The increasing acceptance of marijuana in America has moved far beyond its traditional presence in college dorms and private dispensaries. It is now a major part of upscale health therapy resorts, fine dining and even popular mixed drinks. This isn’t too surprising considering the fact that, according to recent polls, the majority of Americans now support its legalization.
Granted, the psychoactive plant still has detractors. While some U.S. states have moved to aggressively legalize it, many still oppose it on grounds that its potential benefits – tax revenue, job creation and less-burdened jails – are not enough to counter the potential negative effects of more people on the plant. The alleged negative effects, like their role as a gateway drug to harder substances, have also not been fully proven either. At the very least, there’s not enough evidence that says taking dope will be more harmful than legal mood-alterers like alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, and pharmaceutical products.
So while we wait for the rest of the country to make up its mind, here are some OZY reporters’ picks for pot-full experiences you may want to try this weekend.
Reporter Meghan Walsh took on the difficult assignment of trying out the country’s first fully-integrated weed spa and came out feeling quite…high. After a 16-mile run the day before, Walsh eagerly puffed away on a hand-held vape pen, inhaled a sweet honeydew-flavored steam and before long, was getting massaged with cannabis oil. This increasingly popular spa, called Primal Wellness, also offers facials, mani/pedis and even meditation and yoga classes. Even if the health benefits of topical cannabis use is almost purely anecdotal at this point, there’s no question people are leaving this place feeling good.
Experts have argued for decades that sex is better when high, and more people than ever are agreeing. One researcher recently declared the green plant was a central component to sexual hijinks in ancient Hindu and Buddhist Tantra and that it can still enhance the sensations of sex. Pot legalization in some states has pushed entrepreneurs to use this idea in order to mix weed and sex to make money. A well-received marijuana-infused sex lube for women named Furia, for example, was recently launched and similar products are on the way. Even some porn stars are cashing in by partnering with growers and having smoke sessions on live cams with fans. But whether you decide to take your love of sex and weed public or not, there’s no denying this funky mix is becoming a legitimate mainstream practice.
Like monthly subscription services that help you get high, a new San Francisco startup named Marvina is hand-delivering top bud samples directly to people’s homes. There aren’t a lot of product choices for now: only sativa (an energetic high) and indica (more of a sink-in-the-sofa mellow feeling). But the lack of choice is by design – co-founder Dane Pieri says choosing a good bud among many at a cannabis dispensary can be overwhelming. His business just chooses the best and builds up users’ trust. There’s another fun element at play that’s also a benefit: education. Each box, according to our roving reporter, has a printout that explains the strains’ effects, flavor profiles and histories.
Americans are not the only ones getting blasted. Europeans have happily played with Mary Jane for years, even in the face of widespread pot prohibition. Cannabis social clubs, our Euro reporter Laura Secorun reports, are growing centers of weed culture off many big city side streets. Club members only have to pay “a small yearly fee” and just hang out playing games, watching TV and of course, eating warm, good food. These clubs often operate in countries where personal consumption of small amounts of weed is not prosecuted, such as in the Spanish province of Catalonia or Slovenia. The more these types of hangouts are around, Secorun says, the more likely underground weed clubs will come out of the shadows.
College-aged kids have been mixing weed with food for ages but the rise of high-end, health food culture has brought a more refined take on the practice. Julianna Carella, founder of the cannabis snacks business Auntie Dolores in Oakland, CA, is one of the top purveyors of clean weed food-making. The drinkable high is her specialty and it involves a wild combination of frozen bananas, yogurt, coconut milk and some other weed-infused ingredients. Want to know the rest of the recipe? Check out the video right here.