Ask Old Hippie: How Has Marijuana Changed Since The Sixties?

Old Hippie Kenobi

Nugs? Buds? Never heard of them.

All we ever saw was ground-up powdery stuff or crushed leaves (and twigs, and seeds…often all mushed together in what’s called “brick” today). Sometimes we saw little pieces of crushed flower, and we were amazed: it was actual proof that it came from an actual plant! Even on the rare occasions when we got good stuff (all the legendary names like Panama Red, Acapulco Gold, and Maui Wowie), it was pretty much in either of those two forms. Of course, this was “back East” in NYC, so mostly anything had to take quite a long trip before it got there. Every once in awhile, some amazing stuff came by that was reputed to be home-grown, but I’m sure any growing amateur today knows more than virtually anyone did back then. In the 70s, Thai Stick hit the street very rarely, and it was a wonder to behold: an actual stem with dried, pressed, flattened buds on it!

Anyway, my point is that there was another legendary type called “sinsemilla”, meaning “without seeds”, and none of us had even seen it. Fast forward to me walking into a dispensary for the first time last year…and the word is obsolete, because everything is sinsemilla buds! Just imagine how I felt after all those years…I didn’t even recognize the stuff — although all I had to do was smell it to know it was “the right stuff”.

Despite the anxious hand-wringing among many drug warrior types about how “today’s marijuana is so much stronger OMG isn’t it terrible”, what we did back then was actually smoke a lot more of it to get the desired effect. This was more dangerous for our health, since smoking is the least healthy (as well as most wasteful) way of ingesting cannabis. But we didn’t know any different back then. Today, we have vaporizers, capsules, and edibles of every type, so there’s no reason for patients to actually smoke except for nostalgia.

Old Hippie is a MMJ patient living somewhere in the wilds of California whose only link with the real world is a 420 MHz radio. He blogs on and vapes on Sour Diesel.

Got a question for Old Hippie? Comment on this article, or submit it here.

Old Hippie is a father of two boys and thankfully living in California where all this kind of thing is legal. He started smoking marijuana in 1967 in high school, experimented with mind-expanding drugs of all kinds, and then straightened out 15 or so years later to become an airplane pilot. After being diagnosed with depression in 2000, he lost his job and most of the following decade to prescription medications (such as antidepressants) which sapped his energy and will. Finally, a chance conversation with a friend led to a doctor’s recommendation for medical marijuana (MMJ). This changed his entire life, health, and outlook for the better. is his continuing story. It’s also his way to provide experienced advice on using medical marijuana effectively and responsibly, as well as advocacy, activism, and support for others. Old Hippie teaches about safe use of cannabis edibles, Canna Caps, vaporizers, dosing, and even microdosing.


“Manicured” weed. Pre-ground and ready for rolling.
I remember those days well.
My friends and I were stupid enough to think that what we were smoking were the leaves(!)
This was the mid-seventies, so not much had changed in that short span of time.
That includes the sudden urge to trip out on Sergeant Pepper.

I too am a product of the 60″s and somked my first “J” in ’67 at age 13. Absolutely no regrets. Growing up in a small town in Massachusetts though, I guess I was more fortunate. The first weed I smoked was from Thiland. No, it didn’t all get tied to sticks although I did run across Thi Sticks occasionally. It was probably 1969 or 70 when I bought my first kilo (2.2 lbs.) for $225.00. We sold 4 finger lids back then for $15.00 and being kind hippies, we first threw out all of the stems. There was no want for seeds back then because almost everything we saw had seeds in it. There was little use for them though because our fine soldiers hadn’t yet been to areas where Indica grew naturally so everything we got our hands on had a 9 month growing cycle. Save a few inovative dudes, no one grew indoors either. That little town of mine saw the finest smoke of the times back then. I was fortunate to have a friend who’s 2 older bro’s were dealers and it wasn’t unusual for them to have a trunk with 20 or so keys in it. So yeah, Panama Red, Alcopulco Gold, Mishwacan (forgive the spelling), Rainbow bud,Vietnamies, and on and on. My favorite and probably the strongest back then was from Thiland. I’d bet that they still grow some of the best Cannabis Sativa there. It was absolutely trippy and very potent. Any home grown was garbage and no one wanted it. All we could do was dream about growing fields of it somewhere near the equator. Peace and pot.

All so amusingly accurate! $10. “lids” of nasty leaves, stems, and seeds. I much prefer today! Thanks for the float down memory lane, Old Hippie!

Danial Hey thanks for the trip down memory lane. I to and from that time period and wasn”t those the days.When a lid was all you could get in a bag.And sorry for Mass. but were I come from was always killer smoke.I even remember the mexican trip weed,And the TI weed was always on a stick.It was so good you could smoke a pin joint between four people and wow.Now I have had 27 heart attacks 6 bypasses 13 heart caths. Severe arthur in my hips and legs I was given a year to live 1.5 years ago.Marijuana now is the only relief I get from all the pain please help legelize Med. we can grow our own and save money and pain again thanks for your time.

Hi Old Hippie,

I’m also an old hippie, so is my hubby of 42 years and we enjoyed your echoes of the past. Our first trip to a dispensary was a real trip and unbelievable, seeing jars and baggies of the real thing. Back in the day we bought matchboxes for $5, half shake, half seeds and half twigs! We smoked it all in a number and listen for the seeds to pop. We even grew a few plants and had one big tree we named “Smiley.” Smoked the leaves and figured it was supergrass because it made us smile and have serious couch-lock (another new term). Those were great times to remember, but I prefer the new heavy duty stuff! Let’s get it legal!

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