It’s 2018, boys and girls, and things ain’t what they used to be — marijuana included. While it’s still super common in the age of digital vaporizers and James Bond 007-style vape pens to “roll up a fatty” and smoke pot the OG, Bob Marley style, one thing’s for certain; that weed you’ve got in there ain’t your daddy’s weed.
In this article, we take a look at 5 of the most significant ways that weed has changed since you were in high school. And to be clear, we’re not talking about high school if you’re like, currently a sophomore in college — this one’s for all you Gen X’ers (and potentially even Gen Y’ers) out there!!
#1: Potency is Higher… Much Higher
The most obvious (and certainly most significant) way that marijuana has changed over the last few decades is that it’s now much, much stronger. In fact, Forbes Magazine recently did an article on the topic and found that while THC levels (THC is the substance in pot that alters your state of mind and gets you high) have substantially increased in most strains, overall CBD levels have decreased (CBD is the therapeutic substance that “counteracts” the high).
In other words, we are now getting higher on marijuana than we ever have before.
In fact, in many instances the highs have been much, much too intense: hospitalizations due to the consumption of pot continue to increase year by year, and some ultra-high THC oils, edibles and concentrates can easily produce hallucinations and highs that are comparable with mushrooms or LSD.
Depending upon how you look at it, this can be a good thing or a bad thing. We tend to agree with the general idea that since weed is a 100% natural herb from the earth, it shouldn’t be tampered with or altered in terms of potency (i.e. making THC gummies or extracting oils to make a 98% THC concentrate).
On the other hand, high-potency concentrates and resins have undeniably helped thousands of critically ill patients and those suffering with the likes of nausea, pain, depression and anxiety, so it’s very hard to definitively say that concentrates are bad.
#2: You Can Now Fully “Customize” Your High
What do we mean by “customize” your high? Well, when people used to smoke pot back in the “good old days,” the only option they had was to fire up a joint or pipe with ground-up flower, and take the effects that the smoke gave them. (Not that that was a bad thing).
Now, though, considering the fact that we have pinpointed the boiling points of several of weed’s most crucial active compounds, we can literally pick and choose which effects we want to feel, and which ones we don’t.
For example, if getting stoned is your only objective and you simply are trying to get higher than Cheech in “Up in Smoke,” you can fire up a gravity bong or set your digital vape to max temp, and enjoy all that your particular strain has to offer.
However, if you tend to have issues with weed-induced paranoia or simply want to enjoy some of the pain-relieving, therapeutic effects of pot with as much of the high, you can vape dry herb or oils at much lower temps (typically 360℉ or less) to experience calmer, more sedative effects.
#3: Vapes are Changing the Game
Speaking of vapes, vaping marijuana certainly isn’t something that your dad would’ve ever dreamed of doing back in the 1960’s or 70’s. In fact, if you’d have shown up in a high school parking lot in like 1964 with a state-of-the-art DaVinci vape and told them it was a device for consuming bud, they’d have likely laughed you out of town (until they actually tried it and got stoned of their asses, of course).
However, it’s important to point out the fact that not all vapes are made the same. Marijuana vape pens that come with disposable oil cartridges are something that you have to keep a particularly keen eye on, for instance, as many of the manufacturers produce them with harsh chemical solvents like polyethylene glycol (PEG) or propylene glycol (PG), which can break down into carcinogenic aldehydes (like formaldehyde) when inhaled at high temperatures.
#4: Buying Pot is as Easy as Buying a Gallon of Milk
While this is indeed a relatively odd comparison, it’s certainly no exaggeration – at least in states where marijuana has been legalized recreationally.
In these states, buying insanely high-potency bud can be as simple as walking into a storefront (better known as a marijuana dispensary), telling the ‘budtender’ (a modern-day ‘bartender’) what you want, paying at the register, and then walking back out.
Granted you do have to shown an ID and be over the age of 21 (we’ve never heard of anyone having to show ID to buy milk), but still – you get the idea. Your dad would’ve likely chomped at the bit to have this opportunity, rather than having to deal with the (highly illegal) act of negotiating with a shady (and often times crooked) low-level pot dealer.
#5: We Know About CBD and Terpenes
In terms of health and the medical benefits we are receiving from marijuana, our discovery of CBD and terpenes may just prove to be one of the most relevant and significant medicinal findings since the introduction of penicillin back in 1928.
Indeed, it is now known that CBD – scientifically known as cannabidiol – interacts with an endogenous system of receptors and neurotransmitters in our body called the endocannabinoid system. Among other things, the endocannabinoid system is believed to help regulate overall homeostasis, meaning it controls such things as immune and pain response, appetite, emotional behavior, and sleep patterns.
If cannabis is federally legalized and more money is put into the industry so that we can research how to administer and manipulate non-psychoactive CBD to its maximum effect, there is likely no known condition that will be beyond the therapeutic healing effects of marijuana.
Final Thoughts on How Weed Has Changed Since You Were in High School
While changes no doubt come in both good and bad forms, it is undeniable that cannabis has changed drastically since your parents (or you) used to smoke it back in high school.
While the discovery of non-psychoactive therapeutic compounds like CBD and terpenes have allowed us to treat millions of suffering individuals in terms of pain relief, other more negative aspects such as a ridiculously increased potency have been sending people to the hospital and increasing cases of THC-induced psychosis, paranoia, and anxiety.
Whatever your opinion may be on the ways marijuana has changed over the years, one thing is for certain: it HAS changed, and will certainly continue to change as the years go by and more discoveries are made.