SESSIONS: Apothecanna's Joie Meffert

Photo by Courtesy

Before meeting Joie Meffert, one of the founding partners of the cannabis-based skincare brand Apothecanna, I imagined someone very different. Maybe it was because Apothecanna had been around for the better part of a decade, which in the cannabis game, is a really long time. Maybe it was because it is one of the few cannabis brands that actually competes with the most celebrated non-cannabis skincare brands out there—and that must mean they’re a corporate behemoth. Or maybe it was because I was still reeling (years later!) from the discovery that just about every major beauty brand in the world is run by a white man who almost certainly knows nothing of a woman’s experience.

Whatever it was, I had a picture of Joie that was all wrong.

apothecanna Joie in Japan with her best friend

Apothecanna started in Colorado with Joie and her now fiancee James. They were inspired to build an all-natural, sustainable topicals brand that would leverage the power of the cannabis plant. They would focus on education, retooling their shared love of plants, plant-based ingredients and plant-based living. And they would build a community.

Seven years later, Apothecanna has 50 employees across multiple states and they distribute nationwide. They’re constantly researching, testing and developing new products. They’re the unsung masterminds behind the cannabis tincture du jour, The Daily Hit—a collaboration with the dreamiest, Cap Beauty.

And now we’re very excited to announce Miss Grass’ brand new partnership with them too. I visited Joie at her downtown LA loft recently to see what living the ethos of the brand really looks like—she’s truly her own best advertisement!—how she thinks about self-care, her relationship to cannabis, and just how plants help her to stay grounded even when she’s on the road.

apothecanna Joie's cabinet of curiosities

What was the inspiration for Apothecanna?

The timing was right. Colorado had just legalized medical cannabis, and we were really motivated to explore cannabis as an ingredient because we had access to the compounds in a way that was unprecedented. James and I have a combined passion for plants, plant-based ingredients and creating conscious, natural products. His background working closely with Aveda founder, Horst Rechelbacher, a pioneer of natural beauty and visionary plant scientist, helped him develop a deeper understanding of the power of plant synergies in skincare—which we applied to Apothecanna. In those early days, we were encouraged by what we witnessed first-hand. Patients were coming to us with incredible feedback and results of managing inflammation and stress with topical application.

On Joie's wall in DTLA

What’s the deal with inflammation—can topicals really tackle that?

Inflammation is often overlooked when it comes to beauty and skincare, but the aging effects it has on our skin, body and health have long been documented. Environmental stresses and irritants like sun exposure, allergens, and foreign chemicals cause our immune system to go into overdrive and can lead to breakouts, redness, dryness, and so much more. These inflammatory responses can produce harmful hormones and free radicals that damage skin tissue over time. Apothecanna formulas have potent anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and nutritive properties that can actually tone down inflammation, allowing the body to heal itself, as opposed to masking the symptoms.

But we’ve known about the healing properties of plants for a long time. What’s different now?

Plant-based remedies have been used for centuries, but because we are now able to incorporate the latest advancements in technology and chemistry, we can truly harness the power of them. Holistically, our approach encompasses an old-world respect for nature with an understanding of science to treat modern problems. This approach extends beyond what's inside the bottle and into how you actually use it. Our products are meant to enhance daily life by allowing people to get out there and be the best version of themselves.

apothecanna Joie making a salad with The Daily Hit from Cap Beauty + Apothecanna

What are the three most important things you do every day—just for yourself?

  1. I put on a personal fragrance—either Aesop Marrakech, Frederic Malle Carnal Flower, Diptyque Olene, Isun Ormus Rose Essence, or Houbigant Paris Quelques Fleurs. It’s powerful to understand what scents connect you to certain rituals.
  2. I drink a green juice! It's a great way to reset the system, starting from the inside out. I recently worked with a holistic nutritionist in an effort to better understand my body and system. Her approach has been hugely influential.
  3. And I stretch. I wake up with a lot on my mind and stretching is like this quick mini release.

Do you have tools to remind yourself to do everything your body needs?

James and I help each other stay on track. That—and apps like Clue (period/ovulation tracker), Waterlogged (water-drinking reminder), Noisli (study sound-maker), Dirty Dozen (pesticide police) and Focus Keeper (work timer).

Joie in Japan

Before bed, what’s the routine?

Fragrance again. I travel a lot so it's important to me that I have some points of consistency. I've used Susanne Kaufmann Pillow Spray for years, and I've begun using the Apothecanna Calming Creme at night on my body to add another layer of aromatherapeutic recognition.

Do you smoke cannabis too? Take edibles?

It depends on how my body is feeling, what kind of stress I'm dealing with, how much time I have and all that. I tend to micro-dose in most cases. I love an edible or smoke before a massage, a drive, or some creative work (a lot recently!). And I also like it when I’m nursing a cold or going outside. It's important to remember that we change as individuals and our relationship to the high can change too.

*Apothecanna is now sold in the MG Shop*