WATCH: Adria Petty on Wildflowers Tea & Tom Petty's Cannabis Values
By Gregory Frye
When I first heard about Wildflowers Tea – created in collaboration with Willie Nelson’s family and the Tom Petty estate – I just had to try and get an interview.
Growing up as fan of the rock legend’s music, it was a lot of fun talking to Tom Petty’s eldest daughter, Adria Petty.
She was very open about how the tea came about and how 100 percent of the proceeds are going to MusiCares.
And Adria was also candid about her father’s own relationship with cannabis.
The Making of Wildflowers Tea
When Covid hit, Adria started using CBD tea from Willie’s Reserve quite a bit, “finding the benefits of CBD to be pretty legitimate,” she says.
Taking it in tea form, she adds, turned into “a nice ritual that didn’t burn you and still gave you the benefit of the cannabinoids.”
When Willie Nelson’s wife, Annie Nelson, suggested they work on a product together, it was a perfect opportunity for all the work the Petty family had been doing in celebration of Wildflowers – a solo album which Tom Petty considered his masterpiece.
Deluxe reissues, a documentary film on Wildflowers, why not a cannabis tea as well?
After all, Covid had derailed a lot of their plans to commemorate the Wildflowers record, Adria explains.
Willie’s Reserve guided the process, sending different tea samples for the Petty family to try. “We settled on this beautiful mint chamomile and used it for a year before releasing it.”
Notably, all the proceeds of Wildflowers Tea go directly to MusiCares, a charity which helps musicians and the families of musicians in need.
It was one of Tom Petty’s favorite charities.
“As a family we all really want to give to charities regularly, charities we feel really are effective and accessible to people in need. We love MusiCares; our dad loved MusiCares,” Adria says.
“When people have been in need, they’ve been able to reach out to MusiCares and get help readily.”
Tom Petty and Cannabis
Tom Petty was always fairly candid about his relationship with cannabis, be it in the lyrics of select songs or when it came up in interviews.
But what about the more subtle nuances of his relationship with the plant?
“My dad loved smoking pot. That’s pretty well documented. It was definitely sort of a weed culture around the band, even though I think it would be fair to say that the rest of the band didn’t really smoke weed,” Adria says.
“I mean I’m sure they all tried it, and I know Ron Blair enjoyed it in the ‘70s or whatever, but none of them were the sort of dyed-in-the-wool stoner as my dad and some of his longtime crew.”
Weed was part of his alchemy, Adria continues, like coffee and a joint.
“But my dad was really unique in the sense that he really liked to roll just one joint and nurse it for like a day or two. Or take a tiny hit off a pipe. He wasn’t trying to get obliterated with marijuana,” she says.
“He liked to have a little bit to sort of send him off in a direction, to be very aware and productive. He was very much organized and on time and used it as sort of a gateway to open creativity and sort of softening the day.”
He was never really into chasing the high, Adria continues. He didn’t have a bong, didn’t really smoke before shows.
“He had this beautiful box with his weed, and he would roll a joint and enjoy it over a period of time, or with friends. He loved to smoke pot with friends at Christmas or whatever. He was a very fun person to get stoned with, and very funny, very creative. He found pot to be very helpful in the creative process.”
The challenging thing for Adria now is that a lot of people associate her dad with drugs because he died from a combination of prescriptions.
I couldn’t help but wonder if more cannabis and fewer pharmaceuticals might have helped in the end.
“He’d just done over a couple hundred shows and was just completely in pain and probably not aware of his schedule or what he was doing or taking at that point, but it was definitely directed by some pretty serious pain,” Adria says.
“But he really didn’t get into ‘drugs drugs’, except for a short period of time in his life. He really just smoked pot. He didn’t even drink really.”
Adria reveals that her father didn’t smoke pot with her until she was 21 years old.
“I love cannabis. I think it’s great for people who have anxiety, or creatives, or who are not really into drinking, or looking for a way to wind down and not be on an edgy, addictive, treacherous road with something. I’m a believer that it helps people,” she says.
“My dad was really strict about using it as a controlled substance, and it's not something I take lightly either. I think cannabis is just as powerful as alcohol and can be addictive; it can be destructive to your motivation, but if you use it the right way, if you respect the plant, I think it can be a really helpful agent for creativity and for getting out of your own head and for dropping anxiety. At least for me.”
You can order Wildflowers Tea through and through .
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