instead of buying from Amazon and supporting a billionaire ruthless capitalist. Go direct to the source. You’ll support the USPS, cut out Bezos and give all the profit to these brands.” 
When it comes to intimacy, whether you’re alone or quarantining with a partner, Burnett recommends using toys made for women and supplementing with CBD lubes. “When applied topically, CBD and THC increases blood flow which helps alleviate painful intercourse due to dryness or irritation,” she says. “This also enhances sex drive, sensation, and ultimately climax. More stimulation for stress relief!” This is a great time to explore with your body and learn what it likes!
When practicing mindfulness, Burnett co-facilitates a morning breathwork class with Frequency co-founder Vivian Rosenthal every Saturday at noon. Frequency offers classes that help people explore therapeutic modalities such as meditation, breathwork, movement, and sound.  Breathwork not only helps with a full cellular reset, relieving stress, anxiety and trauma, but also helps to strengthen your lungs. She also recommends the app Liberate, with guided meditations made for and by Black people.
If weed isn’t your speed but sound is, she put together a playlist called “Soothing Selections” that features artists like Denitia, Vox, Treya Lam and Janelle Kroll — many of whom she met during her time in the music industry as a singer, talent booker and manager.
Burnett also stays motivated while in quarantine by fighting for human rights.
“I’m using apps and social media as a tool to disseminate easy direct actions we can all take,” she shares. “It’s as simple as signing a bill or petition every morning. If you wanna dance do it for a purpose, I’m raising awareness through virtual dance parties with Hot Situations for organizations like #InMyScrubs to have local restaurants bring meals to healthcare workers.”
She adds that you can also share infographics and donate to organizations pushing for the compassionate release of inmates such as the Last Prisoner Project or National Bail Out. “There is so much we can do while stuck at home.” 
Burnett has her hands in a lot, but what remains constant and true is that she puts people first. She is for humanity, culture, and community.

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