Before food, before drink, before exercise, before work, before anything other than a quick shower, getting dressed, and greeting my family, before anything else, there’s cannabis. That is the routine seven days a week, holidays and vacations included, and that’s the way it has been for the past couple of decades and counting. Like tens of millions of people worldwide, I wake and then I bake.
I have lived what feels like several different lives at this point, ranging from grunt-level construction jobs to high-level mortgage banking, to many facets of the cannabis industry dating back before anyone would consider it an industry. Whether I was putting on steel toes and jeans or a shirt and tie, the one common denominator all along has been a daily ingestion of cannabis beginning shortly after I rolled out of bed.
The mainstream acceptance level of cannabis use has come a long, LONG, way since those past lives came and went, but the taboo surrounding the thought of the wake and bake still exists. Even Joe Rogan, one of the most cannabis-friendly celebrities of our time, regularly justifies his regular use of cannabis by saying he draws the line at getting lit to start the day. Then, of course, he plugs an ad for a coffee company. . . but I digress. In the eyes of many people, even many canna-curious folks, smoking weed or doing a dab first thing in the morning is akin to taking a shot of whiskey or crackin’ a few beers for breakfast.
I spent a lot of effort over a lot of years trying to conceal the fact that I had enjoyed two or three giant rips of reefer prior to arriving at my place of employment. These days, getting baked is almost a requisite part of the job description and that is a freedom and peace of mind that I feel all cannabis lovers should enjoy. So this is my Ode to the Wake and Bake, and my case for why this socially reprehensible ritual has remained so popular, and why it ought to be regarded no differently than Rogan’s cup of Joe.
WE (PROBABLY) DON’T WAKE & BAKE THE SAME
A 2017 Global Drug Survey revealed that an estimated 21.9% of American cannabis consumers confessed to ingesting cannabis within the first 5-60 minutes of their day. This makes the U.S. the leading country in this category – WE’RE #1! WE’RE #1!! The global estimate was just over 10%. If we apply that number to the 2019 World Drug Report that claims there are at least 200,000,000 cannabis consumers worldwide, then 20 million of them are starting their day with cannabis.
If you could ask every one of them (us) to define the term “wake and bake”, you might just get millions of varying answers as the details make all the difference and everyone has their own preferences. Some people love to lie in bed and spark the sesh before their feet hit the floor. Some savor the ceremony of rolling a fresh joint each morning while others turn to a pipe, bubbler, or bong. Dabbing has become a damn multistage ritual of its own anyway, and a growing number of cannabis consumers are turning that way at the jump of each day for the long lasting, heavy hitting effects and flavors without the telltale lingering odors.
To me, a person woke and boke if they partook in a substantial amount of marijuana before they took on their first major task for the day. I feel that leaves room for the countless situations that us weed lovers may find ourselves in each morning. Whether it is before bouncing out to work or working out, before heading off for a hike or even to coach a little league ballgame, if you get some cannabinoids flowing through your system first, I believe that counts as an official wake and bake.
Some hardcores might scoff at the fact that I shower first, or that I blow smoke all over the clothes I plan to wear out for the day. That’s just how I roll. I am always fascinated by people who eat breakfast before getting baked – but that’s just me. I also know a lot of daily cannabis users who never crack their stash jar before noon and though I respect their ritual, I feel it is time for the progressive thinkers in our society to accept ours as well.
YOU’RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME!
A 2017 Gallup Poll shocked nobody by laying bare the fact that roughly 2 out of every 3 Americans hates their job, the majority citing that they feel no “connection” to their work. Fuck. . . I’ve been there. For those miserable days slangin’ lumber and nails in the summer heat to the razor’s edge of morality that comes with being a banker, getting stoned before I left home made me a better employee than I would have been otherwise, period.
When I was even younger I worked at a paint store and a fellow employee and I grew a weed plant on the roof! We rearranged cardboard boxes in the shed out back so that if you opened the door it appeared to be stuffed full, but if you shimmied past you’d discover makeshift seats, a “table” and our Graffix acrylic bong tucked away in the corner. I could get away with all of that because I was the assistant manager at 18 years old, despite the fact that I would show up there every morning at 6am stoned to the gills.
I have never lost a job because of my cannabis use, but many people have over the years and many live with that risk even today. Fortunately, as cannabis reform continues to sweep across the nation, employment protection for cannabis users is becoming a foundational plank in the cannabis laws being written in key cities and states.
From New York City to Nevada, hell even in Utah of all places, lawmakers are banning pre-employment cannabis-seeking drug testing. Though this is only a half a step in the right direction, it is the right direction. Cannabis testing for existing employees is a tricky situation. Even if they screw something up or hurt themselves or someone else, the presence of cannabis in their system is simply not scientifically correlative. “Yes boss, I do have 100% legal weed in my system. Me and Johnson from Accounting split a fat joint one Saturday night last month and spent the next three hours relentlessly mocking you. Sorry you missed it but can I get back to work?”
Obviously, most of us loyal wake and bakers just want to be judged on our performance, so there is a hazy line between getting your head right before you walk out the door and getting so zooted you park in the boss’s spot and clean out the breakroom fridge before 10am.
If 66% of Americans already hate their jobs, cannabis can only help improve that misery. Much as it makes Family Guy funnier, that slight pressure behind the eyes that comes with the first toke of the day can take an immense weight off of one’s shoulders as they prepare to walk into their own personal hell, and perhaps even provide motivation where none existed before. The worst jobs I ever had were made slightly less insufferable by the thought that they were financially fueling my preferred morning routine.
WHEN MICRODOSING WENT MAINSTREAM
Holy shit. It seems that you can’t swing a multidimensional robot-elf by his cosmic beard these days without hitting a dude in a 3-piece suit who happens to be hitting a vape pen full of DMT on his lunch break.
Microdosing psychedelic substances like DMT, acid, or mushrooms is the hottest new white collar trend for normally straight-laced nerds now getting laced on hallucinogens. The trick is to administer the smallest dose possible to still deliver a minute effect without blasting off on a 15 minute to multiple hour journey through the kaleidoscope of your mind – ain’t no corporate bros got time for that. But by consuming these semi-regular microdoses, a near-constant state of slightly heightened enlightenment can be achieved that is reported to alleviate stress, spark creativity, and boost motivation. 2019 has seen two major U.S. cities decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms due in large part to this cultural shift in acceptance.
I argue that many of those same benefits listed above, and many others as well, can be achieved with a proper dose of cannabis to get going each day. While it is nearly impossible to precisely dose an exact amount of certain cannabinoids and terpenes when smoking a morning joint, seasoned cannabis users tend to find a personally calibrated way of finding a strain that works for them, titrating that intake one puff at a time, and just knowing when to close up the stash box and face the world.
For those seeking a more specific solution, the legalization of cannabis in major markets has led to a boom of innovation in the options for consuming cannabis. The flower itself can be bred to display a wide variety of cannabinoid/terpene ratios, each providing unique effects. Edibles hone that dosing in even tighter. Here in California, for example, part of the third party lab testing is in place solely to ensure that the potency printed on the label matches what’s actually inside the product. With individual 10mg edible doses, consumers can get darn close to an ideal dose. For the ultimate in precision, full spectrum cannabis oil can be dosed down to a fraction of a milligram and ingested orally.
Is popping a gel cap full of coconut oil and cannabinoids first thing in the morning an official wake and bake? Ask 20 million people, you might get 20 million answers! One thing we can all agree on, however, is that the Reefer Madness rhetoric surrounding the art of the wake and bake is tired and needs to be put to rest once and for all. If you’d like to chat about it some more with me, it’ll have to wait, I need to get my kids to school by 8am, then write thousands of words about weed, then coach youth soccer before a workout with my wife. . . you know, stereotypical stoner shit.
Do you wake and bake?
If so, what is your routine and preferred method?
Let us know in the comments here and on Instagram!