It’s going to be a green Thanksgiving for families across a lot of America this year.
Gathering with family and a copious amount of food and drink is part of what makes the Thanksgiving holiday so special. But many families in certain America states may be considering adding a different offering to their holiday menu this year: marijuana.
Thanks to the 2016 election, California, Massachusetts, Nevada and possibly Maine have all voted to legalize cannabis for recreational use among adults, joining Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Alaska and Washington DC. So, now that pot is legal for millions more families and the stigma surrounding cannabis use is slumping faster than you can slide into the comfy spot on your couch, it’s safe to say that it’s going to be a very relaxing Thanksgiving for many.
But maybe it’s been a few decades since you picked up a joint. Maybe you’re still terrified after that one time you ate a weird pot brownie at a college party and spent your entire night hugging the porcelain throne. Maybe your mom wants to try it for the first time but doesn’t know how. How do you introduce some stickiness into your Thanksgiving feast?
Don’t worry, we’ve got your back.
How to bring it up
Without getting too political, a good way to see if your family is open to toking is to see how they feel about recent marijuana legalization. Ask them about their experiences with cannabis, and from there you can see if they’re open to trying it. If they oppose, don’t push them. Inform them that cannabis has had a positive effect on countless people, and it’s safer than alcohol. Point to experiment states like Colorado where marijuana has been legalized without any major repercussion. If it doesn’t work this time around, think of this as an opportunity to plant the seed for the other upcoming holidays. Then sneak out and toke by yourself.
There are a number of medical benefits from cannabis, so suggesting that it may help with a specific ailment, such as headaches or anxiety, may also be a good way to suggest trying it out.
Pick your method
While consuming cannabis in the past meant rolling up a joint and heading to the back porch, there are endless option for those who are lucky enough to live where retail marijuana shops are already open.
Marijuana flower, or the dried buds from a female cannabis plant is the most common form. While this is probably the easiest and safest bet for smoking weed with your family, you still have plenty of choices to make.
First, you need to select your weed. There is an enormous and ever-changing number of strains out there, and they’re all going to have a slightly different effect on everyone. If you’re buying your weed legally, ask your bud tender for some suggestions.
Cannabis is derived from indica or sativa strains or a hybrid of the two. Indica is known for its relaxing, lethargic qualities while sativa is known for it’s buzzy, uplifting boost.
Because of the nature of Thanksgiving, we would recommend trying a hybrid or sativa with low THC level. (THC is the active component in marijuana that makes you feel stoned. Like alcohol, the higher the percentage, the more potent the weed will be.) Our reasoning behind this is that it’s easy enough for people to fall asleep on the couch due to overeating, so smoking an indica may further induce couch lock, which is great but won’t allow your family to have a great bonding session.
Smoking or Vaping?
Now that you’ve got your weed you still have to figure out how you’re going to consume it. While vaporization is becoming increasingly popular, you’ll need a weed vape for that, which can get expensive real quick. If you do plan on picking up a vape, we suggest the VaporFi Orbit, ($99) the PAX 2 ($199) or PAX 3 ($275).
If you don’t want to drop some cash on a vape we suggest smoking it the old fashioned way. Most old school stoners will want to reach for a joint, which is a great way to consume, but can easily turn disastrous. Rolling a joint takes a small amount of skill, and the method can force people to consume more than they intend to because it’s constantly burning. We suggest picking up a cheap glass pipe at your local headshop. The weed will taste better and you can take smaller hits, which is important.
Regardless, if you choose vaping or smoking, remember to take it slow. Like alcohol, marijuana doesn’t hit you immediately. Some cannabis strains have a slower onset than others, so we suggest your inexperienced family members take a hit or two, then put the pot down for 20 minutes and let it set in. Consuming too much pot can make people feel anxious, nervous and paranoid, but the “slow and low” method will help to make sure grandma doesn’t overdo it.
With legalization came an abundance of concentrates. Using various methods like C02, butane and even water, THC is extracted from the cannabis flower and turned into wax, shatter, hash or oils which can then be smoked, vaped or dabbed. We don’t suggest trying to the concentrate route if you’re going to introduce cannabis to the family for the first time, but if you do we suggest buying a vape pen pre-loaded with concentrated oil like the one above from Bloom Farms.
While edibles may seem like the easiest and most comfortable route for novice consumers, it’s also the best way to have a terrible time. Eating weed is a totally different beast than smoking or vaping because it’s processed by your liver. When you eat weed, your livers turns delta-9 THC into 11-hydroxy-THC which passes the blood-brain barrier quicker and has a stronger psychedelic effect. Although this process is what makes edibles so great, it can also turn dark real quick.
The most important thing to remember when consuming edibles is to take it slow and to eat a small dosage. It can take up to two hours after you eat your pot edible for the effects to start, and the maximum effect may not climax until hour three or four, so be patient. The most common mistake people make when eating weed is to eat more when they don’t feel the effects, and when it finally does kick in it can be too much thanks to that second or third serving.
The state of Colorado has determined that a single serving of edible marijuana contains 10mg or less of active THC, which has since become somewhat of an industry standard. While 10mg is a nice, medium serving for most people, it’s a good idea to start with a smaller dosage to see how people react.
There are plenty of edibles out there on the market and with the recent popularity of microdosing there are a number of low level edibles that will be perfect for someone trying edible pot for the first time. We suggest trying Mr. Moxey’s Mints, which come in individual 1mg THC serving sizes.
And don’t forget, eating cannabis can impair you for upwards of eight hours, so make sure that everyone is in a safe place with a safe ride home
When and where?
Setting is super important when you’re ready to get high. Cannabis enhances your emotions, your feeling and how you perceive the world around you, which is why people can sometimes get a little bit uncomfortable, weird or anxious. If you’re consuming on Thanksgiving we suggest getting high after dinner but before dessert. This way all the major cooking is done but there’s still another round for the inevitable munchies that will ensue. Throw on some good tunes, relax and remember to have a good time.
If you’re smoking it may be best to do outside, but if it’s illegal in your area, too cold or maybe you have neighbors that live close by you can always make a spoof with a few household items to help mask the pungent odor of marijuana smoke.
What do you do when you’re stoned?
Whatever you do decide to do, this probably isn’t the best time to bring up the results of the recent election with your Trump-loving uncle. We recommend popping in a super silly comedy movie, playing a board game or something that will get you laughing like Cards Against Humanity. Use cannabis as a lubricant to help your family bond, understand each other more and ultimately have a good time.
Avoid scary movies, intense music and uncomfortable and confrontational conversations that can make emotions run high.
Don’t mix with alcohol and other drugs
Although it may seems like a good idea to mix weed and alcohol, we highly discourage mixing the two, especially if you’re going to consume a cannabis edible. While some people can handle mixing the two, mixing pot with booze can make some people ill. Nobody wants to throw up their Thanksgiving dinner.
Don’t pressure anyone
There’s stigma surrounding the cannabis community that’s frankly pretty dangerous and irresponsible. If someone doesn’t want to consume, don’t pressure them, that’s their choice. And if someone only wants to take one hit, that’s fine too. Coaxing someone into taking more than they’re comfortable with can lead to someone having a bad experience and that’s a great way to ruin someone’s viewpoint on pot.
Have a great, safe time and remember to tell your family that you’re thankful for them.