1. You no longer have to light up to get lit
Back in the day, consuming cannabis was quite a process. You had to decode a long list of cryptic names. (Blue Dream or OG Kush?) You needed to roll a joint or pack a bowl with just the right dose, and most likely make a mess in the process. And then, of course, you actually had to smoke it—which is a pretty big turn-off for those who rely on their lungs to get them through half marathons and HIIT classes.
But now, a wave of new delivery methods are making the whole process much easier…and a bit healthier. Brands like W!nk and Quill have created vaporizer pens that dole out consistent doses of high-quality cannabis oil extract, while reportedly being gentler on the respiratory system than smoking.
2. Cannabis tonics are taking over healthy menus
Kale, apple, lemon…CBD? Cannabinoids are making a splash on the wellness beverage scene, too, with several new arrivals appearing in the last few weeks alone.
In New York, T Salon founder Miriam Novalle launched High Tea Today, a new line of loose-leaf and cold-brew teas made with an oil form of the medicinal compound—look for them soon at Hyatt Hotels and Fairway grocery stores. On the West Coast, buzzy LA restaurants Café Gratitude and Gracias Madre are also offering juices, smoothies, and cocktails with a hit of CBD oil, just in case guests want to get extra mellow over dinner. And nationwide, functional tonic brand Torii Labs just dropped Re-Leaf, a shot of the calming compound extracted from an organic strain that promises to soothe the nervous system, boost immunity, and calm inflammation.
3. Organic grass is stepping into the sunlight
Good news for those who won’t touch a conventionally grown tomato, let alone risk even a contact high from cannabis that isn’t grown responsibly: As marijuana prohibition comes to an end in many places, an increasing number of farmers are bringing their crops out of the darkroom and into the sunlight, turning to more natural growing methods in the process.
Flow Kana is a California-based brand that works only with small-batch, organic, sun-grown farmers in the “Emerald Triangle”—Mendocino, Humboldt, and Trinity counties in the state’s northern region. “You can’t replicate farming under natural sunlight,” enthuses Adam Steinberg, the company’s co-founder. “[Industry] studies have shown that sun-grown cannabis tends to have more terpenes, which dictate the smell and taste of the cannabis plant, than indoor [crops]. Plus, there are a lot of fungicides and pesticides used in indoor farming.”
4. Edibles are going gourmet
Forget the sketchy pot brownies and gummy bears of your sorority days. Cannabis edibles are being reimagined for a discerning, high-end customer who’s probably pairing her spiked chocolate with a (pricey) bottle of biodynamic wine, for example.
Cindy Capobianco says this shift is a long time coming. “The problem was that [edibles] weren’t labeled and didn’t have clearly defined doses. They looked like they were made in someone’s kitchen, sold in a plastic bag, and sealed with a staple.”
5. Cannabis communities are on the rise
Concerts are no longer the only places you can get high in a crowd. Cannabis circles are popping up from coast to coast, creating community around the ritual.
Want to try your hand at shibori fabric dying or macramé weaving in between tokes? Join one of the Make and Mary cannabis crafting workshops in Portland, OR. Interested in the farm-to-table food scene? Keep an eye on Flow Kana—in LA, they recently hosted a cannabis-inspired dinner with Outstanding in the Field, complete with weed pairings. Care to give your smoke sesh some women’s circle vibes? Check out a Cannabis Feminist event in LA, dedicated to making marijuana more accessible and appealing to women.
And for those seeking camaraderie in a virtual sense, education platform Green Flower Media just wrapped up its first ever 10-Day Cannabis Health Challenge, which encouraged participants to eat healthier, exercise more, journal, smoke weed everyday, and talk about the whole experience in an online community. (Hey, the green stuff is said to be a great compliment to a cleanse.)
6. Bud will be cropping up in the beauty aisle
“When someone tells us they don’t believe cannabis has any medicinal value, we don’t tell them to try an edible; we tell them to try a topical,” says Capobianco. “Virtually everyone becomes an instant believer.”
Why? CBD-infused body care products from brands like Lord Jones (which, in addition to edibles, also has a line of buzz-worthy lotions) and Apothecanna are adept at relieving inflammation, making them suitable for everything from muscle aches to eczema and psoriasis.
Facial-care lines from the likes of CannaCeuticals and CBD For Life are also causing a stir. Their antioxidant-rich, cannabinoidal extract-laden enzyme treatments, eye creams, serums, and more are being touted for their anti-aging properties. Expect the mainstream skin-care world—including clean beauty brands—to follow suit as regulations continue to relax.
7. Dispensaries are the new apothecaries
When many people imagine a marijuana dispensary, they think blacked-out windows and bulletproof glass. Not exactly full of healing juju, eh?
But that’s all starting to change. Many new shops are debuting with warm, old-school apothecary vibes—MedMen in West Hollywood, CA, Bud and Bloom in Santa Ana, CA, and Harvest‘s two San Francisco locations are all warm wood, open shelving, and staff as friendly as neighborhood pharmacists. (Harvest even invites guests to stay and hang out in its members-only co-working zones.)
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