How I Got My In-Laws to Try Weed
My parents in-law were born and raised in an ex-soviet country. Their culture was in direct opposition to North American culture, firmly believing that every aspect of each other is misguided and wrong-headed. This is especially true of marijuana, which went along with denim jeans and rock music to complete the soviet counter culture. After immigrating, my in-laws had survived a couple of decades against peer pressure from work colleagues and even their own children, just to try a single puff of pot. I got them to try cannabis in about 15 minutes of convincing, with home-made edibles.
Getting inebriated is a similar experience whether it is from booze or weed. I told my mother in-law that she can have a little for a slight buzz or have a lot, overdo it and be blackout. In popular culture, we’ve been shown that cannabis landings you closer to that blackout experience. Shows and movies like Cheech and Chong, That 70’s Show, or Dazed and Confused tell us to expect a grandiose loss of our sensibilities, perhaps some hallucination, garnished with giggles and paranoia. Contrasting that to typical representation of alcohol; our heroes can be casual drinkers, having a beer to blend in with the crowd, social binge drinkers at a company Christmas party or even full blown alcoholics, drinking cocktails or whiskey constantly through the day. We are rarely unnerved by the antics of the drunkest drunk in film. A large factor in the popularity of booze or weed is the way we consume them. We usually drink one and smoke the other. This is a big deal for social acceptance. Everybody eats, it’s less intimidating to try eating something else, especially if its in a delicious form factor. Not everyone smokes, and if you’re not already into it, you’re highly unlikely to start smoking impulsively. In addition to that, there’s portion control. If you wanted to drink one standard alcoholic drink, you would likely have very little difficulty completing the task using your favourite beverage. Ordering a double gin and tonic, you could be sure that you’re receiving two shots of gin in your drink. Going back to cannabis, not many people would be able to tell you how many milligrams of THC are in the joint they just rolled, or be able to inhale enough smoke to only consume 5 milligrams of THC. Adding to that, modern cannabis is significantly more potent and higher quality than what was available 30 years ago. The days of excessive seeds and stems are gone. Quality cannabis gets a thorough trimming, now you only pay for the bud. Recent cannabis strains are pushing the limits of THC content over 30% (300mg/g) with the average retail strain sitting around 15%. This is the equivalent of liquor stores changing out all of their beer for malt liquor.
Smoking overly potent weed isn’t a great place to start for my in-laws, or anyone else. The recent legalization and availability of cannabis infused edibles provides us with some improved alternatives. Although, a single potency level for edibles set by regulations has many people asking themselves if 10mg of THC is too much, too little are just right. Experienced cannabis users will decry the 10mg limit as being criminally low while few other user groups have any opinion at all. At least you’ll know that after a few tries, you’ll be quite sure about the effect that 10mg has on you, good or bad.
The best products to get you started
There are quite a few cannabis edibles products that are available now or soon to be in stores. Here at Friendibles, we’ve a look at some of the ones that the major producers are putting out for us and picked out a selection of ones that we think are a great way to start introducing yourself to the modern cannabis experience.
Aurora’s cannabis strains take names inspired by concepts from the frozen North and mountain locations close to their base of operations. Offering a couple different options of gummy candies and mints, they also offer a unique product called a dissolve strip. Aurora does not identify which of their strains has been used to make the edible.
- Offering grape and raspberry flavours, each candy contains 2mg of THC. You’ll find five gummies in each pack for the total of 10mg of THC. Two milligrams is a great place to start for most of us.
- Two flavors of mints are offered by Aurora, the difference only noticeable to the most discerning tongue, peppermint and spearmint. Each mint contains 2mg of THC and come in 5-packs for a total of 10mg of THC. Aurora promises that you’ll barely be able to taste the flavor of cannabis.
Tweed has started naming their cannabis strains in a sensible, non-intimidating way. Names like Penelope and Bakerstreet hint at the promise of a refined experience for your in-laws rather than the totally radical way the skunk will hit them and ruin their day. Tweed’s treats are named for the strain that they’ve used to infuse the edible.
- This treat is broken up into four pieces, each with 2.5mg of THC, containing a total of 10 mg for the package. That gives us the opportunity to break up the way we consume THC into smaller increments. This is much better than taking the whole 10mg at once, however, for many beginners and casual users, 2.5mg already puts us at the edge of our seat.
- The availability of infused drinks is heavily dependent on what Province you are in. The two largest markets, Alberta and Ontario have been slow to approve infused drinks.
- Each beverage contains 2 mg of THC and each drink is 355mL, the same as most beer and pop. Two milligrams are a great place to start and it is very easy to drink partial amounts of a beverage.
Unfortunately, that’s not a lot of options for edibles for someone just getting into cannabis, and they’re mostly restricted to a candy-form. On top of that, you’ll likely have a hard time actually getting a hold of any as the supply chain promises slow restocking for the first part of 2020. If you’re not afraid to get a little crafty at home, you can make your own with a little help from some innovative products. Cannabis infusers and edibles kits can help you get that fully personalized THC concentration and taste. We’ve reviewed the products available in Canada here.
What getting high is like
A key part of convincing my in-laws to try my home-made edibles was giving them a reasonably detail picture of what being high is actually like. The media, especially in Soviet Union, has strongly tainted our imagination of what the effect of cannabis is. Most forget that you can take in a little bit of THC and get a small buzz, or consume a lot and knock yourself out. Whether we become giggly or spaced out primarily depends on the amount of THC that has entered our body and our tolerance. Cannabis doesn’t care about your body type or your overall weight. Cannabis tolerance is more complex and has a stronger link to how frequently you use it.
Getting high on cannabis is only similar to drinking booze in that you will feel inebriated. The way it impacts your capabilities is very different.
Alcohol often encourages people to become more talkative, their mental inhibitions may be removed and they may appear more confident. Alcohol will distort your balance and lower the precision of your physical actions, including the pronunciation of words. Cannabis will promote a more introspective experience and doesn’t leave you with the same crippling hangover. Your brain may become jumbled with thoughts, reducing your ability to follow conversations. This often has the effect of making music and movies appear profound with hidden layers of meaning. Cannabis does not impact your balance or movement; however it will distort the spatial perception of your own body which can feel like the same thing. You may find yourself trying to rediscover the correct mental commands that make your arms move, completely forgetting that they don’t need complex instruction.
While wine, beer and liquor have a progressive numbing effect on your mind and bodily functions, weed only impairs your mind. Alcohol and cannabis perform these mind impairments differently, alcohol by slowing thoughts down and reducing your ability to sense the world around you, and cannabis by distracting your brain with thoughts flying around like bumper cars. Regardless of consuming a little or a lot, being inebriated is being inebriated. Your brain is a very important part of what makes you a generally capable person, a person that can drive cars and be responsible in a professional setting. Just because you think the effects aren’t noticeable doesn’t mean that you’re as fully capable as always. Don’t drive vehicles, operate machinery or go to work after consuming cannabis.
To get my in-laws to try weed required that my edibles were in a delicious form factor (chocolate fudge brownies) and I promised they were low dose (2mg THC each), so that they could always have one more if they weren’t feeling the way they expected. A familiar consumption method was invaluable. My in-laws had withstood 20 years of people trying to offer them joints and other dried marijuana to smoke. But when I offered them something to eat, it only took 15 minutes.
Are cannabis edibles even a big thing? Is cannabis a big thing? Only time will answer these questions, but while we wait, the products that are being tested on the market are re-imagining cannabis and the ways we consume it. Maybe you’re not keen on using cannabis to bond with your in-laws, but it’s never been a better time to try it out for those of us that are brand new to cannabis. It’s also a great time to try again if you’ve only ever had bad experiences before.
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