top of page

Interviews With People Abroad About the International Cannabinoid Industry

Updated: Jan 21

While I don’t have any personal experience outside the US, I talked to a few people who are in the community but outside of the United States. This is what they had to say about the state of the industry in their respective countries. I find it very interesting and thank everyone who agreed to be interviewed!


NONE OF THE BRANDS MENTIONED ARE KNOWN BY ME WHATSOEVER. I HAVE NO CLUE WHAT INTERNATIONAL BRANDS ARE OK. DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH.


Japan

Interviewee - Anonymous Discord User

Me: Hello, where are you from?

Interviewee: I have been living in Japan the last 15 years. Originally from the states though.

Me: Cool! Do you mind if I ask you a few questions about that?

Interviewee: I’m a teacher, I like answering questions and talking


Me: How did you hear about alt cannabinoids?

Interviewee: A friend told me about “legal weed” on Amazon. It took me a while before I looked into and ordered some. Was very pleasantly surprised even though the product listing was sus, which at least had a good review in English.

Me: Woah, so your first cannabinoids came from Amazon?

Interviewee: Yeah. Crazy. Most of my purchases moved to Rakuten though because they had stable shops open with thousands of reviews. The two from Amazon I got were totally legit though to my surprise. It was like a return home finding THC-H


Me: What is Rakuten?

Interviewee: Rakuten.co.jp is like Amazon. They might be owned by SoftBank

Me: Interesting - are their rules a lot more lax?

Interviewee: No. In Japan things are just black and white

If it’s legal, it’s legal The rules and laws going on and changing though is very much behind closed doors.

Interviewee: There’s probably stuff going on I don’t know about of course. The latest round of bans happened after someone gave out hhch edibles to strangers and they got upset stomachs.


Me: Very interesting - how common is alt use?

Interviewee: No clue. If you look at me, you wouldn’t think there’s a guy who gets stoned or is cool with it. Also, married with a baby so I don’t get out with a young party crowd. That being said, I have some co-workers/friends that have tried or started about the same time as me. Mostly people who smoked back home.


Me: I see - when you say the laws are black and white, does that extend to the real world? As in, could you vape this stuff in public?

Interviewee: Well, it’s not just laws, it’s everything. So for example once you officially call a girl your girlfriend she might start staying at your place, or as soon as you’re married the rules of the relationship change. The reason most people think marijuana should be illegal here is because it’s illegal now. So not a moral issue for them, just a rule and people need to follow rules so that everything works.

Interviewee: As for vaping in public, as long as it’s legal stuff, and you’re in a smoking area or on the street in your own it should be fine. I usually avoid it if people are around because I don’t want issues if someone happens to recognize the marijuana like smell.

Interviewee: Another part of the not vaping in public and a bigger part is not upsetting anyone, so basically people don’t want to smell your smoke. It’s basically a rude thing if people have to smell anything they don’t want to

Interviewee: Literally there was a story in the news after HHCH was banned. The officials went into the CBD shop and looked for HHCH. There was none, but there was lots of HHCP now. It seems the store guy was just like, “yeah, this one ain’t illegal so GTFO,”. The officials just left vowing to tackle issue in a more serious way.


Me: Are the non-classical cannabinoids still popular over there? (“Spice”, “K2”, “Herbal Smoking Blends, etc.)

Interviewee: I don’t think so, but I basically never heard of spice and just looked it up. It seems some of those drugs were made illegal in 2009, so not long after I got here.

Me: Thank you for your answers!


Sweeden

Interviewee: Discord User “Loafer”

Me: Do you mind if I ask you a few questions about cannabinoids there? [Sweeden]

Interviewee: Not at all!

Me: To start, how did you hear about alts in the first place?

Interviewee: Some boofbrands tiktok ad im pretty sure.

Me: Haha, that’s the way she goes sometimes. Where was your first purchase from?

Interviewee: Medvape.com if I remember correctly - either that or some other site like hhcsweden or partybolaget.


Me: Cool - What is the cannabis culture like there? Have alt cannabinoids gotten pretty mainstream?

Interviewee: It is very frowned upon, the average person who doesn’t smoke or have many friends that don’t really see a difference between a stoner and a methhead, at least thats my experience. Feel like that's different from the US or other places.

Interviewee: I’d say between the regular stoners theres a 50/50 split with one half hating on synths and the other half just moving to altnoids while its available. I will say the sale of altnoids have made more younger try “weed” but thats more of an observation from me than actual data.

Me: That is very different from the US indeed. Sounds like old war on drugs propaganda from the 90s.


Me: Are they selling the alts in stores?

Interviewee: Oh yeah, our (fairly freshly voted in) politicians recently said basically “we are not gonna look into making weed legal and we are not changing our minds”, Though some of the youth parties (like forks of politcal parties that are run by teenagers to get them to vote for them when they grow up) are very active in the matter and are trying to push for them to at least look at it.

Interviewee: They do sell altnoids in stores, I live in a smaller town so haven’t found any here but haven’t really looked either to be honest. My friend in Gothenburg only buys from smokeshops.

Interviewee: Its definitely gotten less frowned upon over the years, but ever since someone talked to loudly about me smoking at the Christmas party half the people at work side-eye me.


Me: That’s too bad. Are the non-classical cannabinoids still popular over there? (“Spice”, “K2”, “Herbal Smoking Blends”, etc.)

Interviewee: Not anymore, the government banned those pretty quick, and nowadays it's something no one wants. If you bring spice to a party you’re getting kicked out quick. I’m sure there are people still enjoying it here but not at all popular no. People often think of it as an instant heart attack when they hear spice because our government really pumped out “campaigns “(or whatever you call it) about that when it was booming around 2015. I might have the year a bit wrong but yeah, I was never into it.


Me: How much of a worry is an alt product being something spiked with a non-classical cannabinoid? Is that something that you’ve heard of happening?

Interviewee: When the government announced the ban of some cannabinoids coming the 16th they said there’s been multiple deaths with hhco, which I assume is hhco mixed with something that wasn’t stated on the packaging. But I haven’t looked into it so can’t be sure. Other than that I haven’t heard or seen much about stuff being spiked. I pretty much only bought the same hhc “live resin” carts from medvape until I moved to only buying from gilded so it hasn’t been a big worry for me.

Interviewee: The average person who buys a vape here doesn’t think a second about it being laced or anything, feel like that’s a little better in the US

Me: Cool! Thank you very much for your answers.


UK

Interviewee: Anonymous Discord User

Me: To start, how did you discover alt cannabinoids?

Interviewee: A lot of research. I hadn’t smoked street weed for that long before I started using alt cannabinoids, maybe like a year. It mainly came about because I don’t want the people who I share a hallway with to smell every time I was rolling or when I smoked since my clothes would stink. I don’t want to cause issues where it can be avoided. I had already been using nicotine vapes for multiple years, so I wondered if I can find vapable weed. So that led down the rabbit hole of dry herb vapes, to me they seemed like to time-consuming.

Interviewee: Then I stumbled across Goblin on Youtube, and he reviews different carts and has done some alt cannabinoids. I eventually pulled the trigger on a UK HHC cart from a company called BudMother since my friend recommended them to me.


Me: How common have alt cannabinoids become where you live?

Interviewee: Not common at all to my knowledge. Most people still smoke bud with tobacco & D8 is still pretty damn rare - UK law is nasty


Me: How’s the attitude towards alts among the general stoner population over there?

Interviewee: If you take opinions from people like DrewIsSharing he say’s to stay away from alt cannabinoids, I suspect the same for other stoners. I’ve tried to show friends of mine, they they can get HHC in the UK. But they still smoke either bud, or carts from websites which look they are operated by law enforcement.

Interviewee: I’d say it’s pretty unknown that alt-noids are a thing among the general stoner population.


Me: Are there smoke shops or gas stations that sell alt cannabinoids or is it all online over there?

Interviewee: It’s all online. Legally if a smoke shop was caught selling alt cannabinoids they can face prison time.


Me: Are non-classical cannabinoids (Spice, K2, etc) popular over there? And is there an issue with alt cannabinoid products getting spiked with them?

Interviewee: There was a massive spice epidemic mainly through poorer, and homeless circles. Weed has a pretty standard price of £10 a gram.

Interviewee: There was a wave of Spice which flood onto the market, which caused quite a few deaths. To the point where the subject of legalizing weed came into politics. Which doesn’t usually happen. Nowadays, I don’t know.

Interviewee: I haven’t a clue whether or not what I am smoking is legitimate. There are no lab tests or anything.

Interviewee: A lot of non-classical cannabinoids are going around. JWH-130, JWH-124, JWH-091, JWH-018, and probably others.


Me: Interesting. One final question for you - do you think alt cannabinoids have improved your smoking experience? If so, how?

Interviewee: 100%. I’ve gotten into some random guy’s van for like a 3.5 in the past, sure he’s a nice honest bloke yet. Being able to order shit to your postbox is next level. Also not stinking of weed when I smoke. I can get blitzed and then just get on with stuff.

Interviewee: Sure, I’ve had a rather bad introduction with alt cannabinoids. Due to the prices which I was paying, however the future looks bright. Being able to have a couple of puffs of a vape, rather than finishing a fat joint has significantly improved my life. I enjoy getting high, but I don’t want to impact those around me. So a vape is the best option.

Me: Thank you for your answers!


France

Interviewee: Anonymous Discord User

Me: Hello, thank you for reaching out!

Interviewee: I’m from France. Ask me WHAT YOU WANT.

Interviewee: One cool info, to prevent the ban of THCP some place are selling JWH-018 metabolite sprayed on weed.

Interviewee: They are selling the M4 analog and they are calling it M4 . But THC-B and THC-H …. Isn’t banned yet. It’s so sad.

Interviewee: I am really passionate I can give you some good real information. No bullshit I love alt noïd so much it was liberating for me you can’t even know.

Interviewee: I can have straight disty in my mailbox for a country like France it’s crazy af

Interviewee: If you want some legal information I can give you some I know the law better than the shops here, but I feel like an alien nobody listen to me where I live people are calling JWH 018 sprayed bud “CBD” even after you explain that there is NOT the CBD That provide the effect.

Interviewee: Sorry English is not my native language


Me: To start, how did you find out about alt cannabinoids?

Interviewee: I had stopped using weed because here you can lose your license even if you smoked the day before, as simple traces serve as evidence for driving under the influence. So, I had stopped for a year, then I saw a Facebook ad for a CBD shop offering HHC when it was allowed so I bought some .


Me: How popular are alts where you are?

Interviewee: Hmm popular from 0 to 100 lets say 70 but people think alt noid are CBD and they are lacking education about it they are thinking it’s spice or CBD. Also it’s common to see some real 20% P noid vape with CRD but labeled as 95% THCP. And people don’t care, so shops need to [keep] lying to people about the %. Even the honest one just to keep selling


Me: Are alts sold in person like in smoke shops or is it only online

Interviewee: Both online and smoke shop


Me: Is there a stigma around alts around you or are they seen as the best option? Lesser of all evils type of thing.

Interviewee: Not the best option for people because it’s always boof and overpriced and weed is really accessible. The only things that worth it is the vape but again it’s very overpriced: 35€ for 0.5g-1g of HHC is a normal price in CBD shop so people are turning to real weed obviously.

Interviewee: But for real you can have some good sprayed but they are starting using distillate gun instead of solvent.

Interviewee: But it still not worth it like 10€/g and you can have some mid “cali” genetic of real weed for the same price every 30 km if you buy it illegally.


Me: How common of an issue are the more dangerous non-classical cannabinoids? Are they still popular and are some of the alt products around you spiked?

Interviewee: Currently, many semi-synthetic cannabinoids are still available, so it’s rare to come across “spice” and other substances like BSJSSBSB-812982. However, it still concerns me that some places might already be selling them, especially considering that new semi-synthetic noids are continually entering the market. The French law is quite ineffective in banning them. I believe a general ban on synthetic cannabinoids derived from phytocannabinoids might be implemented, as banning molecule after molecule seems futile, leading to the development of new “spice” blends.


0 comments
bottom of page