[dropcap class=”kp-dropcap”]C[/dropcap]reating cannabis content on YouTube, sometimes referred to as “weedtubing,” can take many forms. From becoming an outlet to show off consuming giant dabs and smoking supersized joints to an opportunity for activism and free expression, video creation allows many cannabis advocates to express their passion. Often enough, YouTube channels are used both for advocacy and to show off the latest consumption accessories. In all cases, video content overall continues to gain a lot of attention, and as a result, videos are changing the way we consume cannabis content. CULTURE spoke to some of the biggest names in the cannabis YouTube world to find out about contributing to the cannabis community and the future of cannabis video blogging.
With over 292,000 YouTube subscribers, Kimmy Tan is making a name for herself through sharing her multiple interests. Not only is she a legal cannabis patient in California and an advocate and avid smoker, she is also a tattoo artist, model, singer, songwriter and artist. She also embraces an alternative fashion sense, coining a signature look with numerous tattoos and dreadlocks, and she even has a cannabis-inspired cosmetics line.
But above all, Tan’s passion for cannabis is well-placed, as she’s found a niche of like-minded viewers who enjoy sharing her perspective about cannabis legalization across the country. “Hopefully, with the legalization of marijuana becoming more widespread across U.S. states, we’ll be seeing more and more content centered on cannabis and normalizing cannabis medication,” she told CULTURE.
Her video channel eisn’t just a form of entertainment for viewers, but also a positive force toward de-stigmatizing medical cannabis. “What I’m really hoping is that the message gets out there that cannabis is truly one of the safest ways of medication, backed with scientific research, and that the stigma will slowly lift and more ‘regular people of society,’ like moms, doctors and businessmen, can start to speak out on their cannabis use and how it enhances their lives,” Tan added.
Tan started YouTubing because cannabis helped heal her anxiety and depression, making her feel well enough to create as well as medicate. She decided to share this message with the world, which has led to her success as a well-known content creator and avid advocate. Tan hopes that in the future, more cancer patients will be able to come forward and share their journeys to remission, as well as how they medicate with cannabis in order to heal. “I’m hoping 2018 will be the year that society will see, more and more, that ‘lazy hippies’ and rap videos shouldn’t be the only things that pop into your brain when you think of cannabis,” she said.
“Hopefully, with the legalization of marijuana becoming more widespread across U.S. states, we’ll be seeing more and more content centered around cannabis and normalizing cannabis medication.”
The Stoner Mom
There’s a stigma when “stoner” and “mom” are used in the same sentence. However famous video creator known as The Stoner Mom hopes to put all those preconceived notions to rest. What started as an outlet for talking about medicating to battle her depression and living the normal life of a mom who enjoys consuming cannabis, actually spiraled into a viral YouTube sensation. Now, The Stoner Mom now educates over 41,000 followers.
The Stoner Mom used Zoloft and Wellbutrin for an estimated 11 years in order to treat her depression and anxiety—until she found that cannabis was a true life-saver. She began making videos in early 2015, many of which began as simple “stoner sesh” videos, but evolved into vlog-style content about being a normal, responsible mom who also consumed cannabis. “The Stoner Mom was born out of a need to share my personal journey with cannabis and the desire to model what real adult cannabis use looks like,” she told CULTURE. “As a mom whose mental health was literally saved by cannabis, breaking the stigma of the lazy, unemployed, college-aged stoner is very important to me.”
She resents that responsible citizens are forced to break the law when they use cannabis for medicine, or are arrested just for medicating. This is why it is so important with her to share the impacts of cannabis on health. Most recently, The Stoner Mom has embarked on a new journey to rid herself of medication for depression, replacing it with CBD. She claims that it has lessened her need to consume cannabis in other forms, which has lowered her tolerance back to “newbie levels.”
The Gay Stoner
Originally, Arend Richard, aka The Gay Stoner, was trying to reach the LGBTQ crowd specifically with his YouTube videos, providing commentary and insight into queer life. One day, he combined that insight with smoking a bowl, which led his videos to go viral and the rest is history. Now, he has over 112,000 followers on YouTube and an army of fans who love how open and unapologetic he is.
Richard started making videos at the right time, as now is a crucial moment in the evolution of cannabis entertainment, now that legalization of cannabis in some form is being welcomed by many American citizens. “I think we are moving into a phase where people are really starting to bring something unique to the category,” Richard explained. “In the past it was just sit down in front of a camera and sesh. Now it’s a bit more imaginative. We have creators vlogging, teaching and so much more. In essence, I think where cannabis vlogging is headed is into the mainstream.”
In addition to vlogging and making his cannabis message front-and-center, Richard is showing the world that LGBTQ folks also consume cannabis, and that the world of recreational cannabis isn’t just about scantily clad women and the straight men who ogle them. Richard said that he takes inspiration from the thousands of thank you messages that his viewers have sent him, expressing their appreciation for his unique perspective and representation. “Any time that you can change a person’s outlook or make someone’s day . . . it’s totally worth it,” he added. “As far as my contributions to the cannabis community, I think my contributions are more for the non-cannabis community. I’ve changed thousands of people’s minds about weed.”
“We have creators vlogging, teaching and so much more. In essence I think where cannabis vlogging is headed is into the mainstream.”
xCodeh, or Cody, with 538,000 followers, has been creating videos for some time, making a strong name for himself in the cannabis community. Although he’s among one of the most popular YouTube channels about cannabis, he is concerned about the recent shutdown of certain YouTube videos that has threatened the cannabis content community.
“Cannabis video blogging in 2018 has started off to a rough start, with YouTube terminating many cannabis-related channels with community guideline strikes,” Cody told CULTURE. He noted that since YouTube (like social media sites) are having trouble accepting cannabis culture, cannabis content creators may have to start looking for a new platform to express their views.
Still, despite setbacks and red tape, he is happy doing what he does because of the joy it brings to other cannabis enthusiasts. “What inspires me the most to make content is seeing replies saying that my videos really helped [improve] their day, or mood,” Cody stated. “I want my videos to be a chill place, where you can relax and not worry about the stresses of daily life for even a few minutes. Money was a motivator in the beginning, but once the core fan base continued to grow the only thing that truly matters to me is if the viewers are happy, and if I’m happy making the content that they enjoy.”
“I want my videos to be a chill place, where you can relax and not worry about the stresses of daily life for even a few minutes.”
Instead of one person putting a beautiful mug front and center, Loaded Up takes the group approach to cannabis blogging, using the efforts of multiple cannabis content creators to procure a channel that is of interest to many stoners. With 186,000 subscribers, this group has developed a method that works well for their videos.
The members of Loaded Up aim to be original and create videos that are both enjoyable and informative. “Loaded Up started with one idea, that medicating with cannabis all starts with the best experience,” members of the group explained to CULTURE.
The team wanted to create a solution so that interested parties could just press play and watch content unfold before their eyes instead of endlessly searching. In an effort to combat channels based on reposting and memes, Loaded Up aims to make sure every video on their page was fresh and original. When the creators first began recoding video content, no one else was really focused on high-quality or consistently produced content.
Like many others content creators on YouTube, Loaded Up hopes that their videos, and the videos of their peers, will help to change any negative perceptions of the plant.
“We believe that as more states and countries legalize cannabis we make a huge impact on first-time patients and long-term patients,” they said. “Because we inspire, educate and entertain millions of people, we keep them updated on cannabis regulations, best strains and products and, most importantly, how to medicate responsibly and break away from those negative stigmas that come attached with cannabis.”
“Because we inspire, educate and entertain millions of people, we keep them updated on cannabis regulations, best strains and products and, most importantly, how to medicate responsibly and break away from those negative stigmas that come attached with cannabis.”