With the reality of legal recreational weed closer than ever, the outdated pothead stereotype is being replaced by a new kind of toker: The smart and sophisticated Cannabis Connoisseur. He’s educated, informed, productive, and above all, he smokes weed without simultaneously double dipping chips on the couch. Which is great for everyone, since as activists have been shouting for years, pot is basically a miracle drug that men can use to treat insomnia, anxiety, depression, ADD, and eating disorders (which you already knew, because it’s pretty damn hard to forego food when you have the munchies). The Haute High has arrived, and the cannabis connoisseur knows how to smoke weed responsibly and in style.
But where to begin? If you haven’t rolled one up since your college days, the fast-evolving, weed-friendly world we now live in can seem a little intimdating. Do you know the difference between Sativa, Indica and Hybrid strains? What’s the big deal with PAX2 anyways? And even if you’ve been a midnight toker for years, legal weed brings new ways to get the same effects — the stuff of stoner dreams, like gels, pills, and edibles that actually taste edible. That’s why we made a guide for the bourgeoning cannabis connoisseur. High class indeed.
Where to buy it
Before you step into a white Cadillac on the corner of X and Y intersection, take a moment and rethink what you’re doing as a fully grown man. It’s the dawn of a radical new era, and doctors are more willing to prescribe marijuana for patients seeking pain relief. If your doctor prescribes it, your next stop is a medical marijuana dispensary.
Dispensaries, in case you haven’t noticed, are everywhere, and they offer a broad range of cannabis products to help you treat symptoms from stress, insomnia, anxiety, ADD, muscle spasms and more. Here are four of the country’s best to get you started.
This St. Lawrence Market dispensary stocks an extensive menu of flowers and edibles, including premium strains you can’t find anywhere else.
Sunrise Wellness Foundation
Voted Vancouver’s Best Dispensary by the Canadian Cannabis Awards (which, given BC’s reputation, is saying something), you’re sure to get the variety and quality you’re searching for at this Mt. Pleasant storefront.
Open since 1999, this iconic east coast dispensary has a reputation for the city’s bud. Don’t be afraid to ask questions; these guys know what they’re talking about.
The first medical marijuana clinic to open in Alberta, 420 Clinic is a reputable dispensary with an onsite massage therapist and cooking classes. Very convenient.
Back when drug dealers called the shots, there was virtually zero info about weed, strains, and medical benefits. Now, with greater access to medical-grade marijuana, the real connoisseurs aren’t afraid to ask the questions that matter. Here’s a crash course in the building blocks of all marijuana strains.
Indica: They call it “In-da-couch,” because it’s a high that will make your body feel like a bag of bricks. Originating in the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan, Indica is known for its thick coat of resin and relaxing effect on symptoms like anxiety, insomnia and muscle spasms.
Sativa: You’re the creative type who’s looking for a daytime high that won’t turn your afternoon into an all-day nap. This, friend, is the uplifting-productive high you’ve been waiting for. Relieving symptoms like depression, ADD and mood disorders, Sativa helps energize and stimulate the mind like a Red Eye with double-espresso.
Hybrids: Depending on the ratio between Sativa and Indica, hybrids offer a range of effects that scale between a body and mind high. True connoisseurs will know what they’re looking for regarding mind-body effect and symptom-specific needs.
7 Strains Worth Trying
Blue Dream: This widely accessible, Sativa-dominant hybrid mixes Blueberry and Haze for an all-star genetic load. With a creeping calmness and sweet blueberry aroma, Blue Dream is a popular pick for those suffering from depression and ADD.
Kush: Originating from the humid climates of Afghanistan, Northern Pakistan, and Western India, this legendary Indica is discernable by its short, stocky and sparkly bud.
OG Kush: A notorious west coast bud with mythical origins. Rumour has it, OG Kush was born from parents Chemdawg and Hindu Kush, giving it a familiar short and stocky build with sour lemon scent. Well known for its stress-relieving effects, OG Kush continues to flourish in Florida, Colorado and Southern California.
Green Crack: This strain has risen the ranks of popularity with its invigorating and chatterbox effect on people.
Girl Scout Cookies: Eating big to build muscle? Pump up the appetite with this Cannabis Cup Award-winning hybrid strain. Better known by it sweet, grape flavour, GSC is the go-to bud for full body relaxation, euphoria, and severe pain relief.
AK-47: Reigning supreme since the ’90s, this 24-year-old hybrid strain is the perfect balance between deep relaxation and euphoria. A must-try classic for any man who considers himself a cannabis connoisseur.
Triple Diesel: Say hello to the giggle gas of marijuana. Take enough of it, and you might find yourself permafried on a brain vacation. Be careful.
If you’re tired of lighting up with flowers, it’s time to venture into new territory. That means getting comfortable with concentrates.
Hash: It’s a classic paste we know and love; better known as plant resin that’s been condensed together for extra potency. It’s much stronger than smoking weed, with a higher concentration of THC and cannabinoids.
Oil: If you’re experiencing chronic pain, BHO (also known as “Shatter” or “Ice”) is a potent form of marijuana treatment created by butane extraction of cannabinoids. Other oils include CO2, an amber oil produced by supercritical fluid extraction (stripping marijuana plant down to essential, most potent, compounds), and Rick Simpson Oil (or Phoenix Tears), a liquid tar that’s topically applied to treat skin cancer and arthritis.
Tinctures: Since at least the 1930s, tinctures have been used as a run-of-the-mill treatment for pain. Drop it beneath your tongue for a taste of old-school medical marijuana treatment. It’s an excellent alternative for those who prefer not to smoke.
Modern weed culinarians have moved past the basic brownie: these days, you can get everything from cakes and chocolate bars to gummy bears and muffins packed with the good stuff. Beyond the obvious taste benefits, what makes edibles so appealing is how they allow THC to be absorbed in the body. Instead of quick-fix pain relief from smoking or vaping, edibles have the power to cause a more intense, long-lasting high as the liver metabolizes the THC.
One note of caution, though: be sure to resist the temptation to eat more than you can handle. Start with small bites. Wait a few hours. Go from there. If you do eat too much, well, just remember it’s impossible to die from a cannabis overdose. So try and stay cool, alright?
Admit it. The last time you rolled a joint, you were five beers down in a parking lot outside a Hip concert. The good news is that you don’t need to be Young Thug to smoke weed like the cool kids. Modern technology has given pot lovers an array of gadgets that make blazing easier than ever.
This sleek, pocket-sized one-hitter comes complete with a filter designed to keep your inhales smooth.
It’s a classic that’s undeniably tried and tested brilliant. Low cost, easy-to-use, it’s a staple for the guy locked and loaded with pre-rolled joints.
Thanks to its elegant Scandinavian design, this bullet-sized pipe is the perfect discreet device for the man about town.
Crafted from lightweight metal chrome, this portable undercover vaporizer is a must-have for potheads on-the-go.
C’mon. How could we not include an iPhone case that comes with a skunk-proof storage compartment? Slide open the air-tight back compartment to stash up to five rolled joints.