Socializing and cannabis go together like peanut butter and jelly, which is why humans have been doing it for so long! Cannabis has had thousands of uses throughout human history. There is documented evidence of ancient civilizations using cannabis for spiritual and medicinal purposes. However, one of the early uses of cannabis was as a social bonding tool like alcohol– something to use with others to relax. As the old saying goes, a friend with weed is a friend indeed! With legalization happening in so many states, there are now lots of different options for people looking to socialize with cannabis! Read on to learn more about the social life of cannabis, and why it is so popular.
Partying with Cannabis – a History
Think that socialization and cannabis are something new? Think again. Early cannabis was generally used in the making of hemp products such as rope, paper, and clothes and therefore was not used for psychoactive effects or “to get high.” But that doesn’t mean people weren’t doing it.
As far back as Ancient Greece there have been reports of cannabis being used as a social drug to bring people together. Herodotus, an Ancient Greek Historian, wrote about a large group of Iranian nomads called the Scythians who set fire to cannabis seeds and flowers to inhale the smoke.
Cannabis use can be found historically all over the globe, but cannabis wasn’t widely used for recreational purposes in the USA until the early 1900s. It was during this time that immigrants from Mexico came to the USA to escape the political chaos and bloodshed of the Mexican Revolution. These immigrants introduced recreational cannabis– or “marijuana”– to the melting pot of the USA.
Despite decades of prohibition and racially motivated drug wars, recreational cannabis use thrived in the USA. With more and more states opting to legalize cannabis for recreational use, Cannabis is on track to compete with alcohol as the social drug of choice for Americans.
The Science of Cannabis and Socializing
If you think that socializing with cannabis is just blowing smoke, you would be surprised to find the very real science behind it.
A clinical trial was performed on the social effects of cannabis on a group of six adult male volunteers. They were split into two groups of three and lived in a laboratory “dorm” for one week to study their social behaviors and patterns. One group was given cannabis cigarettes or “joints” to smoke during their work and social period while the other group was given a placebo.
The results were that, while the patients with cannabis did not necessarily socialize more, they were more comfortable with each other’s company during non-verbal exchanges. Basically, the use of cannabis made it easier for subjects to “hang out” and enjoy each other’s company. This “hanging out”, or “coaction” as the science community calls it, is something many people with social anxiety seek in social drug use. Cannabis may provide a way to enjoy other people’s company without feeling the need to constantly engage and may make users more relaxed in a social setting where they are not engaging.
More research needs to be done to confirm this link between cannabis and social relaxation. However, anecdotal evidence finds that cannabis can be just as much of a social stimulant, if not more so, than alcohol.
Cannabis and Social Anxiety
In 2017 the University of Washington did a study on the effects of cannabis use (THC and CBD) on mental health disorders, specifically anxiety. The research showed that while the effectiveness of cannabis in treating anxiety is up for debate, many people report using cannabis to cope with their social anxiety and anxiety in general. The anecdotal evidence is that cannabis is a popular choice among those who suffer from anxiety and want to relax in social settings.
But what does science say? The highlights of the study show that CBD is great for decreasing anxiety at all doses. However, the social effects of THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis, are more complicated. Users report relief from anxiety, especially social anxiety, at small doses of THC. However, at larger doses, many users actually report an increase in anxiety.
It is important to note that we are talking about chemical reactions in the brain, so every user is going to have a slightly different experience, and that experience can change over time with an increase of tolerance. If you are considering experimenting with cannabis use to improve your social anxiety, start with a low THC high CBD product at a low dose for the best effects.
Best Methods of Cannabis Use to Help You Socialize and Find Your Tribe
Cannabis is a social drug, it can help you find like-minded individuals to spend time with and there is no better time than now!
With recreational legalization opening up the market, long gone are the days of only having one or two options of cannabis consumption from a sketchy source. Dispensaries in legal states offer hundreds of cannabis products to choose from, all carefully regulated and tested to provide the best (and safest) experience. Read on to learn the pros and cons of cannabis consumption methods for socialization and see which is right for you!
The classic is a classic for a reason! Some of the earliest historical records of cannabis use describe inhaling the smoke of smoldering cannabis flower. These days you can buy a wide variety of cannabis flower at a legal dispensary. Don’t know how to roll a joint? No worries! You can try a convenient glass bowl, or purchase pre-rolled joints. The social aspect of smoking a joint with friends has been a beloved way to unwind for centuries!
Another pro of smoking cannabis socially is that the THC and CBD reach your bloodstream immediately through your lungs, creating an instantaneous effect. Users can easily gauge when they have had enough and stop smoking. A con of smoking cannabis is the same con as smoking anything– damage to the delicate lung tissue and inflammation of the airways. Smoking is not recommended for anyone who has respiratory issues such as asthma.
Vaping or Vaporizing is the smoking of the future– it involves heating cannabis concentrate or flower to just below combustion, which “boils out” the THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids into an inhalable mist. Vaporizers come in all sizes but most are small enough to fit in your pocket, perfect for on-the-go!
Vaping allows the active cannabinoids to reach your lungs without a lot of the harmful additives found in smoking– such as tar. Like smoking, vaping provides a nearly instant effect, making it easy for new users to find their ideal “dose” of cannabis for a social setting. However it is still unclear if vaping is that much better for you than smoking, and some vaping has been linked to respiratory problems.
We have all heard about the “magic brownies.” But these days edible cannabis (often just called “edibles”) comes in many forms. You can purchase gummies, brownies, cookies, chocolate, hard candies, and even cannabis popcorn and hot sauce! All with easy-to-follow dosing sizes and instructions.
With edibles, you do not have to worry about the ill effects of smoking– the tasty treat is consumed and the THC and CBD enter your bloodstream through the digestive tract. However there are drawbacks to this method– unlike smoking or vaping, edibles take a while to “kick in.” This can take anywhere from thirty minutes to one hour, depending on your metabolism. New users should start with small doses and wait for the cannabis to kick in before taking more.
If you are a die-hard cocktail fan, cannabis has something for you too! There are now lots of different cannabis drinks that are great for people looking to make the transition from social drinking to social cannabis consumption. From juices to sodas and tinctures, there are lots of options for those looking to mix up a cannabis “mocktail” for social hour.
Like edibles, drinking cannabis will cause THC and other cannabinoids to be processed through the digestive tract. It may take up to an hour for the effects of cannabis to kick in, and therefore it is important for new users to pace themselves. When drinking or eating cannabis, patience is key to a good experience. Wait for a dose to take effect before consuming more.
A warning to new users – cannabis and alcohol do always not pair well together. If you are going to indulge in some cannabis for a social evening, stay away from alcohol until you are comfortable enough to know your limit.
Socialization and Cannabis
Cannabis has been used to help people party since partying was invented, and there is no better time than the present. Try some cannabis and make some new friends today!