It’s almost Halloween. The weather is getting cooler, pumpkins are arriving by the truckload, and the stores are full of candy, skeletons, and spooky stuff.
Halloween (or All Hallows Eve) derived from the ancient Celtic festival called Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts, and over time it has evolved into activities in America like trick-or-treating, carving pumpkins, and eating treats. It’s a time when we celebrate darkness and fear and enjoy being scared. Which is why every myth or freaky anecdote that has ever been told resurfaces in October – including everything scary about cannabis.
Bottom line, we like being scared. When humans feel threatened or frightened, a hormonal reaction occurs, making us feel more powerful physically and more intuitive emotionally.
Humans seem to drawn to this adrenal rush, whether it’s a roller coaster or a scary story. It’s why urban legends continue to spread over time and throughout cultures.
Like claims that children’s candy might be poisoned, a rumor that started during the Industrial Revolution (1760-1840), when food production moved out of the home and began being produced by strangers using unknown ingredients and unfamiliar processes.
The cautionary myths gained momentum during the 1960s, a time of social upheaval when the all-American family model began to shift, and distrust took hold.
In fact, there are only five instances of children dying from stranger-related-poisoning around Halloween, all prior to 1975, and none of the claims were substantiated. Yet the razor blade apples, Tylenol laced Pixie Stix, and more recently, pot-laced candy myths, still circulate every year.
That said, here are the facts you need to know about the pot-laced candy myths:
• There is no evidence that cannabis edibles have ever been given out to children for Halloween candy.
• The Halloween THC candy myth seems to have arrived locally around 2012, the same year that cannabis was legalized for recreational use in both Washington and Colorado.
• Edibles with THC don’t resemble candy, particularly here in Washington. There are laws banning any edibles shaped like animals, fruits, or anything else that would entice a child to eat one.
• THC-infused and CBD-infused edibles don’t come in common candy bar-style wrappers but are sold 10 or more in sealed containers. THC-infused edibles are clearlyy marked with warning and safety labels that indicate they are only for adults 21 and older, and to keep out of reach of children.
• They are expensive. To pass them out to neighborhood children trick or treating would require some significant cash output.
• Halloween Trick-or-Treat protocol: For mainly hygiene reasons, children are now discouraged from taking fruits, baked goods, or anything that isn’t in its original wrapping. Beware of choking risks to small children from hard candies and toys. Stay with your children while they are trick-or-treating (regardless of their age). Always examine their treats before letting them indulge.
If you are an adult over the age of 21 and you enjoy cannabis, and Halloween is your favorite time of year, you might enjoy these fun suggestions for making your Halloween extra special.
• Consider adding cannabis to your favorite fall treats when entertaining your adult friends. Try roasted pumpkin seeds with cannabis-infused coconut oil, caramel apples with cannabis-infused chocolate, or sweet and salty cannabis popcorn balls.
• Make a Pumpkin Bong (a fun spin on the jack-o-lantern). Your pumpkin will need three holes. One for the bowl, one for your mouth, and a small ‘breather’ hole in the side. Get creative.
• Make cannabis-infused cocktails. Pinterest is full of ideas for Halloween drinks (dry ice optional).
• Go for a ghost walk. Pack a few joints and go for a walk in the woods or on the beach with friends, filling the air with spectral smoke. Even better, tell scary stories around a campfire while passing a bowl.
• Really give yourself a scare (or a good laugh) and do a search for “Scary Cannabis Propaganda.” Was it a baby or a turkey in the microwave?
• Try spooky strains, like Ghost OG, Frankenberry, Jack Skellington (aka Jack Herer), Black Widow, or Hell Cat (by Freddy’s Fuego).
Make a cannabis themed Halloween costume!
Remember the ancient Celtic festival, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts? Not much has changed, although we’ve come a long way in the costume department. For those who are creative, head to Pinterest or Etsy for great DIY ideas. For everyone else, there’s Rasta Imposta. A goofy costume shop for the lighthearted. Look in the “adult” section to find the cannabis-themed costumes – warning, there are a few items alongside that you may have a difficult time ‘un-seeing.’ In which case, stick to a local costume shop or Amazon for a wider selection.
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