As increased legalization blows highly potent weed smoke into the lungs of more and more Americans, dads round the country speak their minds in loud, unintentional harmony: “Weed today is too damn strong!”
This is undeniable compared to the weed they smoked back in the day: Weed in the 1970s (and 1980s) had an average psychoactive THC content of less than five percent, whereas weed today has an average of around 20 percent — and some strains are even more powerful.
This increased potency is both good and bad, depending on how you look at it. On the one hand, we get more bang for our buck, and some people actually enjoy the feeling of being teleported to another galaxy after smoking some dank. On the other hand, newbies and return smokers are easily turned off by commanding kush that makes them feel paranoid, anxious and like time is going by really, really, really, really slow.
As a regular smoker, I too prefer weaker weed. I like being able to smoke a full joint and still be able to function and focus, rather than taking a micro-drag from a wax pen and somehow watching my mind relive my entire existence while also watching my hands shove raw noodles into my mouth.
The Surgeon General even voiced his distaste for the strong weed of today during an interview last year. “The marijuana of even 10 years ago was less than 5 percent THC, which is the product that causes you to get high,” he said. “The new strains that are professionally grown are 10, 15, 20 percent THC, and then when you vape them or dab them through these new devices, folks are getting 50, 60, 70 percent THC delivered.”
But what if we could bring back the weed our dads smoked? Would it be a solution for those of us who prefer a milder high? Would it be trash weed? Would the Surgeon General finally be happy? A new weed brand on the block could help answer all of these questions.
The Problem: Weed today is too damn strong.
The Potential Solution: Dad Grass organic hemp flower joints, an attempt at “reviving the mellow sensibility of the casual smoke,” like what our dads enjoyed way back when.
In simple terms, these joints are a hemp-derived CBD product and are federally legal under the 2018 Farm Bill, which requires that they contain less than 0.3 percent THC. That’s about 100 times weaker than some of the strongest strains of today. But these joints do have a non-psychoactive CBD content of about 12 percent — or my batch does, at least.
The Science: The science around CBD is promising but still sort of inconclusive. (A lot of weed happenings went on underground for a long time, so research needs to catch up.) What we know, however, is that CBD can allegedly relieve anxiety, curb depression and improve sleep, and quite a lot of people can substantiate these effects, at least from personal experience. In other words, it should make me feel pretty chill.
Dad Grass co-founder Josh Katz says CBD is only one piece of the puzzle here, though, explaining that the many compounds in hemp (and cannabis) work together “like an orchestra” to create a certain feeling. “The way that you feel isn’t just a function of the amount of THC,” he says (or CBD, for that matter). “That’s where Big Cannabis and the cannabis industry at large has kind of gotten it wrong.”
An increasing amount of science backs this up, so it would be unfair to assume all that much about how any weed product should make me feel without understanding what all those individual cannabinoids are doing (there are at least 113 cannabinoids present in cannabis). “These things affect us all a little bit differently,” Katz says. That said, what we know about weed so far would suggest that lower THC and higher CBD strains, like Dad Grass, should theoretically produce a mellower high, perhaps akin to what our dads experienced in the 1970s.
As for whether Dad Grass follows through on that promise, I spent all day smoking it to find out. Here’s how it went…
The Wake and Bake (8:30 a.m.): I wake up, walk the dog, rush to my work computer and am already feeling stressed — nothing out of the ordinary, really. Now, upon the recommendations of Katz and fellow co-founder Ben Starmer, my day of Dad Grass is beginning with a joint to accompany my coffee and breakfast. Will it help me chill? Will I get too high to sit through this Zoom meeting? Will I feel like my dad?
*15 minutes later*
I have become the earth, and the earth has become me. JK. I don’t think I’m high, per se, but I do feel a little better already. I can focus, I’m less anxious and I just saw a bird outside my window, which made me feel nice. Okay, maybe I’m a little high?
*5 minutes later*
It feels a little weird not being stressed right now. Like, I should be stressed on a Thursday morning as I begin what will be a long workday during a pandemic, right? Am I thinking too much? Who makes the rules, anyway? Standing up for a second, I do think I have a bit of a head high. I feel kind of floaty, and my eyes are heavier than usual.
*A couple hours later*
So, I actually took a while to finish that first joint, but things have been going well. I feel like I’m walking on a happy cloud whenever I get up from my desk, if that makes any sense, but I haven’t had the munchies. I also got an article written, so I’m maintaining at least some focus. And I don’t think I’m babbling like a high person. Am I? I might be.
The Exercise Time Joint (12:45 p.m.): I just had a light lunch and am lighting up my second joint of the day in preparation for my daily 20 minutes on the exercise bike. What I’ll say about my first joint is that the effects are definitely there, unlike some CBD-heavy products, but they don’t linger too long. If I smoke normal weed in the morning, I feel foggy all day. But I almost feel back to normal after not smoking Dad Grass for an hour or so, I think?
*On the exercise bike*
I’m cruising, my legs are burning, my lungs aren’t struggling too much, and I’m in the zone. It could be the exercise hormones. It could be the Dad Grass. Who knows? These 20 minutes do feel a little longer than usual, but my body feels good.
Stretching after some Dad Grass: Good stuff. I like that. I’m stretching like never before. And weirdly, I feel better about my body than I normally do. Like, I feel more comfortable in it. I guess I understand why people do weed yoga now.
The 420 Joint (4:20 p.m.): I had to light another one up at 4:20, bro. I really did. I was feeling a little foggy. That afternoon slump hit me pretty hard, but my third joint is giving me a little boost. I’m not feeling insanely high or anything, but perhaps a little more motivated to keep truckin’ through the end of the workday. It’s almost like a weak coffee. Just a little pep.
*A few minutes later*
Okay, now I feel kinda high. My computer screen seems brighter, and I may be having a little trouble focusing. That could be because of the weed, or because I’ve been working all day and have a fried brain. It could also be the combination.
*A couple hours later*
It’s a little after 6 p.m. right now, and I may have hit a peak with my CBD smoking for the day. I feel a little more tired than I probably normally would, and at this point, I don’t know that more is necessarily doing anything. I don’t normally smoke this much, and I’m not sure I’d expect your average person to either, so I could be overdoing it a bit.
The Nighttime Joint (8 p.m.): I’ve been feeling tired and a bit fried. I guess that’s what happens when you smoke weed all day, even primarily CBD weed. This fourth joint is maybe taking the edge off a little bit, but I think my body has absorbed as much CBD as it possibly can in a period of 12 hours.
My Final Thoughts: Dad Grass does a good job of achieving what they set out to do. It makes you feel a little lighter, but it would probably be impossible to get properly stoned by only smoking Dad Grass — although, I did have a moment there while I was stretching. In fact, I can see how you might want stronger strains at times if you enjoy that kind of thing. But this would also be the perfect weed for anyone who’s been turned off by the heavy-duty stuff of today.
Overall, I’d be happy smoking Dad Grass, chilling and still functioning on most days. But maybe I’ll just stick to one joint next time. Four was probably a bit much.