Don reviews: High Tea w/ Dr. Jenna V

Today I’m reviewing Dr. Jenna Valleriani’s new(ish) podcast, High Tea. A word of warning, there are about 50 other podcasts named High Tea that don’t feature Jenna, so don’t listen to them. Listen to this one.

I’ll start by saying that this is the only cannabis themed media on the internet with theme music that I would actually listen to on its own. Anyone who knows me knows how incredibly unlikely this is. I’m a grade-A music snob. It’s actually really disgusting to listen to me talk about music for any length of time (Editor’s note: Seriously, he’s insufferable). Have you heard the new Kemialliset Ystävät? No? Of course you haven’t.

That being said, the transition from intro music to intro segment generally feels a bit heavy handed and choppy, and could benefit from a bit more of a subtle fade than is currently being used. Let that sweet tune play out in the background while Jenna runs through the nuts and bolts. That’s right, now I’m an expert on audio production too.

Speaking of which, let’s talk about reverb. This podcast has a serious reverb problem. It’s not enough to ruin the listening experience, but for real, get some more foam on those walls. It sounds like you’re recording in an empty bank vault (which I guess might be the case given the subject matter).

Overall the podcast is well structured, with excellent guests and a host who is ready with thoughtfully prepared questions that highlight guests’ specific expertise and experience.  

Jenna recently earned her doctorate in sociology and addiction studies at the only school in Canada that is, hands down, absolutely and incontrovertibly way, way better than Queen’s or McGill, the University of Toronto.

So it’s unsurprising that her podcast has a much more academic vibe than other offerings in the space to date, with conversations often revolving around various aspects of formal scientific and social inquiry, with an emphasis on medical use and harm reduction.

The exception to this is episode one, which features NICHE’s Barinder Rasode, who brought a more conversational tone with her to the show.

It will be interesting to see how things develop over time. Will the show feature esteemed cannabusiness luminaries like Gene Simmons and Trailer Park Ricky? Will some episodes be more casual while others tackle hard technical issues—like which terp is best for playing Yahtzee—with academic rigour?

In any case, Jenna is a force to be reckoned with in the cannabis space, and I look forward to watching High Tea develop over time. Despite having a few kinks left to work out, it’s an enjoyable and very informative listen, and I highly recommend giving it a shot.

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