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Why Discord is weed’s hottest platform in 2022

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Despite racking up $25 billion in legal cannabis sales last year, social media networks have yet to put respect on the weed game’s name. The main cannabis culture hub, Instagram, is as popular (1.21 billion users) as it is frustrating. The shallowness, the hustlers, the scammers, the comment drama, plus legit brands losing their accounts over and over—Meta’s photo sharing app has become distinctly unchill.

In 2022, the session is migrating to online spaces that can be deeper, and more thoughtful. If you really want to know what’s on the dispensary menu for 2023, you won’t find it on the ‘gram. The future of weed is on Discord.

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What is Discord?

Founded in 2015, Discord is a free host for personalized online servers that now sports 250 million users. Brands post links to join specific ‘servers’—which are little communities organized around a game, your friends, or increasingly, weed breeders. Download the app, and inside each server you can read the equivalent of forums around specific topics, like Grow Tips, as well as instant message questions to other members and moderators, share photos and videos, and enter contests.

Most importantly, Discord is not beholden to Instagram’s marijuana policy, which prohibits advertising and sales. As a privately-held company, Discord has its own terms of service. Both their community guidelines and terms of service ask that you “don’t use the services to do anything else that’s illegal,” which cannabis is at the federal level, and that “selling or facilitating the sale of prohibited or potentially dangerous goods” is prohibited.

A Pave cross posted by Chris at Compound. (via Compound Genetics)JPG
Discord is the hype headwaters of the newest zaza—like the Pave seed release. (via Compound Genetics on Discord)

Exotic Mike of Exotic Genetix started using Discord years ago for gaming, but it wasn’t until this January that he thought to use it to siphon his biggest fans from Instagram to a safer haven. He, as well as the other sources interviewed for this story, state that they do not sell any seeds or weed through Discord. None of them have been reported for any of their cannabis content either.

Discord’s a great platform for information and corralling a crowd,”

Exotic Genetix Mike

“Discord is like taking the forum boards and mixing it with a messaging system that’s really high end. You can make phone calls, video chat, text, you can archive stuff. It’s a great platform for information and corralling a crowd,” he says. 

It can also keep the business side of things flowing if Instagram implements shadowbans or posts get reported. 

“If IG decides to take our account down, Discord will be a backup platform for core users who want to know about EG stuff.”

Go from Discord noob to pro with this run down of the best weed Discords to let your weed freak flag fly.

Exotic Genetix

The Scotty 2 Hotty part 2 seed box (via Exotic Genetix on Discord)
Exotic Genetix Mike (aka Mr. Stimmy) hosts giveaways like these on his Discord (via Exotic Genetix on Discord)

It’s no secret we at Leafly are big fans of Exotic Genetix and their award-winning repertoire. Their founder and leader Mike created their Discord in January of 2022, and has garnered over 15,000 members thus far. 

Expect daily giveaways, and seed release announcements. Peruse Mike’s grower’s guide for fans and colleagues alike to refer to on their own cultivation journeys. He even hosts a live podcast where subscribers can ask questions and send Mike off on tangents. For super-obsessed, he coordinates a couple different seed release-related NFT giveaways that come with lifetime benefits.

“If they’re gonna take the time to jump to a platform that’s harder to engage with, the success comes down to the user and how they can find it. We tried to make our Discord way cooler than our IG. Those users are my real deal superfans.”

Compound Genetics

Chris at Compound roots for a big grower (via Discord)
Breeder Compound Genetics Chris encourages a commercial grower. (via Compound Genetics on Discord)

It’s hard to overstate the importance of the adage “early bird gets the worm.” The worm in this case is award-winning breeder Compound Genetics’ new Discord. Why join the 220,000 masses on IG when you can be one of 2,000? In addition to coordinating new drops (that new Pave line looks fire!), you can also talk shop in individual strains, like Oregon Leaf Bowl 2022 winner Jokerz. There are threads for exposing scammers, pheno discourse and showing off your heady glass collection. 

Archive Seed Bank

Moon Glow has its own channel on Archive Seed Bank's Discord. (Courtesy of Archive Seed Bank)
Moon Glow has its own channel on Archive Seed Bank’s Discord. (Courtesy of Archive Seed Bank)

A favorite among breeders and stoners alike, Archive Seed Bank’s Discord is a distillation of what makes their seeds so good: attention to detail, set goals and boundaries, and indispensable insider knowledge. Their seed lines, such as Moonbow #75 and Face Off OG crosses, have individual threads for nuanced questions, and they even provide a running list of online scams and impersonators to avoid. 

Clearwater Buds

If you want to cut to the chase of growing and yield, Colorado’s Clearwaterbuds is for you. This is a true growers space; you won’t find many memes here. Rather, the designated chats are set up for finding new flavors in seed packs, growing guides for both newbies and oldheads, a virtual seed-swap market, and strain breakdowns where users can report on and review how the seeds they buy become trees. There’s even one to share Instagram handles to help restart and/or grow accounts that have been suspended or fully deactivated without explanation.

Mass Medical Strains

Mass Medical Seeds' Prayer Pupil F2 ((via Mass Medical Seeds)
The same fire photos of Instagram, none of the hassle. (Courtesy Mass Medical Strains Discord)

“Back in the day I thought that if you even searched Google for anything grow-related, your house would get raided the same day,” writes Mass Medical Strains via email. “The intentions were to bring the MMS community and any cannabis people together in a safer place online, where things can be discussed without censorship or fear of our accounts being deleted. The Instagram community is hard to see in one place or search to find anything good these days, but in comparison, everyone in the Discord is so friendly, knowledgeable, and willing to share and build with each other.” 

“I love seeing my plants grown out in different gardens, each one is unique and many of them I can recognize before even reading the captions and descriptions….

Mass Medical Seeds

 Their Discord server has almost 6,000 members despite it only being a couple months old; it’s a lot easier to foster camaraderie without worrying about getting reported and having to start from square one. Part of MMS’ mission is to help burgeoning growers focus not only on bag appeal, but the effects imparted by what they’re smoking; they have channels to feature each of the new strains dropping, and even “Grow Off” contents for users to determine who’s doing the best job growing MMS creations. 

“I love seeing my plants grown out in different gardens, each one is unique and many of them I can recognize before even reading the captions and descriptions. I encourage everyone to be very aware of the way the cannabis they smoke makes them feel.”

Irie Genetics

Not everyone prefers smoking flower or typing in a chat room; if you’ve ever wanted to press your own rosin or make homemade and high-dose gummy bears, there are server channels for that on Irie Genetics’ Discord. The Irie Army Discord also has quite a few themed voice chat rooms to choose from, for growing weed as well as some of the things you tend to do on weed, like working out and watching movies. There are also other informational Discord recommendations, and each strain in their currently offered genetic library has a separate channel to really get into the individual weeds. 

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Founder Rasta Jeff started the Discord to go deeper; besides passing knowledge down, he wanted to make friends and cultivate relationships beyond shop talk. “Social media is a great tool for marketing and building a brand, but the personal interactions feel very limited,” he tells Leafly over Discord. “On Discord I can post and chat and educate freely without fear of censorship or threats of my account being removed because I used the wrong words in my post. Many of those plant issue conversations lead to lifelong friendships!”

Masonic Seeds

A Masonic Seeds logo from the Discord server: cat man holds a chicken
The Masonic Seeds Discord is perfect for talking shop and sharing memes. (Courtesy Masonic Seeds)

In the simplest terms, “I have [Discord] as a lifeboat and IG is a yacht,” says Compton-based breeder Masonic Smoker. Instagram’s policy on marijuana is still stuck in what Masonic Smoker calls “the Dark Ages.” His first account made it to 50,000 followers before it was shut down, and he says he usually hits 30K before parent company Meta inexplicably pulls the plug; his current account, masonic_smoker3.0, has 32,000 followers as of publication. Without his account he can’t network, go Live, or sell seeds of his proprietary Wilson strain.

“Instagram is where I can mingle with my tribe; I saw the lake and went fishing,” he says. But, “I’ve been having my page taken down for three years. That shit hurts. It’s depressing. A lot of us feel that if Instagram quit today, we would need to find a new job, and that shouldn’t be the case.”

masonic seeds purchase: a bag of seeds with a corgi on it
Seeds like these come from contributing to the Discord. (Courtesy Masonic Seeds)

While his Discord has grow pics and channels for users to share resources and know-how, he also keeps it fun, with channels for sharing pet pictures, discussing video games, and just plain ol’ shitposting. He’s less active on it than his Instagram, Twitch, and Youtube accounts, but it also presents a new opportunity for discourse without the fear of vindictive lurkers. 

“You can have a lot more thought provoking discussion on Discord; [it’s] kinda like a barrier. It weeds out the numbskulls. People will talk more seriously about growing, more cohesive, thought out and it stays there in Discord.” 

Solfire Gardens

This boutique growing Discord comes highly recommended by Exotic Mike. Based in Washington state, Solfire Gardens is the mind behind new titillating strains such as Bahama Mama and Dirty Squirt. Their Discord is the “heart” of their community, and it shows in how they’ve made their server particularly easy to browse for users still finding their Discord legs with a comprehensive primer post to best utilize all channels. These include growing tips, photo galleries, gaming chats, auctions, and even a primer on buying bitcoin.

Raw Genetics

Like any other industry, cannabis breeders contain multitudes. Sure, they love weed, but they don’t only have to love weed. The biggest pro our sources gave Discord is its versatility, and the ease with which multiple topics and conversations can unfold with ease, while keeping their momentum day to day. Raw Genetics has many of the pillars of a cannabis Discord: grow advice, drop announcements and weed porn pics. But they also have so much more, like their bundle of crypto-focused channels, music and movie recommendations, and of course, dank memes.

As of 2022, the perfect platform for weed lovers still doesn’t exist. But we’re getting there, and hopefully, without the help of billionaire buyers. In the meantime, we can revel in the grow chats and keep following the new accounts of our favorite innovators rising from the Meta ashes, without whom we wouldn’t be blazed right now.

How did we do with this story? Leave a nice comment below.

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Amelia Williams

New York-based freelance cannabis journalist Amelia Williams is a graduate of San Francisco State University’s journalism program, and a former budtender. Williams has contributed to the San Francisco Chronicle’s GreenState, MG Magazine, Culture Magazine, and Cannabis Now, Kirkus Reviews, and The Bold Italic.

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What Exactly Is Considered High-THC Cannabis These Days?

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Cannabis products sold at licensed and reputable dispensaries are always labeled with their THC content. The value is written boldly on the package. Consumers that frequent these establishments are already used to seeing the THC content written in percentage or milligrams.

What is THC?

Delta-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is one of the major cannabinoid compounds present in cannabis plants. It is the main psychoactive compound. Molecules of this compound bind to brain receptors, and almost immediately, the neurotransmitter induces a “high”.

delta-8 THC marijuana
Photo by Animaflora/Getty Images

Cannabis breeders have pushed the boundaries of THC levels in the last 40 years. What stoners considered to be the highest THC level back then is merely a starting point for the hybrid varieties that are now in circulation. The growth of the cannabis industry can be compared to the rapid advancements in the computer industry.

Breeders now create plants with either a high THC percentage or a low THC percentage. These plants are then processed by manufacturers into cannabis extracts, edibles, flowers, etc which either have high THC concentration or low THC concentration.

There’s no specific quantity of THC that can be used to describe what a “high amount of THC” is. Scientific, personal, and commercial factors all play a role in this space. For example, some stoners get sky-high on THC levels of 15%, while some need it to be as high as 27% to feel any major effect.

High-THC Cannabis

Scientifically, the highest amount of THC that can be found in dried and cured buds of a weed variety is 30%. Modern breeders were able to achieve this feat by crossbreeding different premium varieties which originally have high levels of THC. These breeders are still hard at work trying to accommodate the demand for higher THC amounts.

When high levels of THC are consumed, the consciousness of the user gets altered intensely. Weed users from the 70s are usually amazed at how much progress breeders have made. A couple of decades ago, it took fewer THC levels like this to get stoned.

RELATED: You Have The Highest THC Strain — So What?

Using high levels of THC for the first time can leave the consumer feeling scared and confused, some say they were couch-locked for the entire time the drug stayed active. Subsequent use helps build tolerance, and users can then enjoy the relaxation, euphoria, happy and pleasantly intense effects of the drug.

The advancements in the THC numbers can also be attributed to commercial growers. These farmers have built and are still building on the genetic blueprint provided by modern breeders. They’ve also found amazing planting techniques that harness soil science knowledge and lighting technology to activate the genetic capability of each seed. Thanks to this, products are higher in cannabinoid, terpenes, and other important compounds concentrations

marijuana THC
Photo by Olena Ruban/Getty Images

With high THC cannabis becoming more widely available, consumers will be able to get as high as possible without spending much. However, frequent use causes these consumers to develop a high tolerance. This results in quick cravings that need to be satisfied asap, meaning more cash is spent in the kong run trying to chase a high.

Growers Sometimes Fabricate High THC Levels

This concept is called THC inflation. At a point, it was observed that the numbers written on the packages were looking too good to be true. Shady companies that realize that consumers are always purchasing high prices have decided to alter their figures. To do this, they submit their product samples at multiple testing facilities, after which they settle on the highest percentage. Consumers are advised to remain vigilant while shopping for cannabis products. Having a trusted dispenser with a rock-solid reputation can guarantee the authenticity of the product label.

Consumption Method Determines THC Levels

The product labels of a product give the consumer an idea of what to expect, but the method of delivering THC into the body affects these expectations. Bioavailability explains this phenomenon better.

RELATED: THC Benefits That Have Nothing To Do With Getting High

Bioavailability determines the amount of THC that remains active when it is introduced to the body system. Depending on the consumption method, this percentage can either be altered greatly or mildly. Here are some ingestion method and their THC bioavailability rates

Oral

This involves consuming oils, edibles, and capsules and sending them through the GIT and liver. This method of administration delivers between 5% to 13% of THC to the body. The THC is converted to 11-hydroxy-THC by the liver. This compound is much more potent and induces intense effects.

Sublingual

Here, cannabis oils are placed under the tongue. Through diffusion, the cannabinoids are delivered inconsistently into the bloodstream. The effects are set in less time than that observed in oral because it bypasses the liver and goes through the oral mucosa instead. The expected THC bioavailability can fall anywhere from 4% to 41%.

Inhalation

This refers to consuming cannabis either by smoking or vaping. The cannabinoids are introduced to the lungs, after which they travel into the bloodstream with the aid of diffusion. The best rate of bioavailability is offered through inhalation. At least 30% THC remains active when it gets to the bloodstream.

Final Word

Displaying the THC percentage of cannabis products is important for consumers who likely want to know what they’re getting into before making a purchase. Recently, some breeders have begun to work with not only THC, but the entirety of the available active cannabinoids present in a cannabis plant.

The total active cannabinoid will give consumers a better description of what to expect after using the drug, unlike THC levels which only describe the expected potency of the product. Premium strains are available globally, and more focus should be directed towards improving its diverse profile instead of its THC levels alone.

For now, seed banks, growers, and dispensaries can focus on meeting the demand for high-level THC, while the breeders focus on getting the most out of the best strains.

This article originally appeared on Cannabis.net and has been reposted with permission.



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What Can Marijuana Strain Names Tell You About A Product?

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Cannabis products are named the same way everything else in the world is named. Some names are unusual, some fascinating, some silly, and others logical. Most of these names have a tale behind them.

There are also cannabis strains that are named after the other older strains in the generation. A perfect example of this can be found in the naming system of the Kush varieties. Strains like Sputnik and Pre-98 Bubba Kush were named after unforgettable events in history.

Why you didn't get the cannabis strain you think you did
Photo by Zummolo/Getty Images

And finally, we have names that give an idea of the taste or flavor of the product, for example, Sweet Dreams or California Orange, etc.

Nowadays, the naming system of cannabis products is not enlightening, and some even leave you confused. Very little effort is put into naming these products. Breeders focus on developing the product with little thought going into how it is named. Every year, at least 20 new products are developed, with new names added to the already confusing pile of names.

Past System Of Naming Cannabis

In the 60s and 70s, marijuana started getting exported across major countries of the world. The modern cannabis was called landrace strains and their seeds were also ferried across cities to be transplanted in different regions.

Back then, strains were named based on the original geographical location. For example; Durban Poison from Durban, Colombian Gold from Colombia, Panama Red from Panama, and several others that originated from Afghanistan, Central America, Mexico, and Jamaica.

RELATED: Why You Didn’t Get The Cannabis Strain You Think You Did

When breeders began to cross-breed these strains, the genetic diversity of cannabis was born.

The cross-breeding of these strains was done to satisfy the consumer’s hunger for better effects, new flavors, and aromas, and just to satisfy a farmer’s curiosity.

Some breeds were developed coincidentally.

Although many of these breeds are extinct now, their vacuum has been filled up by newer hybrids that we’ve created over the years.

What Are Heirloom Marijuana Strains, Exactly?
Photo by Elsa Olofsson via Unsplash

Current Naming System Of Cannabis

There is no international system of naming cannabis products. The name of a product is up to the breeder and the marketing agency in charge of promoting the product.

The most common method being used by breeders in the country now is that a name is crafted by combining the names of the parent strains. A good example of this is the Triple G strain, the names of its parents — Gorilla Glue and Gelato 33 were cleverly combined into Triple G.

RELATED: 5 Exciting Cannabis Strains To Look Forward To In 2021

Some strains are named after some people as a way of honoring them. For example, the strain Ringo’s gift was named after one of the best CBD-Strain breeders named Ringo. Another example is Jack Herer which was named after the famous cannabis activist.

Like the early methods of naming strains, breeders still use the effects of a strain to name it. An example being Blue Dream. When a customer sees a product named blue dream, the first thing he makes of it is that it may induce a dreamy sedative state when used.

More often than not, breeders name a product after its morphology. For example, Purple Kush was named after its intense purple-colored leaves. The White Widow on the other hand was named after the abundant white trichomes present on its flowers.

Photo by Yarygin/Getty Images

A few strains have been named after celebrities and other icons for their market reach. A small sampling includes Khalifa Kush, named after rapper Wiz Khalifa, and Margaret Cho-G, named after comedienne Margaret Cho.

RELATED: What Are Heirloom Marijuana Strains, Exactly?

But like I mentioned earlier, a larger percentage of the names of products found in the market is random and meaningless in a way. These names have very little usefulness to the consumer.

Some breeders have claimed that these random names have hidden stories behind them, but regardless, these names hold no significance to the consumer.

Prospective Naming System Of Cannabis

The naming system of cannabis products needs to evolve globally. As more states adopt the use of cannabis legally, there will be an increase in the number of newly developed strains. The cannabis industry will be more mature if the names of the products are consistent and regulated.

Or better still, the names of cannabis strains will be specific to the breeder. For example, the cultivation of widely produced OG Kush will be limited to just one breeder, prohibiting other growers from using the name. This way, products will easily be traced to the producers with just their name.

RELATED: A Cannabis Grower’s Advice On Choosing The Right Strain

Another way this can be done would be for a producer to attach their name as a prefix to the product’s name. This has been observed in states that have legalized the recreational use of cannabis products. An example is Emerald Jane’s Blue Dream and Artizen Blue Dream.

Marijuana Strain Names
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Staff/Getty Images

Some of the other ways the naming system can be better regulated in the future include:

  • Abolish the names of all strains
  • Have a recognized system for naming cannabis strains. This could either be dependent on their effects, usefulness, or cannabinoid content.
  • Each state must have a regulated naming system

Last Words

The name of a cannabis strain must be consistent enough to guarantee the same effects whenever products with the same name are purchased.

Having a regulated system of naming cannabis strains takes the pressure off marketing and PR strategists that most consumers feel are coming up with meaningless names.

Always confirm the source of a product before you consume it in any form. Also, do not forget to always procure your weed from respectable dispensaries. This way you’re sure the product is what the name inscribed says it is.

This article originally appeared on Cannabis.net and has been reposted with permission.



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