On 420, learn more about weed with these carefully cultivated science stories

Light up your life with these highly educational articles on cannabis in its many forms.
Cannabis plant under purple weed grow light
Keep the weed growing to the experts. Deposit Photos

Today is a very special holiday where a skunky smell permeates the air. If you’re celebrating 4/20, Popular Science has the perfect lineup of dope science stories to make you everyone’s favorite bud. Don’t puff puff pass on this one!

Essential cannabis accessories

First things first, everyone needs some cannabis supplies before lighting up. But with so many twists on glassware and other options, how do you decide? From vaporizers to grinders to pen batteries, PopSci’s roundup of essential cannabis accessories will walk you through the choices.

A step-by-step guide to rolling a joint

Rolling a joint can’t be that hard, right? Wrong. Thankfully, in honor of 4/20, our DIY step-by-step guide will explain both the art and the science of rolling a joint, with advice straight from some of New York City’s expert budtenders. It’s the perfect refresher for veterans and crash course for newbies, complete with photos, detailed instructions, and material recommendations.

Can CBD help you chill? Here’s what we know so far.

CBD, THC’s sister molecule, has been working its way into various products as part of a budding industry. CBD is legal in more US states than cannabis, and can be added to almost any product as long as it has less than 0.3 percent THC. It’s a great alternative for those looking for stress relief, or don’t want the psychoactive effects of cannabis itself. Still have some questions about CBD? It’s not a panacea, but it may be worth trying out.

Is growing weed sustainable? The answer is complicated.

Using cannabis products to ease climate anxiety might be a Catch-22. Researchers say it’s hard to measure the environmental impact of today’s celebrated plant: Grow operations across the US take up a lot of water, land, and energy. Here’s what we know about the sustainability of cannabis.

Can you overdose on weed?

All substances have their risks, what about weed? Well, thankfully its not possible to overdose in the traditional sense, but overdoing it does pose some safety threats. Before you celebrate 4/20, listen to this Ask Us Anything podcast on the side effects of weed to gain some insights on responsible consumption.

The tasty chemicals flavoring the edible cannabis boom

Cannabis may have a distinctive smell, but a little-known aspect to users and non-users alike is that each strain has a special chemical composition. Like wine with its various aromas (such as floral, fruity, or earthy) different strains of cannabis possess a signature scent and taste. What makes them unique? Terpenes, or “terps,” are aromatic compounds found in many herbs and flowers. There are hundreds of known kinds that yield diverse flavors and effects. PopSci reported a comprehensive overview on the science of terpenes, ending with a list of the most buyable varieties.

Is marijuana a performance-enhancing drug? The best evidence says no.

Unfortunately for many athletes, cannabis use still falls on the list of prohibited substances. These regulations are in place to prevent the use of performance-enhancing drugs and ensure fair competition, but does cannabis really belong on the same list as steroids? Learn why the scientific reasoning behind cannabis regulations in sports might be lacking.

Cannabis gets its high-inducing power from ancient viruses

The next time a friend thanks a higher power for cannabis, remind them to appreciate viruses for their genetic contributions. (At the very least, it was a joint effort.) The psychoactive and medicinal effects of cannabis probably evolved from ancient viruses Mapping the genome of the plant posed a challenge to researchers as an illicit substance, but as it slowly became legal in different states over the past two decades, they dove deep into its background. What better time than 4/20 to learn the evolutionary history of cannabis.

Why German scientists got cows stoned

Nobody wants animals to get high on our supply, but these German scientists did it on purpose with cows. Not to laugh at the animals’ “pronounced tongue play,” as researchers described: They wanted to test if leftover organic matter from the hemp industry could be fed to livestock, reducing waste and curbing methane emissions from regular hay and soy. The German study led to some especially silly bovine behavior and THC-spiked milk.

Does CBD show up on a drug test?

Using cannabis products might lead to a positive drug test that could cost you a job or other opportunities. For those that want the stress-reducing effects of cannabis, but have to keep off the grass, consider quality products with this CBD drug test and product guide.