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Cannabis culture can be confusing if you don’t know what you’re talking about. Ideally, you have a friend to be your marijuana mentor, but in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it may be safer to smoke alone. Have no fear! A stoner is near. I’ll help guide you into the ever-expanding wide world of weed.
I have been an avid, and
boy do I mean avid, pot smoker for fifteen years. I’ve tried nearly every trend in that time, from good old-fashioned dirt weed to today’s powerful concentrates. I have put over 10,000 hours into the craft of consuming cannabis. If you’re looking for someone to show you the (hemp) ropes of modern marijuana, you’ve come to the right guy. Allow me to answer the internet’s most asked questions about weed, with the hopes of teaching you something new in the process.
Let’s start off with some history. Where did marijuana come from?
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Naturally, it came from the ground. But more specifically, marijuana has been around for way longer than people have been smoking it. The oldest marijuana plant dates back at least
20 million years in mainland China. About 2500 years ago, the ancient Chinese started smoking it.
While the ancient Chinese were undoubtedly chill, the ancient Hindus of India were even chiller: they ingested marijuana in the form of edibles at least 500 years before it was ever smoked. Here in America, prior to the
Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, “marihuana” was regularly consumed in an alcohol-based tincture. The latest advancement in cannabis consumption occurred during the 1970s (big surprise) with the distillation of powerful concentrates. These days, most weed in the states comes from legal pot farms and dispensaries. Marijuana is closer than ever to nation-wide legalization, but we still have a ways to go.
So what’s the deal with legalization?
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Unless you live in
Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, South Dakota, Vermont, or Washington smoking marijuana recreationally is against the law. In the United States, marijuana laws have disproportionately imprisoned black and brown communities ever since they went into effect.
At this point, I must admit to being the whitest dude on the planet. I say things like “word” and “catch ya later” unironically; I truly intend to catch you later. It goes without saying, I am writing this from a privileged perspective and most of what I say should be taken with a pinch of salt. For a large portion of the US population, marijuana smells like trouble.
Black men are four times as likely to be arrested for possession despite using the drug at the same rate as white men. This is the reality of the damage done by politicians demonizing a plant. Black families and communities have been destroyed by outdated, irrational, and ill-informed marijuana laws. Recent headlines suggest that legalization may be just around the corner, but for many, it is already too late. You can learn more about the fight for cannabis reform by visiting Last Prisoner Project.
Okay, now that I’ve introduced myself and let you know what you’ll be in for, let’s get into some terminology.
CBD, THC, terpenes…what’s the difference?
So, how should you go about ingesting cannabis?
What are dabs?
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Concentrates, commonly referred to as “dabs”, are to flower what a shot is to beer. Concentrates ( resin, crumble, live resin, oil, sauce, shatter, distillate, honey, sugar, batter, or extracts) are distilled marijuana oils containing huge amounts of our favorite cannabinoids and terpenes. Oils are extremely versatile and can put into a number of products, including topical serums. Dabs and other non-topical concentrates are typically ingested as a vapor – you heat something up, place your concentrate on it, and inhale the vapor. For some, smoking concentrates can be easier on the lungs. Concentrates get you way more stoned with way less effort, so proceed with caution. You can even mix your dabs with flower to mind-numbing results.
If your goal is to avoid the negative side effects of smoking, there is one last product you need to know about. Similar to edibles but with way fewer calories, tinctures are a great alternative for non-smoking potheads.
What’s a tincture?
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In this next section, we’ll cover pipes, bongs, joints, blunts, cartridges, rigs, flower vaporizers, and the many silly names potheads know them by.
What’s a bowl?
Marijuana pipes, what we call bowls, are simple smoking devices that can be made from almost anything, including glass, metal, wood, and
household fruits. Bowls are straightforward: install your flower, ignite, and inhale. As a serial smoker, I like a small bowl for quick access, but bowls can take on a large array of sizes, shapes, and features. For instance, a bubbler is a bowl with water inside of it. When you take a hit from a bubbler, the smoke goes through the water, cools down, and makes for an overall smoother inhalation experience.
Bubblers are smoother to smoke because they are a miniature version of a water pipe; or as stoners know it, a bong.
What are doobies?
Joints, doobies, reefer rolls, pre-rolls, Ls, and loosies are some of the many names for weed rolled in cigarette paper. They come in all shapes and sizes and can even be coated in concentrates. Joints are similar to spliffs, which are joints with a little tobacco mixed in. Joints and spliffs both produce roaches, which are the cigarette butts of the stonerverse.
But what’s better than a marijuana cigarette? That’s right, an even larger marijuana cigarette.
What’s the difference between a joint and a blunt?
What about vaping?
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Cartridges are the only choice for the sophisticated, twenty-first-century stoner. Small, potent, and virtually untraceable, they are the discrete dabbing device stoners have always dreamed of. They’re mildly expensive but worth the costs for the benefits. Simply attach the cartridge (a vial containing concentrate) to your dab pen (aka a battery), push a button, and inhale. Dab pens are known for smoother, less smoky, and more subtle highs.
Dab pens have made social stoning easier than ever. However, one may desire a bigger, bolder dabbing experience. For that, you need to make like a trucker from Indiana and get yourself a big rig.
With this reefer rookie’s guide to smoking, eating, and vaporizing weed, you can now get baked with confidence! Whether you choose indica or sativa, CBD or THC, blunts or joints, flower or concentrates.
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The world of cannabis is way too wide to cover all questions in just one article. So what questions do you still need to be answered? Be sure to ask below in the comments! And just remember — I am not a doctor, lawyer, scientist, or farmer. I’m just your friendly, neighborhood pothead.