How To Use Cannabis Without Being A Jerk
Look, we know that weed is hip now and many of you are coming over to the dark side for the first time. Please allow us to welcome you with some stoner etiquette and general cannabis 101 knowledge. From what not to do to how to blaze like a lifer, these tips are clutch.
The first thing to understand is that for many, smoking weed is a lifestyle. We’ve been hiding it for so long that we developed our own culture. This includes pet peeves to avoid and rituals most of us engage in. Just in case you run into the Stoner Emily Post you’ll be ready.
How To Use Cannabis: The Circle
Time to smoke? Where is the circle!? You have certainly seen that tokers love to obtain circular formation before lighting up. It seems that no amount of internet research reveals the reason for this. I have some theories though.
Clearly, smoking makes the rotation easier to follow. Oh yeah, you always pass to the left and it’s kind of a big deal to make sure you get the direction right. This whole process is called ‘the rotation.’ You won’t be drawn and quartered for screwing up the rotation but someone will probably bring it up and tease you. Once everyone is stoned it would be nearly impossible to remember who gets the next hit so a circle helps avoid accidentally missing someone. That is a super rude stoner move.
Additionally, smoking in a circle makes it a bit harder to see in, thus avoiding nosey onlookers.
How To Use Cannabis: That Stank
The dankest of the stankest, cannabis is smelly and most ‘heads are always trying to obscure that telltale odor. Incense is popular as are pungent essential oils like patchouli. There’s always some guy who douses himself in Axe Body Spray too. Don’t be that guy. If you don’t want to smell like a hippie, try Fabreeze or something.
There could be some spiritual significance with the incense for some smokers as well.
How To Use Cannabis: The Dark Lighter Butt
Smokers tend to push the bowl of weed down periodically because it burns more evenly this way. Unfortunately, this leaves a conspicuous dark stain on the bottom corner of the lighter. If you’re out and about and spot someone with a stained lighter, you’re in the presence of a fellow stoner.
How To Use Cannabis: 420
There are endless rumors about where the term 420, a code for smoking pot, comes from. The cat’s out of the bag, by the way- everybody knows what that means now.
Anyway, let’s quickly separate the fact from the fiction so you don’t get got in the circle.
It seems the idea of 420 sprung from a code utilized by a team of high school kids that called themselves The Waldos.
So these Waldos liked to get stoned near a wall at school, hence the clever name. They had to keep the squares off their case though, so things were clandestine. At some point, they heard about a legendary lost crop of marijuana, free for the taking. The only catch was to find it.
They had a map and were down for some hunting, but how could they communicate about the plans in school? The agreement was to meet up after the school day to start looking. The magical time just happened to be 4:20 p.m.
Because, spoiler alert, there was no free weed, this process lasted days. Some say weeks, in fact. As the Waldos passed each other in the halls, they would say ‘420’ to reference their meetup.
From here things do get a bit iconic. It’s accepted legend that this term spread because one of the Waldos had the good fortune of smoking with Phil Lesh a couple of times and probably shared the code. From there, Lesh and the Dead took the phrase and spent the rest of their lives touring the world, getting stoned and weaving American cannabis’ hippie counter-culture origin story.
Did Lesh bogart the phrase? He just doesn’t remember.
How To Use Cannabis: Nature
A lot of potheads love nature and they won’t shut up about it. Get them high and it’s even worse. They love to camp, fish, sit on decks and lounge in pools or lakes while toking. Is this a stereotype? Sure, but something about marijuana makes nature so damn beautiful it just goes hand in hand.
How To Use Cannabis: Bowls, Pipes, Chokes, Bongs And Slides
I can’t give you a full list of stoner vocabulary right now but these terms are the most frequently used and likely to be the most foreign to newcomers.
A bowl is any kind of marijuana pipe. They’re often ‘spoon shaped’ but not always. Other styles may be called chillums (small bowl, long stem) or one-hitters (small similarly sized stick shaped pipes). Bowls and pipes are interchangeable terms unless your friends are jerks themselves.
A choke is a hole on the side of the bowl that you plug with your finger while drawing in the smoke. This provides some resistance. When you’re done, release your finger and breathe in and take all the smoke. If you can’t ‘clear the chamber’ of smoke, gently blow into the pipe or bong stem to clear it before passing.
Gently need emphasis, especially with bongs as they are filled with water and you’ll embarrass yourself.
A bong is just a big pipe in a tabletop shape that you fill with water to smooth out and cool each hit. The water should be changed frequently but most people with bongs don’t so beware. It’s rude to hand someone a filthy bong but it happens all the time.
The bowl piece on a bong is sometimes called a slide or a male piece while the bit it fits into is the female piece.
Go Now, I Think You Are Ready
Notice a humorous tone to this article? While all these things are true, pot smokers are a traditionally mellow and accepting bunch. If your squad is giving you crap because you’re new to Merry Mary Jane, find some new friends.
Get lifted, stay safe, and welcome to the club.