Influential Social Media Stars Shaping Weed Culture
Attitudes toward marijuana are changing dramatically across the U.S., and it’s in part because of these influential social media stars.
Known and beloved by the industry and a veritable YouTube celebrity, Joel “Jolie Olie” Hradecky, a.k.a. CustomGrow420 is a major trendsetter. However, his approach to cannabis culture isn’t without controversy.
You’ve never seen anyone smoke as hard or as much as Jolie Olie. His YouTube videos are like watching someone take on the most insane smoking challenges ever devised.
Whether it’s ripping five bongs in a row, increasing in size, topped off with a dab hit all in one breath, or dabbing inconceivably large balls of concentrate, CustomGrow420 is easily one of the most entertaining and enthusiastic influencers in the game. It’s impossible not to smile when you see him in action.
For some people, though, CustomGrow420 represents exactly the image the legal cannabis industry is trying to shed. His whole style, in many ways, confirms to the image non-smokers have of a typical “pothead.” Other critics worry that Jolie Olie doesn’t have the safest smoking habits.
To each their own. The best thing about CustomGrow is how comfortable and unapologetic he is about his love for cannabis. And that’s great for bringing people out of the shadows. And if you’re looking for an up-close look at the latest and greatest smoking trends; look no further. This guy has more than one million subscribers for a good reason!
2. Charlo Greene
While legal cannabis is spreading like a weed — the good kind! — across the continental U.S., it has also reached our neighbors to the north in Alaska. Charlo Greene is another YouTube and business icon who went viral when she quit her job as a television news anchor live on camera in the middle of a story about marijuana legalization.
Greene quit in on air at the end of her story on the Alaska Cannabis Club, “itself Alaska’s first and only legal medical marijuana resource.” This was back before Alaska legalized adult use recreational in February of 2015.
The Alaska Cannabis Club was behind the campaign that launched Ballot Measure 2 to end the state’s prohibition on cannabis. 53 percent of voters weighed in “yes” on that vote.
At the end of her report on the Club’s efforts to advocate for the bill and those who opposed legal weed, Charlo Greene had a surprise waiting for her viewers. At the end of the story, she revealed that she was actually the owner of the Alaska Cannabis Club she had just reported on.
Explaining that she wanted to devote all of her time to her work for “freedom and fairness” and access to medical cannabis, Greene said that she would no longer have time to work as an anchor for KTVA news.
That’s when things got epic. Staring straight into the camera, Greene shrugs her shoulders and goes, “fuck it, I quit,” before confidently striding off set. It’s a must see. And with that, Charlo Greene became the most brazen and recognizable cannabis activists and businesspersons in the country.
Her gamble paid off, big time.
DOC420, whose real name is Sona Patel, was one of the first certified doctors to recommend medical cannabis to her patients. Back in 2005, Sona Patel began advising her patients to use cannabis to treat their chronic pain.
A pioneer in the medical cannabis industry with a massive Twitter following, DOC420 has made major contributions to cannabis culture. Online and on billboard advertisements in Los Angeles, DOC420 is an outspoken supporter of the benefits of medical cannabis treatments.
Sona Patel knows her research, too. She often tweets about the latest findings and encourages people to try medical cannabis as safer alternatives to prescription drugs.
Her advertisements also focus on presenting cannabis as the safer and cheaper alternative to Big Pharma’s products, and she continues to support legalization efforts around the country.
Follow DOC420 on Twitter to learn more about the medical side of legal cannabis.
4. Weed Slut 420
Boasting more than 35 thousand followers on Instagram, Zoe Kestan has one of the biggest audiences of any “weed girl” on the internet. Her influence is felt far and wide, considering that “weed girl” is a legit social media genre.
Do a Google search for “weed girl” and you’ll find dozens of websites dedicated to posting pictures uploaded by weed girls from around the world. Not to mention the countless Instagram users and Facebook pages where people can upload pics of them burning down.
What makes the “weed girl” thing so popular? Sex sells, of course. The whole point of posting “weed girl” pics is to be sexy and provocative while smoking herb. It’s not hard to realize what makes it such an influential phenomenon.
Weed girls are all about feminism. There’s still a lot of sexism surrounding cannabis culture. Weed girls are fighting back by showing their confidence and expressing themselves without shame or judgement.
It’s a way of saying: girls smoke, too. Get used to it.
5. Krishna Andavolu
Some social media stars influence cannabis culture the same way journalists and talk show hosts do. Krishna Adavolu is exactly that. Host of Viceland’s show “Weediquette,” Adavolu’s videos regularly get millions of views.
Weediquette is full of fascinating, well-produced stories about everything from medical cannabis to the newest trends in the industry. For example, Adavolu’s show about the next big thing in medical marijuana, cancer therapy, takes him on a mind-bending journey. Taking just one-tenth of a dose of very potent THC oil that some parents use to treat their children’s cancer, Adavolu finds himself “swimming in a blanket of highness.”
There’s always serious and humorous aspects to Adavolu’s show. When he’s not experimenting with the latest vaporizers, he’s just as likely to be filing investigative reports about abusive police practices and the folly of the War on Drugs.
Humorous and informative all at the same time, there’s no better way of staying up to date on the latest trends and news about cannabis than Weediquette.
Adam is a staff writer for Green Rush Daily who hails from Corvallis, Oregon. He’s an artist, musician, and higher educator with deep roots in the cannabis community. His degrees in literature and psychology drive his interest in the therapeutic use of cannabis for mind and body wellness.