Ever wonder why you get the giggle fits over something as simple as a cat in a YouTube video when you're high? Well, there's actually a science behind this phenomenon. Luckily for comedians, cannabis also lowers the inhibition of the laugh reflex, so when an audience smokes before a show, they tend to embrace almost any kind of humor. Though many comedians agree that crowds consuming cannabis can cause them to switch up their delivery to match the stoney atmosphere.
“You can't be as subtle in your delivery in a room where the audience is smoking weed,” explained comedian Niles Abston. “You have to be a little more matter of fact and sometimes act out your dialogue for the set to be successful.”
Outside of audience consumption, comedians themselves often utilize cannabis to write, punch up, or even perform their jokes in front of crowds. Their preferences vary across the indica, sativa, and hybrid domains depending on their end goal and the type of crowd they are performing to.
While your results will likely vary, here are eight favorites from some of the most talented performers in the cannabis comedy community.
Kicking off the list is Wedding Cake, which is a personal favorite of comedian and writer Ashley Ray. This indica-dominant strain is made from a cross of Cherry Pie and GSC and consumers report relaxing and euphoric effects.
“Almost everyone makes their own version of Wedding Cake and I've truly never had a bad one,” said Ray. “It gives me a really wonderful body high where I can think about or watch comedy and be completely entertained.”
The strain is sometimes referred to as Pink Cookies and is said to produce a rich and tangy flavor with earthy pepper tones.
This indica-dominant hybrid was a top favorite across the board for writing jokes, tapping into creativity, and even performing on stage. While the name is associated with being “glued” to the couch after a few hits, many comedians find that this strain gives them the performance edge they need while not feeling “too high” to land a punchline.
“While I was at the Adult Swim Festival, I was smoking the GG4 strain the entire time,” explained Ray. “It was perfect for when you had to be 'on' for the crowd performing, and then the rest of the time relax and mingle with attendees.”
Abston agrees that Gorilla Glue is one of the only strains he'll smoke before performing, while comedian Rachel Wolfson found the strain more helpful for writing comedy intended for her stand-up sets.
Wolfson and Abston also utilize Blue Dream to get their creative juices flowing, and comedian and writer Sara Weinshenk couldn't agree more. She consumes this sativa-dominant hybrid to “find the silly in things.”
“I'll often write some of my jokes in a sober state of mind and then utilize Blue Dream to punch up my material later,” explained Weinshenk.
Fans of Blue Dream reported increased motivation and heightened focus, along with delicious flavors of blueberry and sugar when vaped or smoked.
OG Kush is excellent for almost any form of comedy according to Wolfson, “the sativa portion gives me that more giggly-induced feeling and I love to watch my favorite stand-up special or funny movie while smoking [it] … On the other hand, it is also great to combat my performance anxiety without coming across as too low energy on stage.”
OG Kush typically tests at 55% sativa and 45% indica, making it the perfect culmination of a hybrid. Users can expect long-lasting, heavy, yet versatile euphoria through a skunky-citrus flavor and aroma.
Across the board, most comedians agreed that sativas are better for watching comedy while indicas are better for performing. For getting onstage, Pineapple Kush was favored by Abston.
“I often think too much when smoking sativas, but indicas can really help me clear my head to write and perform comedy,” he explained. “If I'm going to smoke before performing, I'll typically only go with an indica before I get up on stage.”
Pineapple Kush users reported cerebral effects accompanied by a light body sensation from this hybrid strain. Flavors have been described as subtle and sweet pineapple tastes with minty undertones.
MAC, a.k.a. Miracle Alien Cookies
MAC is an equally balanced hybrid strain and a personal favorite of comedian Mat Edgar. A cross between Alien Cookies, Starfighter and Columbian, users report creative effects that are happy and uplifting.
“I usually don't smoke before I perform but will always smoke after to decompress,” said Edgar. “There's nothing like that first high of the day so smoking is such a treat for me after I've finished a performance.”
Edgar said he's been enjoying Miss Grass pre-rolls, and gets his fill of MAC strains at The Higher Path in Sherman Oaks, a dispensary with a focus on helping provide patients with the knowledge and medicine they need.
GMO, or Garlic Cookies, is an additional favorite of Edgar's. This hybrid strain is made from Chemdog and GSC, and is reported to produce relaxing effects that you can feel through your body while simultaneously focusing the mind.
“Something about indica slows my mind down just enough to where I can genuinely see the funny in things,” said Edgar. “I'm not overthinking and am truly in the moment.”
GMO consumers report feeling relaxed, happy, and uplifted while enjoying earthy, pungent, and diesel flavors.
Created by Alien Labs, Baklava is made from a healthy mix of Kosher Kush and Gelato 41, and is a personal favorite of comedian Frank Castillo.
“I love to take this strain on the road with me when I'm going on tour,” explained Castillo. “They [Alien Labs] don't make it often, but when they do drop it, I always try to stock up. It's nice to smoke before I go on stage when I just want something light and don't want to be too stoned before a regular performance.”
Baklava distinguishes itself with a pure OG gas nose and creamy back end on the smoke. A few hits of this may leave you with feelings of relaxation and euphoria.
Featured image by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps