Get To Know Your Coach
Dosage Specialist and Cannabis Coach Haley Hansen is currently working to help curate consumption education & recommendations for her clients at Equilibria Women and her private coaching practice. “My primary job now is working for Equilibria Women, a Chicago-based all-women CBD company. I am a Dosage Specialist there, and what I do is help women set up customized routines for using CBD. Anyone who purchases Equilibria CBD gets unlimited Dosage Support from a trained specialist like me! Typically this support comes in the form of a 30-minute phone call where I seek to learn more about you, your health goals, your budget -- and make recommendations for a routine that could help you. I also help people via email -- whatever they prefer.“
Once Haley is done for the day at Equilibria Women, she transitions to focus on her private coaching practice. “I respond to the folks on my Instagram and YouTube Channel. I encourage folks to email me their questions, and I love seeing how many come in each day -- it’s wonderful!... I joke that most of my work during the day focuses around CBD, while the work I do at night is typically geared more towards THC and products at the dispensary. So I’m always cannabis coaching in some capacity!”
Haley is inspired by the connections she builds in the field, “ I love connecting with others -- and talking about health issues can be really scary and vulnerable for some people. So I just seek to make them feel heard, understood -- and by the end of our conversation, I almost always feel like I’ve gained a new friend. I love people, and I love cannabis! And I love the connection it brings.”
Get Your Sleep Cycle Right - Getting the right amount of rest is critical for having your most productive 2021! “If you’re struggling with sleep, things like CBD & Cannabis are often good options for helping you get better rest. If you’re more rested, all of life’s problems feel more manageable and do-able! Plus you’ll have a better immune system to fight off infection.
Find Your Consumption Balance - Cannabis products are definitely not one size fits all. You have to do a little testing and get to know what works best for you. “ I mostly rely on CBD during the day and THC at night. That’s just what works best for me, but everyone is different.“ When you are experimenting Haley also wants you to keep in mind to start slow and low, “pick a small amount and see how you respond. I recommend keeping a cannabis journal, just so you can track what works best for you and find patterns that help you build a routine.“
Know Your Goals - Having clear objectives makes it that much easier to reach them. “If you’re trying to figure out your own cannabis routine, first ask what you’d like to accomplish. Get better sleep? Feel less stressed at work? Manage pain without pills? What is the main objective? -- that’s helpful to pinpoint.“
Set Your Bud-get - Be honest and realistic about what you can afford to spend, and budget with that in mind. “Then pinpoint your budget -- realistically, how much are you wanting to spend on cannabis each month? Are you going to use it daily or just occasionally to get through hard times?”
Be Patient & Ask For Help If Needed - It’s normal for it to be a little trial-and-error at first, “As long as you start slow, then experiment away! That’s the best way to find out what works. And if you’re super scared, start with CBD. Almost everyone I’ve ever known has a gentle time with CBD -- so that’s a great way to begin. You can always send me a message on my website www.cannabiscoachhaley.com and I can help you customize your routine based on your health goals and budget ;) or buy a CBD product at www.myeq.com and my fellow Dosage Specialists can help you!”
Remember to Practice Gratitude - “Be grateful for every little thing in 2021 -- cannabis included. I’m a part of a lot of online cannabis forums and Facebook groups, and it’s easy for the conversation to get negative really fast. The cost of weed is too high/ the dispensary is out of your favorite product/ your dispensary isn’t giving you big discounts like they normally do -- whatever you’re upset about, either try to change it or find a way to be grateful for the process. Cannabis was just legalized in Illinois 1 year ago -- that isn’t that long!!! We are building this thing from the ground up, and that takes time. Gratitude helps keep things in check!”
Consumption & Career Growth
Haley was introduced to cannabis after leaving in-treatment for an eating disorder as a teen, “While I was at this hospital center, I had a feeding tube and was on lots of medications to manage my eating disorder. And I had complications once I started to gain weight again. I was on lots of meds for digestion and to block the pain in my stomach. When I got released, a friend of mine gave me a cannabis cookie and said she thought it might help me. And wow -- it did. It was the first time I didn’t have a stomach ache in years. That’s when I realized there must be something to this whole cannabis thing, and I’ve been exploring it ever since.“
Since her initial consumption, Haley’s thoughts on cannabis have evolved. “I was one of the first folks to get their Illinois Medical Cannabis Card back in 2016 -- as soon as the pilot program launched in Illinois, I jumped on the opportunity to possibly get a card. At first I struggled with ‘not being worthy enough’ to buy legal cannabis or have a card. ‘I don’t have cancer -- I know there are folks that deserve this much more than I do’ was how I thought of it. -- like cannabis should be reserved only for folks with terminal illnesses or something.
Now, as I get more comfortable with cannabis and cannabis legalization, I remember that cannabis should be legal for all of us -- sick or not! I look at it now as more of a God-given right -- it’s dumb that you have to get ‘approved’ at all to buy something that is natural, easy to grow, and has minimal bad side effects. Yet it’s a whole rigamarole to be able to buy legal cannabis in the United States. So now I look at cannabis (and the ability to grow cannabis at home) as an inalienable right, like Free Speech and other basic rights we have.”
The changes Haley has seen due to her cannabis consumption have been life-changing, “Access to legal cannabis products has been life-changing for me. With the guidance of my doctor, I was able to get off every single medication prescribed for my eating disorder. Where I used to take about 10 pills, I now just use cannabis.
It’s truly incredible how one plant can do so much. I used to be on one pill for sleeping, one for OCD, one for panic attacks, one before and after meals, one to block stomach pain, one to help digestion, etc. Now all of that is better managed by cannabis because I don’t have the side-effects like I did when I was taking strong meds. I started with cannabis edibles, then eventually, over time, moved into cannabis vapes, THC pills, and dabs.“
When facing stigma Haley remains positive and focused on spreading good, “I’ve always been someone that just focuses on positivity and hope that people pick up on that :) And it has worked well for me so far, knock on wood. I am an active part of my community’s Christian church -- and I was worried how I’d be perceived in those circles. But I found that most people just want me to be happy. I’ve always been an extremely private person, so I just keep my cannabis use quiet unless someone strikes up a conversation with me first -- then I’m happy to tell all :)”
With that said, she does think there is still a lot of generational misinformation from previous years of stigma and propaganda, “Many folks have beliefs about cannabis that really aren’t even their own, but just beliefs that were passed down from the 1970s. Nancy Reagan really had a lasting effect on our psyche. She had several speeches where she said pot-users are unable to get along with their families or do their chores. And I think that belief has hung on -- that cannabis users are lazy or disagreeable people.
But I can point towards countless examples of pro-athletes, active moms, teachers, lawyers, doctors, engineers -- all kinds of folks use cannabis and find that cannabis makes them more productive and more available to their families. I hear that time and time again ‘My family is glad to have ‘me’ back’ -- so I wish that was a more-publicized sentiment.”
Bridging the educational and accessibility gap is something that Haley is also doing via her personal coaching practice. “In 2018, I founded my own business Haley Hansen Cannabis Consulting, LLC. -- and the goal was to bridge the gap between doctors and cannabis patients. So many people need time and space to learn how to use cannabis properly -- it’s often not something that can be accomplished in a 5-minute convo at the dispensary!
My business served as an after-hours helpline -- folks would call me ‘How do I use this vape pen?’ and “Can you help my wife roll a joint’ and ‘I’m too high -- what should I do’. I did so so so many of these calls after work that I thought ‘HECK, I should just open my own business and answer all these questions for people -- kinda like an exercise coach, but for weed’. And that’s how my business was born, and I’ve been doing it ever since.”
Through coaching, Haley finds satisfaction in helping others find peace and balance in their lives. “It’s always really inspiring and emotional when folks email me saying they were able to get a good night’s sleep for the first time in months. Or they were able to eat a meal without getting sick. Or they were able to play with their kids without being in pain -- those are life-changing stories, and they come in constantly. “
Through coaching, Haley is able to connect and form real and long-lasting relationships with her clients. It is an emotional but satisfying role that is often met with gratitude “This older woman who came into the dispensary each week and brought me vegetables from her garden. Zucchini, squash, tomatoes -- she kept me well-fed, and that was her way of tipping me and showing me gratitude.
One time she received some bad news from her doctor, and I was sitting with her while she was crying a bit. I remember reaching out to hold her hand for a while, (which is not something I normally do, but it felt right). And she just held my hand for a while and told me how hard it is to know you might not be around for your family much longer. I’m pretty sure she was dealing with a cancer diagnosis.
Budtending is a hard job for reasons like that -- you grow attached to the people you see and want the best outcome for them. But a lot of times, their health is out of your control. So folks like her are inspirational to me. I admire how much grit and toughness the older generations have.“
Haley recommends budtending as a pathway to cannabis coaching for people who are interested in working in the field. “ Look into starting as a budtender -- and help as many folks as you can. The more people you talk to, the more you learn about people and what types of cannabis work for them, then you’ll get a bigger knowledge base. Never stop researching and exploring, because 1 year in the cannabis industry is like 5 years in any other industry -- it moves and evolves at break-neck speed!”
She also is looking forward to more positive momentum when it comes to working in the cannabis sector as a creator and coach. “I’m excited for it to be removed as a Schedule 1 Substance, which should have been done ages ago so that it can be more easily studied.
Once cannabis can be freely studied, we can pin down the genome and target all the individual parts of the plant. I foresee a future where there are really niche products like THCV Pills for people who are diabetic -- or specialized products that increase appetite, etc.
Right now, we are just in the baby stages of this -- heck, the Endocannabinoid System was just officially discovered in the 1990s! So this is all unfolding in real-time -- cutting-edge stuff."
Consumption & Career Growth
When it comes to her own consumption Haley enjoys a good low temp dab, “Right now, I’m into low-temperature dabs -- which is certainly not what I recommend for everyone, especially if you’re just getting started. But for me, this is my preferred method because it’s clean, reliable, and cost-effective -- and I like exploring the world of concentrates and the different subtleties of the products. “
We are definitely adding Haley’s favorite strain “BioJesus by Cresco” to our tasting list “The name drew me in, very mystical and earthy at the same time. The taste is very earthy too, like a nice walk in a grove of pine trees. The effects are very clear-headed yet relaxing. 10/10 would recommend -- I buy it in flower, vape, and live resin for dabs.”
Other Projects & What’s Next
We are super excited to check out the upcoming launch of Haley’s new cannabis podcast Midwest Sesh. “ She (my friend) and I are going to have a space where we meet up virtually, smoke weed together, show each other cheerful/funny things that are carrying us through quarantine -- and just have an open honest space to talk about the weirdness of the world. REALLY excited for that.”
She is also going to be offering free cannabis consultations this year! “In 2021 -- I’m offering 100% free cannabis consults through my YouTube Channel. If you’re new to CBD or Cannabis and want some individualized help, reach out to me! Send me a message from my website www.cannabiscoachhaley.com or email me [email protected] and I will answer your questions on a first-come, first-served basis. I’m going to make a personalized video for each person who reaches out :)
This has already exploded into such a wonderful community on my YouTube Channel and I’m so excited to be offering these consults for FREE.”
Along, with being a coach and overall amazing person Haley is also a talented artist. “I have been a life-long artist, and my mom always instilled in me a joy of creating. I love writing notes, sending gifts, and my art is really an extension of that. I love the idea of giving someone a magical present that inspires and warms their heart -- I put a lot of love and care into everything I make and hope that translates to whoever owns that artpiece. Right now, all of my work is through my distributor Society6.” Check out her gorgeous work at www.society6.com/cannabiscoachhaley.
We love a multi-dimensional productive cannabis queen here at SoStonedCo, and Haley is just that! When it comes to balancing a hectic schedule with consumption Haley has found her flow. “I personally tend to use CBD more for the daytime, and lean on THC for the night-time -- that’s just what works best for me personally. I love staying busy and starting multiple projects all at once and seeing which one takes off or which one I find the most fun. That’s something I’ve learned to do: think about what tasks you inherently like to do, then find a way to do more of that each day. I love people and I love cannabis, so I found a way to combine the two so that it doesn’t feel too much like work. It feels like I’m helping out a friend, and I love that about my work.”
Haley thinks there is a lot that the world can learn from the cannabis community. “Today’s world is having such a hard time in so many ways and the solutions given to us often feel incomplete or lackluster at best. I think the world can benefit by using legal cannabis to bring money and jobs into communities, to reduce drunk-driving and overdoses in at-risk populations, and to use cannabis tax money to repair the harm from the War On Drugs.
Thousands of folks are still in prison for small drug-related offenses. This simply should not be the case in 2021 when dispensaries are listed as ‘essential businesses’.
And that’s really what cannabis has taught me: question things. Why are things the way they are? What can you do to push the needle forward in a positive direction? If something as dumb as The War On Drugs is still having lasting effects -- then what can be done to unravel some of that damage?”
We couldn’t agree more! We are thrilled that we got to connect with the always inspiring, awesome, and generous Haley Hansen. She is a light in the cannabis-community, and we will definitely be putting her 2021 tips into action! To learn more about Haley follow her on Instagram at cannabis_coach_haley and check out https://www.cannabiscoachhaley.com/.