It can be a little daunting to host a cannabis workshop for beginners because where do you begin? How far back do you go… do you get into the history and origins of the plant? Or jump straight into cannabinoids and terpenes? There’s a lot to cover there. How do you make sure there’s enough time to cover the ACMPR, Licensed Producers, methods of consumption, strain selection, the various forms of cannabis and their applications, and still squeeze in the random questions flying at you? What if your time runs out and you haven’t gotten around to talking about dosing?
Irie Selkirk has developed a series of educational cannabis workshops in partnership with swanky lifestyle brand, Tokyo Smoke.
“Know Your Bud” was a free event held at Tokyo Smoke’s Queen Street West location, which is a sharp looking coffee shop with some well-placed retail selections and a workspace in the back. I tend to expect high-end brands to host the type of event where I feel ever so slightly out of place – so I was pleasantly surprised to find that I felt right at home. It was an intimate gathering of 8-10 women (though not created specifically for women) most of whom were indeed new to cannabis and felt comfortable enough to ask questions they’ve probably stifled while in the company of connoisseurs. I wish I’d had a place like this several years ago to ask, “what is hash made of?” and “how can you tell good weed from bad weed?”.
Irie led the class with confidence and charisma. Despite her vast knowledge and experience she was extremely humble and charmingly self-deprecating. Rarely was there question she couldn’t fully answer. When there was, she welcomed the input of her colleagues. We discussed how to legally access medical cannabis and why dispensaries are considered “grey market”. THC and CBD were covered in a manner that was easy to understand, and I really enjoyed the conversation on Sativa vs. Indica. It focused less on the attributes you hear everywhere (uplifting vs. relaxing) and instead explored the role of terpene profiles. We learned about the various forms of cannabis and their methods of consumption, at which time Irie showed off some vaporizers, pipes, a bong, one-hitter, and rolling papers. She was even packing blunt wraps!
Newbie questions were asked with embarrassed giggles, but there was no shame here. This was the forum to ask about slang, to smell flower for the first time, to hold your first vaporizer and understand what vaporizing means. Irie welcomed our interruptions, and gently steered the conversation back on course.
I may not be a cannabis newbie myself, but I did learn a few things. It never hurts to go back and sharpen my basic knowledge. Especially since I speak with beginners daily, in my medical cannabis discussion group. They are often overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. By breaking it down and making it feel accessible, we can empower them. It also decreases the chance that they will eat an entire edible in one sitting and never return for the intermediate class! I hope to see many more workshops like this one as the stigma surrounding cannabis fades and people from all walks of life decide to learn for themselves what the fuss is about.