As a model, actress, writer and entrepreneur, Sarah McDaniel is quickly establishing herself as one of the most relevant women in cannabis. With a new CBD-based skincare line coming out, a starring role in the stony series SuperHigh and multiple marijuana-based articles published, it was high time McDaniel sat down with High Times to discuss her role in the cannabis space.
So you’re a California girl.
When did you start modeling?
I started modeling when I was around 16. A friend of mine had a clothing company, and she just kind of wanted to use me. I had no idea how to pose, so she’s actually the one who taught me how to use the light and manipulate your image.
Were you smoking marijuana at that time?
Yes! Actually, she introduced me to marijuana. She was coming off certain pills from a surgery, so she was using marijuana in place of that for her pain. I ended up trying it even though I was terrified, because all I saw up to that point were the commercials where your dog’s disappointed in you and you’re melting into a couch. But after I tried it for the first time, I realized it’s not malicious at all. It’s really just very calming.
Were you aware of the medical benefits of cannabis from the beginning?
I was aware that she was using it for the medical benefits. But I had no idea what CBD was—I thought it was only about THC. I had no idea you could use it and not get high. Since then, I’ve definitely come a long way.
How do you feel cannabis fits into your philosophy?
Well, my life philosophy in general is that you should constantly be changing and adapting and breaking down things that you think are true and questioning them. I think that cannabis intertwines with that because it kind of pushes you into that realm of thinking differently, so you’re considering all sides.
Absolutely. It pushes boundaries and helps you see things from a different perspective.
And with more empathy, too.
Do you think if Jeff Sessions smoked weed, he would understand something about the plant?
I wonder that so often of people who are so closed-minded. If they were to experiment with certain things—maybe if Donald Trump were to smoke DMT a couple times, would he change [his perspective]? I would love to see that. I’d love to see a controlled, scientific study of people who are extremely closed-minded smoke every day for a month, and see if they change. I bet they would.
How did you first realize the importance of medical cannabis?
I first started looking into cannabis on the medical side when my friend’s mother had cancer that returned three separate times. She would use Rick Simpson Oil every single day, huge amounts, and the cancer would recede. Then when she would go back to her old ways and not use the oils, it would come back. The only thing that was working was cannabis. So that’s when I realized there’s so much more to this plant. That’s when I started using CBD tinctures. It’s awesome.
How do you incorporate cannabis into your daily life?
I use my cannabis oil for my face every day, and that is basically just vitamin E, coltsfoot, lemon-peel extract, astragalus, jojoba oil and CO2 oil. I just put it on my face in the morning and at night, and it’s kept my skin amazing. I also made my own little concoction of the CO2 oil with shea butter and cocoa butter, and I use that for my body. That helps with eczema or any scars and things like that.
Can you tell us a little bit about Walagoot?
It’s a CBD-based skincare line that’s hitting the market very soon. It’s completely organic, and it helps against the free radicals and helps with antioxidants.
Where and when will it be available?
We’re currently talking to investors, but I think the way we’re going to do it is hit up dispensaries first. It’s still a gray area as far as selling it everywhere. Even though it is 90 percent CBD, there is that little bit of THC in there, so you can’t really have it at Whole Foods yet.
What are your favorite strains?
I’ve kind of switched from the flower itself over to concentrates. I don’t know if it’s cleaner or what, but I feel like when I smoke flower, it’s harsher on my lungs. So I’ve been sticking mostly to dabs. I do mess with edibles, but on a very small dose, maybe like a lollipop that’s five milligrams or so. I love my pen because I can just travel with it everywhere, and in traffic it’s fucking amazing. I get migraines, and if I smoke within five minutes, it’s gone. It’s awesome.
Do you find yourself educating people about cannabis, especially as an alternative to alcohol and to pain medications?
I do, and I never thought I would be that person. But there’s so much overwhelming evidence, and also so many people addicted to opiates and things like that, I think it’s important to present them with an alternative. Like, for instance, my mom, who is addicted to Xanax. Once she tried CBD and the concentrated oils, she’s completely off of [pharmaceuticals], and she seems more healthy than she’s ever been. So I just feel like I have to try and spread the word as much as I can.
We’re undergoing a massive cultural shift with the #MeToo movement. As a model and an activist, what are your thoughts on the movement?
This is such a heavy question. The thing that scares me is that I think both sides are manipulating. So, in my opinion, I think that some women are coming forward that have completely the right to do that and they should voice what they’re experiencing and they’re completely in the right. And I think that men obviously are in the wrong in that scenario. But I do believe that some women are taking advantage of the #MeToo situation and coming up with things to get attention because of the movement. I think it’s just a time to be really conscious of the moves we’re making. But also, it’s hard to speak on it because I haven’t been a victim of that situation, so, obviously, I don’t completely understand it.
It’s a big question. I think that it’s something we need to keep talking about in general. We need to continue the conversation. Continue to ask questions and listen.
I think it’s crazy how many men don’t believe that #MeToo is real or they think that women are overreacting, or I’ve seen the opposite, where men say, “Well, if I’m on a date now, how am I supposed to know if I can go home with a girl? Is it going to turn into a #MeToo situation or something like that?” It’s just like, why don’t you ask her, you know? She’s right there!
What are your plans for the future? How do you envision the next year unfolding?
I have two movies coming out this year that I can’t yet talk about yet. But they’re both psychological thrillers, so that’ll be exciting. Definitely go to that high. And obviously with Walagoot, I’m looking to really expand that and show people how well it works. That’s the first thing I want to show people.
I want to talk about mushrooms for a second. I’m fascinated by the medical aspects and, of course, I’ve used them recreationally.
How do you feel about them? What’s your jam?
This is such a big subject. I grow them myself, and I really believe in the therapeutic ways that they can work. I just think it’s like seven years of therapy in, like, six hours. That’s how I think of it. Or it can be a recreational thing. You can take some and go to laser tag. It doesn’t have to be heavy every time.
I wanted to ask you about shooting SuperHigh.
That was really fun. It was incredible working with comedians of that caliber because that’s my first time working on something comedic, and just seeing how fast the [pace was]. It’s almost completely improv as well. That’s the best part. And hopefully there’ll be a second season. Because Mexico is into it.
They’re like the biggest fans, surprisingly. It’s weird to see my voice dubbed in Spanish.
Did you blaze on set?
They only allowed us to smoke this weird grass. It wasn’t weed at all. It was the worst. But there was this guy, his whole job was to roll fake joints all day. He was my favorite guy.