Cannabis for the Arts

Late Night Weed Show Ep. #1
December 29, 2016
CBD Legal Status Update from THC Legal Group
January 8, 2017

It’s undoubtedly a cliché at this point to say that it can be quite exciting going to museums, art galleries, and zoos under the influence of cannabis. Enjoying a little marijuana before an excursion to a learning environment can open your mind to new experiences, heighten your sensory perception, and propel the imagination into unknown depths. Exhibits may strike you in ways they might not have otherwise. You might find inspiration to create your own art, or become a greater part of history! The possibilities are endless.

However, there are all kinds of pitfalls when it comes to being high in cultural institutions like museums and galleries. For one, the obvious: with the exception of perhaps a few small, open-minded galleries, you’re almost certainly prohibited from partaking in your cannabis on premises. Most museums and galleries not only restrict patrons’ ability to smoke and vape on the grounds, but they also have rules against eating and drinking of any kind. You can’t just walk around any given museum puffing on joints and stuffing your face with space cakes, as appealing as that might sound.

If that were somehow an option, negative side effects of cannabis consumption still could ruin your trip to the museum if you’re not careful. Museum staff don’t want to deal with a patron who has overconsumed cannabis any more than they might want to deal with a patron who has overconsumed alcohol, for much of the same reasons: intoxicated people can be disruptive or can overstep exhibit boundaries. Even if you’re responsible with your pre-museum visit cannabis use, some strains can promote paranoia, lethargy or dry mouth that might impede your ability to enjoy the grounds.

With all these caveats in mind, you might be wondering if it’s really even worth it to use marijuana before visiting galleries and museums. It still certainly is! Thankfully, this article will guide you to some particular strains that will maximize your enjoyment of museums and galleries while minimizing any risk to your good times or to the museum’s holdings.

You’ll notice the strains we’re profiling here are sativas or sativa-heavy hybrids. We’re certainly not saying that indica strains are a bad choice for a museum experience! However, sativa strains generally induce more profound mental highs and psychedelic experiences than their more physical indica cousins. Save your indica stash for when you get home and need to take a load off your feet and decompress!

Our recommendations will keep you engaged and comfortable with your surroundings. Their effects are long-lasting and gentle without being weak. You don’t have to worry about the high wearing off halfway through your visit, but you will keep your cool all the while. Just remember to be responsible and aware of your surroundings! Read on to learn how to optimize your museum visits with cannabis:


J1

J1 serves as a great all-purpose strain for enjoying cultural activities. If you’re not quite sure which strain might best accompany your museum experience, you’ll be in good hands if you default to J1.  This heady hybrid comes from a predominantly sativa lineage, and it shows. J1 fully revs up both your body and mind in order to keep you alert, engaged, and calm in a museum or gallery space.  The boost in mood slowly ratchets up in a way that lifts the spirits into euphoria without sending you over the edge into goofiness.

History and science museums are best suited for a J1 experience, since you’ll be clear-headed enough to read displays and process complex information without losing the plot. With the enhanced powers of imagination bestowed upon you by J1, you’ll examine decorative objects from bygone eras and picture the lives of their original owners with tremendous clarity. The shape and structure of crystals in a natural science institute will reveal nuances you might never have noticed.

Living history museums and historical re-enactments are particularly fun to observe with J1. You can really become engrossed with envisioning life as it was back in the olden days, watching the performers in period costume carry out everyday activities as they were done in the past. With J1, you can pretend you lived as a frontier settler or a colonial soldier and find yourself fully inhabiting that headspace.  

The flavor of J1 invigorates the taste buds with hints of citrus and sage, which boosts the strain’s refreshing qualities tremendously. Its downy green nugs exude a classic cannabis aroma without the boldness of its skunky lineage. These qualities are the basis of J1’s broad appeal, making it a perfect choice for passing around before a group trip to the museum. Although J1 often can only be purchased at a premium price point, its versatility more than pays for itself.


AK 47

Cannabis novices might be spooked by AK 47’s aggressive name, thinking they’re in for an assault rifle-like burst of intensity. Nothing could be further from the truth, as more experienced users could tell you. AK 47 may actually be one of the most forgiving, predictably steady strains of cannabis on the market. AK creeps up slowly, unveiling over a sustained period of time. Its mellow onset won’t leave you suddenly slack-jawed, lost in objets d’art. Although AK-47 comes from a predominantly sativa lineage, it’s quite a balanced hybrid in terms of supplying both mental stimulation and physical relaxation.  

The consistent, even keel of AK 47 is best suited for large, bustling multi-wing museums. D.C.’s Smithsonian museums come to mind. You’ll still have enough control of your faculties to navigate the crowds without confusion or claustrophobia. AK 47 has tremendous value as a stress reliever and social lubricant, sure to put you on your best behavior. The long-lasting high will carry you through the museum from start to finish without any diminished sense of well-being.

The subtle relaxing effects of AK 47 help to keep you on your feet and eager to explore. You won’t feel sore or worn out from an afternoon of poring over a museum’s every nook and cranny. This makes it a perfect choice for museum-goers who suffer from mild to moderate chronic pain but still want to maintain a robust level of mental engagement with the exhibits.

AK 47’s understated strength can be observed in its appearance and flavor profile. While the dense buds might seem unassuming upon first glance, hints of dark greens and blues peek out. Although its flavor is delicate relative to other strains in its class, AK 47 tastes sweet with herbal notes of black licorice and star anise. This strain is as easygoing and pleasant on the taste buds as it is on the body and mind.


Durban Poison

For visits to outside museum locales like zoos and botanical gardens, Durban Poison should be number one on the list. This candy-sweet South African sativa energizes with a thorough and assertive touch. It imparts a strong feeling of determination that will keep you moving even when the weather’s less than ideal. Outdoor exhibits can vary greatly with the seasons, and sometimes the most stunning times to see zoos and gardens are in the dead of winter or the dog days of summer. Durban Poison will ensure you don’t miss what other visitors and tourists pass up.

Durban Poison certainly possesses plenty of token sativa mind-expansion, so be prepared to have your mind blown by outdoor sculptures and breathtaking landscapes. The energy of Durban Poison, unlike many other sativa strains, lets you appreciate what you’re seeing down to the smallest detail without getting stranded in the minutiae. Once you’ve taken full account of the peacock’s brilliant plumage, you’ll be right on your way into the reptile house without forgetting what you were supposed to be doing.

As a result of its get-up-and-go appeal, Durban Poison is a mighty strain for combating apathy and a lack of motivation. It’s the perfect remedy for solo museum trips when you want to check out a new exhibit but you just can’t seem to get off the couch and check it out by yourself. Durban Poison frees your ass so your mind will follow!

You can tell this is a great strain for outdoor museums just by its rugged physical attributes. Durban Poison’s exceptionally large resin glands lend the dried buds a frosty, chunky surface that is sticky to the touch. The scent and taste unfold first with currents of evergreen and molasses, and then even out into a subdued earthiness. With just a toke or two, you’ll feel the call of nature leading you outside the home.


Lemon Haze

The popularity of Lemon Haze should clue you into its worthiness in a variety of settings, but this strain truly shines when you use it before heading to an art gallery. While Lemon Haze doesn’t have quite the electric zap of Durban Poison, the high from this sativa is potently cerebral—particularly in how it gets you in touch with your feelings. While we all love to go see art in public settings to marvel at its aesthetic qualities, you haven’t truly experienced art in its full glory until it provokes an emotional reaction in you.

The euphoric, empathic power of Lemon Haze truly reveals itself when looking at abstract and conceptual art. Remember that episode of Parks and Recreation when Tom Haverford had that profound reaction to the abstract impressionist Pawnee mural concept? That’ll be you with a few puffs of Lemon Haze. Previously impenetrable works of art like Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollack paintings will expose incredible new layers of inner meaning when you’re in the haze.

True to its name, Lemon Haze abounds with sweet & sour flavor—like one of those old Lemonhead candies. This strain is so mouth-wateringly appetizing that it can easy to overindulge just based on what a pleasure it is to taste. The hairs on Lemon Haze buds often show as a mustard yellow or yellow-orange, giving the plant matter an appearance that suits its flavor profile. The aroma is also just as citrusy too. This strain creates a sense of deep childlike joy, and that’s evident from the moment you take it out of the bag.


Panama Red

Now here’s an old school classic. Panama Red has fallen out of favor these days due to its rather lengthy cultivation time in comparison to other heavyweight sativa strains bred for faster yields, but its revival and renaissance is long overdue. This was the fuel for most of the great advances in mid-20th century art and culture, and for that reason alone it would deserve mention on this list.

Like most of the others on this list, the energizing headiness of this strain of cannabis is its most prominent quality. However, the Panama Red experience tends to come in waves: it sets in first as a joyous buzz, and then ratchets up gradually into psychedelic weightlessness. The strain doesn’t take long to kick in, and yet its staying power is not to be underestimated! Despite its punch, Panama Red promotes mindfulness and attention to detail without setting you on edge.

A hallmark craving for social contact characterizes the Panama Red high, too. Therefore, it’s perfect for visiting interactive exhibits or viewing/participating in performance art. Take along a few friends and, within no time at all, you’ll trade stimulating, insightful commentary throughout the duration of your visit. If you’re about to attend a gallery opening, be sure to hit this beforehand—or during the reception, if the staff and other patrons are supportive! You’ll have the curiosity and the social acumen to ask well-formed, meaningful questions to the artists and curators.

Panama Red is so named for the bright red hairs that pop out of its oblong, tightly packed nugs. This strain has a fairly run-of-the-mill aroma, but its taste is pleasantly rich. Notes of papaya, guava and other sweet tropical fruits come across the tongue with a buttery smoothness. This is an interesting counterpoint to most of the tangy or herbal flavor profiles found elsewhere on this list. In many ways, Panama Red manages to be both a time-tested standard and yet still sort of an outsider—perfect for artists and thinkers alike.

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