Weed Wordsearch – Strains of Bud

Today’s Weed Wordsearch is all about strains of bud! Don’t be fooled, this quest is not as easy as it seems. Fire up a doobie and get ready! To embark, search for the words listed below the puzzle.  When you find a word: Highlight the first letter by clicking on it once. Drag your cursor […]

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Tips and tricks to avoid stoner self-sabotage

Self-sabotage is hard to avoid, especially if you’re a stoner. Considering how potent the weed is these days, its pretty understandable. Some stoners can only get baked after completing all of their tasks, while others need to get baked to function in the first place. One thing that is certain, a pot smoker’s productivity level […]

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Super simple and creative stoner hacks to try at home

In the cannabis community, we’re all pretty crafty don’t you think? From coming up with revolutionary snack combos when you’ve got the munchies to making apple bongs…we’ve all done those creative ‘stoner-starter-pack’ things. Well, it’s time to get in touch with that fun side of you again. Check out this article and level up with […]

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7 McDonald’s orders every hungry stoner should make

When you have a craving for some delicious fast foods, McDonald’s is a popular go-to. Here are 7 McDonald’s orders every hungry stoner should make. Dive into this list classics and featured insider tips. 1. 20 Box McNuggets Every hungry stoner loves some delicious, crisped to perfection, golden-brown chicken McNuggets. If you are munching, a […]

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The Ultimate Stoner’s Guide to smoke weed in Los Angeles [Travel Guide]

Signature palm trees, sunshine and legal marijuana since January 1 2018. Welcome to the ultimate stoner’s guide to buy weed in Los Angeles. If you are 21+, you can buy weed up to 28.5 grams, 8 grams of cannabis concentrate and up to six live plants. If you are 18-20 years old, you can also […]

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7 Best Stoner Snacks Chosen By Cannabis Chefs

Increased legalization of weed has taken the culinary industry by storm. More and more chefs are looking at weed, not as a drug, but as another ingredient that they can explore and use to improve their dishes bringing a new level of enjoyment to their guests. When these chefs aren’t in the kitchen cooking up […]

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Weedmaps Buyers’ Guide: Pipes and Bongs

Like every aspect of the wild world of weed, how we smoke it has evolved considerably. What started as fumbling through a pack of rolling papers, has become puffing shatter out of a Puffco Peak at your ten-year reunion. 

While there have never been more ways to get high than right now, bongs, pipes and traditional dab rigs are still some of the most effective ways to medicate. More importantly, these products are exempt from the technological issues futuristic smoking accessories like vapes and electronic rigs frequently experience. Plus, there’s something enjoyable about a simple hit of good weed from a clean glass bong.

That’s not to say that the analog world of smoking accessories hasn’t seen an explosion in innovation since legality. Widespread acceptance has made it okay to want your bong to be as stylish as you. 

Here’s our buyer’s guide to pipes and bongs, with some dab rigs and a bubbler sprinkled in for good measure. 

Pipes

JET Water Pipe X5 

JET’s X5 Water Pipe is the perfect bong in that it hits smooth like an expensive glass piece, but doesn’t break like one. Impact-resistant materials make this bong invincible, which is exactly how you’ll feel after taking a hit.

Price: $214.34

The Mia Water Pipe 

Chic, versatile, with a “technical sphere body,” and unapologetically round, the Mia Water Pipe by Snoop Dogg’s glass line Smoking Pounds is chock full of star power. It sings, it dances — it also comes with all the necessary equipment to double as a dab rig.

Price: $139.99

Eyce Hammer

Some occasions, especially those of the outdoor, drunken variety, aren’t particularly glass-friendly. Enter the Eyce Hammer, a perfectly sized, perfectly indestructible silicon bubbler that comes with a snap-in glass bowl, hidden jar, and steel poker. Throw it in a backpack and rage on.

Price: $39.99 

Miwak Junior’s Sierra Lima 

Miwak Junior makes simple, stunning pieces of ceramic art you can also use to smoke. The Sierra Lima — or “The Lefty” — is a tribute to the artistic world of the left-handed in pipe form. Each pipe is handmade and essentially one of a kind, hitting smooth, and looking smoother. 

Price: $80

Edie Parker Flower’s Glass Strawberry Pipe

A fabulous addition to any fruit bowl, dinner party or drab, dreary situation that needs a splash of color, Edie Parker Flower’s Glass Strawberry Pipe puts a pop art twist on getting high, and what could be more fun than that? 

Price: $115

The Spoon Pipe

Tradition meets innovation with The Spoon Pipe by Marley Natural. Suitable for any smoking situation, whether you’re an old man in a rocking chair or a 22-year-old toking out the window of a hippie van, its strong and classic design features heat-resistant glass and an experience that is, above all else, exceptionally smooth. 

Price: $60

6-inch Grav Sherlock

Grav’s Sherlock pipe may look typical, but the devil is in the details. The inverted mouthpiece catches any ash that falls through the bowl, ensuring a Scooby Snack-free smoke. Plus, the weight and durability make the Sherlock pipe ideal for everyday toking.

Price: $19.99

Top Secret Stealth

Genius designed a smoking device that Steve Jobs would have been proud of. The Top Secret Stealth is sleek, modern and makes the perfect gift for the friend who is on that industrial, futuristic level. The patented dimple design makes millions of micro vortices with each inhale which filters and cools the smoke while bringing out the flow

Glassy Can Pipe

Glassy keeps it real with this porcelain nod to a stoner classic

Price:$60

Bongs

The Session Bong

Experience millennial design at its finest with The Session Bong. It’s minimalist, practical and comes with an array of rubber pastel cases. It’s the perfect companion to getting high enough to bear the gig economy. 

Price: $120

Chongo Marble

Summerland’s Chongo Marble fuses simplicity with elegance with this breathtaking spin on the classic bong. Its form brims with familiarity while the marble finish makes a real work of art. 

Price: $250

The Coyote Bong

Manifest the psychedelic vibes of the desert with this ceramic piece from My Bud Vase. With textured sand detail and a matte painted base, this arty, laid back bong will stoke your creativity. 

Price: $100

Heir Waterpipe

Heir’s Waterpipe is as sleek and simple as it is heavy-duty. Thick glass and a metal bowl make it perfect for packing top shelf flower. Its sleek design makes cold-filtered toking intuitive and easy to clean.

Price: $260

Rigs and Bubblers

4-inch Grav Hammer Bubbler

Sometimes you have to drop the hammer on them — Grav’s Hammer Bubbler is the ideal gift for such occasions. With approximately a half-inch of water, the smoke filters through the downstem and bubbles up to the surface to create the ideal sesh.

Price: $47.99

Honey Bear Dab Rig/Bong 

Few things in life are as cute as this Honey Bear Bong/Rig hybrid from the Daily High Club. 

Price: $69.99

By Lindsay MaHarry and Allena Braithwaite

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Thanks to Weed, Every Cool Movie in the ’90s was a Stoner Movie

In the ’90s, weed became cool again. And so did the movies. 

As the 1980s gave way to the final decade of the 20th century, a generation that came of age under the thumb of Nixon’s war on drugs and the Just Say No era of the Reagans became activists and advocates for cannabis. They also started making dope movies — creating a new pop culture canon and expanding the language of cinema, making major contributions to the rise of weed in mainstream American culture. 

As new coalitions of pro-pot activists such as Dennis Peron and Mary Jane Rathburn were building momentum in the San Francisco Bay Area by founding the first U.S. cannabis dispensary and making brownies for HIV and AIDS patients; hot new filmmakers including Richard Linklater, Quentin Tarantino, and F. Gary Gray were infusing their movies with some sneaky, but highly influential on-screen representation of the contemporary weed culture — while pioneering a collective technical dankness that would define the aesthetic of “’90s cool.”

As a result, just about every cool movie (and, honestly, most great movies) from the decade was, whether intentionally or not, playing to the stoners in the back corner. From the golden-age ’90s stoner comedies to the stoney films of the decade’s young rockstar directors, let’s drop in on a brief timeline of the decade’s raddest movies to see just how much we owe to weed for inciting a stoner cinema explosion that still resonates two decades later.    

1993 — ‘True Romance’ and ‘Dazed and Confused’ 

Quentin Tarantino’s reign over pop culture in the ’90s began with “True Romance,” a film that, though directed by Tony Scott, “True Romance” is largely thought of as a Tarantino joint. And why wouldn’t it be? “True Romance” spares next to none of the usual Tarantino trappings — snappy back-and-forth dialogue riddled with ’70s pop-culture references, genre-bending flourishes, and flash-in-the-pan performances from a heavy arsenal of colorful characters. 

One such performance comes from a young, weird, and insanely hot Brad Pitt as Floyd — the couch-dwelling, pot-smoking roommate of another secondary character, and the inspiration for James Franco’s Saul in “Pineapple Express” (Franco has said on record that the whole idea for the 2008 buddy action/stoner comedy mashup originated with the Floyd character). 

In retrospect, it’s almost jarring to watch Pitt’s pre-fame cameo role in “True Romance,” and it’s even stranger to think how quickly this burnout/supermodel weirdo, offering bong rips to gangsters who force themselves into his Hollywood apartment, would become our biggest and brightest movie star. 

If Floyd was a prototype for the Gen-X stoner, then Richard Linklater’s “Dazed and Confused” is ground zero for the entire concept of stoner cinema as we know it today — drawing from the vibes of past stoner comedies like “Up in Smoke” and “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” while expanding the parameters of what a stoner comedy could be. 

“Dazed and Confused” has been hailed by Tarantino as the ultimate “hangout movie,” one you go back to again and again to hang around 1970s stoner characters, cruising through the last day of high school and first night of summer with a joint in hand. 

Author Chuck Klosterman famously wrote of the film, “I have watched ‘Dazed and Confused’ approximately 65 times, and I have been stoned for approximately 64 of those viewings. At this point, it seems unfathomable to watch this movie without being high.” On an episode of The Ringer’s “Rewatchables” podcast celebrating the film’s 25th anniversary, Bill Simmons also talked about all the hidden-gem moments of the film you only notice if you watch it with “stoned goggles” on. 

There’s no crime in enjoying “Dazed and Confused” while not under the influence (at least not in states where medical or adult use is allowed), but in the words of Matthew McConaughey’s Wooderson, “it’d be a lot cooler if you did.” 

1995 — ‘Friday’

In similar fashion to “Dazed,” ‘Friday” is a day-in-the-life story with a sparse plot, plenty of memorable vignettes, and a cast of characters you want to smoke a joint and hang out with again and again. It’s a hip, blunt instrument that feels completely fresh, but it also wears its stoner-movie influences on its sleeve. When the movie treats us to quick sesh in the bedroom of Chris Tucker’s Smokey (another star-making role), the camera takes ample time to highlight walls adorned with Cheech & Chong, Cypress Hill, and various other classic stoner posters — a visual passing of the torch from the counterculture of the ’60s and ’70s to the growing pro-pot sentiment of the ’90s. 

“Friday” also presents a raw, unflinching look at the cannabis users of ’90s black America through a stoner comedy lens. 

Before “Friday,” movies about the black experience in South Central Los Angeles had been having a moment. And they were serious business — something “Friday” co-writers Ice Cube and DJ Pooh wanted to change up with their movie. 

“In the hood, they was doing movies like ‘Boyz N the Hood,’ which I did, ‘Menace II Society,’ ‘South Central,’ and even ‘Colors,’ going back that far,” Ice Cube said in Complex’s oral history of the film. “Everybody was looking at our neighborhood like it was hell on Earth, like the worst place you can grow up in America. And I’m like, “Why?” I didn’t see it all that way. We [Cube and DJ Pooh] in the studio laughing all day, smoking weed, and we were just like, ‘Yo, we need to create something to show how the hood really is, from our vantage point.’”   

By infusing an authentic story of life in the hood with resonant stoner humor, Cube, Pooh, and director F. Gary Gray set a collective standard for all stoner stoner comedies that came after. No matter how silly the humor got or how much they would have to pander to cartoonish stereotypes to rope in a mainstream audience, the ’90s stoner comedy needed to have something interesting to say about its subject, and it needed to confront long-standing misconceptions about weed from the previous decades of propaganda. 

1997 — ‘Jackie Brown’ 

By the time we get to the latter half of the ’90s, the hippest directors of the decade are taking the hangout-movie template of groundbreaking stoner comedies like “Dazed” and “Friday” and Hollywood’s hippest sector of filmmaking is now knocking on the door of the stoner world, rather than the other way around. Exhibit A: Quentin Tarantino’s “Jackie Brown.” 

Is “Jackie Brown” a stoner movie in the strictest sense? Probably not, but it is a prime example of ’90s Hollywood changing with the times by adopting stoner-movie sensibilities.

By the time Tarantino made “Jackie Brown,” he had already marked his territory as the last rockstar Hollywood director. He could have gone in virtually any direction with his follow-up, and he chose to make a hangout movie. And it ticks all the important ’90s stoner movie boxes. It’s retro-pop soundtrack is a constant presence, and it’s structure favors individual scenes over plotting. 

Subbing in for Brad Pitt’s Floyd in “True Romance” is ’90s fave Bridget Fonda as Melanie, the film’s stoner avatar. Fonda’s magnetic performance as the stoner who’s also secretly the smartest person in the room is a major highlight of “Jackie Brown,” and should have earned her a stoner-icon gold status she never quite got. The movie also does some serious against-type stunt casting with Robert DeNiro, whose awkward burnout small-time criminal Louis is more comfortable hitting the bong with Melanie than he is taking part in the film’s central heist. 

1998 — ‘Half Baked’ and ‘The Big Lebowski’ 

Think of 1998 as the year that pot broke the movies. It’s the year of “Half Baked,” the stoner comedy that, perhaps even more so than “Friday,” paved the way for “How High,” “Super Troopers,” “Dude, Where’s My Car?” and every other stoner comedy of the 2000s. 1998 also gave us “The Big Lebowski,” which introduced us to the Dude, the stoner icon to end all stoner icons, in a film that’s equal parts stoner flick and arthouse genre masterpiece. 

“Half Baked,” written by and starring Dave Chapelle as the leader of a group of really dumb stoners who hatch a series of cartoonish schemes to get their friend out of jail, is a far cray from “Friday” in many respects. It does a lot to establish some stoner comedy tropes that feel like pandering today, but it does even more to normalize cannabis use over a decade before the rest of the world would even begin to catch up. The movie’s “different types of smokers” montage is a first-class early attempt to portray weed as a normal part of everyday American life.

“Half Baked” is also chock full of dialogue that addresses the “gateway drug” myth, and builds an entire scene around distinguishing between drugs and weed, a sentiment we now take for granted in the legalization era. 

Since the days of Cheech & Chong, the stoner comedy has always skirted the line between exploitation and subversion. In ’98, “Half Baked” continued that tradition and propelled it into the next decade. That same year, the Coen Brothers inadvertently created a stoner buddha who would all but bend the iconography of weed to reflect his image.

When we hear the term “stoner movie,” we’ll probably always think of stoner comedies like “Up in Smoke,” “Friday,” and “Half Baked” first. But when we think of stoner icons, “The Big Lebowski”’s the Dude will always abide. “The Big Lebowski” is a brilliantly executed, zeitgeist capturing multi-genre hangout flick. It also shares a propensity for trippy dream sequences in common with “Half Baked.”But rather than have its stoner avatar on the periphery of the action, it casts the Dude (an aging Vietnam-era pothead comfortably meandering through 1990s Los Angeles, who could only have been brought to life by the eternally chill cowboy that is Jeff Bridges) at the center of the universe. And the rest of the movie all but marinates in the dude’s stoned-zen essence — favoring hazy excursions through relaxed-fit vignettes over the drive of its own neo-noir mystery. 

With the Dude, the Coen Brothers created a character so magnetic that their movie essentially became a stoner movie around him in real time. But “The Big Lebowski” has its own cult status that transcends its stoner-movie status, and the Dude has become a towering modern figure in both weed culture and cinema history. 

In this sense, he personifies the entire stoner cinema movement of the ’90s, bridging the gap between weed enthusiasts and the rest of the world — inviting everyone to tune in, light up, and chill out. 

To learn more about how ’90s films intersected with cannabis culture in the U.S., check out the “Dose of Compassion” exhibit at the Weedmaps Museum of Weed. For ticket information, visit themusumeofweed.com

Feature illustration by David Lozada/Weedmaps

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The Internet Can Be Tough for Stoners. Arend Richards Can Attest.

When Youtube reportedly started removing cannabis-related channels and content from its platform in April 2018, it sent many content creators wandering through the digital wilderness. Arend Richards was one of those nomads until he created his own platform, The Weedtube. Contributor Kieran Delamont examines both Richards and his creation to get a sense of what happens when stoners feel like they don’t have a place on the internet. 

The first time I smoked weed out of a pipe I got the whole thing all backwards. I inhaled with the carb wide open, closed it when I was ready to stop. Either I was guessing (wrong), or I was taught (also wrong) by someone in the circle. Whichever it was, it was all wrong.

Arend Richards has made a career off of novices like me. In 2017, Richards, who had been posting on YouTube for a couple of years at that point, posted a video titled “How to Smoke Weed from a Pipe for Beginners.” It delivered no more and no less than what it promises, with Richards’ rapid-fire delivery and quirky tips to the camera being the only exceptions. It’s a 5 minutes, 28 seconds long, a video about how to smoke weed from a pipe. As a video, it is basically exactly what you think it would be. 

That unassuming video kicked off a YouTube career for Richards.

It was the first one he had posted that ever really did any numbers (more than 600,000 at the time of publishing), brought in any of the subscriber base the virality draws. “And that’s the end of that story,” Arend said. 

It isn’t, really. That video is the start of it. You see, Richards had found a home on YouTube, where he was known as The Gay Stoner, and he found a following, a family — one that never frowned on the fact that he was gay and never frowned on the fact that he smoked weed. Richards’ story is a quintessential one about life on the internet in the Age of Weed and the Age of Social Media. His career lives at those crossroads. It’s the 21st century influencer economy getting in on the weed game; Richards may as well be its poster child.

And then in 2018, at the moment when that life he’d made for himself was on the verge of going up in smoke, Richards broke free from YouTube, in a spinoff and protest against the tech giant he launched a competing site, called the WeedTube — which he’s still running today, with ambitions of making it a home for “adult, non-porn content” that, beyond just weed, wants to be a home for free speech on the internet. 

YouTube Made for a Happy Home

That video in 2017 was the moment Richards hit his niche: cannabis YouTube. It was a bit accidental. “I just kind of leaned into it,” he said. “About six months in, I found out there were other people doing it. I thought I was the only person out here smoking weed on YouTube.” 

Richards built up enough of a following to make YouTubing and smoking weed a full-time gig. He had, in a lot of ways, an enviable job. Professional stoner, making videos about whatever happened to be on his mind that day. It was usually about weed, with titles such as “3 OUNCE INSTANT HOTBOX W/ AN AIR PUMP.” Richards posted reviews, product videos, and silly videos about smoking weed, which he does a lot on his videos. 

It’s YouTube in its peak form: collegiate goofiness.

But often it wasn’t. Richards said his goal was always to post about things other than cannabis as well, to share what the world looked like when you see it through his eyes. That could take any number of forms — videos where he talks about gender and sexuality, videos where he discusses his own social life, and videos where he just goofs off with his friends. Pretty standard vlogger behavior, really. 

Watching the back catalog of videos is a bit like thumbing through a photo album of Richards’ life, where all the happy or exciting or interesting bits were caught on tape. That Richards is smoking weed in many of them pretty much encapsulates the role cannabis plays in his life. 

In short, it was a pretty good time for him, and for cannabis YouTube more generally. “We call it the time before the chaos. … It was my first taste of true success,” he said. “I was kicked out of my house when I was 16 when I came out of the closet, and I had worked every day of my life since, just to make sure that I was never homeless again. To really be making money from something I enjoy doing at the same time was a blessing. I was very, very happy.” 

The YouTube Crackdown and Birth of WeedTube

Then, the chaos. In spring 2018, YouTube began began taking down cannabis-related content. Whole accounts, many of which had been beacons in the underground cannabis growing community in the late 2000s when YouTube was just getting off the ground, or who use YouTube as a secure place to organize the global cannabis movement, started getting taken down. Videos were age-restricted. Whole accounts were suspended, leaving content creators without their livelihood or their following. For the cannabis community that existed on YouTube, it was no small thing. 

Richards’ account was spared, but many others, including his friends’, were banned. He took a very on-brand step and vowed to quit YouTube in a video titled “I’m Quitting YouTube (Not Clickbait).” In its place, he started The WeedTube in April 2018 — a conceptual duplicate of YouTube in virtually every respect, except for the crucial distinction that creators are allowed to post about weed there. (Richard still posts sponsored content and unboxing videos on his original YouTube account, because as he explains in his farewell post, “daddy gotta get that coin.”)

“I said, ‘Okay — I’m not waiting for anybody else to do it, let’s do this,’” he said. He took the lead and, with some other creators, scraped together a bit of money for data servers and with the help of $15,000 of money raised on GoFundMe began building The WeedTube with, as Richards puts it, “not even a little bit” of experience building a website. 

For now, the site is like a weed-themed, bare-bones YouTube. Creators can upload videos into a handful of categories, including politics and news, growing, or health. According to Richards, more than 6,000 people have posted upwards of 35,000 videos to the site, with that number continuing to rise. Many of the videos aren’t terribly sophisticated — titles including “Get high with me before my first day of work!” or ‘100 HITS OF WEED CHALLENGE‘ — but they’re entertaining nonetheless. Hanging out on The WeedTube is kind of like hanging out in a stoner smoke sesh. It’s pulpy content, but comforting and relaxed, too. None of it seems to take itself too seriously. Creators who have followings on other social media platforms such as Instagram who are able to direct to the site generate significant view counts; others remain in the double- to triple-digit range. 

It’s now just over a year old, and doing well enough. Richards has attracted a few high-profile weed YouTubers, including Koala Puffs or Medicated Marley, to post regularly on his site. Richards says he gives creators a better cut on monetization than YouTube, though it’s hard to verify: Richards said he gives creators 52 percent of ad revenues, which is lower than YouTube’s standard 55 percent cut, but higher than the reported 38 percent cut of the revenues that creators get when the fees taken by multi-channel networks, which offer professional representation and certain protections for creators, are factored in. It’s a viable business, though a laborious one: Richards said he “had to personally sell every single ad on WeedTube to a cannabis-related company.” Richards is touting it as an answer to the cannabis industry’s fraught relationship with social media

But it hasn’t been an easy needle to thread. Creating a viable alternative to YouTube that remains a safe and inclusive space forces Richards to answer some of the most challenging questions surrounding life on the internet. Ironically, content moderation is perhaps the toughest aspect to navigate on a forum allowing creators greater latitude for content and expression.

“People look for video content sites to upload graphic material to that won’t get removed, and we’ve become a huge target of that now,” Richards said. “So whenever something graphically violent happens, they just upload it to The Weed Tube because we’re just another video hub that isn’t overpoliced like YouTube, so that has been a problem.” 

After a white supremacist killed 50 people March 15, 2019, at a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, The WeedTube was flooded with people trying to post copies of the livestreamed video. Richards had to have a web tech stay up all night taking the videos down. 

Graphic violence seems like a fairly obvious choice for removal. But what about controversial political speech? By simply trying to create a weed-friendly video hosting service, Richards is forcing himself to answer extremely difficult questions regarding how the internet is moderated. It’s what drove him to make The WeedTube in the first place. It’s something he and the internet can’t seem to get away from or ignore.  

Richards still seems to be learning where The WeedTube sits (or where he sits) on these difficult questions. “I am an advocate for free speech. If someone else says, ‘well, what about something like Alex Jones? Like if Alex Jones is uploading, are you going to allow that?’ And I said yes, because it’s freedom of speech,” Richards said. Surely, I asked, Alex Jones — who has been kicked off nearly every mainstream content platform for hate speech — would be out of bounds. People have asked Richards this before. “[Colleagues] said, ‘Well sometimes it’s hate speech.’ I said — ‘Well, I don’t believe in hate speech for either side.’” 

It’s a messy, contradictory position to take, but one that highlights the dynamic of the internet in 2019 — where battling against one form of perceived censorship means entering a fraught cultural debate around freedom of speech. Does rejecting one form of censorship mean embracing all forms of speech, even the hateful kind? Becoming an arbiter of whether hate speech is permissible on a given platform does not seem like what Richards set out to do in starting The WeedTube. When Richards’ dedication to creating weed content drifts into ideological territory, he ends up having to make these kinds of choices. 

A Hole in the Historical Record 

But while Richards and other cannabis YouTubers experienced the crackdown as a matter of personal loss, be it of income or a sense of community, the public loses an important piece of the global cannabis movement’s history, too. What is lost in the ongoing crackdown against cannabis content — much of which came and still comes from cannabis’s underground, legally disobedient wings — is more than just videos and content. It punches a fat hole right in the side of the historical record, wiping the internet clean of videos that have served as an important resource for the cannabis community. Gone, in the crackdown against cannabis creators, were channels CustomGrow420, StrainCentral, or PotTV — pages that reviewed products, offered tips on growing, and generally covered an underground cannabis industry that was for the most part foreign to mainstream media. 

In 2018, while YouTube’s crackdown was ramping up, a group of 21 cannabis content channels or creators released a statement slamming the platform for what it called “indiscriminate censorship.”

“Videos of cannabis news, cultivation, plants, trips, events, interviews with users, growers and experts — all censored at once. Why?” read the statement, which was republished by many cannabis media outlets. “Many of these channels have spent years reporting and educating about the cannabis plant on a platform where freedom of expression was their mission. But it is clear that censorship is still alive and YouTube is a part of it.” 

“It’s a huge, huge loss of culture,” Matt Mernagh, a veteran figure in the Canadian cannabis world, told The Georgia Straight, a Vancouver, British Columbia, lifestyle publication, in 2018. “You just took our history, tons and tons of cultural history by some of the country’s biggest creators, and it’s gone.” 

YouTube’s official line, in response to Weedmaps News’ inquiries about account suspensions, is that the accounts being taken down were offering cannabis products for sale, or promoting sale in some way. That claim has been roundly disputed, including by those who have had their accounts deleted, and YouTube has never publicly offered up much evidence of illegal sale to substantiate it. 

Much of the cannabis universe in the early 2000s existed online, and YouTube — which has billed itself as “the rawest, purest, most unfiltered portrait of how we are as a people” — was a big part of that. YouTube was, for a long time, a key place for the cannabis community, unsurprisingly since both had a grass-roots dynamic to them. But as the cannabis industry grew more commercialized, it was no longer such a good fit. Without proper archiving, it’s impossible to determine with any accuracy how much content, and how much of the historical record, has been lost. Outlets such as Pot TV were among the first to endeavour to document events including Spannabis and the Karma Cup well before mainstream media picked up on them. The loss of a lot of that content means the loss of a serious portion of the cannabis community’s historical record.

That broader crackdown has lent a sense of urgency to The WeedTube project, both as a cannabis project and, increasingly, a freedom of speech platform. If Richards’ overtures to say that he would allow Alex Jones on the platform seem uncharacteristic, it’s because trying to do what he’s doing can make for strange bedfellows, even if they come about honestly — weed YouTubers such as Richards end up being involved in larger projects of free speech and creating a place for cannabis journalism outside the mainstream. 

“I think that censorship is the main culprit here,” Richards said. “A lot of people fall under the category of being censored for several different reasons. And I think that that’s like the center people are really in a community together and should work together.” 

To Richards, that’s a place that can have appeal beyond just the stoner community, and he hopes that it’s not an insular place. He sees his medium, and the reach he has, as being bigger than just weed, and Richards hopes it will grow beyond being a website that, for now, is populated almost entirely by stoner content about weed. “I think The WeedTube had to start as what it had to start as, but I think that our opportunities for growth are unlimited,” he said. “The WeedTube can become a place for adult, non-porn content where we can express free opinions on more than just cannabis at some point.” I ask if that’s a challenge, in an age when extremist views are more visible on the mainstream internet. “It definitely is,” he said. 

Richards seems to know that this question about freedom of speech is a difficult one, and that it’s one he has to answer now that he’s found himself in the position of being an advocate for a freer part of the internet. (It’s important to note that The WeedTube does have a content policy that forbids anything that could be construed as hate speech.) When I ask him about how he wants to approach that question, he defers. “I don’t know the answer, but I’m not opposed to finding it, and I’m not opposed to working through that problem,” he said. “I don’t have the answer. But I want to be the person that has the answer within the next year. That’s the truth.” 

Featured Illustration by Allena Braithwaite/Weedmaps

The post The Internet Can Be Tough for Stoners. Arend Richards Can Attest. appeared first on Weedmaps News.

The Preroll Joint Packs You Need to Try

You should never judge a preroll by its package.

Sure, prerolls are the ultimate convenience, but, as the saying goes, what’s cheap ain’t always good, and what’s good ain’t cheap. I’m a weed snob, but I also really love convenience. What is a stoner to do? 

I always attempt to opt for preroll packs that are well-made, high quality, and reasonably priced, for starters. Weed brands have upped their preroll game and the proof is in the numbers. Weed smokers in California, Colorado, Arizona, Oregon, and Washington spent $37 million on prerolls in May 2019 alone, according to a BDS Analytics report

When I look at the lab results for preroll packs I look to see that the weed passed tests for residual solvents, microbiological contaminants, mycotoxins, metals, and pesticides that are unhealthy to ingest. Once I know it’s free of all residuals and contaminants, depending on what experience I’m looking for, I look for the THC percentage on a scale ranging anywhere from 10% (a CBD-dominant strain) to upwards of 30% (a potent, high-THC strain). As an added bonus, I look to see where the terpene profile clocks in to try to get an idea of the flavor, since more often than not preroll packages are sealed and I can’t smell the flower before I purchase. 

But if you’re wondering where to get started, here are 11 prerolled joint packs I think are worth trying. 

Saints 

A favorite in the Pacific Northwest, Saints Joints’ prerolls come in packages designed by a rotating series of artists. Smoke the joints, but collect the packages. (Photo courtesy of Saints Prerolls)

Founded in Seattle, Saints Joints offer shiny, colorful preroll packs that are beloved in the Pacific Northwest. The branding consists of colorful packages designed by rotating collections of artists including Jimbo Phillips, Skinner, and Jeremy Fish. Strains in recent packs include Honey Bananas, Sunny D, Mimosa, 24K Gold. Lab-tested by Confident Cannabis and offered in 20 strain blends and varieties, Saints are sold at 40 stores across Washington.

These joints are much more than a pretty package. Judging from the lab results Weedmaps News received, Saints offers a selection of potent prerolls that are ideal for a hardcore stoner who tend to have a higher THC tolerance. Its Sunny D preroll testing at 19.6% THC. Saints’ next-level sticky Honey Bananas strain tested even more potent, still, at 21.7% THC. The total cannabinoid profile includes cannabidiol (CBD), cannabigerol (CBG), and some lesser-known cannabinoids.

Availability: Washington

Find it on Weedmaps

Lowell Smokes 

Lowell Herb Co.’s Lowell Smokes prerolls take their style cues from old-fashioned cigar boxes. (Photo courtesy of Lowell Herb Co.)

Lowell Herb Co. has reimagined the old-timey cigar box aesthetic with its rustic, classic joint packs. These preroll packs come in various strains, including their yearlong blends called Pride, Hybrid, Indica, Party, Sativa, and more. Lowell’s blends each use cannabis depending on the company’s most recent harvest.  

Lowell’s prerolled joints are tested by CannaSafe and include strains such as Royal Razzberry, a pungent Indica testing at 20% THC and about 2% CBD. The Giggly Hybrid, which tests at 19% total THC, seems as though it would be ideal for the stylish cannabis smoker who just wants to laugh into the night with friends.

Availability: California

Find it on Weedmaps

Sherbinskis 

Pink Panties is one strain you can try as a preroll from the cult-favorite weed brand Sherbinskis. (Photo Courtesy of Sherbinskis)

Sherbinskis embodies how a preroll can be both convenient and awe-inspiring. The legendary cultivator most often associated with popularizing Gelato, Pink Panties, and Sherbet is bringing Sherbinskis Bacio Gelato prerolls to joint smokers of a higher class. Each tin has 10 prerolls and is as elusive to find as it is earthy and delicious to smoke. The Pink Panties joints are available currently, while Bacio Gelato goes in and out of availability depending on its production cycle. 

Through lab analysis, Pink Panties selections have revealed THC percentages as high as 27%, and total terpene percentages as high as 3.24%. The organic compounds known as terpenes not only define the flavor of the smoke, but aid in the entourage effect, which studies suggest makes the weed experience superior to isolated compounds extracted out of the plant. Most terpene percentages for strains hover around 1% or lower, so 3% or above is fairly high. 

“If you want to help people, you want to do it with style,” Sherbinskis founder Mario Guzman told Weedmaps News. Guzman personally selects every strain used in his line of cannabis products. If you are lucky enough to smoke one of his J’s, you will be singing the gospel of preroll packs near and far.

Availability: California

Find it on Weedmaps

Higgs 

For Higgs, prerolls are a black-and-white proposition, with splashes of neon blue and flamingo pink accenting the packages. White boxes are sativa-like, and black packs are indica-like. (Lindsey Bartlett/Weedmaps News)

Higgs has stepped up the preroll joint pack game with its look and style. Its kitschy, ’80s-esque packs come in two options: White (sativa-like) and Black (indica-like). The oddly satisfying feel of these cardboard packs come with their own Higgs matchbooks. Down to the details on the crutch, these are simply divine. It’s cannabis is cultivated by Greenstone Farms and the smoke is mellow, burning smooth, with kief packed just densely enough for them to burn evenly. 

Its preroll flower is tested by Encore Labs and show a cannabinoid profile for its indica Black pack with 23% THCA and its terpene profile includes 0.43% caryophyllene, a terp that would taste like cloves, black pepper, or hops; and 0.13% consists of bisabolol, which echoes the flavor and aromas of cinnamon, chamomile, and lavender. The sleek little packs are perfect for a night on the town. Throw one in your back pocket and let shenanigans ensue. 

Availability: California, Colorado

Find it on Weedmaps

Canndescent 

Just like wine or beer flights, Canndescent presents a flight of five joints with promised effects: Calm, Cruise, Create, Connect, and Charge. (Photo courtesy of Canndescent)

A preroll flight? Yes, please. California-based Cannadescent has a great lineup of prerolled joint packs that are organized not by strain, but instead by the intended effect that each J would allow the smoker to experience. The flower inside is grown using purified water and organic pesticides, while each preroll pack containing a total of an eighth of flower rolled up across 5 joints. 

From the looks of the lab results for Canndescent’s Preroll Flight, one can swing from a heavy indica called Calm 117, which tests at a high 27% THC, with a terpene profile predominantly consisting of citrusy limonene, lavender-esque linalool that sounds like it would make for a relaxing nighttime toke. On the other end of the spectrum, mind-buzzing Connect 411 is a fun sativa found in the Flight. It contains 17% total THC, and a fragrant, piney terpene profile strong in alpha-pinene.

Availability: California

Find it on Weedmaps

Caliva

Evoking the tropics, Caliva’s preroll boxes in soothing blue hues offer five filtered joints to a pack. You can set your soul at ease knowing the plants were blessed by a shaman. (Photo courtesy of Caliva)

Caliva has grown coveted indoor weed since its founding in 2015 in San Jose, California. Today, its vertically integrated cultivation facilities produce 11,000 pounds, or nearly 4,990 kilograms, of cannabis a year. Even on this scale, a shaman blesses Caliva’s plants every Wednesday, the company said. Caliva’s scope is wide across the California, but it has not sacrificed quality for product accessibility.

The company’s shaman-blessed cultivation method translates into its joint packs. Bright, tropical-patterned packs called Toasties, alongside the smaller personal joints, Dogwalkers, each offer convenience. Toasties Bold light easily, don’t canoe, and pack a pungent smoke and mellow feel. A recent pack of Bolds tested at 12% total THC, which may seem lower on the scale compared with the more potent joints on this list, but are in fact perfect for a smoker seeking a mellow high, a night in with girlfriends, a lowkey sesh, as Caliva intends with its smaller packs, during a “dog walk.” These won’t make you tired, which is an effect I often seek depending on what the day requires. The prerolls have a nice filter that makes for a delightfully smooth hit. 

Where to find it: California

Find it on Weedmaps

Sunday Goods

Sunday Goods, based in Arizona but now with a presence in California, packages five preroll joints to a tin. (Photo courtesy of Sunday Goods)

Sunday Goods speaks to the cannabis consumer who has a reverence for nature, saying on its site that cannabis contains “healing magic.” Sunday Goods grows weed in its 320,000 square-foot, 7-acre Dutch glass greenhouse located in Willcox, Arizona. The hip company, which expanded from Arizona to California in November 2018, sells 5-gram, five-joint pack tins that are high quality at an often accessible price. 

Joints come in “experiences” Rest, Delight, Spark, as well as strain blends of indica, sativa, and hybrid, and rare strains Wookies, Grape Pie, and Kirkwood OG. Hybrid joint packs tested by Cannalysis Headquarters show a makeup of 15.5% THC. Sunday Goods’ recent Indica tested at 17% total THC. I would expect these prerolls to offer some pain relief alongside a stoney, calm relaxation. Most importantly, they smoke evenly and taste just as good as they look.

Availability: Arizona, California

Find it on Weedmaps

Pure Beauty 

Joints peer out from the yellow box of Pure Beauty, which contains Sativa Lemon Haze. (Photo courtesy of Pure Beauty)

Prerolls, but make it fashion. These devilish looking “flower cigarettes” from Los Angeles-based Pure Beauty contain unique strains of cannabis wrapped in hemp paper with a wood fiber crutch. They’ve also been described as “visual ASMR,” by Nice Paper. With its colorful packaging and peeking eyes, this preroll pack is divine. 

Pure Beauty’s rare strain offerings are sold as an eighth and broken down into five joints, ranging in potency. Its Special Sativa Blend, tested by Harrens Lab, tested at 24% THC and is high in caryophyllene and humulene, which would seem to give these joints spiced orange, flowers, and cinnamon scents. 

Availability: California

Stone Road Farms

Stone Road Farms makes Standard and Reserve prerolls from farms in Humboldt and Santa Barbara counties in Californa. (Photo courtesy of Stone Road Farms)

The Northern California-grown Stone Road Farms emulates style and class in its sophisticated joint packs. Varieties come in Standard and Reserve, as well as Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid. Stone Road’s cannabis is grown by two main farms in Northern California, one in Humboldt County, and one family-owned operation out of Santa Barbara, called Private Reserve.

A recent strain that appeared in Stone Road’s whimsical corked glass joints was Sour OG. It tested by CannaSafe at 27% THCa, and of the rest of the cannabinoids broke down among CBD and other “unsung hero” cannabinoids including, CBG, cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), and cannabichromene (CBC), all of which offer myriad benefits both physical and mental that researchers are just now learning more about The terpene on the top of the charts for this strain is caryophyllene, giving it the classic skunky kick that stoners typically love.

Availability: California

710 Labs

Preroll joints come in a jar of 10 from the folks at 710 Labs, with a fusilli noodle included as a crutch. (Photo courtesy of 710 Labs)

OGs roll better OG. These rare joints are individually hand-rolled using in-house flower that is grown in wild, beautiful living soil. The joint packs are pricey, but quite a treat for the weed-snob.

Strains grown by 710 Labs include Banana Pie #14, Ghost Hulk #25, and Dolato, a pungent, flavorful genetic mix between Dosidos and Gelato. Each joint is not ground finely by a machine but instead broken-down in a grinder to help maintain the colas and to create a joint similar to one you’d roll at home. The unique component is the gluten-free, organic fusilli noodle as a crutch, a nice finishing touch with the functional solution of adding great airflow. 

Availability: California, Colorado

Find it on Weedmaps

Loud Packs USA

Loud Packs USA is full of California love. Its prerolls associate a popular strain with the cities of San Francisco, pictured, Los Angeles, Oakland, and San Diego. (Photo courtesy of Loud Packs USA)

Loud Packs are bright, hand-rolled wonders. Loud Packs USA has been making sleek and stylistic preroll packs with four one-gram joints since 2008. In its packs you will find one-gram joints, along with a sleek and stylist pack and matching lighter. Each pack represents a different California city: Sunset Sherbet for Oakland, GSC for San Francisco, Blue Dream for San Diego, and OG Kush for Los Angeles. All flower is tested by Steep Hill Lab

Availability: California

Find it on Weedmaps

Feature Image: A golden pack filled-to-the-brim with prerolled joints. Photo provided by Stone Road Farms.

The post The Preroll Joint Packs You Need to Try appeared first on Weedmaps News.