It’s pretty clear why the internet and weed go hand in hand: the internet has become a virtual haven for weed-lovers to shop for cannabis and accessories, find information, and share their experiences with others.
Funny memes are one of the many ways that weed and online culture collide, creating a communal space for tech-savvy stoners to laugh, interact, and keep up on the latest trends. From the OGs to the newest weed meme creators, members of this ever-growing community continue to push the boundaries of novelty and absurdity in the name of late-night, red-eyed giggles shared across the globe.
With a heightened sense of anxiety and reduced social interactions due to the spread of novel coronavirus, it’s even more important to find ways to stay connected. Whether you’re organizing virtual smoke seshes or sharing an obnoxious amount of memes in your group chat, the ultimate goal is to stay sane, safe, and of course, lifted.
What exactly is a meme?
From the classics like Grumpy Cat to newer trends like the Spongebob Ight Imma Head Out meme, the average millennial or gen Zer could probably recognize a meme from a mile away. But what exactly makes a meme a meme, and how did they become part of stoner culture?
While weed memes are a fairly new concept, the word “meme” was coined by Richard Dawkins in his 1976 book The Selfish Gene. Dawkins developed the pre-internet concept as part of his theory of how ideas replicate, mutate, and evolve in the context of evolutionary biology, later characterizing an internet meme as a meme deliberately altered by human creativity. He explained that Internet memes are essentially a “hijacking of the original idea,” the concept itself having mutated in this new direction.
In a 2019 ThoughtCo article, sociology expert Nicki Lisa Cole said, “According to Dawkins, three factors lead memes to be spread, copied, or adapted from person to person: Copy-fidelity, the possibility that the thing in question can be accurately copied, fecundity, the speed at which the thing is replicated [and] longevity, or staying power.”
Visual online content becomes a meme only if elements of it are copied and/or creatively altered and reposted on a very large scale. While there is no exact number of copies, shares, or reimaginations that signifies a post has officially reached internet memedom, we know it when we see it.
When did weed memes happen?
The obvious answer is that we as humans love to share, laugh, and commiserate with other humans. Smoking weed is a bonding experience for many, and just like any other community it has its niche memes that unite weed-lovers far and wide.
Though we can’t say for sure what the earliest weed meme was, some certainly paved the way for online weed culture. One of the most notable is Good Guy Greg, the antithesis to Scumbag Steve and all-around nice guy. If you haven’t seen him around the internet within the last decade (in which case I feel really old), Good Guy Greg is depicted as a happy guy with a joint in his mouth and is rumored to have started on 4chan‘s /b/ board (an internet forum where just about anything goes), but an archived thread has yet to be found.
While the majority of Good Guy Greg memes don’t mention the joint in his mouth, they were some of the first memes we can find that relate to weed in any capacity. Think of Good Guy Greg as your ideal fictional best friend, always smoking weed and always being super courteous about it.
Reddit’s /r/trees board, created in 2009, is home to many of the internet’s first legitimate weed memes. According to the subreddit’s FAQ, “Trees is a place where we can be free to speak our (smoked-out) minds. The community here is comfortable in our hobby, and enjoys seeing what other people think about when they’re flying high.”
Among my personal favorites of the early memes posted to /r/trees is the prolific Really High Guy, sometimes known as Stoner Stanley. The meme came into existence in 2011 when Redditor u/randomdave posted a photo of a red-faced young man to the subreddit titled “Being at a  is not always pretty.” That same day, the picture was submitted by redditor u/Ahahaha__10 with the caption “Texts the person next to them / ‘I want hospital.'”
The  in the original post is derived from the scoring system used by members of /r/trees to measure highness. A 10, as you may have guessed from this guy’s face, is really, really stoned. Today’s weed memes might look a bit different, but they serve essentially the same purpose — making people laugh about relatable stoner problems, like getting too high.
As the internet has expanded beyond any limits we would ever have imagined a decade ago, weed memes have evolved too. Though some purists consider memes to be funny combinations of images and text that go viral, they can also be standalone photos, videos, GIFs, and hashtags.
The best weed memes of 2020 vary not only in form but in the topics they discuss. They can highlight social and political issues, feature relevant aspects of popular culture, and be purely silly or, at times, serious and informative.
Where can I get my weed meme fix?
You can find funny weed memes all over the internet nowadays, from Instagram to Twitter to Facebook. Personally, I use Instagram solely to share memes (often weed-related) with my friends and watch cooking videos. The below list includes some of the best Instagram accounts for meme hunting while stoned.
With nearly 4 million followers, this account is super popular among weed meme lovers. The account features a spectrum of relatable content including memes about weed-related mishaps, getting the munchies, and of course, smoking during coronavirus.
As what might be the biggest weed meme account on the scene, Weed Humor has an impressive 5.4 million followers. Both memes and promotional content are featured on this private page, which means you have to request to follow them for hilarious weed memes that are always on-trend.
This account isn’t dedicated entirely to weed, but rather to the kinds of thoughts you have when you’re stoned. Some of the memes are about getting stoned, others are about totally random things, but they’re always funny (especially when you just faced a bowl).
Largely made up of short clips, the Now This Weed account is not like the others on this list. The content isn’t necessarily funny, but they are shareable memes by definition. They discuss major issues in the cannabis industry like legalization, plus lots of bizarre and cool things about weed you probably didn’t know.
5 weed products Tommy Chong can’t live without
Tommy Chong exceeds the status of cannabis celebrity. Though he and Cheech were technically the stoner celebs, rising to international stardom in the 1970s by pioneering the genre with their Cheech and Chong franchise, they’ve since surpassed such worldly roles.
50 years later, Chong functions more as a cultural monolith in the weed world and beyond. Like Jesus, Santa Claus, or Jerry Garcia, the mere mention of his name evokes something magical, mythical, and in his case, super stoned. This kind of ascension can only be achieved through a lifetime of hard work, good vibes, and above all else, being a cool fucking dude.
In addition to his Tommy Chong’s line of tinctures, sublingual strips, energy potions, and more, he’s slated to pair back up with Cheech — who’s been busy building his own weed brand, Cheech’s Stash — to open a chain of Cheech and Chong dispensaries in California, starting with San Francisco, then on to Los Angeles.
“On the West Coast, Cheech and Chong are semi-gods,” Chong told Weedmaps. “We’re not fully gods, but we’re semi. So we’re just going to provide the best product we know is out there, and a delivery service in every one of our dispensaries. And we’re also going to provide a fun location to go to. It’s not going to be as, you know, weird as some of them are.”
Ideas for the dispensaries include television screens playing Cheech and Chong movies, “as well as other stoner movies,” nonstop, appearances by the duo, and virtual art shows.
“Cheech is a world-renowned collector of Chicano art,” said Chong. “They’re building a museum in Riverside just for Cheech’s art. So we’re going to have virtual art shows on the screens too,” he paused, “and I’ve got a killer bong collection to display.”
In honor of his new venture(s) in a market he helped create, here are the weed products Tommy Chong can’t live without — straight from the Godfather himself.
“My preferred method of smoking is to use a Chong Bong,” said Chong. “It’s one of my vintage bongs from the nineties. Jason Harris made it for me.”
Jason Harris, famed glass blower and founder of Jerome Baker Designs, got his start apprenticing with glass blowing god Bob Snodgrass in 1991. Since then, Harris has worked with numerous celebrities to create outlandish and wildly high priced smoking creations. For example, the $18,000 nug jar capable of holding a full pound of flower that he blew for Snoop Dogg. “The Chong Bong retails for about $5000 dollars,” said Chong.
“I have this wooden pipe from Germany, and I actually just did a little commercial for it,” said Chong. “It’s a one-hander. There’s a built in lighter and a bowl, you can light it up and smoke and everything all with one hand.”
Tommy Chong’s PurePipes are handcrafted in Erfurt, Germany. Not only can users light and smoke all with one hand, they’re designed specifically for smoking cannabis, with an attention to drawing resistance and volume of the packing chamber.
Chong continued, “It’s great for me, because a lot of time when I’m doing cameos they’ll want to light up. So I just grab my little solo pipe and away I go!”
Tommy Chong’s Infused Strips
“I love my breath strips,” said Chong. “They don’t carry that telltale odor, so you can do them anywhere, in church, in prison, or in court! And the best part is, you can function. You can function all day.”
Tommy Chong’s Infused Strips come in three flavors: Strawnana, Blueberry, and Chocolate Mint. Each sublingual strip hits in about 15 minutes, and packs 10 milligrams THC.
Tommy Chong’s CBD Good Vibes Energy Shot
Though this product hasn’t hit the shelves just yet, I tried one of these little shots and they really work. I felt alert, focused, and not jittery or anxious like I often do after coffee. And the ingredients are even approved by Chong’s uber healthy wife.
“Oh my wife, she’s my tester,” he said. “She is so fussy and so healthy. But she loves that energy drink! She takes ballet, and she’ll do a bottle before she does that. I should be doing it more.”
All weed, literally.
When I asked if there were any strains he was particularly into right now, Chong replied, “Honestly, I’ve lost track of all the strains. When people ask me, I tell them my favorite strain is cannabis. It’s crazy because in the government, people try to treat cannabis like alcohol, or some kind of weird drug, and you can’t. It’s not a drug. It’s a medicine that’s an herb. It grows wild in the forest. The animals love it. It’s a plant that should be respected.”
He continued, “And the people who say it’s a gateway drug, well, those gates can be phenomenal. They can swing you into becoming an artist, or a rapper, or an author, or a conductor. Those gates open to all the creative outlets that exist on this planet. So, as we go along with our dispensaries, we’re going to really educate the people. It’s going to be so much fun. Then, we’re going to make so much money that we’re just going to retire and never have to work again. You’ll see.”
Graphic by David Lozada/Weedmaps
French Committee Pushes for Cannabis Legalization
Throughout all the major cannabis news that has been making headlines in Europe, the U.S., and across the globe over the past ten or so years, France has been almost nowhere in the mix.
A parliamentary committee wants to change that as soon as possible and the members are urging the government to initiate a medical cannabis experiment and figure out the best way to address medical cannabis concerns.
An Urgent Call To Action
The committee made this demand in a document, asking for a budget that would support some kind of experiment surrounding medical cannabis and its potential for legalization.
“It’s very important that funding for the medical cannabis experiment is now integrated into this process,” said Benjamin-Alexandre Jeanroy, CEO of Augur Associates in Paris, back in 2019 regarding the importance of moving forward and making something happen. While France has technically approved such an experiment a year ago through legal channels, there needs to be actual implementation to get something off the ground and into the trial stage so that progress can be monitored.
Robin Reda of the French National Assembly and president of the committee claims that she believes France “has fallen alarmingly behind its European neighbors” in terms of cannabis reform overall. “The bulk of the technical work was done before the health crisis,” Reda added, explaining that she doesn’t believe this delay is due to COVID alone, as there has been plenty of time. She instead blames “bureaucratic blockage” and wonders why the government is not moving forward.
Under the new, experimental program, if it is allowed to get started, as many as 3,000 people could be enrolled to try medical cannabis as treatment. At first, the program would probably be dependent on North American cannabis grows until the government can set up its own grow structure for patients. Advocates would like to see this program get started as early as 2021.
In addition to those on the committee supporting cannabis, 50 doctors, scientists, and patients expressed these same concerns earlier this month in an op-ed published in Le Parisien. They argued that because of the lengthy delay on medical cannabis programs, there is no access for patients, causing those who need medical cannabis to look outside legal channels and turn to the black market. They also argue that the framework has already been laid.
“Two years ago, this officially began within the National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products (ANSM) at the request of the previous Minister of Health, Agnès Buzyn,” they stated (originally in French) in their op-ed. “Since September 2018, work has then been initiated within a multidisciplinary, scientific committee of the ANSM. They assessed the scientific relevance of providing access to cannabis-based, pharmaceutical standard products for chronically ill patients with little or no relief from their suffering by their treatments.”
While this would only be a small step towards legal cannabis in France, it would definitely be the biggest step that has been taken since a medical cannabis experiment was approved. If this experiment goes forward, it truly could be the start of both medical and recreational cannabis in the European country.
Cannabis During Breast Cancer Treatment: What Are The Benefits?
A cancer diagnosis is a life-changing event. From the confusion of understanding the road ahead to the hectic schedule of treatment protocols and never-ending appointments, many individuals struggle through treatment and beyond.
Amy S., a native of Milwaukee, shared that her breast cancer treatment took a toll not only on her body, but relationships as well. “Exhaustion was an understatement. I didn’t have the brain power or the patience to give to my children, or my husband.” Amy went on to explain that during particularly difficult chemotherapy sessions, while they were targeting her left breast, she had continuous nausea and insomnia. One bright spot, Amy shared, was that a friend passed her some CBD oil.
After discussing combining the oil with her other treatment, she found relief in small doses. “It didn’t fix the fear, but it gave me a little bit of my life back, between vomiting and overthinking.” Amy credits CBD oil with helping her deal with anxiety and pain during treatment. And, she’s not alone.
Well-known organizations like the American Cancer Society have already had frank discussions about the benefits of CBD and cannabis during cancer treatment.
There have been some early clinical trials of cannabinoids in treating cancer in humans and more studies are planned. While the studies so far have shown that cannabinoids can be safe in treating cancer, they do not show that they help control or cure the disease.
Here are five ways cancer patients may use cannabis or CBD oil to alleviate symptoms during cancer treatment:
Anxiety: A cancer diagnosis can bring feelings of uncertainty and tension within the mind and soul. From second-guessing to understanding larger questions around the disease, many patients can experience anxiety and depression. According to Harvard Health, CBD is commonly used to address anxiety. In a 2015 study and analysis, researchers found that CBD oil offered promising treatment for individuals with various anxiety disorders.
Pain: Men and women experiencing cancer treatment often experience pain at injection sites as well as pain after surgery. In a piece for Doximity, Dr. Johnathan Kaplan shared that Marijuana and CBD offered a myriad of after-surgery benefits, including stopping eliminating opioid addiction, increasing appetite, and decreasing pain and side effects such as constipation.
As patients take more opioids for pain, the resulting constipation can cause more pain and the cycle begins anew. That is not an issue with marijuana.
Nausea: The American Cancer Society cites a study where individuals felt relief from symptoms of nausea and vomiting during treatment. In the study, individuals felt that smoking cannabis helped ease episodes of vomiting and nausea brought on by chemotherapy.
Insomnia: Often caused by anxiety or chronic pain that comes with a cancer diagnosis, insomnia can cause patients, a large CBD study from the U.S. National Library of Medicine found that of the 72 patients sampled, anxiety decreased in the first month of introducing CBD in a bedtime routine. Additionally, sleep scores also improved in the first 30 days in over 66.7% of patients.
Overall unease: From helping to balance stress and mood to reducing episodes of depression, Linda A. Parker found in writing her book, Cannabinoids and the Brain, found, “in a survey of nearly 4500 people revealed fewer depressive symptoms in cannabis users than in non-users.”
Even better? Research recently found that cannabinoids (CBs) offered relief for tumor-related symptoms in not just nausea, vomiting and pain for cancer patients, but in attacking the actual tumors.
An April 2019 abstract in the U.S. National Library of Medicine found that CBs may slow tumor growth in breast cancer patients because they are active against estrogen-positive breast cancers, but non estrogen breast cancers as well, (as well as triple-negative breast cancer.) Often given to breast cancer patients in the advanced stages of the disease to slow growth, CBs may also offer relief in earlier stages of cancer as well.
For those experiencing a cancer diagnosis, it’s always best to discuss CBD or cannabis use with your doctor to ensure they have all the up-to-date information of your lifestyle and medicines — especially since CBD or cannabis can interact with medications you may be taking.
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