Recent archaeological discoveries have found evidence of human use of cannabis dating back thousands of years. People, including the nobility, have been found buried with beautiful, carved pipes containing marijuana resin. Some have even been buried with a sample of their favorite stash to carry into the afterlife. While humanity’s recent history with the plant has seen more conflict, countries like the Netherlands have allowed legal weed going back to 1976.
Throughout that history, for the most part only two main types have been smoked – hashish and the flower. The various apparatuses used to smoke it have been fairly straightforward pipes, sometimes of the water variety. Rolling it in papers has also been fairly popular in European and American subculture.
However, since the legalization process has begun in the United States, with states like Colorado, Oregon, and now even California opening marijuana for recreational use, American ingenuity has been opened up on the free market of cannabis, and that has created an amazing influx of new and creative ways to enjoy the herb. Chemists have taken their scientific hands to it, as have genetic specialists and master horticulturalists. What they have produced in the less than three years of legalization has been an amazing explosion of innovation, and it proves that this industry is ripe for expansion. Legalized marijuana could well be the gold rush of the twenty-first century.
First, the growers have begun to spin out so many new varieties, crossing some breeds while isolating others. They have enough space and openness that they can experiment with all kinds of growing conditions, and even find which strains prefer which media and fertilizer mixes best. It is a freedom to experiment that they have never known. The results are clear in the number of varieties showing up in the legal markets and in the definite differences in taste and effects with each.
Chemists have been playing with the finished product, too. Everything from shatter to wax to dabs. Many of these are now “smoked” in a vaporizer, which is likely healthier and also gets electricians in on the invention game. Chefs and bakers are really going crazy with this new ingredient as well. Everything from lollipops and cookies to chocolate bars and savory dishes using cannabis butter are popping up in the dispensaries and in recipes online. They even match the flavor of the weed varietal with the flavors in the dish.
There is a cool website, www.smokea.com, where they have a huge selection of all the newest designs of vaporizers, as well as classic items like water bongs and pipe bats. There has always been cool innovation in this part of the cannabis industry, and they display it well. But with legalization has come even more variety, especially in the areas of vaporizers and specific brand names.
So this new ingenuity is starting to break free. With entire countries like Canada and Mexico moving forward with full legalization, the United States will have to step up its game to keep pace with the rest of this world in this burgeoning industry.