The legalization of Cannabis has sparked interest and curiosity across Canada. From one end of the country to the other, Canadians have embraced this new law. Some people are commemorating it, like the Newfoundland man who plans on preserving the first purchased legal gram of cannabis and putting it on display. Others have benefited from it in different ways like a local Girl Guide who made national news by selling cookies to enthusiastic Edmontonians waiting outside the nearby Southside cannabis store. We have all heard about the huge lines that wind around city blocks. Clearly, as a country we are fascinated by the green stuff, but what do we really know about it? When I saw that Telus World of Science Edmonton was hosting an adult’s only event, Dark Matters, all about the Science of Cannabis, I knew it was the perfect place to go and learn more. Keep reading to learn about my experience at the science of cannabis Edmonton adults only event.
Think of cannabis knowledge as an iceberg, Canadians really only know a little bit about it. At this sold-out event, I was excited to understand more about what lies beneath the surface. From the Speaker Series in the IMAX, to booths set up in the hallways, the event was packed with facts and information about cannabis. The focus of this night was all about science and education; there was no cannabis here for sale or otherwise. With so much to do in one night I explored as much as I could, this is what I saw and learned:
Local cannabis retailers and producers, including Fire & Flower and Aurora, had booths set up educating people about what their product is, in what forms it is sold, and answering any questions that you might have.
The RCMP had a space set up to show how sobriety testing is done for cannabis, alcohol, and other drugs. For the different tests, they are looking at indicators like body tremors, eyelid fluttering, and slow time awareness. While there I blew into the handheld breathalyser and easily passed since I was not drinking.
The University of Alberta had a few different booths upstairs and down. We took in one of Jared Wesley’s mini-talks, the Politics of Pot, explaining how the legalization timeline had been influenced by the upcoming election.
We learned about the chemistry of cannabis at one booth. They showed us THC and CBD molecules pointing out the parts that made them soluble in oil and not water.
The AGLC was there to answer any questions about the new usage laws. They are focused on making sure everyone knows the facts about how using cannabis affects people and their health.
Keystone Labs had their KEY-BOX on display. Their at home box is used for testing homegrown plants or oils. You take your samples, mail them in, and then receive a full analysis of the THC & CBD content a few days later.
My favourite person of the night was speaker, Jan J. Slaski from InnoTech Alberta. This guy knew everything you never knew you wanted to know about hemp. He started with some history. Canada grew industrial hemp from 1606 to 1938, then once it was legal again in 1998. Every part of this tall fast-growing plant can be used. The seeds are high in Omega 3 & Omega 6. The fibrous stalks can be used to make paper, fabric, rope, and so much more! Alberta is leading the way in this industry through production and research.
I started and ended my night at the Science Garage’s nail and string art. They had a large flat board about 4 feet square. I helped put in the first few nails creating the cannabis leaf design. Just before we left, I went back to see the creative masterpiece filled in with green string.
This event had so much to do, I did not have time to check out and learn it all. I am hoping that this theme pops up again at a future Dark Matters. It was so cool to learn about the different aspects of the industry from educating the public about safe usage, RCMP’s testing procedures, how and why cannabis molecules act the way they do, industrial hemp and its capabilities as a super plant.
Were you one of the hundreds of people at this educational event? What was your favourite thing about the night? Comment below or tweet at me here.
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