Kirsten Shu-ying Chen is an acclaimed poet, screenwriter, and producer living in New York City. She is the author of the poetry collection light waves from Terrapin Books, described as a “poignant exploration of the liminal space between what is holy and what is prosaic.” Among other works, she produced the award-winning Hollyshorts film Fruit Detective and the webseries This Is Me Trying, and was a founding member of the sketch team One Prop Wonder.

Like many creatives in the Big Apple, Kirsten finds that cannabis has a positive impact on her artistic process and her daily routine. She recently sampled a collection of plant-based goods that included everything from CBD topicals to full-body high pre-rolls. Read on for the literary light she chose to shine on these leaves.

Kirsten Chen Reviews CBD Topicals

(C) Kirsten Chen @tangentpursuit

Liberate CBD Glow Hydration Creme

The top may have cracked, but my skin did NOT. Somewhere between softened butter and warmed honey, the texture made me feel rich AF and my skin honestly looked plumper after two weeks of using it. The creme did have a purplish tint swirled in, which I'm not sure was intentional? Whatever. It's some witchy shit and I'm into it.

(C) Kirsten Chen @tangentpursuit


This is really small and it took me a minute to figure out what to do with it. But the eucalyptus oil and the cold steel roller made for a refreshing addition to my morning routine. A dab on the temples and behind the ears gave me a pop of energy and helped clear any light brain fog. It did not, however, work on a hangover. But I'll assume responsibility for that.

(C) Kirsten Chen @tangentpursuit

Amish Reserve Full-Spectrum Freeze Roll-On

Curious what it would be like to take a bath in this, and very open to being the test subject. Living in New York, I walk 3-7 miles most days and often end the day with foot cramps and sore toes which sometimes makes it hard to fall asleep (I'm very delicate). After a particularly long day on my feet, I did a warm soak then I rolled this all over the soles of my feet and toes and put on some fuzzy cotton socks. The pain disappeared in MINUTES. Total keeper.

Kirsten Chen Reviews Dubz Garden Coconut Horchata Pre-Rolls

(C) Kirsten Chen @tangentpursuit

Dubz Garden Coconut Horchata Pre-Rolls With Hash

As the target demographic for consumers easily influenced by marketing, I was immediately interested in Coconut Horchata mostly because it sounded so tasty. Plus, the joints come inside this neat pocket accessory--and that sort of thing makes me feel important, as if I'm whipping open a cell phone on the set of Clueless. That kind of important. You get it.

Anyway, it did have some coconut flavor to it...and apparently hash! Supposedly a close reader, I absolutely did not notice the ".25 live hash" written right on the front of the packaging until I was on my third joint of the pack. This probably explains the higher potency? This strain shined when I shared a joint with some strangers outside a holiday party recently and then promptly got invited to their soiree. That's Coconut Horchata in a (coco)nutshell: the perfect party girl companion to your big night out. Just remember she's carrying hash, too.

*Editor's Note: Find out more about Dubz Garden in our 17th print edition, featuring Havoc of Mobb Deep! Get your copy now.

Kirsten Chen Reviews The Heavy Smoke Pre-Rolls

The Heavy Smoke HS01 Pre-Rolls

I was apprehensive about these. Pre-rolls these days have so much garbage in them and I hate getting too high from all the unbearably strong weed out there. And with a name like “Heavy Smoke,” I was worried I might get rocked. Ironically, Heavy Smoke's HS01 is exactly the kind of light and lovely high I'm generally looking for. Makes me immediately a bit happier, noticeably more relaxed, and yet still completely capable of going through my evening routine without feeling like my head is sewn to goddamn the carpet. Two hits feels lovely, and a whole joint does too. It's just delightful. If I had to smoke a single joint for the rest of my life, Heavy Smoke's HS01 mix would be it. My only complaint? Calling it HS01 is too forgettable, this baby needs a name!

*Editor’s Note: New Yorkers can now find Heavy Smoke Pre-Rolls at state-licensed dispensaries such as Housing Works Cannabis Co and Union Square Travel Agency in Lower Manhattan, Good Grades in Jamaica, Queens, TerpBros in Astoria, and Stage One in Rensselaer. A product line developed by hip hop legend and cannabis connoisseur Shiest Bubz, it will soon be coming to many more stores near you. Check the dispensary lists in our CAURD Reader roundup to find licensed retailers in your area.

Kirsten Chen samples Heavy Smoke Pre-Rolls:



Written By:

Kirsten Shu-ying Chen is a New York based poet and the author of light waves by Terrapin Books. She smokes weed every day, just like the song. For more information, visit

@tangentpursuit (IG)

@kirsten_shuying (Twitter)


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Amish Reserve Ltd

Kirsten Chen