meet tess taylor
The founder of Saucy, who believes weed is a helpful tool to get you into your flow state.
Working in the cannabis industry, how do you use weed in your day-to-day?
Weed is my creative boost and I get a dopamine release from smoking weed. I always smoke before a workout, have a THC beverage, or an edible. It really helps me to enter my flow state. I’m trying to carry that flow state into all areas of my life, not just when I’m dedicating an hour to exercise. And then, at night, it’s a great way to be communal with friends and take the edge off.
“I acknowledge that it’s a privilege to live in California, especially coming from Texas, where you can go to your dealer, you get what you get, and they tell you what it is.”
I try to educate my friends and share what I’ve learned about different terpenes and how they affect your mood. When we think about essential oils, lavender is linalool and really relaxing and calming. If that’s what you’re looking for, you probably want an Indica strain with linalool and myrcene. If you want something uplifting or when I want to work out and I still have a workday ahead of me, I go for Sativa because its citrusy notes have an uplifting effect on your body and on your mind.
Also, I’m always searching for things that are less of a body high, so you’re not slumped on the couch. I also like anything that allows me to microdose. I can start small and build if needed, but not get super stoned.
How do you stay grounded?
I will stretch literally anywhere, anytime, whether it’s on the airplane, walking, or waiting in line. I learned that we store so much of our stress and trauma in our bodies. And if we’re not moving and working through that in a physical way, it’s going to impact our mental health.
How does food play a role in your mental health?
Breakfast is really important to me and getting in supplements early in the day. I love Moon Juice’s dusts, which I add to a smoothie for the adaptogens and get in the right headspace. From there, I try to eat a salad for lunch because I know I will likely have a heavier, richer dinner. So food is really big for me.
I also take Rhodiola for a mood boost and adaptogens to ease tension, anything that will help my cognition so I can clearly communicate. I take B12 for energy and eat all types of fruit and vitamin C to take care of my immune system because I’m constantly on the go.
You’ve spoken openly about your past experience with Adderall and how weed was a coping mechanism to recenter. Is this still the case? How has your relationship changed with both?
I no longer have a prescription and I try not to take Adderall anymore. I noticed how irritable it made me. My mom would ask me, how was your day? And I’d snap at her. A lot of people don’t realize that having ADHD does not mean you can’t focus. It means that you can hyper-focus on things that interest you and those that don’t; you struggle with motivation and getting started. I’m a private tutor as well. So I work with a lot of students that have ADHD or with other learning differences and I am always very transparent with them about my journey.
When I left law school after one year, I was 21 years old and I had no idea what I was doing. It was my first-time failing. And I knew I had to make some serious lifestyle changes. That’s when I started to use cannabis mindfully and started to monitor how to consume an appropriate amount for either mental health reasons or for that dopamine release that I typically got from the Adderall.
“My first time off of Adderall, I felt like I had narcolepsy. I would wake up at 8 am and start to read a book and by 9:30 am, I was passed out.”
We don’t talk enough about how to integrate these medications into our daily lives without them being destructive. ADHD medication was very much widely accepted in college, so I never felt stigmatized, but I was really hard on myself because I knew that I wasn’t being my best self when I was taking it.
When it comes to Adderall, you said it affected your interpersonal relationships. How did you eradicate that?
It affected my interpersonal relationship with my family and I had to do a lot of apologizing, self-reflection, and introspection. That’s when I started my spiritual journey, getting into Caroline Myss, Deepak Chopra, and Eckhart Toole. Taking the time to study and learn how to be at peace with myself so that I could be better for the people around me was really important.
Is there anything that you feel shame or stigma about?
Smoking weed in college was highly stigmatized where I was living, which was Oklahoma. That’s the irony, right? It’s perfectly fine to take an amphetamine, but it’s not okay to smoke weed, a plant that grows in the ground and is not addictive. I definitely felt shame around that. I did it in the privacy of my own and home. It isolated me a little bit because people saw me a certain way. But I’m really thankful now to be in a community where it’s something I can talk about, including other types of plant medicine.
What other types of plant medicine?
Last year I did a little Shroom trip in Joshua Tree. I did it for the first time in October with friends and this time, I was with my mom and sister. Almost every time I do shrooms, I cry either happy or sad tears, shedding things, dealing and processing the childhood trauma that still seeps its way into my relationships and self-esteem.
“My childhood trauma is related to sexual abuse and I read a study how those with ADHD are more likely to overdrink because they are looking for that dopamine release and feel-good hormones.”
And I was really reckless in college and in law school. I realized it was tied to the fact that I wasn’t processing any of my trauma or emotions. As you evolve throughout life and get older, you have to address these things again. You can’t just go to therapy for a year and you’re good for the rest of your life. These things will come back up as you get into new relationship dynamics. I started to take a more critical view of how I was conducting myself and weed really helped with that introspection.
What was the impetus to launch Saucy?
Saucy is the legacy of my grandfather. We lost him a few years ago. He was the coolest dude. He always had the best demeanor. Always calm, cool, collected, and a great person to go to for advice. He also showed me the importance of slowing down and he loved to garden and cook.
“Cannabis has been so healing for my parents and, honestly, my entire family.”
And I was really reckless in college and in law school. I realized it was tied to the fact that I wasn’t processing any of my trauma or emotions. As you Both my parents are military vets. We have three D1 athletes in our family, so a lot of them experience aches and pains from past injuries.
My dad was prescribed opium daily when I was in high school in Germany, and when I was in college, it was morphine. When he came back to the states in 2013, he was being really passive in his healthcare. He wasn’t watching his diet, he wasn’t working out, doing his PT, and he finally was willing to try a topical. He couldn’t believe that it worked almost as well as these painkillers that he was being prescribed. Now he’s down to four pharmaceutical meds when before it was over 10.
My parents still don’t smoke. So I wanted to produce an edible product like a BBQ sauce or salad dressing, something that you could add to any meal. Something that would be easy to have a conversation around. I like finding products that are at the intersection of different industries and it’s really easy to have a conversation about food and bring people around the table.
How does intimacy and relationships impact your mental health?
Self-pleasure and intimacy are very important and getting intimate with yourself, even without a partner, for me, is a great stress reliever. It is also a great way to feel empowered and get that glow back and energy up. There are so many things that we feel shame about that could positively impact our lives, especially if we could talk about it with one another.
When do you feel most at peace?
When do you feel your body tense up?
When I have to problem solve and I don’t know the solution yet.
What gives you serotonin?
Incense, watering my plants, and calming music.
What does your body language say about you?
My body language likely gives off that I’m a little closed off and protective of myself and my energy. Even though I’m a really open person verbally, my body language speaks to what’s going on inside of my head.
When do you speak your mind?
I’m such a people pleaser. I’m working on being more direct and not being afraid of confrontation. But I speak my mind the most when I am helping people achieve their dreams.
next story — jamie greenberg