5 weed products Tommy Chong can’t live without

Tommy Chong exceeds the status of cannabis celebrity. Though he and Cheech were technically the stoner celebs, rising to international stardom in the 1970s by pioneering the genre with their Cheech and Chong franchise, they’ve since surpassed such worldly roles. 

50 years later, Chong functions more as a cultural monolith in the weed world and beyond. Like Jesus, Santa Claus, or Jerry Garcia, the mere mention of his name evokes something magical, mythical, and in his case, super stoned. This kind of ascension can only be achieved through a lifetime of hard work, good vibes, and above all else, being a cool fucking dude.

In addition to his Tommy Chong’s line of tinctures, sublingual strips, energy potions, and more, he’s slated to pair back up with Cheech — who’s been busy building his own weed brand, Cheech’s Stash — to open a chain of Cheech and Chong dispensaries in California, starting with San Francisco, then on to Los Angeles.

“On the West Coast, Cheech and Chong are semi-gods,” Chong told Weedmaps. “We’re not fully gods, but we’re semi. So we’re just going to provide the best product we know is out there, and a delivery service in every one of our dispensaries. And we’re also going to provide a fun location to go to. It’s not going to be as, you know, weird as some of them are.”

Ideas for the dispensaries include television screens playing Cheech and Chong movies, “as well as other stoner movies,” nonstop, appearances by the duo, and virtual art shows.

“Cheech is a world-renowned collector of Chicano art,” said Chong. “They’re building a museum in Riverside just for Cheech’s art. So we’re going to have virtual art shows on the screens too,” he paused, “and I’ve got a killer bong collection to display.” 

In honor of his new venture(s) in a market he helped create, here are the weed products Tommy Chong can’t live without  — straight from the Godfather himself.

Chong Bong

“My preferred method of smoking is to use a Chong Bong,” said Chong. “It’s one of my vintage bongs from the nineties. Jason Harris made it for me.” 

Jason Harris, famed glass blower and founder of Jerome Baker Designs, got his start apprenticing with glass blowing god Bob Snodgrass in 1991. Since then, Harris has worked with numerous celebrities to create outlandish and wildly high priced smoking creations. For example, the $18,000 nug jar capable of holding a full pound of flower that he blew for Snoop Dogg. “The Chong Bong retails for about $5000 dollars,” said Chong. 


“I have this wooden pipe from Germany, and I actually just did a little commercial for it,” said Chong. “It’s a one-hander. There’s a built in lighter and a bowl, you can light it up and smoke and everything all with one hand.” 

Tommy Chong’s PurePipes are handcrafted in Erfurt, Germany. Not only can users light and smoke all with one hand, they’re designed specifically for smoking cannabis, with an attention to drawing resistance and volume of the packing chamber. 

Chong continued, “It’s great for me, because a lot of time when I’m doing cameos they’ll want to light up. So I just grab my little solo pipe and away I go!” 

Find Tommy Chong’s Classic PurePipe

Tommy Chong’s Infused Strips 

“I love my breath strips,” said Chong. “They don’t carry that telltale odor, so you can do them anywhere, in church, in prison, or in court! And the best part is, you can function. You can function all day.” 

Tommy Chong’s Infused Strips come in three flavors: Strawnana, Blueberry, and Chocolate Mint. Each sublingual strip hits in about 15 minutes, and packs 10 milligrams THC. 

Check out Tommy Chong’s Strawnana Strips

Tommy Chong’s CBD Good Vibes Energy Shot 

Though this product hasn’t hit the shelves just yet, I tried one of these little shots and they really work. I felt alert, focused, and not jittery or anxious like I often do after coffee. And the ingredients are even approved by Chong’s uber healthy wife. 

“Oh my wife, she’s my tester,” he said. “She is so fussy and so healthy. But she loves that energy drink! She takes ballet, and she’ll do a bottle before she does that. I should be doing it more.” 

Find CBD Good Vibes Energy Shot

All weed, literally. 

When I asked if there were any strains he was particularly into right now, Chong replied, “Honestly, I’ve lost track of all the strains. When people ask me, I tell them my favorite strain is cannabis. It’s crazy because in the government, people try to treat cannabis like alcohol, or some kind of weird drug, and you can’t. It’s not a drug. It’s a medicine that’s an herb. It grows wild in the forest. The animals love it. It’s a plant that should be respected.” 

He continued, “And the people who say it’s a gateway drug, well, those gates can be phenomenal. They can swing you into becoming an artist, or a rapper, or an author, or a conductor. Those gates open to all the creative outlets that exist on this planet. So, as we go along with our dispensaries, we’re going to really educate the people. It’s going to be so much fun. Then, we’re going to make so much money that we’re just going to retire and never have to work again. You’ll see.” 

Graphic by David Lozada/Weedmaps 

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2020 made me too paranoid for THC. Here’s what I’m smoking instead.

I love THC, but THC doesn’t seem to love me back these days. Maybe other low-dose cannabis connoisseurs can relate. My stress has been at an all-time high, but my go-to combos for mellowing out have been backfiring spectacularly. 

While teetering on the edge of a cable-news-induced spiral a few months ago, I reached for my trusty old stress remedy — a 1:1, THC:CBD gummy and some mindless TV — only to rocket right off the edge and into paranoid oblivion. Negative thoughts multiplied faster than I could dissolve them, turning my night of rest and relaxation into a game of emotional whack-a-mole. 

Humanity may be polarizing itself to the brink of extinction (kidding, kind of) but at least there’s one thing we can all agree on: 2020 has been a crap year. 

And in the same way crappiness is the great unifier of 2020, I’d argue that THC brings the ever-evolving weed world together — albeit more positively. We can passionately debate indicas versus sativas versus rejecting labels altogether, but at the end of the day, stoners of all stripes can rally around THC. 

That’s because THC is the “it” cannabinoid. It’s the reason most of us fell in love with weed in the first place. Even for me, a low-dose lifestyler who’s maintained a 5 milligram gummy tolerance for more than a decade, THC has been indispensable in my pursuit of the perfect high. It’s responsible for countless nature doc binges, insane nacho creations, and the note in my phone reminding me “poems are just shrimps.”

But thanks to 2020, I’ve had to scale my THC intake way back. My tolerance has sunken so low that the slightest whisper of THC can sometimes send my mind careening into dark places. As a result, I have fully committed to the non-alcoholic beer of weed, otherwise known as hemp-derived CBD.

Hemp, really?

I used to turn my nose up at hemp-derived drinks and THC-free joints like a high school senior dissing uninitiated freshmen — mostly because federal law mandates that hemp products contain no more than 0.3% THC. Without a significant pinch of THC and the entourage effect that comes with it, I could not understand how these strictly CBD products were supposed to make me feel anything other than sober.

But when anxiety strikes, that’s kind of the point. Everyone responds to stress differently, but for me, the last thing I want to do when my mind is already swirling is adding THC-fueled distraction that can quickly turn into confusion and a sense of helplessness. All I want is a sense of clear, calm groundedness. When dosed appropriately, high-quality hemp flower can help bring me back to earth and prevent an anxious episode from spinning out of control. There’s plenty of research to suggest I’m not the only one who’s experienced hemp’s calming effects. 

That said, not all hemp products are alike and not all consumption methods are perfect for every issue. For muscle aches and minor pains, I reach for weedy topicals; for bouts of anxiety, I like to smoke high-quality hemp flower. 

I smoke out my anxiety for a few reasons: 

  • The range of terpenes and minor cannabinoids in the flower makes for a more effective experience (aka the entourage effect I mentioned above). 
  • Smoking allows me to feel the calming effects more quickly than I would with an edible.
  • Smoking also bypasses my digestive system and increases bioavailability, otherwise known as the amount of CBD my body is able to absorb. 

When shopping for hemp flower, the first thing you’ll want to do is look for independent lab test results. This is the first indication that you’ve found high-quality flower, whether it’s hemp or otherwise. The second thing you’ll want to do is actually read those results. What’s the percentage of total cannabinoids? Any notable terpenes? Everyone experiences cannabis differently, but knowing these percentages and how your body responds to them can help you predict how each new batch of flower might make you feel. 

The hemp flower getting me through 2020 

When I claimed back in April that CBD pre-rolls were the future, I had no idea how true my own prediction would be. Five months ago (1,000 years in corona time), I argued CBD pre-rolls were worth considering and sharing with lightweight or weed-cautious friends. Now that my stress is manifesting into migraines, stomach pains, dizziness, and nausea, CBD pre-rolls are essential.

Lately, I’ve been relying heavily on Friend Leaf, an organic hemp flower and pre-roll brand. This brand goes above and beyond when it comes to lab testing by showcasing results on their website and via scannable QR codes right on the packaging. I was in terpene-nerd heaven looking up the stats on the joints I’d chosen — a three-pack of the cheekily named Trophy Wife strain — and finding high levels of myrcene. Myrcene is known for having sedative qualities and anecdotal evidence suggests high-myrcene strains are more likely to be relaxing. No wonder a few puffs helped me narrowly avoid a full-blown panic attack. 

I love the reusable glass packaging they use for their pre-rolls and flower. Just be sure to store Friend Leaf products in a cool, dark place to prevent sunlight from penetrating the clear glass and degrading the flower inside. Because these are hemp products, you can shop all of their products online and have them shipped nationwide. Buy a pack of three pre-rolls for $26 or an eighth for $36.

When I’m feeling calm enough to handle a touch of THC, Alive and Kicking is still my go-to brand. Their high-CBD, cigarette-like joints are so small it’s nearly impossible to overdo it. Even if you do manage to overdo it, the barely-there “high” fades quickly and leaves a shimmery aura of calm in its wake. These are currently only available in California, but they also have hemp pre-rolls you can buy online for $29 a pack.

Keep in mind there will never be a one-size-fits-all cannabis product, and even when you find a product that works for you, there’s no guarantee it’ll work forever. A year ago, I relied on edibles and nature documentaries to relax. This year, I’m all about hemp pre-rolls and text-banking for my favorite local candidates.

As the king of stoner wisdom, Heraclitus liked to say, “The only constant is change.” That’s certainly true of my relationship with cannabis. 

Featured graphic by David Lozada/Weedmaps

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Weed memes, explained

It’s pretty clear why the internet and weed go hand in hand: the internet has become a virtual haven for weed-lovers to shop for cannabis and accessories, find information, and share their experiences with others. 

Funny memes are one of the many ways that weed and online culture collide, creating a communal space for tech-savvy stoners to laugh, interact, and keep up on the latest trends. From the OGs to the newest weed meme creators, members of this ever-growing community continue to push the boundaries of novelty and absurdity in the name of late-night, red-eyed giggles shared across the globe. 

With a heightened sense of anxiety and reduced social interactions due to the spread of novel coronavirus, it’s even more important to find ways to stay connected. Whether you’re organizing virtual smoke seshes or sharing an obnoxious amount of memes in your group chat, the ultimate goal is to stay sane, safe, and of course, lifted. 

What exactly is a meme? 

From the classics like Grumpy Cat to newer trends like the Spongebob Ight Imma Head Out meme, the average millennial or gen Zer could probably recognize a meme from a mile away. But what exactly makes a meme a meme, and how did they become part of stoner culture? 

While weed memes are a fairly new concept, the word “meme” was coined by Richard Dawkins in his 1976 book The Selfish Gene. Dawkins developed the pre-internet concept as part of his theory of how ideas replicate, mutate, and evolve in the context of evolutionary biology, later characterizing an internet meme as a meme deliberately altered by human creativity. He explained that Internet memes are essentially a “hijacking of the original idea,” the concept itself having mutated in this new direction. 

In a 2019 ThoughtCo article, sociology expert Nicki Lisa Cole said, “According to Dawkins, three factors lead memes to be spread, copied, or adapted from person to person: Copy-fidelity, the possibility that the thing in question can be accurately copied, fecundity, the speed at which the thing is replicated [and] longevity, or staying power.” 

Visual online content becomes a meme only if elements of it are copied and/or creatively altered and reposted on a very large scale. While there is no exact number of copies, shares, or reimaginations that signifies a post has officially reached internet memedom, we know it when we see it.

When did weed memes happen? 

The obvious answer is that we as humans love to share, laugh, and commiserate with other humans. Smoking weed is a bonding experience for many, and just like any other community it has its niche memes that unite weed-lovers far and wide. 

Though we can’t say for sure what the earliest weed meme was, some certainly paved the way for online weed culture. One of the most notable is Good Guy Greg, the antithesis to Scumbag Steve and all-around nice guy. If you haven’t seen him around the internet within the last decade (in which case I feel really old), Good Guy Greg is depicted as a happy guy with a joint in his mouth and is rumored to have started on 4chan‘s /b/ board (an internet forum where just about anything goes), but an archived thread has yet to be found. 

While the majority of Good Guy Greg memes don’t mention the joint in his mouth, they were some of the first memes we can find that relate to weed in any capacity. Think of Good Guy Greg as your ideal fictional best friend, always smoking weed and always being super courteous about it. 

Reddit’s /r/trees board, created in 2009, is home to many of the internet’s first legitimate weed memes. According to the subreddit’s FAQ, “Trees is a place where we can be free to speak our (smoked-out) minds. The community here is comfortable in our hobby, and enjoys seeing what other people think about when they’re flying high.” 

Among my personal favorites of the early memes posted to /r/trees is the prolific Really High Guy, sometimes known as Stoner Stanley. The meme came into existence in 2011 when  Redditor u/randomdave posted a photo of a red-faced young man to the subreddit titled “Being at a [10] is not always pretty.” That same day, the picture was submitted by redditor u/Ahahaha__10 with the caption “Texts the person next to them / ‘I want hospital.'”

The [10] in the original post is derived from the scoring system used by members of /r/trees to measure highness. A 10, as you may have guessed from this guy’s face, is really, really stoned. Today’s weed memes might look a bit different, but they serve essentially the same purpose — making people laugh about relatable stoner problems, like getting too high.

As the internet has expanded beyond any limits we would ever have imagined a decade ago, weed memes have evolved too. Though some purists consider memes to be funny combinations of images and text that go viral, they can also be standalone photos, videos, GIFs, and hashtags. 

The best weed memes of 2020 vary not only in form but in the topics they discuss. They can highlight social and political issues, feature relevant aspects of popular culture, and be purely silly or, at times, serious and informative. 

Where can I get my weed meme fix? 

You can find funny weed memes all over the internet nowadays, from Instagram to Twitter to Facebook. Personally, I use Instagram solely to share memes (often weed-related) with my friends and watch cooking videos. The below list includes some of the best Instagram accounts for meme hunting while stoned. 


With nearly 4 million followers, this account is super popular among weed meme lovers. The account features a spectrum of relatable content including memes about weed-related mishaps, getting the munchies, and of course, smoking during coronavirus. 


As what might be the biggest weed meme account on the scene, Weed Humor has an impressive 5.4 million followers. Both memes and promotional content are featured on this private page, which means you have to request to follow them for hilarious weed memes that are always on-trend. 


This account isn’t dedicated entirely to weed, but rather to the kinds of thoughts you have when you’re stoned. Some of the memes are about getting stoned, others are about totally random things, but they’re always funny (especially when you just faced a bowl). 


Largely made up of short clips, the Now This Weed account is not like the others on this list. The content isn’t necessarily funny, but they are shareable memes by definition. They discuss major issues in the cannabis industry like legalization, plus lots of bizarre and cool things about weed you probably didn’t know.

Featured image by Robin Worrall/Unsplash

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Can comedy normalize cannabis use?

With cannabis legalization continuing to spread across the US, the opportunity to make jokes at the plant’s expense has never been greater. From shopping at dispensaries to experiencing edibles for the first time, comedians have the unique opportunity to help shape public opinion surrounding modern-day cannabis consumption — a power they can use to convey both positive and negative experiences.

Openly discussing cannabis usage was more taboo in previous years, but this didn’t deter comedians such as George Carlin from discussing it in a non-sensationalized way. In a previous interview, Carlin stated:

“By the time I was 13, some friends and I were using marijuana fairly regularly. The Reefer Madness myth was still very strong then, but I’d been into jazz and those lyrics included so many casual references to pot that it was completely demystified for me.”

Carlin also went as far as to actively advocate for cannabis consumption, explaining that it often assisted him in his creative process. Watch him discuss his experience with weed to help him refine his writing in an interview with Jon Stewart below.

Dave Chapelle is another comedian famously associated with incorporating weed into both his stand-up and comedy sketches. While Chapelle often pokes fun at the usual stoner stereotypes, he often does so in a way that portrays these perceptions as harmless and positive. For example, in his Netflix special, “Deep in the Heart of Texas,” he jokes that he bonded with his dog, Baba, after Baba realized that when the house smells like weed it means Dave is about to eat.

Sensationalizing weed through stand-up

When discussing modern-day cannabis culture, comedians often get caught up in over-sensationalizing the plant and their experiences while imbibing.

“The older comedians exaggerate it [marijuana use] and younger comedians haven’t gotten the grasp of it yet,” says comedian Bruce Jingles. “I let people know that it is part of me, but that I’m not a ‘full-on stoner’ as I don’t want to be typecast as dumb. Stoners are always typecast as dumb, but comedy is smart. Comedy in itself dispels the stereotype of the ‘dumb stoner.’”

Rachel Wolfson, comedian and host of the “Chronic Relief” podcast, echoed Jingles’ sentiments around the importance of presentation when incorporating weed jokes into a standup set. “People are talking about weed more than ever and are naturally going to cite experiences about being so high they ‘greened out.’ Finding the humor in your own experiences and ultimately breaking stigma through humor is important. The fact that I’m up there working hard at something I love is already enough to break the ‘lazy stoner’ stereotype.” 

Where’s the sweet spot?

Sara Weinshenk is another comedian who often collaborates with Wolfson and normalizes cannabis discussion through her podcast “Shenk” and her web series “Shenks For Smoking,” where she invites fellow comedians to discuss a variety of topics while consuming cannabis.

“It’s our role as comedians to normalize taboo subjects such as cannabis, mental health, and alternative forms of medicine,” she said. “Being high doesn’t impair me to the point of not being able to function, and actually helps me be more creative in my writing.”

I asked all three comedians how they’d like to see the cannabis discussion move forward in comedy. All three agreed that they’d like to see the topic continue to be destigmatized as well as diversified.

“In the past, I wasn’t able to incorporate marijuana usage into my sets because I had a day job. When I did begin to discuss it, I was labeled as a dirty comic,” said Jingles. “Now that it has become more mainstream, I’m able to take greater risks. People need to continue communicating about it — and communicating about it an intelligent way.”

“Observational weed humor is lame to me. I want to know what your unique perspective and point of view is,” explained Wolfson. “Anyone can get up there and talk about weed, but what have you done to help the [cannabis] community? I really respect comedians who have given back to the community and are helping to break the stigma.”

“I’d like to see more women in the space of both comedy and cannabis,” said Weinshenk. “There are so many great female cannabis connoisseurs out there and it’s always good to hear about them.” 

Feature image by Tim Mossholder/Unsplash

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Want to beat quarantine boredom? Here are games to play while high.

COVID-19 has managed to sneak its way into every aspect of our lives, including the time-honored tradition of getting a bunch of friends together, playing games, and getting high. However, with stay-at-home directives in place for most locales across the country, having friends over for a stony game night is an unnecessary health risk for you, your friends, and loved ones. The nights that revolved around a ping pong ball for a game of bong pong are suspended for the foreseeable future.

But with a little bit of imagination and some creativity, you can easily adapt some of the classic stoner games to play with friends on remote platforms. Or, you could just forget about your friends and have a game night all to yourself. Whatever you decide, keep this list handy for games that would be fun to play while high. 

Stoney movie night

First, make sure that you and your invitees have a Chrome extension called Netflix Party, which allows everyone to watch the same movie at the same time. You can pick a classic stoner movie like Dazed and Confused or The Big Lebowski, but any movie will do.

The only preparation you’ll need to do is to agree on the rules beforehand. For example, if you choose an action movie, you could light up every time the hero shoots someone. Or for a rom-com, when the main characters kiss, players must take a hit. The options are endless. 

Straight-faced stoner

This classic game can easily be adapted to play on a remote platform like Skype or Zoom, and the rules are really simple. Once everyone is good and high, all participants have to keep a straight face. That’s it. The first one to break has to take a penalty of the group’s choosing. 

Never have I ever

Another one of the simple and adaptable party games that is perfect for getting together in a remote fashion. To begin, pick someone to go first who will make a statement like, “Never have I ever…eaten a kumquat,” for example. Anyone who has eaten a kumquat has to toke up. The next person makes a “never have I ever…” statement, and the game goes on from there. 

High video games

Pretty much any video game will do, and you can do this activity with friends or go solo. Should you decide to have a sesh and go it alone, pick a visually stunning video game that will be even more beautiful to contemplate while high, like Grand Theft Auto, Skyrim, Firewatch, Bioshock or Fallout. But if you’d rather compete with friends, set some game rules, like every time someone sees a dragon, they have to toke up. Or, if you’d like to stick with a classic and fun game like Mario Kart, set up the rules so whoever takes first place has to take a bong hit. The options are endless. 

Also, pretty much any board game could be adapted for a sesh of smoking weed, or you could make up your own weed games and rules.  Don’t be afraid to get creative, no one is going.

Featured image by fizkes/Shutterstock

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7 weed strains for different situations

Choosing which weed to smoke can be a little intimidating. You want to chase certain feelings and flavors, but with there being so many cannabis strains, it’s sometimes tough to know what’s right for you. But don’t trip, because we’re here to help you with seven strains for a variety of common situations.

It’s important to note that cannabis provides each person with their own experience. What may make your body sleepy could make the next smoker feel uplifted or energetic. Ultimately, it’s up to you to figure out what does and does not work with your body.

For a bright wake ‘n bake | Chocolope

Stash a bowl of Chocolope right next to your alarm clock because it’s one of the best wake ‘n bake strains out there. It takes just a few hits before this cross of Cannalope Haze and Chocolate Thai hit you with clear-headed and energizing effects that get you up and ready to tackle the day’s to-do list. 

Chocolope’s hairy buds produce a coffee bean aroma with a chocolate hash flavor on the smoke. Though many consumers champion Chocolope for it’s energizing and clear-headed effects, it’s worth noting that some consider it a little racy, so be sure to mind your dosage. 

For an afternoon pick-me-up | Black Cherry Soda

Throughout the day, you may find yourself craving a little afternoon boost in morale. Whether that’s because work is bogging you down, the world is in a pandemic, or simply because you’ve come down from your wake ‘n bake, there’s one strain that’s tried-and-true for the situation: Black Cherry Soda.

With its dark fruity flavor and purple-hued buds, many expect Black Cherry Soda to be a knockout, but even its most potent high tends to be even-keeled and mild. Instead of relaxed and sleepy, you’ll probably feel euphoric, centered, and carefree, so take a few hits and finish out the day strong. 

Being an indica-dominant hybrid, the Black Cherry Soda strain is a great example of why indica and sativa can’t be seen as a guide for how weed will make you feel.

For post-work or post-workout | White Widow

At the end of a long day or strenuous activity, we all need to decompress. We need something to make us feel good while also relaxing our mind and body. Say hello to White Widow.

White Widow is a classic weed strain known all around the world. It was bred in Amsterdam by crossing a couple of landrace strains, and the result gave us a perfect hybrid of uplifting and relaxing effects. It’s a potent high, but it’s a euphoric high, making you feel giggly and centered. If you’re looking to kick back and smile for the next few hours, this is what you should be smoking.

For sleepytime | Purple Punch

Nate Dogg said “Heyayayay, smoke weed every day” and he was damn right. But he never told us specifically when to smoke weed every day. While some of us enjoy smoking all day long, many cannabis consumers prefer to only smoke right before bed so they can get the best sleep of their lives.

When it comes to choosing a sleepy cannabis strain to put you down for the count, you want something potent; something heavy; something that’ll hit your body with an instant feeling of sedation and couch-lock. Purple Punch is a great strain for the occasion.

Purple Punch crosses two heavy-hitters — Granddaddy Purple and Larry OG — to give us a grape and berry flavored treat that’ll have the “Are you still watching?” Netflix screen staring at you for hours. It’s that potent, with THC content usually passing 20% with ease. This flower is absolutely flushed with trichomes, which makes Purple Punch an excellent strain to dab or vape. Flavor matters.

For delicious taste | Zkittlez

Speaking of flavor, when it comes to choosing a strain for taste rather than effects, you’d be doing yourself a favor by lighting up some Zkittlez

Though potent in some batches, this cross of Grape Ape and Grapefruit tends to be somewhat middling in effects, leaving consumers feeling relaxed but still alert and focused enough for creative activities like writing, painting, and drawing up a plan to take over the world.

While the effects are great, the flavor is the real reason to champion Zkittlez. It’s straight-up like smoking a purple popsicle. The flavors are sweet, fruity, and coat your mouth in a way that’ll feel like you just drank a berry-mixed smoothie.

For maximum potency | GMO Cookies

Sometimes you want to be absolutely floored by a cannabis strain. You don’t necessarily want to be sleepy, but you want to be so stoned that you can no longer feel toes wiggle. If you’re looking for one of those ear-popping strains that’ll leave you thinking, “Whewwww, boy; that is some GAS!” then GMO Cookies should 100% be your next smoke.

GMO Cookies — also known as Garlic Cookies — crosses Chemdog, the grandfather of diesel strains and many of your favorite strains today, with GSC, one of the new-age legends of the cannabis strain-o-sphere. It has a very pungent and unique aroma of onions, mushrooms, and skunk, while the flavor is much of the same, backed by sour undertones. If fettuccine alfredo was a cannabis strain, it would be Garlic Cookies.

Novice consumers should tread lightly when it comes to GMO because it only takes a couple of hits before your body turns into a schedule-clearing puddle of inactivity.

And like…on the lowest of keys…if you’ve been wanting to try Gary Payton from Cookies, but that $60 eighth is too rich for your blood, it has some striking similarities in appearance, flavor, and effects to GMO.

For a major mood-boost | Island Sweet Skunk

One of the biggest reasons people like to smoke weed is because it can help boost your mood. Many cannabis strains provide happy and euphoric feelings, but few do so with the power, consistency, and reputation of Island Sweet Skunk, sometimes named Sweet Island Skunk.

Island Sweet Skunk is a sativa-dominant hybrid with sticky green and orange buds that kick out sweet, tropical, and citrus flavors. The effects of this strain are the definition of being on Cloud 9. Few hits of I.S.S. and you’ll feel goofy, giggly, happy, and without a care in the entire universe. 

If there’s any strain on this list that you should try, for whatever reason, at any time of day, it’s Island Sweet Skunk.

Find hundreds of strains and where to buy them on Weedmaps Strains.

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Where is the Weed Emoji?

If you’re thumbing through your phone’s emoji keyboard looking for a pot leaf to text to your friend, keep swiping. You’ll have to settle for a more abstract representation like a puff of smoke because the process behind adding a new emoji is more complicated than you think.

In 1987, engineers from Apple and Xerox started brainstorming how to encode characters so that each language’s letter or symbol fit a standardized width and storage space. Four years later, the Unicode Consortium was founded, with representatives from most major tech companies sitting on the Board of Directors. 

To this day, this group — which now includes representatives from UC Berkeley, the government of Bangladesh and more — oversees all additions to the Unicode alphabet.

In 2009, a group of engineers petitioned the Unicode Consortium to adopt “emoji,” a group of over six hundred characters that were widely used in mobile text messaging systems across Japan. The nonprofit approved the prototypical group emoji — which included cat faces, lunar symbols, zodiac signs, etc. — making them accessible on all operating platforms. 

After the addition of emoji keyboards to Apple’s iOs and Google’s Android, worldwide use of the colorful characters exploded, opening up new communication possibilities as users created their own combinations and attributed their own symbolic meanings. But why, still, isn’t there a weed emoji?

How to request new emojis

Each year, the Unicode Consortium has expanded their available options, adding new characters (like the taco) and allowing modifications of previous emojis (like turning a baseball into a softball or allowing you to change the skin color and gender of a surfer). Anyone, from nonprofits to businesses to individuals, can suggest a new emoji if they’re willing to go through the arduous application process.

A proposal to add a weed emoji has to be remarkably detailed, and could easily be rejected simply for not following the correct format. You need to prove the importance of the new emoji, point by point, and include proposed artwork, which presents its own set of difficulties: would a weed emoji depict a cannabis leaf, nug, joint, pipe, blunt or bong?

To be accepted, the Unicode Technical Committee (or UTC) would have to agree on a rigorous set of standards. Is the emoji already in such heavy use on a platform like Facebook Messenger or Snapchat that it’s needed for compatibility? Is it overly specific, or will it have a high frequency of use throughout large communities? Can it already be represented by existing emoji, or is it distinctive and groundbreaking?

“More weight is given to emoji that convey concepts that are not simply variants of concepts conveyed by existing emoji or sequences of existing emoji,” the proposal submission guidelines state. “For example, it would be better to proposal an emoji for a new kind of animal rather than an emoji for a new breed of dog.”

To limit strain on memory and usability, only seventy new emojis are added annually. After going through the approval process — which can take up to two years — an approved emoji will finally be released. 

Each major vendor (like Apple and Google) will create their own version of the proposed artwork to fit their distinctive house style. They may even choose to cloak the original meaning to fit their community standards — like when Apple, Google, and Facebook replaced the emoji depicting a realistic handgun with a playful, lime-green squirt gun.

Should you proposal a weed emoji yourself?

Still, nothing’s stopping you from submitting your proposal for a weed emojis; in fact, six different requests have already been declined, many after the UTC’s Emoji Subcommittee decided that a cannabis leaf was already representable by existing emoji. They’re not the only ones wondering whether we really need a weed emoji all that badly.

“Do we need a literal penis emoji to understand why an eggplant is referential?” asks Carly Fisher, an award-winning journalist and author whose work covers the cultural intersection of food, travel, and cannabis. “To me, part of the fun with emoji is interpretation, like hieroglyphics.”

“Green plants, vegetables, and hearts seem to be the wink-nod these days,” she says, though she’s fond of alluding to the “Devil’s lettuce” with a head of romaine or reaching for a maple leaf during the fall season.

In 2016, rapper DRAM released ‘Broccoli,’ a sunny collaboration with Lil Yachty with a chorus that alluded to cannabis with the lines, “Yeah, I know your baby mama fond of me, all she want to do is smoke that broccoli.” Almost four million views later, the music video featuring oversized broccoli headpieces and plenty of literal broccoli has helped establish the broccoli emoji as a reliable, if unusual way to text message or post on social media the concept of cannabis buds.

The most popular alternative emojis to weed

A floral bouquet or daisy can signal “flower”; pine trees can represent woodsy strains high in pine and humulene, or just “tree” in general. Data harvested from money transfer app Venmo, which encourages users to describe payments using emoji, shows that options for representation stretch far beyond the plant kingdom.

The top twenty-five most-used emojis on Venmo include a red fuel pump, fire, and an electric plug. While the fuel pump could mean users are splitting fuel costs in exchange for rides, it’s not hard to imagine that at least some of those transactions are alluding to “gas,” a slang term for strains with strong chemical-like scents like Sour Diesel or Jet Fuel

A fire emoji might reference sparking up a joint, bowl or bong. Lastly, the plug emoji almost certainly alludes to “the plug” — a common slang term for someone who connects a buyer with a coveted good, whether it be backstage passes, organic compost or weed.

With so many alternatives available, it’s not surprising that approving a cannabis emoji hasn’t been a top priority for the UTC. The situation isn’t hopeless, however; as attitudes surrounding cannabis change worldwide, there’s a potential for a grassroots push to finally gain traction.

New characters and the emoji grassroots movement

In 2016, former reporter, entrepreneur and literary studio co-founder Jennifer 8. Lee created The Dumpling Emoji Project with Yiying Lu, a designer best known for illustrating the infamous Twitter Fail Whale. Noting that the “folks on the committee which oversees emoji are mostly male, mostly American, and overwhelmingly engineers,” they saw a worldwide need to expand the emoji lexicon with an adorable dough-wrapped dumpling just generic enough to represent kreplach, pelmeni, and pierogi as well as gyoza, potstickers, and momos.

They funded the project via a crowdsourcing campaign that promised backers dumpling cookbooks, workshops and even private parties hosted by renowned chefs. The proceeds allowed their new organization, Emojination, to join Unicode as an official non-voting associate member (the same level as Twitter). 

Gaining intimate knowledge of the emoji approval process allowed Lee to create the perfect proposal complete with graphs and footnotes. “It’s crazy how labor intensive these proposals are,” she told BuzzFeed News. “It’s definitely more than a day’s work. Not only is it hard to write them, but I don’t think everyone could do it. Like, I know very educated Ivy League people who probably can’t write an emoji caliber proposal. It’s a very specific voice.”

Today, Emojination lends their expertise, resources, and tools to shepherd new emoji from user-submitted ideas to colorful characters on your keyboard. Guided by the motto “Emoji For the People, By The People,” they’re behind the addition of not just the dumpling emoji but symbols representing red money envelopes, DNA strands, a woman wearing a hijab, the sauna emoji, and even the broccoli emoji sometimes used to represent weed.

A dedicated weed emoji is a far off-dream for now; previews of the upcoming 2020 additions have already been released, including a toothbrush, plunger, and the gender-neutral Mx. Claus. Until a lucky petition succeeds, you’ll have to use your imagination when a friend texts you a fresh sprig of herbs.

Featured image by Andrew Le/Unsplash

The post Where is the Weed Emoji? appeared first on Weedmaps News.

You Should Still Make Time to Smoke Weed with Your Friends Online

If you’re following proper social distancing guidelines, you probably haven’t seen most or any of your friends and family in weeks. Since the novel coronavirus has spread across the world, forcing us to take shelter to keep ourselves, our friends and family, and communities safe and healthy, social life and interactions have distorted to the point of being nearly unrecognizable. 

For people who like to smoke weed with friends, it’s made all normal “seshing” cease. Most regular cannabis users can tell you that whether it’s for medical needs or personal enjoyment, part of the appeal of using weed is a communal one. There’s nothing quite like passing a freshly packed bong around the circle or sneaking off with a few people to share a joint in the alley. Without these small, intimate rituals, smoking weed alone can feel isolating and bleak. 

And this isolation comes at a cost. Vox’s Ezra Klein believes that along with a global pandemic and economic recession, we could find ourselves in a loneliness epidemic as well. Studies have shown that social isolation can have real mental and physical health consequences. And while social distancing can’t last forever, health experts urge us to keep our guards up and remain vigilant to flatten the curve and avoid a second wave

So where does that leave people looking to consume cannabis and get a bit of social interaction? Here’s the case for taking meetups and seshes into virtual smoke circles.  

Appointment Internet, but make it weed. 

New York Magazine’s Brian Feldman makes the case for “Appointment Internet,” in which smaller groups of friends and family make deliberate plans to meet up in a virtual setting rather than posting to a broad audience on social media and hoping to get engagement from strangers. 

The idea here is: “you can be assured that everyone else is seeing the same thing you’re seeing. It’s a more active and engaged use of the internet, and it’s a way to communicate with the couple of dozen people you actually want to talk to, and nobody else.”

When it comes to weed smokers, the same idea applies, but for scheduling time to login with your friends, smoke a joint, and catch up. 

As we move our daily catch ups, business meetings, happy hours, and birthday parties from office buildings, coffee shops, and bars into group messages, FaceTimes, Zoom meeting rooms, and Google Hangouts, we can move our smoke sessions to these digital spaces, too. It’s the “new normal” that we’re all still adjusting to, but it’s normalcy nonetheless. 

These rituals may seem insignificant until we don’t have them anymore. At Weedmaps, we have a gong that someone would physically ring everyday at 4:20 p.m. Since working remotely, someone always makes sure to send a gong emoji in the company-wide Slack channel everyday at 4:20 p.m, which prompts other co-workers to follow up with a variety of emojis and gifs. We even have a Slackbot reminder and a dedicated virtual meeting room for people to come in and share a smoke. 

Personally, last week my friends and I continued our weekly ritual of smoking weed and drinking whiskey while playing an incredibly complex board game by finding a simulator for the game and meeting up on FaceTime. It felt weird at first, but the comfort of chatting with my friends, seeing their faces, and enjoying some weed was something I really needed for my mental health.

Online sesh tips and etiquette. 

Just like an in-person smoke session, we should take proper etiquette and safety into consideration. We live in a society, afterall. 

A few pieces of etiquette to consider: 

  • Start a group chat with your sesh friends. This is the easiest way to see who is interested and who is going to pass. 
  • Try to set a recurring time. Same time everyday, once a week, whatever. Do calendar invites.
  • Come prepared and ontime. Sure, it’s just a social thing, but respect everyone’s time. 
  • Try to keep politics and “end of the world” talk to a minimum. These seshes are supposed to be social interactions that are meant to nourish you, not make you feel worse. 

Here are a few video platforms to consider: 

Here are a few smoking tips: 

  • Avoid going into dispensaries, if you can. Check to see if your region allows curbside/pickup/delivery here and see if your local dispensary will let you order online here
  • If you’re smoking with partners, family, or roommates, don’t share pipes, bongs, or joints. Each person should have their own device or product. 
  • Be extra vigilant about keeping all your glass clean.
  • Save money by looking for deals and using these weed hacks

Featured image by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

The post You Should Still Make Time to Smoke Weed with Your Friends Online appeared first on Weedmaps News.

WM Strains Madness: A Flower is Crowned

The champion of the first Weedmaps Strains Madness has been crowned. Your winner is none other than OG Kush.

Let’s take a look at the competition by the numbers:

And with that, let’s dive into how OG Kush won it all.   

Winner: OG Kush

OG Kush has been crowned the champion. Simply put: OG Kush dominated the competition. 

As a strain known for being high in THC and having a storied background in weed and rap culture, OG Kush brought it’s A-game to every matchup and dusted off some pretty sturdy competition in Pink Panties, Northern Lights, and Wedding Cake. OG faced it’s toughest competition in the fourth round when it met up with Gelato, perhaps the heir apparent of OG Kush’s place at the top of the “best strains” conversation. In a prior recap, I called this the “MJ v. LeBron debate, but for weed.” And just like that debate, it went in favor of the OG.  

When facing up against Pineapple Express in the finals, many of you were pretty vocal of your support of the kush in the Instagram post comments. Someone even said they would quit smoking if OG Kush didn’t win. As I said in the finals recap, Pineapple Express is a mainstream strain. In fact, the mainstream brought Pineapples Express to the world of weed, rather than the other way around, with the 2000s stoner classic, Pineapple Express. It’s easy to see OG Kush’s win as a signal that OG weed culture still runs strong in the Weedmaps audience. But OG Kush is a strain that can appeal to newer consumers, too. The reported effects (giggly, euphoric, focused) on OG Kush’s strain page gives it a broader appeal. 

Final thoughts: OG Kush’s reputation as a strong strain translated to its strength in the field of competition. It’s heartening to see a skunky classic like OG Kush win against popular, sugary newcomers like Gelato, Biscotti, and Wedding Cake. 

Discover more about OG Kush and other strains at Weedmaps Strains, where you’ll find reported effects and flavors, menus carrying specific strains, and prices.

The post WM Strains Madness: A Flower is Crowned appeared first on Weedmaps News.

WM Strains Madness: Championship Tuesday

And we find ourselves at the end of an intense competition between your favorite strains! The results from the last round are below:

The field now looks like this:

Quick thing: don’t forget to vote on Weedmaps’ Instagram stories. Polls will stay open until Wednesday 4:20 p.m. PST. 

And with that, let’s dive into the final matchup and the last 2 strains remaining.  

(1) OG Kush v. (5) Pineapple Express

And then there were two: OG Kush and Pineapple Express

There really couldn’t be two better representatives of the current weed culture. One is thought to be responsible for the co-evolution of West Coast weed and rap in the 90s. The other serves as the macguffin to what is widely considered the best stoner film of the 2000s. Both have done quite a bit to put weed into the mainstream and have each benefited from the exposure. Given their popularity and place deep within the culture of cannabis, it’s really no surprise to find them in the final matchup. Here is what a co-worker said when we announced the final matchup in Slack: 

“Snicklefritz” is a Dutch term of affection for mischievous children, but it’s also a term James Franco’s character uses for bad weed in the Pineapple Express. Impressively, he’s using a deepcut from Pineapple Express to call OG Kush sub-par … in a matchup against Pineapple Express the strain. Weed culture is beautiful, people. 

As for who will take home the flower crown, it should be a close matchup. Both have performed well, earning the most overall votes. On Instagram polls, OG Kush collected a total of 7,318 votes to Pineapple Express’ 7,092 votes. If total votes is an indicator, OG Kush has a slight edge, but it should come down to the wire. Don’t forget to vote! 

Winner: TBD

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