It’s been a year since cannabis became legal in Canada, and as of Thursday, edibles are legal, although they likely won’t be seen in stores until December.
A pair of Winnipeg cannabis advocates took advantage of the increased conversation around pot use earlier this year and started the 2 Baked Girls Potcast – a weekly YouTube talk show that has grown by leaps and bounds since its inception.
The hosts, who go by the pseudonyms ‘Rae Rae’ and ‘Cupcake’, took their show from a DIY iPhone video to a fully produced project, with lights, cameras and a crew.
They told 680 CJOB that while public opinion is changing, there’s still a stigma around pot use.
“A lot of people think that if you smoke pot, you’re in a basement playing video games all day,” said Rae Rae.
“If you want to do that, that’s cool, but there’s so many different avenues and ways to use this plant, and that’s what we’re trying to show people too.”
Rae Rae said she’s a recreational user personally, but has a six-year-old autistic daughter who uses CBD oil – a non-psychoactive product of the cannabis plant – and said it’s been huge for her family.
Her co-host, Cupcake, is a medical user who found cannabis was an alternative to pharmaceuticals she’d been prescribed.
“(Starting the show) was more about advocacy for me. I’m a medical user, so I really just wanted to spread the word and end the stigma about cannabis and show people how helpful it can be.
“You can get off other medications and things that are addictive and bad for you that cannabis can help with.”
With the advent of legalized edible cannabis products, both hosts say users need to do their research before blindly gobbling up whatever’s on the shelves.
The province’s ads encouraging users to ‘start low and go slow’ are also delivering an important message.
“Those ads, people kind of laugh at them… but for somebody that’s never taken anything like that, you go slow,” said Rae Rae.
“You don’t know the effects it’s going to have on your body and how it’s going to make you feel. It’s a different kind of a high.”
The 2 Baked Girls said although there are pros and cons with legalization versus the black market, and that the reluctance to embrace cannabis on the part of Manitoba’s government can be frustrating to some users, it’s still a net positive.
“I think it’s amazing for people who are just getting into cannabis to go into a store and be able to purchase it and go home and try it without thinking they’re going to get arrested,” said Rae Rae.
680 CJOB’s The Start also talked a cannabis user who was a medicinal patient prior to legalization. She said she was excited about legalization, but has since gone back to purchasing her cannabis online.
“In regards to social awareness and talking about it freely and people just becoming more educated on the subject, that’s been great,” said Natalie, who uses CBD to cope with post-traumatic stress disorder-related anxiety.
Natalie said since being on CBD she’s been able to hold down a full-time job, has lost weight, and has become more active and more involved in the community.
Instead of walking to the store to get her CBD, however, Natalie said she’s gone back to ordering her products online.
“The costs, even with my shipping included in it are still working out to be cheaper than what I’m finding in the storefronts here,” she said.
“The medical products are stronger overall, so you’re getting more bang for your buck if you’re using it for medical purposes. If I’m paying online generally speaking, I’m spending about 60, and for the same bottle in the store, it could be 60 or even higher, but the intensity, the dose could be half of that.”
Natalie said when she heard one of the goal’s of legalization was to curb the black market, she expected the prices would be comparable to what people are paying on the street, or on the medicinal side, but so far that hasn’t been the case.