Weed culture has come a long way from the stereotypical stoner days, when the aesthetic was “Monster energy-drink bro,” says writer Michelle Lhooq, whose design-forward user’s manual, Weed, drops this week.
What I love about weed is that it brings in so many different types of people from all walks of life,” says Michelle Lhooq, speaking by phone during her own stroll over New York’s Williamsburg Bridge. The music and cannabis writer, now based in that legal paradise of Los Angeles, is back east this week for a two-pronged celebration. The first is to launch her new book, Weed: Everything You Want to Know But Are Always Too Stoned to Ask, a fun-times primer that dives into the botany (terpenes) and desire (weed lube!) of the cannabis plant. In it, she interviews trailblazers in the space, including a weed sommelier, a microdose maven, and the reggae legend Lee “Scratch” Perry. She also breaks down the difference between THC, the cannabinoid that gets you stoned, and the non-psychoactive CBD, which has been “hidden in the shadow of its flashier, more popular older sister,” she writes. “THC and CBD are like Paris and Nicky Hilton—one is notorious for its limitless capacity for fun, while the is more low-key and responsible, but just as cool in its own way.”
The other high point of Lhooq’s week: the second iteration of Weed Rave, her day-to-night event popping up in a Brooklyn loft tomorrow. There’s a wellness hook, with a CBD yoga class led by an artist duo, plus a panel discussion on the future of New York legalization, exploring the social-justice and economic policies wrapped up in the big business of weed. And then there’s the party: one room with “fast-paced sativa-style music,” Lhooq says, name-dropping the strain of cannabis known to be energizing, and another with ambient “indica-leaning” sounds.
>But you don’t need to be a raver—or even a stoner—to have your own 4/20 fest at home. Here is a cross-section of the cannabis wave (mostly non-psychoactive, with a few THC hits for those in friendly states). In the medicine cabinet, topical CBD products (shea-based cream; infused bath salts) are touted for their anti-inflammatory benefits. Fancy Mom-approved gumdrops and culinary-grade oils do the same from the inside out (any supposed anxiety-quelling effect is for you to decide). And on the coffee table, pastel-packaged rolling papers and a Lucite lighter are easy on the eyes. So is Lhooq’s book—with its zany, pink-and-green illustrations by Thu Tran—in case you have any questions.
The Pantry Staples
CBD—said to have mood-evening benefits, along with an anti-inflammatory effect on the body—is not exactly well-charted territory when it comes to scientific research. Some swear by the consistency of the isolate (the stripped-down chemical compound, found in Sweet Reason’s refreshing sparkling water); others welcome the supposed synergistic effects of full-spectrum CBD. Experiment for yourself. (And take note: Camino’s gummies come with a low-dose blend of THC and CBD; Monk also makes a THC version of its juice-based tonics.)
Clockwise from top left: Monk CBD Drinking Botanicals in Rosemary Orange Peel, $40 for 4, monkprovisions.com; Camino THC and CBD Gummies in Sparkling Pear, $18, kivaconfections.com; Potli Hemp Infused Raw Honey, $54, svnspace.com; Kin Slips Shut Eye Sublingual Strips, $56, getsava.com; Sweet Reason Cucumber Mint Sparkling Water, $40 for 6, standarddose.com; Vireo CBD Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil, $45, standarddose.com; Juna Nude CBD Tincture, $75, svnspace.com; Lord Jones Limited Edition Apricot Rose CBD Gumdrops, $50, lordjones.com.
The Body Savers
Anyone who has puzzled over matcha lip balm understands the beauty industry’s enthusiasm for a buzzy ingredient. With restrictions easing around hemp-based CBD, retailers like Sephora are dipping a toe in the already burgeoning market. (As Lhooq points out, the body’s endocannabinoid system includes CB₂ receptors in the skin, so the theory behind a topical salve is sound.) As for Milk Makeup’s new waterproof Kush mascara? There’s no CBD—just the plant’s nourishing seed oil—but if that makes you feel festive in a cannabis-steeped bath, go for it.
Clockwise from top left: Vertly CBD Infused Bath Salts, $29, credobeauty.com; Saint Jane Luxury Beauty Serum, $125, credobeauty.com; Beboe Therapies CBD Sheet Masks, $78 for 5, beboetherapies.com; Milk Makeup Kush Waterproof Mascara, $24, milkmakeup.com; The Good Patch by La Mend Be Calm CBD Patch, $12, standarddose.com; Ellis Brooklyn Marvelous Massage and Body Oil with Full Spectrum CBD, $65, sephora.com; Shea CBD Natural Pain Relief, $30, standarddose.com; Hora Overnight Exfoliating Mask, $62, horaskincare.com.
The Fun Stuff
Who says so-called paraphernalia can’t be chic? “There’s a whole crop of interesting artists and designers who are approaching weed from unconventional angles and bringing a lot to the table in terms of packaging and branding,” says Lhooq, who places her own aesthetic in the playful, street-focused vein. The site Tetra leans toward clean forms and neon brights; meanwhile, Pure Beauty’s pink carton of pre-rolls (with weed, that is) are a handsome sight. As for the retro-pastel rolling papers by Paradiso—which operates a farm in Salinas and launches its weed-based products next month—the idea behind the graphics was to evoke “what a stoner’s paradise would be like,” explains Paradiso’s Julia Tepper. Sign us up.