Anna Symonds is the Executive Director of The Etheridge Foundation, with the mission to support research into transformative plant medicine treatments for opioid use disorder. As an advocate and activist, Anna speaks regularly about the therapeutic benefits of plant medicines, psychedelics, and entheogens. Previously as a cannabis science educator, she taught thousands of people about the facts of the plant, including law and policy makers at the local, state, and national levels.

What Is The Etheridge Foundation? Melissa Etheridge's Nonprofit Supports Plant Medicine Research Treatments For Opioid Disorder

The Etheridge Foundation was created by iconic singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge following the loss of her son Beckett from opioid addiction in 2010. To honor his memory, the artist founded the nonprofit to support organizations that develop plant-based and natural treatments to address opioid disorders, and that consider and treat mental health issues in conjunction with substance use disorders.

Anna Symonds, Executive Director of The Etheridge Foundation, with Melissa Etheridge (C) Will Byington @willbyington

What Did Anna Symonds Do Before Joining The Etheridge Foundation?

Symonds is also a retired Women's Premier League rugby player, and an Ambassador for the nonprofits Athletes for CARE, the Last Prisoner Project and the Concussion Legacy Foundation. She holds an MA in Communication and served on the Oregon Cannabis Commission's Research Leadership Subcommittee from 2020-2021.

Anna Symonds's "Universal Woman" Weedsday Playlist

For her Weedsday Playlist, Symonds chose tracks that make her feel like a woman at one with the universe: “These songs are melodic, dreamy, and powerful – organic but somehow otherworldly-feeling too. A mood that resonates for me with the energy of the plant, the strong cosmic feminine.”

Smoke City - "Underwater Love"

This sensuous song lures me into a rhythmic enchantment. It has some of that quintessential 90s trip-hop vibe, but a timelessness too. For me it conjures the heightening of the senses that cannabis gives me - I can practically feel the water flowing over me and the sun heating my skin. A song to get lost in, deep below the surface.

Click here to play on Spotify!

Mereba - "Kinfolk"

The vibe of this song is totally ethereal and even eerie, but grounded by her soulful and earthy tones. The pacing is anticipatory, keeping you following raptly along with each beat. The lyrics are poignant: "We could be free if we'd peep our hidden treasures." Like the herb invites us... free your mind!

Click here to play on Spotify!

Neko Case, k.d. lang, and Laura Veirs - "Honey And Smoke"

This is an iconic supergroup, and what an evocative title – it immediately activates your senses with textures, flavors, aromas, and associated emotions. And the song matches those silky textures, so smooth. It has a 60s retro feel to it, but it's deceptively simple – the emotions are complex, and the range is effortless.

Click here to play on Spotify!

YEBBA - "Evergreen"

A bewitching song with gospel undertones, this one pulls you in as swiftly and surely as the Mississippi River it references. Her backing vocals sound to me like a chorus of water nymphs. This is a song that could feel uncertain and wistful, but instead grows to feel powerful and triumphant. "Evergreen" is a concept here, a metaphor... but the word also evokes another special green.

Click here to play on Spotify!

Melissa Etheridge - "Suede"

The refrain of this Melissa Etheridge ballad really resonates with me: "I’ll never get back all those years, but now I’m taking back those tears." Who can't relate to having scratches on their heart that are never gonna fade? But I love that while she describes a painful journey, she keeps bringing us back to the chorus that expresses empowerment and self-determination. It reminds me of the insights often realized through plant medicines: acknowledging pain, but coming to understand that you don't have to hold on to it. It makes sense that this wise song is from Melissa's album The Medicine Show!

Click here to play on Spotify!

For more about The Etheridge Foundation, visit To learn more about Anna Symonds, follow @exitdrug on Instagram.

What are your favorite Weedsday tracks? Tell us about them - reach out at @honeysucklemagazine on Instagram and @HoneysuckleMag on Twitter!

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Anna Symonds

The Etheridge Foundation

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Last Prisoner Project

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Featured image: Anna Symonds, Executive Director of The Etheridge Foundation (C) Mark Gordon Murray