BY MARIE LODI
Tea has always been thought of as a source of comfort and healing. If you’re feeling sick, you make a steaming cup to soothe a scratchy throat. When you’re spending quality time with a friend, it’s typical to put the kettle on and offer a cup of tea. So after Kikoko founders Amanda Jones and Jennifer Chapin had a friend diagnosed with cancer, they decided to help her through tea. They also talked to numerous women whose health concerns included pain, anxiety, stress, sleep, and libido. The launch of Kikoko in 2015 came with four different kinds of cannabis tea: Sympa-Tea, Tranquili-Tea, Sensuali-Tea, and Positivi-Tea, all focused on the aforementioned issues described by the women. To get to know more about the intriguing brand, we talked to Kikoko Co-Founder and Co-CEO Amanda Jones, to see if she would...spill the tea.
How did you make the decision to get into the tea business as opposed to a different direction involving cannabis?
Of course, we chose the most difficult method of delivering cannabis! We developed the product for a friend with cancer, and we knew that cannabis and phytochemicals in really top-notch tea herbs would also be beneficial for her. We set out to make something that truly dispersed in water and did not taste of cannabis, but that took us three science teams and 2.5 years to develop. Patience and tenacity resulted in our teas having the perfect blend of being delicious and good for you. With our tea success in play, we are launching Kikoko HoneyShots in a couple of weeks too. This honey is highly medicinal Manuka honey from New Zealand, which is where I am from originally.
What sets Kikoko apart from other ingestible cannabis brands?
Our dedication to quality. We use all-organic, top-shelf ingredients, the very best available. Our authentic and trustworthy voice, appealing directly to women of all ages. Education, education, education. Low-doses available for newbies and those that don’t want to get very high. Healthy, non-cannabis ingredients that actually benefit the body.
Where is the name Kikoko from?
We could not trademark any of the names we thought of, so we had to quickly make one up. I was in Samoa at the time, where they have a drink called “koko," and Jen was in Hawaii, where there are lots of prefixes with “ki.” We just put the two together.
What are some tips for someone just getting into THC ingestibles/edibles?
I would strongly suggest that people go to our website and learn more before they try. We have a really helpful dosage guide that people can relate to. But we always tell people who are just trying THC to start with 3mg or less. In other words, Sympa-Tea. With the 3mg of THC along with the 20mg CBD, it is a very mellow, non-anxious effect.
What is your personal relationship to cannabis?
I have essentially replaced wine with SympaTea. I try to drink it nightly. Sometimes I’ll drink a Sensuali-Tea for a little more fun (if I am not working that evening!). They both make me sleep better, wake more refreshed, and both of them taste fantastic over ice, so I still have that nightly ritual of sipping something. I try to drink at least 20mg of CBD a day. I experience a lot of back pain, so it helps to keep the CBD built up in my body.
How do you use cannabis in your everyday life?
As mentioned above, I use it as an alcohol replacement at the end of the day, and I use CBD for back pain. I am still, believe it or not, somewhat of a THC lightweight. 7-8 mg is my max, and that is only when I am not driving and not working…but want to be social or outdoors.
What's next for Kikoko?
We have all sorts of exciting things coming up. We are about to launch our absolutely delicious HoneyShots (CALM has 10mg CBD and >2mg THC and BUZZ has 8mg THC). We are also working on a cold tea brew ready-to-drink, a pair of functional tinctures, as well as other very exciting products.
Shop MedMen and check out Kikoko for yourself.