Virtual reality technology is here and quickly improving. With prices as low as $15 for Google Cardboard, entry-level VR options are enabling people to use the technology in fascinating ways. Whether it’s a low-cost pair or a more expensive HTC VIVE system, here are some cool ways the cannabis community is merging with virtual reality technology.
Apps and Games
Everyone loves smoking weed and playing video games. Virtual reality takes this combination further by immersing users in sight and sound. Games like Windlandsallow users to soar through the breathtaking ruins of a fallen 3-D civilization. The gameplay boasts a floaty and relaxed pace that compliments cannabis well. You can now replace your normal music visualizer with a 3-D visualizer as you virtually “jump” to songs in your music library and dial in matching trip visuals using GrooVR.
Tilt Brush lets aspiring artists paint anywhere inside a 3-D space using a range of brushes, including some that simulate snowflakes, fire, and rainbows. You can even transform your masterpieces into ebbing, flowing, three-dimensional music visualizers bouncing to your favorite beats.
Apps like SoundSelf guide your meditation-like experiences into new realms by syncing your body’s rhythms to both sounds and visuals alike. Dive the depths of the virtual ocean using apps like TheBlu. Or enter the world of Dōs, where you select experiences based on moods like relaxed, calm, energized, euphoric, or dreamy, making the app great to pair with your favorite strains.
Get an insider's view of your favorite dispensary with a virtual reality tour, like the one provided by Metropolitan Wellness Center in Washington D.C. In an effort to display the legitimacy of cannabis cultivation and retail dispensing, viewers can peep both processes through their collaboration with San Diego-based virtual reality studio VRTÜL. Seattle cannabis tourism operator Kush Tourism offers a 360-degree view of Dawg Star Cannabis’ grow operation. Tour Oregons Finest, one of the busiest dispensaries in the U.S., in downtown Portland, Ore. Hang out with some Jack Herrer, Skywalker OG, Gorilla Glue #4, and San Fernando Valley OG in a 5x5-foot Gorilla Grow Tent lit by KIND LEDs.
Scientists at the National Institute on Drug Abuse are using the National Advanced Driving Simulator to understand cannabis’ effects on people’s ability to safely drive automobiles. Using this technology they can study the effects of alcohol and cannabis combined, safely, in a virtual environment. Elsewhere, researchers are using virtual reality to study teenagers’ predilections to cannabis abuse, immersing them in virtual worlds to distinguish which social triggers correlate with substance abuse.
Are you planning to farm cannabis? Have you spec’d out your grow facility? Virtual reality CAD tools are quickly becoming part of the new wave of industrialization that enables users to sketch 3-D architectural plans, design functioning prototypes in a virtual world before committing large budgets to manufacturing, and 3-D print prototypes into reality. These innovations are allowing the new wave of cannabis entrepreneurs to create in ways limited only by imagination.
From state-of-the-art facilities and innovations in lighting technology, to new forms of extraction and consumption, virtual reality is changing the future of cannabis. TakeRoot, for example. The company has been busy 3-D-printing prototypes, perfecting a device to automate home smartphone-enhanced cannabis growing. This innovation could prove to be a priceless resource for patients growing their own medicine. Just imagine what it can mean for home cultivation of natural medicines.
Music and cannabis go hand-in-hand. It’s no surprise that artists who’ve mastered the surreal are turning to virtual reality to further engage their fans. Bjork’s giving her 2015 album Vulnicura a complete VR makeover, releasing a string of VR music videos and live tour experiences. Over the next 30 days, she’s teaming up with Red Bull Music Academy and Phi to premiere her VR film Family as part of the Björk Digital Exhibition at DHC/ART Foundation for Contemporary Art. Like other artists experimenting with the craft, Bjork is creating worlds within worlds. Artists like Jeremy Couillard expand on these ideas, forging immersive gallery experiences using VR that encourage people to question: “Is life organic? Or is life a computer simulation?”
Written on October 22, 2016 by Zoe Wilder, a writer based in Portland, Oregon, with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the College of William & Mary and a Master of Social Work from Fordham University.