You can live a better life with cannabis. Eunice Kim wholeheartedly believes that. Although many people experiment with cannabis starting at an early age, Kim was 30 when she first tried it out to help with classic NYC sleeping issues. Her cannabis learning curve led her to create HiVi (short for High Vibration), an educational site that calls itself a “cannabis concierge.”
The site is a rich platform for people seeking to learn and educate themselves more about weed. The Learn section is the detailed Wikipedia of cannabis, with factual, detailed information, covering everything from activism to CBD to a strains guide. In Connect, people can attend virtual events and build community. Under Discover, you can find the best cannabis products based upon your ailments. Kim talked to us about her experiences as an Asian-American female founder in the space, how cannabis relates to vibrations, and giving her mom her first a-ha experience with weed.
On her first cannabis experience: Everyone has had that tragic story of having eaten much weed or a brownie at a random party, and getting an anxious paranoid high. I was 30 and didn’t know anything about cannabis. I had never smoked a joint or had friends who used it. When I was living in NYC, I had a lot of sleep anxiety issues. I had a full-time job in fashion and was running my own sneaker business. It was too much and I couldn’t function at my best. I started to read more about cannabis, learning about how it could be a tool to help with anxiety and sleep.
It was a true journey to understand it. It was a lot of trial and error and questioning. It would have been so much easier to get a prescription, but I stuck to it, experiencing bad highs, good highs, and everything. I’m so glad that I figured that cannabis could help heal me. I felt this new purpose, to help women like me who didn’t understand cannabis in the right way, and would dismiss it.
On her ah-ha moment: I started understanding the different cannabinoids and ways to consume and dose for myself, and taking notes of my various sessions. Until then, cannabis was like shooting the dark, taking a 20mg cannabis cookie and hoping for the best. I didn’t know that 20mg was way too much for me. When I started mindfully consuming and educating myself, I started to feel so much better and understand why people have been using it for generations.
On her first good high: It all clicked in phases. But there was a time period in which I was sleeping better. I went from a couple hours a night to a full night’s rest, at six hours. It was big that I could do that. Then I noticed that my body was able to do a continuous 8 in the next week. It was a wonderful moment for me.
On how to HiVi came to be: Everything in our universe exists out of energy. Our thoughts, feelings, emotions, actions, are all vibrations on different frequencies and levels. Our interactions with the earth affect energy as a whole. Positive emotions vibrate at a higher frequency and negative ones at a slower one. As conscious and kind people, we should strive to raise our vibrational frequency. It includes being mindful, having self awareness, expressing our voice in positive ways, being empathetic, and keeping an open heart and mind to what others offer us.
I named our platform High Vibes because I wanted that mindset to be a part of what we do and attract a like minded community who believe in the name. Creating this vibe within the cannabis world is so beautiful to me. Cannabis can help us vibrate higher. Cannabis can help us, if used consciously and mindfully, to help us achieve our highest selves, and function at our best capacity.
On introducing cannabis to her parents: It didn’t happen until very recently. I grew up in a typical Asian-American immigrant household, and my parents are hard working, law abiding folks. It was illegal in California. And since it was illegal, it was thought to be bad. When I decided to start a company, I had struggled internally with how to do that. I didn’t want to be faced with parental disappointment and those issues that we as children experience.
My mom was having achy joints. I presented her with a salve and said, “In California, this is legal. I want you to just try it. It’s natural.” It worked for her. That firsthand experience really helped change her perception of cannabis. I didn't officially tell her about the company until we got our first press piece. She knows Forbes and considers that a reputable source, so I emailed her and said, “Ta-da, I’m in cannabis now. Here’s an article, please support it.” But I’m still far from ever smoking a joint with my mom.
My favorite products: I’m big into microdosing. That pushed me to heal myself rather than a stoner high. I like a low dose gummy. or a vape. Smoking can be harsh and a vape feels like a cleaner high to me. For beauty, I’ve tried some great CBD oils and serums. CBD is an anti-inflammatory, so it does help deal with my redness.
On being a female, Asian-American founder: It’s been an interesting and supportive space. During this time, I feel so empowered to be an Asian-American woman, especially as cannabis is an overwhelming male-dominated space. We are unified in our goal to create a better cannabis future, and everyone is supportive in our different paths, whether it be a brand, on the advocacy side, and working to break down systematic racism and inequities. The collective mission is so powerful in bringing us together that we are so bonded that way.
As women, we oftentimes try to solve problems on our own before asking for help or support. But in our community, we know when we do reach out, we know we will be able to receive help, no questions asked, so it’s nice to have support like that. It’s good to know a fellow woman is a phone call or email or text away. I look forward to paying that forward.