Learn About Cannabis Culture

Cannabis has a history that is intertwined with many cultures, used for medicinal, spiritual and recreational purposes.

Learn About Cannabis Culture on We Do Recover Rehab Finder

Cannabis has a history that is intertwined with many cultures, used for medicinal, spiritual and recreational purposes across ancient civilizations like China and Egypt. Its perception shifted in the 20th century as countries began criminalising it due to psychoactive effects concerns. In the 1960s and 70s, it became a symbol of the counterculture movement, advocating social change. Today, cannabis is increasingly accepted for medical and recreational use worldwide, becoming a significant part of popular culture. This evolution reflects the complex relationship between cannabis culture and societal norms.

As global legislators started to legalise cannabis in the 2010s, it’s doubtful they foresaw the sweeping changes this would bring to creativity and health sectors. Initially, these changes were gradual, yet the ongoing evolution of cannabis’s role remains increasingly dynamic.

Cannabis is the most commonly used illegal drug globally with over 4% of the world’s population having used it in the last year, despite a trend towards legalisation in several regions. Its use, historically rooted in religious and ceremonial contexts, now varies widely due to different social, legal, economic and cultural influences across various countries and cultures. However, there’s a notable lack of detailed data on cannabis use in certain areas and among minority groups. As global attitudes and policies towards cannabis evolve, understanding the complex relationship between cannabis use and cultural differences becomes crucial. Cross-cultural research is essential for informing public education, clinical practices and policy-making, especially in underrepresented communities.

Cannabis culture is centered around the use of cannabis as an entheogen, recreational drug and medicine, creating a social atmosphere with specific behaviors and traditions. Dating back to as early as 2000 BCE, cannabis has been used in spiritual rituals across various cultures including the Indian subcontinent, Ancient China and by the Germanic peoples, Celts and in Ancient Central Asia and Africa. Today, its spiritual use is mainly linked to the Rastafari movement in Jamaica but it’s also a characteristic of several Western subcultures like hippies, beatniks and hip hop. Cannabis culture has developed its own unique language, humor, etiquette, art, literature and music and despite the negative “slacker” stereotype, recent studies show that regular users are not more likely to be apathetic. The 1960s counterculture, especially symbolised by the Woodstock Festival, marks the height of modern cannabis culture. Its influence extends to holidays like 4/20, cinema, music and even chess, demonstrating the plant’s broad impact on various aspects of society.

What is Cannabis Debates?

The cannabis plant’s classification is highly debated due to several factors: a global lack of understanding about its cultivation, the use of the term “cannabis” to describe varieties or strains with vastly different potencies and yields, significant industry evolution with a focus on high-yielding strains and advanced cultivation techniques and ongoing legislative changes affecting its status.

The general practice of lumping together low-potency landraces and high-potency modern hybrids under “cannabis,” or adhering to the traditional Cannabis sativa versus Cannabis indica distinction, is often imprecise and very often misleading.

The nuanced diversity of cannabis, including landraces, heirlooms, hybrids, varieties, strains, all-female seeds and sinsemilla, is not widely understood beyond cannabis enthusiasts and experts, adding to a confusion and complexity surrounding its classification and discussion.

What are cannabis landraces?

Landraces refer to cannabis plants that have adapted to the environment of their geographic origin. They are typically lower in potency compared to modern hybrids and have been cultivated for centuries or even millennia.

What distinguishes heirloom cannabis strains?

Heirloom strains are passed down through generations and are usually grown in their native environment. Unlike landraces, they may have been selectively bred at some point but still retain original genetics.

What are cannabis hybrids?

Hybrids are the result of crossbreeding two different cannabis strains, often combining traits of Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica. Modern hybrids are bred to enhance specific features such as potency, yield and resistance to pests.

How do varieties and strains differ?

The term “variety” refers to cannabis plants within a species that show a distinct difference in some traits, such as appearance or chemical composition. “Strain” is often used interchangeably with “variety” but is more commonly used to describe a specific breed for particular characteristics.

What are all-female cannabis seeds?

All-female seeds produce only female plants, which are preferred for cannabis cultivation because only females produce the cannabinoid-rich flowers. These seeds are genetically modified or treated to ensure they produce female plants.

What is sinsemilla?

Sinsemilla, from Spanish for “without seed,” refers to the practice of removing male cannabis plants from the growing area to prevent the female plants from being pollinated. This results in flowers that are more potent and have a higher concentration of cannabinoids.

Why is the distinction between Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica often misleading?

The traditional distinction between these two types of cannabis is based on physical characteristics and was thought to correlate with the effects (sativa being more energizing and indica being more relaxing). However, this classification is oversimplified and does not accurately reflect the complex genetics and the effects of different strains.

The Infamous 420

The term 420, pronounced “four-twenty,” has become a symbol in cannabis culture for marijuana consumption, particularly around 4:20 pm and is celebrated on April 20th each year. Its roots trace back to 1971 when a group of high school students in San Rafael, California, coined “4:20” while searching for an abandoned cannabis crop, guided by a treasure map. They met at the Louis Pasteur statue at 4:20 pm, initially using “4:20 Louis” as their code, which eventually shortened to “4:20” for cannabis. The term gained popularity through High Times magazine and the Grateful Dead’s followers. Despite other claims to its origin, the story of the “Waldos” is the most credited. The date April 20th has evolved to not only symbolise cannabis culture but also to mark rallies and events advocating for cannabis reform with the Cannabis Action Network playing a significant role in politicizing and culturalizing the date since 1989.

Normalisation of Cannabis

While the normalisation of cannabis reduces stigma, it still also comes with increased addiction risks due to wider availability and considerably higher THC levels, and its continued presence in the black market. As it becomes easier to obtain through legalisation and social acceptance, people may be more inclined to try cannabis, which can lead to regular use and addiction. Strains with higher THC levels can lead to greater tolerance, prompting users to consume more, thus raising the risk of addiction. Even though medical cannabis is legal in some areas, it sometimes finds its way into the black market, resulting in unregulated products with unpredictable strengths. This can make dosage control difficult and increase the risk of dependency. Celebrity endorsement of cannabis also plays a role in normalising its use, potentially influencing fans to start using it. Additionally, using cannabis to self-medicate for conditions like depression or anxiety without professional advice can lead to misuse and dependency. This highlights the complex interplay between cannabis normalisation, societal views, and the intricate risks of addiction.

In the evolving time of cannabis regulations and attitudes, it’s crucial to assess your cannabis consumption habits regularly. To maintain a responsible use, consider whether cannabis is a coping mechanism for stress or emotional issues, if you need increasing amounts to feel its effects, whether it’s affecting your obligations, if stopping leads to withdrawal symptoms, or if you’ve struggled to cut back despite adverse outcomes. Reflecting on these aspects can guide you towards making informed choices about your use. Answering ‘yes’ to any of these prompts suggests it might be beneficial to seek support.

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Founded in 2008, WeDoRecover has evolved from an advisory service for addiction treatment into a comprehensive provider of care, following its 2019 merger with Changes Addiction Rehab in Johannesburg. Specialising in connecting patients to top-tier addiction treatment centers in the UK, South Africa and Thailand, WeDoRecover supports individuals globally, including those from the United Arab Emirates and Europe. Accepting both South African medical aid and international health insurance our organisation facilitates access to high-quality treatment for substance and alcohol use disorders, offering individualised care that addresses the physical, mental and social needs of patients.



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