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Stoners aren’t lazy; here’s the science to prove it

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Researchers say “people who use cannabis are no more likely to lack motivation or be lazier than people who don’t.”


The ‘lazy stoner’ stereotype began in the 1930s with none other than Mr. Harry Anslinger himself. Yes, the first head of the DEA (then known as the FBN for Federal Bureau of Narcotics) brought us a lot of “memorable” things, such as ‘reefer madness’ and racist propaganda.

Somehow, while we’ve moved away from the idea that cannabis can send someone into a senseless, murderous rage, the idea of the lazy, unmotivated stoner has persisted through the decades.

But with the age of cannabis legalization dawning upon us, more studies about the plant are being carried out and becoming available to the public. One such study, published late summer 2022, has findings that may debunk the “lazy stoner” stereotype for good.

Conceptual illustration of neuron cells with glowing link knots in abstract dark space, high resolution 3D illustration

Titled “Anhedonia, apathy, pleasure, and effort-based decision-making in adult and adolescent cannabis users and controls,” the study was published in the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology and led by scientists from the University of Cambridge, King’s College London, and University College London.


Facts about the “lazy stoner” study

  • Data was pulled from the CannTeen study on chronic cannabis use and cognitive function.
  • Number of participants: 274
  • Age of participants: 16-29
  • 139 participants were adolescents.
  • 135 participants were adults.
  • Cannabis use frequency: 1-7 days/week over the prior three months
  • Adult participants were excluded if they used cannabis regularly prior to age 18.

The study specifically looked at the claims that “cannabis use may be linked with anhedonia and apathy,” and investigated “the association between non-acute cannabis use and apathy, anhedonia, pleasure, and effort-based decision-making for reward, and whether these relationships were moderated by age-group.”

Anhedonia, for those wondering, is described as the inability to feel pleasure. Think of it as a general listlessness not contributed to an illness such as depression. Apathy is a disinterest in activities, people, and things, as well as a general lack of enthusiasm.

“Our results suggest that cannabis use at a frequency of three to four days per week is not associated with apathy, effort-based decision-making for reward, reward wanting, or reward liking in adults or adolescents,” the researchers write.

The study began with the hypothesis that cannabis users would show higher levels of anhedonia and apathy compared to controls. The researchers also hypothesized that cannabis users are less likely to expend effort for reward or even subjectively want the reward compared to the controls.

However, the researchers reported that the findings of their study were contrary to their hypotheses.

In fact, researchers found that “cannabis users had lower anhedonia than controls, albeit at a small effect size. These findings are not consistent with the hypothesis that non-acute cannabis use is associated with amotivation.”

The study went on to theorize that it is possible cannabis increases reward-seeking behavior, or perhaps that “people who are more prone to seek out pleasure are also more likely to use cannabis.”

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The influence of cannabis stereotypes

molecular structure chemistry formula

The August study also suggests that all those years of stereotyping could have led stoners to be acutely aware of how they’re perceived as lazy, which may have inspired participants to “appear more motivated in psychological studies, possibly biasing the present results.”

“Unfair assumptions can be stigmatizing and could get in the way of messages around harm reduction. We need to be honest and frank about what are and are not the harmful consequences of drug use.”

Martine Skumlien

But one of the researchers in the study at the University of Cambridge, Martine Skumlien, later said of the research, “We’re so used to seeing ‘lazy stoners’ on our screens that we don’t stop to ask whether they’re an accurate representation of cannabis users. Our work implies that this is in itself a lazy stereotype and that people who use cannabis are no more likely to lack motivation or be lazier than people who don’t.”

Fighting stigma with science

It’s refreshing to see cannabis use get some of the scientific gravitas it has always deserved.

The study ended on a very positive note, writing, “Cannabis use has historically been linked with amotivation, which is reflected in prevalent, pejorative, ‘lazy stoner’ stereotypes. In this study, the cliché is countered with data that shows a relatively large group of adult and adolescent cannabis users and controls did not differ on several measures of reward and motivation.”

“Our results add to the growing body of evidence suggesting that non-acute cannabis use is not linked with amotivation, which may help to reduce stigma experienced by people who use cannabis.”

And that right there is evidence that despite the dark days of prohibition we’ve faced, we have entered a new era of cannabis – where the future of cannabis consumers leading motivated and productive lives is bright.


Check out Leafly’s list of strains known for having an energetic effect.

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Rae Lland

Rae Lland is a freelance writer, journalist, and former editor for Weedist and The Leaf Online. With a focus on culture, music, health, and wellness, in addition to her work for Leafly, she has also been featured in numerous online cannabis publications as well as print editions of Cannabis Now Magazine. Follow her on Instagram @rae.lland

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adult-use cannabis

Interview with a cannabis chef: Mike DeLao and his peanut budder cookies recipe

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Mike DeLao’s love for cooking grew organically, in his grandmother’s kitchen where she made fresh tortillas every morning. This sense of community stayed with him as he grew up and went out into the world.

At 18, DeLao went off to college and had a culinary epiphany while partying with his friends, telling Leafly, “I realized that I was only caring about cooking for my friends at six in the morning; not really caring about the party all night.”

After this late-night revelation, DeLao decided to take a chance and change his major. In 2000, he joined Orange Coast College,  a top 10 culinary school in Costa Mesa, California. 

“It was just like trial by fire and learn, learn, learn,” says DeLao. On the cusp of graduation three years later, he got his first job as a chef in a fine dining restaurant, and later picked up a second gig at a raw food restaurant. But about three years in, Chef DeLao pinched a nerve in his back from the hard labor in the kitchens. 

While doctors prescribed him a plethora of prescription medications, one day he saw an ad that would change his trajectory. 

“Chronic back pain? Come get the chronic,” it said.

Mike DeLao meets edibles

chef mike delao
(420LivingFoods Twitter)

DeLao had been a casual, social cannabis consumer up until that point, but he wanted to get off the strong meds his doctor had prescribed. He inquired about cannabis, but his asthma posed a problem.

The obvious solution from there? Edibles. He got a medical recommendation in 2003 and found one rather hush-hush clinic in California to supply him. But the baked goods of 20 years were a far cry from what consumers can buy today. 

“I just bought whatever I could, all the cookies he had, every single one, and they were horrible! They tasted so bad, and it wasn’t that the cannabis tasted bad; it’s that they weren’t made correctly. The sugars weren’t built up right, the butters weren’t whipped right. Just procedurally, the cookie wasn’t made correctly. Someone for sure was throwing all the ingredients in the pots and mixing.”

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Rather than letting this sully his first experience with medical edibles, DeLao saw these disappointing cookies as an opportunity.

“It took about two months of begging and buying all those cookies to say, I will make the cookies for free, just pay me in cookies and let me fix them.”

The proprietor, the late Steven Lawrence, agreed and became what DeLao calls his “first mentor” in the cannabis world. 

“He took me in, and he was so serious about sick people. It was always about his son who had muscular dystrophy. We were gonna help the sick; it wasn’t just making cookies to make money.”

How Jack Herer changed Mike’s life

photo of Mike Delao competing in cooking on high with mise en place
Mike appeared on the Netflix show ‘Cooking on High.’

In 2008, DeLao attended the NORML conference in Berkley, and met the emperor of cannabis himself, Jack Herer

“He was in the booth next to me. I knew he had a strain named after him, and I thought I should give this guy some of my cookies. So, of course, I go over there, and I try to give him cookies, and he says, ‘I’m a diabetic. I can’t eat any of your stuff. Nothing you have is medicine.’”

Herer’s words massively impacted DeLao. He went back to Lawrence and together they began making a sugar-free line for their collective. 

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DeLao stayed in touch with Herer and his wife Jeanie, and they introduced DeLao to Rick Simpson Oil. Jeanie convinced DeLao to start providing RSO to patients so he could understand how it helped people in real-time. Today, he continues to use it in recipes and inform other’s about how he’s seen RSO change lives.

DeLao went on to have a show on Cannabis Planet, where he never made a single recipe with sugar. From there he landed a spot on Netflix’s Cooking on High, and contributed to two cookbooks, The Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook and The Official High Times Cannabis Cookbook.

Adapting to the legal market

Today, DeLao continues his mission of listening to patients and learning from them. He develops recipes for individuals and their needs, whether it’s a patient with no teeth in need of soft food, or another with specific dietary restrictions.

It’s still difficult for him not to want to give cannabis away to those that need it most, and leave money out of the equation.

In the meantime, Chef DeLao says he is leaning into his age as a cannabis veteran, and getting back to his “pachuco days,” to make himself the most “interesting man in cannabis” while working on several new projects.

He continues to cook with cannabis oil, developing healthy recipes with whole foods, raw foods, and complimentary healing ingredients for a fully holistic approach. 

“I just want people to remember that there’s sick people out there. It’s cool to have flashy products and large dabs, but there’s someone right now that is lying in their bed who can’t even eat food; if you just gave them a little help or gave them a free cookie, then you would change their life. Some of them are all alone, and they need somebody to care about them. The whole point of this whole thing was always to worry about those people.”

Chef Mike DeLao


Chef Mike’s peanut budder cookies

Mike is known for being a versatile chef who can make delicious goodies with or without sugar. For Leafly, he provided a tasty peanut budder cookie recipe that includes the sweet stuff. Modify this recipe and substitute as necessary if you have peanut allergies, diabetes, or other serious health considerations.

Delicious homemade peanut butter marijuana cookies.
These tasty treats zap the pain away. (fundio/Adobe Stock)

Yields: 24 servings

  • 1 cup unsalted cannabis-infused butter 
  • 1 cup  peanut butter 
  • 1 cup white sugar 
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar 
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder 
  • ½ teaspoon salt 
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda 

Tips for making infused butter: 

Melt the butter and fold in any good clean concentrate. Mike prefers a full spectrum ethanol extraction.

Related

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Chef says: one gram to one pound of butter will be enough, or you can use Leafly’s cannabutter recipe.

Once your butter is done, let cool to room temperature before making your cookie dough.

Baking the cookies:

  1. Cream butter, peanut butter, and sugars together in a bowl. Once incorporated, beat in the eggs.
  2. In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Stir into butter mixture. 
  4. Cool dough in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  5. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and lay on baking sheets. Flatten each ball with a fork, making a crisscross pattern. 
  6. Bake in a preheated 375º F oven for about 10 minutes or until cookies begin to brown.
  7. Eat one or two for pain!

Visit Chef Mike on his website at www.chefmike420.com.

Rae Lland's Bio Image

Rae Lland

Rae Lland is a freelance writer, journalist, and former editor for Weedist and The Leaf Online. With a focus on culture, music, health, and wellness, in addition to her work for Leafly, she has also been featured in numerous online cannabis publications as well as print editions of Cannabis Now Magazine. Follow her on Instagram @rae.lland

View Rae Lland’s articles



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Study asks 80,000 cannabis users when, how, and why they use the plant

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Through an app called Jointly, researchers studied information gleaned from more than 200,000 cannabis user experiences to better understand what consumers desire. Here’s what the data showed.


The report aims to demystify “purposeful and intentional” cannabis use across America. Data points include 206,000 sessions in total. The data from those experience logs were used as the basis for the report,” according to its authors.

“This report reveals distinct consumption trends that product manufacturers and retailers can use to capitalize on the U.S. legal cannabis market that is projected to reach over $57 billion by 2030.”

New Frontier Data, “Cannabis Consumers in America, Part 2: The Purposeful Consumer.”

Roughly 140,000 recorded sessions noted the time of day, time passed since last consumption, physical activity, sleep duration, hydration levels, hunger levels, and side effects. Another 120,000 included information on the exercise type, quality of diet, type of food eaten during session, setting, and the presence of companions. This data was crunched into the full report, which can be requested for download here.

Part 1 of Jointly’s report, released in 2021, found that 2 in 5 consumers reported increasing their cannabis consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic. Jointly will reportedly release a third installment of the report covering archetypes that wrap consumer intention, demographics, and desires into distinct categories. Here’s what the data from Jointly’s latest consumer report revealed.

Flower still reigns supreme

Multicultural friends have fun and smoke weed at rooftop blue sky at backdrop
(AdobeStock)

“Flower is the most frequently used product type, used in 60% of consumption sessions reported among purposeful consumers,” the Jointly report found. “Vapes (24%) and dabs (8%) are the second- and third-most commonly used products, respectively,” according to the data. “Together, these three inhalable forms account for 92% of consumption sessions reported.”

Flower is the most commonly used form for those who seek to meet certain consumption goals. But it is not the highest-rated at delivering on the desired results. The study suggests it’s possible that “while flower is more popular overall, those seeking specific outcomes prefer the standardization and sophistication of manufactured products.”

Beverages had the best rating

As far as processed cannabis goods, beverages were “rated very highly for helping consumers achieve their goals,” according to the report. “That may be related to easy dosing (e.g., most beverages contain one serving), their ready substitution for alcohol, or technologies (like nanoemulsion) which shorten time of onset,” the authors suggested.

Boomers love edibles and tinctures

The report found that “edibles and tinctures are more often used among older consumers than among younger consumers.” The data showed that those in the 58-76 age demo make up roughly 12% of the edible market and 3% of the tincture market. That is more than all 41-and-under participants combined. The report adds that “across most goals, ingestibles (e.g., edibles, drinks, and tinctures) tend to result in higher goal ratings than do inhalables (e.g., flower, vapes, or dabs).”

Folks like to smoke at home alone

Stay safely spaced—session with friends online. (Adobe Stock)
Did the pandemic inspire more socially distant sessions online? (AdobeStock)

Of the recorded sessions, 50% were solo and 79% were at home. The authors added that common social use included “companions ranging from significant others (22%), to friends (15%), or family (10%).”

Enjoying social experiences with friends and enhancing intimacy with a significant other were the only goals that weren’t mostly pursued on a solo basis.

The authors suggest that at-home users may be seeking sleep, or lacking acceptable places to consume outside. The report also observed that, “consuming in nature, although uncommon, resulted in the best outcomes for six of the nine goals.”

Most people use weed for stress relief

(AdobeStock)

According to the report, “relaxation and relief of everyday stress are the most common goals,” recorded by users of the app. Replacing other substances, like alcohol, caffeine, or opioids was the least common. But interestingly enough, those hoping to replace other substances had the highest success rate across all recorded goals.

The authors said “this could be because the act (of using cannabis) itself defines success, regardless of outcome.” The results show that beverages were most commonly chosen by those with the goal of replacing another substance. But, “concentrates were rated as most effective in reaching this goal, even though they were among the least effective for all other goals,” according to the data.

Cannabis doesn’t magically fix every problem

friends sharing joint outside
(Александра Белинская/AdobeStock)

Ultimately, the report found that consumer experiences are equally dependent on the chosen product, the dosage level, and the environment in which they are consuming. The authors also concluded that cannabis use is about much more than just THC, because “product quality and formulation are important aspects to any experience.”

Some user goals were more impacted by non-cannabis factors, such as diet and exercise, while others appeared to be directly dependent on the cannabis use itself. For example, relaxation and pain relief were more connected with cannabis use, while enhanced intimacy was more connected tonon-cannabis factors. This demonstrates that for some goals, the plant itself can be the main driver for success, but for others, it can only do so much.

Many adults are using cannabis like coffee or pre-workout supplements, not alcohol, according to separate research conducted by San Francisco-based delivery platform Eaze. The results showed an increased relationship between cannabis use and activities like work, fitness and intimacy, reported Adweek.

Elizabeth Ashford, Eaze

About the report’s authors

Female scientist in a hemp field checking plants
(AdobeStock)

Jointly is a data-driven sales software that helps retailers connect to their customers.

According to its consumption report, “Jointly was created on the premise that purposeful cannabis consumption is the key to unlocking a better you. Cannabis enthusiasts use the platform to find products, and to reflect on their experiences to reveal insights that help them reach their goals. They learn to create the conditions for their ideal experience by tracking the factors that can impact their results, while monitoring for possible side effects.”

“Stigma teaches us that cannabis is only about getting high,” said David Kooi, CEO and co-Founder of Jointly. “But its use is purposeful and relates to achieving certain goals. This is a survey of purposeful consumers.”


*Editor’s note: The data in Jointly’s report was self-selected and self-reported. It should not be interpreted as survey data.



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Fall

Star signs and cannabis strains: October 2022 horoscopes

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If you’re reading this, you managed to make it through six planets in retrograde last month, Stargazers. You are probably busy licking your wounds and asking yourself, “Do I even want to look up at that devilish night sky this month?”

Well, there is good news, and … there is less good news. Let’s start with the positives! Major players Mercury and Venus are almost back on direct course. Mercury will remain in its slowed dance for a couple of days at the start of the month, and then it will return to direct motion.

The bad news is that Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto are all in retrograde at some point during the month (or all of it). So drink some Gatorade, block your ex’s socials, and don’t send your boss that passive-aggressive email when they tell you they didn’t get the report you sent four times.

Apart from the retrograde superstorm, on October 9, there will be a full moon in Aries. Mercury enters Libra on October 10, and there is a new moon in Scorpio on October 25. The month will be full of unpredictable ups and downs, but that’s what the spookiest month of the year is for, right?


Your October horoscope


Libra

Scales on yellow and blue sky background with pipes in the corners and word
(Savina Monet for Leafly)

Hello and Happy Birthday to you Libra babies! This month is jam-packed with planetary motion, so be prepared to become everyone’s favorite sounding board. On October 2, Mercury returns to direct motion in Virgo. Lower your shoulders and do a few gentle stretches to clear that tension your body has been holding the past few weeks. In other good news, your ruler—Venus—is in direct motion this entire month meaning that the love department is looking solid this October.

That said, Venus does enter Scorpio on October 23 (which is also when we start Scorpio season), so if you aren’t a fan of getting real deep real fast … maybe hold off on any new romantic entanglements for a few weeks. On October 25, there is a new moon solar eclipse in Scorpio. This is a fantastic lunation that will offer you the opportunity to welcome the fall season with open arms (if you haven’t already). Sure, this might be the spookiest month of the year, but with your warm and inviting spirit, the ghouls and goblins are bound to love you.

October strain: Remember your favorite costume as a kid? Get nostalgic for those simpler times with some Fall ‘97. This hybrid comes from crossing Purple Uriel and OG Kush. This is royal lineage, and you can tell with the gorgeous buds it produces and the thick, fruity flavor. Users love this strain for its arousing effects.

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Scorpio

Scorpion on blue tie dye background with word
(Scorpio by Savina Monet for Leafly)

Happy Birthday, Scorpios! This is truly your season. We’re sharing our intimate feelings! Going boldly where no one has gone before! Being ride or die for our true friends! On October 2, Mercury returns to direct motion in dependable Virgo. You can come out of hiding now. Don’t waste your celebratory month hiding in the shadow of (checks notes) SIX retrogrades.

On October 8, one of your rulers (Pluto) goes direct in Capricorn. This is a little bit of an unpredictable combo, so don’t be afraid to lean into some strange and exciting new opportunities. On October 9, there is a full moon in Aries. Make room for passion because there will be a lot of it (especially where friends are concerned).

We officially enter Scorpio season on October 23, and the month wraps up with Mars (your other ruler) going retrograde in Gemini. Woof! Okay, so there might be a few bumps in the road towards the end of October. Don’t let that slow you down. Invest in the friends that invest in you, let people spoil you, and above all … get a little weird this month. It’s your time to shine.

October strain: Spread your wings, Scorpio, even if you have to do it in the dark. Gain some insights into yourself with a little help from Batgirl. This hybrid has a respectable 19% THC and a sweet, fruity scent profile. Users often find this strain to be both euphoric and relaxing. The effects are cerebral at first and then add weight to the eyelids.


Sagittarius

Hooved archer on pale pink background with joints in the corners and word
(Savina Monet for Leafly)

Happy October, Sagittariuses! Eesh, how about those retrogrades, hu? Are you still holding tension in your neck and shoulders? Do your best to rest set body and soul at the beginning of the month with Mercury’s return to forward motion in Virgo on October 2. Take this much-needed break to assess the damage and come up with a plan of action to get you back on the right track.

Unfortunately your ruler Jupiter is in retrograde this entire month. Be wary of trusting every gut instinct you have while dear Jupiter slows its wheels. Be cautious with your investments and who you spend the most time with. On October 8, Pluto goes direct in Capricorn. Finally, old heartaches start to fade into the background. There is a full moon in Aries on Oct 9—a good time for taking risks in your art and creative endeavors.

On October 27, Jupiter returns to Pisces. Be ready to defend yourself against baseless character attacks. Don’t worry— it’s them, not you. Spend the rest of the month balancing alone time with the need for social interaction. Carve out at least one day a week for a digital detox. You’ll be thankful for the space to think.

October strain: Halloween candy for adults? Sounds like an October win. Pack a bowl of Pink Candy Kush for a delightfully smooth, yet powerful buzz. This strain packs some heat with 22% THC. Don’t sign up to run any marathons after you’ve had a bowl of this stuff. Users report this strain tastes a little like lemonade and settles nicely between the eyes.


Capricorn

Horned goat on green background with cannabis border and the word
(Savina Monet for Leafly)

Boo, Capricorns! Are you ready for some astrology that goes bump in the night? Don’t be too scared, after all, you lived through last month (hopefully relatively unscathed). On October 2, Mercury kisses its retrograde goodbye in Virgo. At last, stability is yours for the taking. Friends will be more predictable, and work will feel less tumultuous. Unfortunately, Saturn (your ruler) continues its retrograde for much of the month, only returning to direct motion in Aquarius on Oct 22. Don’t sleep on this opportunity to share your hard-earned wisdom with someone who needs it.

On October 23, we start Scorpio season. Mystery! Intrigue! It’s all there for you to put a positive (or negative) spin on it. Scorpios are wonderfully deep people, so consider taking a page from their book and letting your guard down with someone you trust. Venus also enters Scorpio on October 23. Lovers and romantic interests will be a little more mercurial than usual, but you should come out the other side with a better understanding of one another.

Lastly, Mars goes retrograde in Gemini on October 30. Buckle up because this duo can leave you feeling socially drained.

October strain: Goblins and ghouls, oh my! Fortunately for you, this month you can make acquaintances with a friendly Green Goblin. This sativa has a mild 14% THC, but don’t let that fool you—it’s a hard-hitting strain. Users love it for its dreamy effects that pair well with an afternoon spent doing your favorite cerebral activity.

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Aquarius

Water flowing out of pitcher on blue sky background with the word
(Savina Monet for Leafly)

Happy Spooky Season, Aquariuses! You made it through a tornado of September retrogrades, and unfortunately, the fun continues in that department this month.

Mercury returns to direct motion in Virgo on Oct 2. So, things start off on a smoother surface. Pluto also goes direct in Capricorn on October 8. Use the lessons you learned last month to sketch out your goals for the rest of the year (or revisit any previous goals you made). On October 9, there is a full moon in Aries. Confidence abounds, but be cautious not to come off as cocky.

Unfortunately, Uranus (your ruler) continues its backward dance this month. Expect things to remain relatively stagnate this month in virtually every part of your life. It’s a good time to invest in comfort and security. Do what you can to make your living space more calming.

Finally, look out because, on October 30, Mars goes retrograde in Gemini. Don’t expect to get much done at the end of the month. People will be more interested in bending your ear than making meaningful plans. Carve out space for yourself, and you will more than survive the month.

October strain: What’s autumn without a little Frankenstein? This is an indica strain that packs a moderate 17% THC and 1% CBG. It’s a delightful little indica that has a mysterious lineage, and users report that, despite the moderate THC level this is a powerful strain that shouldn’t be underestimated.


Pisces

Two fish swimming near each other with bongs on blue and pink background with word
(Savina Monet for Leafly)

It’s the spookiest month of the year, Pisces. The bad news is that part of that spook factor might be due to the continuation of all these retrogrades. Fortunately, we get a break early on when Mercury returns to direct motion in reliable Virgo on October 2. You can resume making plans and taking risks; just know there are still quite a few planets that have slowed their spin this month.

For instance, Neptune (your ruler) is in retrograde this whole month. Things might feel slightly off-center. Maybe you’re misplacing things more often or forgetting appointments. Be sure to leave yourself notes and reminders to help you get through the month.

On October 22, Saturn returns to direct motion in sensitive Aquarius. Hopefully, any hurt feelings you’ve acquired will start to subside around this time. We begin Scorpio season on Oct 23. Things will probably get deep with the people you love—don’t worry, that can be a good thing! There is a new moon solar eclipse in Scorpio on October 25. This is a stellar lunation that allows us to consider our closest alliances and how they influence our goals and dreams. Be the friend you needed in your worst hour, and you’ll be grateful for the investment of your time and energy.

October strain: Embrace your spooky spirit this month, Pisces. It might help to pack a bowl of Monster OG to get into the mood. This hybrid can clock in at 26% THC, so users beware that this is indeed a monster strain. Users love his strain as a little bedtime treat.

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Aries

Ram on pink background with blunts and word
(Savina Monet for Leafly)

Boo, Aries! Yeah, this month is full of frights—some of them celestial—but you’re tough, and you can handle it. Mercury gives us tender mercy by going direct in Virgo on October 2. Deep breaths in and out as you recalibrate those expectations and goals that were thrown for a loop last month.

On October 9, there is a full moon in your sign. Your leadership capabilities will become lucrative around this time. Don’t shy away from what you’re good at.

On October 25, there is a New Moon Solar Eclipse in cunning Scorpio. Don’t turn your back on anyone that has been treating you as less than this month. What’s the expression? Do no harm, but take no shit. Finally, your ruler Mars wraps up the month with a bang by going retrograde on October 30. Spend wisely. Heck, freeze that credit card in a ziplock bag and chuck it in the back of the freezer if you need to.

October strain: Start spooking up your month with a little Ghost OG. This is a hybrid strain with a respectable 19% THC makeup. Users report this strain is great for getting cerebral/firing up the creative part of the brain. It’s got a gorgeous citrus scent profile, and it is also great for knocking out those daily aches and pains that creep up around the joints.

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Related

Leafly’s 100 best weed strains of all time

Taurus

Bull head on light green background with cannabis border with word
(Savina Monet for Leafly)

Happy October, you spooktacular Bulls! There is a lot going on this month, so you will want to tap into your Taurean self-care powers as soon as the clock strikes midnight on October 1. Things start with Mercury returning to direct motion on October 2. Even better, your ruler Venus is in direct motion this month as well. Okay, okay, okay maybe you’ll be able to breathe a little after all!

On October 9, there is a full moon in Aries. Prepare to experience a spiritual growth spurt of sorts. Do some journaling, meditation, or breath work. Whatever feels right to you. On October 23, Venus enters Scorpio. Romance will become unpredictable and jarring. Ignore any Tinder messages that don’t meet your rigorous standards.

On October 30, Mars begins its long retrograde in Gemini. Don’t expect anyone in your personal circle or at work to feel particularly inspired to action. Make the best of the situation by recovering from all of this star action. Take care of yourself and eat some candy.

October strain: Hopefully the scariest part of your month will be your Pumpkin Spice Latte bill. If not, you can count on a little Ghost Train Haze to ease your troubles. This sativa packs a moderate 18% THC and 2% CBG. It’s got citrus notes and boosting effects. Medical users report this strain is great for wiping out pain, depression, and appetite loss. Though, users with anxiety should probably skip this strain.


Gemini

two women looking at each other over sky background with pipes with word
(Savina Monet for Leafly)

Are you stocking up on party favors this month Gemini? You should. People are going to need your gregarious spirit. On October 2, Mercury (your ruler) returns to direct motion in stable Virgo. Make the most of this tender little mercy by re-establishing your weekly routine. Get back into meal prep if that’s your thing, or meditation if that’s how you like to start your mornings. Reconnect with whatever practice feels good to you.

On October 8, sweet little Pluto leaves its retrograde in expressive Capricorn. Be real with the people you love. It’s been a hard year in a hard decade. Don’t hide your struggles for other peoples’ comfort. On October 9, there is a full moon in Aries. There are plenty of ways to express boldness. Consider a twist on your usual uniform—add a splash of color and you’ll attract the kind of people that make life interesting.

October strain: It’s the month of ghosts and ghouls, but don’t let any exes that fit that description come back into your life this month. Tap into your otherworldly powers with some Purple Demon. Users report this strain hits fast and its buds are absolutely stunning.


Cancer

Crab on blue watery background with glass rigs in border and word
(Savina Monet for Leafly)

Fall is well underway now, Cancer. Last month’s retrograde stew has spilled over this month, but that doesn’t mean you won’t make the most of it. On October 2, Mercury returns to direct motion in sweet, stable Virgo. Make the most of this consolation prize from the universe by returning to center—whatever center looks like to you. And don’t be afraid to invest a little money in self-care this month.

On October 8, Pluto returns to direct motion in colorful Capricorn. Be expressive, even if it is uncomfortable at first. Make others take notice of you. On October 9, there is a full moon in Aries. There is a theme developing for you this month: boldness. Don’t be afraid to let that interior light that is so bright, shine through the curtains.

On October 25, there is a new moon solar eclipse in Scorpio. What an exciting time for a sign ruled by the moon. Be ready for it with a burn journal or some other talisman of letting go. You can make it through this month with a little help from the stars, some killer weed, and enough Halloween candy to fill a swimming pool.

October strain: Crisp nights call for a good soup and some Cornbread. Cornbread is an indica with a whopping 22% THC. So, don’t plan on submitting your thesis after smoking a bowl of this stuff. Cornbread offers a perfume-y scent profile and sedating effects. Users love it as a nightcap.

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Leo

Lion on pink weed leaf background with joints and word
(Savina Monet for Leafly)

Are you ready for another spooky month, Leo? Maybe don’t answer that just yet. On October 2, the stars cut us all a little slack by returning Mercury to forward motion in Virgo. This is a nice pairing that will bring balance and stability to virtually every corner of your life.

On October 9, there is a full moon in Aries followed quickly by Mercury entering Libra on Oct 10. If you feel a sudden burst of social energy, this is why. Try taking on new adventures with old friends in the second week of the month. Your ruler enters Scorpio on October 23, and we officially begin Scorpio season. If things start to feel a little rough around the edges, just remember that this month has a lot going on, celestially speaking. Maybe lean into the mystery of things a little? See where it takes you.

October strain: Your shine is magical, Leo. Tap into your powers with a little Witches Weed. This is a calming hybrid that users love for its creative effects and for the ability to stay on task after smoking a bowl.


Virgo

Virgo maiden on light green background with word
(Savina Monet for Leafly)

Howdy and Happy Halloween, Virgo! Whatever holiday you choose to celebrate this month (or not), just remember that life offers a lot of spark and a little magic if you know where to look for it. Things start out solid this month with Mercury (your ruler) returning to direct motion in your sign on October 2. That hectic, frenetic energy that has been a constant companion these past few weeks will start to simmer in the caldron a little. But, don’t get complacent.

On October 8, Pluto leaves its retrograde in Capricorn, which can be both a relief and a little bit painful as you do the soul searching this celestial pairing often brings to the table. On October 9, there is a full moon in Aries. Throw on a pair of horns! Show them who is boss this month. We enter Scorpio season on October 23. Scorpios are always here to remind us to be honest with ourselves—you’ll have to embrace the messy parts of you if you truly want to change.

Finally, Mars enters its long retrograde in Gemini on October 30. What a way to round out the month. People will be favoring pleasure over planning at the end of October, so don’t expect to complete any big projects. Remember, embrace the mess!

October strain: Get ready to be B-Witched by this magical time of year. B-Witched is a hybrid strain with 19% THC and a spicy flavor. Get your candy corn out because this strain is famous for its appetite-stimulating effects.

Check out last month’s horoscopes.

Maeva Considine's Bio Image

Maeva Considine

Maeva Considine is an award-winning journalist and author of “Cat Zodiac: An Astrological Guide to the Feline Mystique.” She’s a Taurus who loves traveling, canceling plans, and dessert. She lives in Syracuse, New York.

View Maeva Considine’s articles



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