Sonoma County's fields are alive with the stimulating wafts of ripening ganja. Paired with the tinge of newly fermented grapes and the smell of the final autumnal blooms of medicinal plants and herbs, there is much to be thankful for.
Among the decades-old tradition of harvesting cannabis, this year is one for the ages. Never has California witnessed such abundance. And this is before outdoor harvest even commences. Situation: legendary.
The mass media is currently broadcasting this phenomena as a problem, as if they doubt our consumptive prowess (little do they know). Talking heads who purport to represent cultivators are spouting embellished fictions of diversion to the black market, proverbially tossing cannabis culture under the bus, except the bus is named Furthur and it floats. Additionally, there are even reports of calls for the cannabis community to slow down and cultivate less.
To this, I declare, cannabis is a profound therapeutic plant. There are nearly 8 billion human endocannabinoid systems, and by fine-tuning these systems with cannabis as a catalyst for short- and long-term benefit, the homeostatic and balancing abilities of the system can be realized, increasing our own autonomy over our health and wellbeing.
That leaves us with the question: what are we to do with all of this cannabis?
First and foremost, actualize the compassion inherent in Proposition 215 and gift it away to all that have a need for it. Medical cannabis is to be shared with all. It has the power to alleviate stress and dampen anxiety, and, in these bizarre and tense times, is not to be denied to anyone, especially due to economic reasons.
Second, make it into medicine—cannabis extracts, alcohol-based tinctures, oil infusions, edibles, juice, and topicals. Bath with it, decoct it into teas and even use the roots. Instructions and recipes can be found in your local cafes, farmers markets, apothecaries, bookstores and on the web.
Third, age your flowers. Taking a page from wine culture, learn and embrace curing and preservation techniques. The legendary breeder DJ Short, the one who unveiled the Blueberry chemovar, does not smoke his cannabis until aged for at least two to three years.
Forth, and perpetually, celebrate the bounty. Cannabis is in fact the largest underground agrarian movement of all time. Northern California is the nucleus of the transmission. Feel confident as the broadcasters of the harvest like none other.
Patrick Anderson is a lead educator for Project CBD.