The shelter-in-place ordinance imposed in many cities and states to address the coronavirus pandemic is crucial to prevent the spread of the virus. Now might be the only time in our lives that it’s socially responsible to stay home and get baked— why not take advantage of it?
Think about it: you can practically save lives by getting high in bed. Plus, thanks to FaceTime and video messaging apps, we can take advantage of virtual hangouts so that we can still enjoy the company of our friends. New York Magazine’s Brian Feldman makes a case for “Appointment Internet,” in which smaller groups of friends and family make deliberate plans to meet up in a virtual setting rather than posting to a broad audience on social media. This way, you can still be connected (and share a smoke) without the threat of loneliness or disease! How convenient.
Since the shelter-in-place ordinance started, I’ve used the extra at-home time and bountiful groceries I’ve stockpiled to brush up on my cooking skills. I forgot how wholesome and delicious a home-cooked meal is, and now is the perfect time to experiment with creating your own homemade weed edibles. It’s fun and cost-effective- I promise! If you’re spending the day at home, there are a million edible recipes to choose from, depending on what you like to eat. Some of them are quite simple. Infusing decarboxylated cannabis buds in hot butter or coconut oil will make a powerful edible ingredient that can be infused into literally anything, including desserts, soups, or even lasagna.
Decarboxylation is the process wherein cannabis buds are heated at a specific temperature, close to boiling, for about 30-45 minutes to activate the THC compounds. This process makes ordinary cannabis flowers edible via a chemical conversion of THC-A (the “A” stands for “acid”) into THC, the primary psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. Anyone can decarboxylate cannabis in a home oven or on a stovetop. A quick google search will yield specific instructions and plenty of creative recipes.
The benefits of making homemade edibles are that it’s fun, cost-effective (a little pot goes a long way), the high lasts longer than smoking, and homemade edibles can be much more potent than store-bought. In stores, the limit for THC is 10 milligrams per serving, which is relatively low unless you’re new to edibles entirely. At home, you can easily make 25-50mg edibles with little effort— just be careful, it’s easy to over-consume edibles because the onset is much slower than smoking or vaping.
Thankfully, cannabis dispensaries will remain open during the coronavirus pandemic in most legal states, including Washington, as they are deemed “essential businesses.” This decision inspires reflection on how far the cannabis legalization movement has come. Alia Volz, a lifelong medical cannabis activist who recently published an article in Salon Magazine, writes,
“During the ’70s, my family baked and delivered more than 10,000 marijuana brownies per month in San Francisco. My mom dealt brownies out of my stroller in the Castro district, with weekly stops at Harvey Milk’s campaign headquarters and the home of the singer Sylvester.. No one is suggesting cannabis as a treatment for novel coronavirus. But today’s marijuana-based products are taken for anxiety, insomnia, muscle spasms, arthritis, depression and a plethora of other common conditions… Safe and legal access is a public health concern.”Alia Volz – Medical Cannabis Activist
Stories from activists like Alia demonstrate the incredible progress we’ve made in merely the last 40 years. She reminds us that the medical cannabis movement was born of pandemic responses of years past and that promoting access to cannabis in times like these is not only safe, but also responsible.
So, whether you’re learning to roll your first joint or make homemade edibles, you can have fun and stay home while practicing a new skill. With any luck, we can overcome coronavirus quickly and with minimal suffering. The most important action we can collectively take is social distancing, and we can certainly utilize cannabis and technology to make that process easier in the meantime.