Cannabis Holiday Etiquette

Tips and Tricks to Blow Through the Season






Tis the season for bongs, pipes, and dab rigs to be cleaned, packed in pillowcases, and schlepped with all the accoutrements to family and friend’s homes for the holidays.

If your partaking plan is to hide away in the basement, or huddle in your mom’s bathroom with a small window billowing smoke, you may want to think about investing in a vaporizer or at least a vape pen. The holidays are stressful enough without being caught out in the garage by your six year-old-nephew with your five-foot-tall bong fully lit.

Aside from hiding your recreating from the family, cannabis patients have a tougher battle of medicating regularly in unfamiliar settings. It isn’t just a matter of replacing the herb with a beer or a glass of wine for this single occasion – cannabis patients must medicate, often, and in a variety of ways, just to feel alright. It’s not an option to do without your medicine. It would be like leaving the Vicodin at home after hip surgery.

Below is a short list of tips and niceties that may help you and your host prepare for a happy and healthful holiday visit.

Never arrive empty handed. If your host medicates, a suitable host gift is appropriate. If you are handy in the kitchen, apothecary items, such as infused honey or a batch of medible cookies are never a bad idea. Make sure the gift is in a kid-proof container, properly labeled for THC activation.

Never expect your host to provide. Always come to the tribal toke table with offerings, if you know your host partakes. Bring the offering in an attractive stash jar as part of the gift. If you know they like dabs, but don’t have a rig, bringing yours over is always a special treat.

Leave the protest signs at home. Unless you are a family who marches together, leave your slogans at home. Historically, the holiday table is no place for politics. Getting through Uncle Ed’s graphic description of his yearly prostate exam, or your mom’s latest rant about online dating, should be enough table talk for one family session.

Recognizing a teachable moment. Politics aside, if you are asked about your medicating habits or cannabis as medicine, share and enlighten. Just don’t bring out the soap box and linger on the subject too long. Everyone loves knowledge; no one likes a pot-obsessed zealot bent on forcing an issue. They came for the festivities and food, not a lecture.

Ingest rather than inhale. The effects of ingesting last longer than burning flower. Ingest regularly in low doses and keep that overall sense of well-being for a longer amount of time. Pack hard candies or tincture at 10 milligram doses each, increasing your dose, as needed.

Since cannabis is an enhancer, go easy on the alcohol as the weed will increase the efficacy. There’s nothing worse or more irresponsible than someone bringing a batch of pot brownies to a party where people are already drinking alcohol. Out of body experiences have been reported, with no good time had by anyone.

Replace traditional holiday cocktails with infused alcohol. Infusing alcohol with cannabis and other flavorful herbs and spices can turn a damaging drink into a beneficial tonic. Cannabis quells the negative symptoms from alcohol that cause hangovers. Find your favorite recipes at
Have vaporizer, will travel. Sometimes it’s just not possible to set up a vape box or volcano in the guest room, unless you have advance permission; so, a vape pen remains an easy choice. Vaporizing means no carbon, no smoke, no odor.

Roll enough joints to get you through it. If a vape pen isn’t in your budget, then pre-rolled joints and/or a small pipe will suffice.

This writer has medicated at two in the morning outside in the snow in Colorado; huddled in a shed in a rain storm in Oregon; and stood on enough hotel toilet seats, blowing smoke into a ceiling fan to know where’s there’s a will, there’s a way. And remember to save a few doobies for the ride home.

Have a holiday story or tip? We want to hear it! #EmeraldMagazine

Emerald contributor since March 2012


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