Weed trends of 2010: the good, the bad, and the ugly

2010s weed trends

Millennials are living through their first fashion cycle. A fresh 20-year-old walked by me wearing brand new baggy black Dickies, an Independent shirt with the cross logo, and new Vans Old Schools–it felt like 2004 again. While most fashionable people are enjoying the last of the Y2K comeback, the trendsetters are moving on to the early 2010s.

Peplum tops and soft scene hair are gracing the feeds of Gen Z without acknowledging their elders, but such is fashion. However, when it comes to the weed world, some props are required. Without Millennials, keying up hashish knife hits on the stove, there may not be the dab tech we know and love today. While we live through our first fashion cycle, we remember the endless fashion cycles that came before us–but the weed cycle is different.

RELATED: 2010s weed strains that should come back with indie sleaze

Stoners have surpassed a decade of regulated adult-use cannabis in the U.S. There have been cannabis growers and connoisseurs for countless generations acknowledging the return of lingo and consumption methods. Still, the current generation is experiencing the first return of post-legalization weed trends.

To celebrate, I asked my favorite Millennial stoners what 2010s weed trends they remembered. There were a lot of replies.

Knife Hits

There aren’t many cannabis consumers from those days who don’t light up when someone brings up old-school knife hits. The process requires taking two butter knives and heating them on the stove. Once hot, a hash hit is put onto the knives and pressed so smoke plumes into the perfectly placed receptacle (usually a two-liter bottle missing its base), where someone is waiting to inhale.

This was the original dab; let’s all show knife hits some respect.

Red hot dabs

Dabbing culture has come a long way, which this list will attest to. From knife hits, we moved to dabbing, but we didn’t know about temperatures or best practices. Glass bells and slides tended to cool off too quickly to vaporize extracts, so the culture moved on to stainless steel skillets. We absolutely torched those things and got people seriously coughing after a solid toke since the predecessor didn’t hold its heat. These days, people are keyed into low-temp dabs, but we wouldn’t be there without the lung sacrifice from elder stoners.

Overserving dabs

Another aspect of dabbing culture that everyone is glad to see leave is the practice that a first dab should create an out-of-body experience. People used to use dabbing as an excuse to absolutely obliterate their friends. We would cough, turn red, sweat, and then lay down for 20 minutes before reemerging at the sesh. Luckily, overconsumption is rarely seen as cool these days, and I’m a little ashamed that it was ever normal to do this to your “friends.”

RELATED: Dabbing through the eyes of a diehard flower smoker

Hair straightener rosin

Making rosin from a hair straightener is another trend that involves smashing cannabis products between two hot pieces of metal, but with a different outcome. Though everyone talked about doing this, it was rare that we heard stories about a positive outcome.
These days, we are blessed with industrial rosin presses. When people first learned about the squish, some wild bud-smushing methods went around.

Huf Plantlife Socks

Every weed baddie and their boyfriends had Huf Leaf Socks for a good decade or so. The skate brand was one of the first to openly accept the fan leaf in their designs, and they were heavily celebrated for it. Huf Crew socks had a real 2010s trending weed moment, and the real ones still have a pair or two in their sock drawers.

Oil-coated nugs

Moon Rocks, Caviar Gold, and other powder-coated flower rose in popularity for some time, citing higher THC and a more intense experience. Many found low-quality (sometimes moldy) buds coated in extracts at the plug or dispensary, not necessarily from the mentioned brands, but from some. The products got people stoned, but we still don’t know the cost.

Surviving early Penjamins

Speaking of not knowing the health cost of being cannabis guinea pigs–let’s talk about vape pens. There was a time when oils were mixed with propylene glycol (Vapegate anyone?) and advertised as a healthier option than flower. Oh, did I mention that the heating element was a wick–yeah, like a candle wick. Millennials toked on poison so that Gen Z could have Pax Pods.

Photos of twax joints

Social media wasn’t new in 2011, but Instagram was, and Millennials were still figuring out what to share. Among many pictures of people’s food and dogs were photos of joints elaborately covered in wax. The most common method was to make a snake and wrap it around the joint, but people really got creative. These photos are still around, but they were everywhere back when they first hit the scene.

Flower vape boxes

I still think about my flower vape box every couple of weeks; I honestly might buy one after writing this. My preferred vape box was Da Buddha Vape, but the Vapor Brothers pencil sharpener was a close second. These vapes are plugged right into the wall. The heating element was inside of the unit, and you’d pack the glass end of a hookah tube into the mechanism, attach it to the heating element, and pull. They hit hard and clear, didn’t use lithium-ion batteries, and were there long before legalization bills graced various lawmaker desks.

Figuring out how to best enjoy extracts

Dabbing has been around for some time, but not everyone had a right right off the bat. There were many ways that interested connoisseurs found to use their earwax and shatter, including sprinkling it on bowls. A personal favorite was a hash hat, which included pressing bubble hash into a small coin and putting it on top of the flower.
Another early 2010s method for consuming extracts was the 510-threaded atomizer. These glass bulbs heated wax for easy vaping but also broke exceptionally easily—especially after being heated and cooled a few times. Thank goodness we are in the weed-tech era. Gen Z will never have to learn the lessons of 501-threaded atomizer storage or lighting a bowl just right so as not to waste the extracts within.


Zong Glass hasn’t gone anywhere, but there was a time in 2010 when every plug had one on their coffee table. The bongs feature an iconic Z in the tube to signify its maker. Now they have zig-zag pipes, steamrollers, and dab rigs too. Though there were, and still are, many imposters, the real ones know a true Zong when they see it.


The concept of mixing tobacco into a rolled joint or dropping has into a rolled cigarette will always have a place in cannabis culture–especially in Europe. However, the younger generations are moving away from classic vices like alcohol and tobacco and moving into a world of infused seltzers and colorful tobacco vapes. Despite spliffs trending down, many Millennials think fondly of their time with these spicy joints.

Silicone smoking devices

At some point, silicone nectar collectors and pipes became the must-have unbreakable cannabis smoking accessory. The issue was that while some brands used oven-resistant silicone, others didn’t. The hits were rubbery, and like many Millennial-tested weed trends, the jury is still out on whether they impacted our pulmonary health. Inhalation worries aside, they were colorful and pretty. These pieces are still around, but silicone devices aren’t at the height of their popularity like the 2010s.

2010s weed trends: we miss some and are happy to say bye to others

The dawn of legal weed brought change for good and bad. Fewer people were being incarcerated for the plant, and more companies had space to expand on device tech and product offerings. As these companies figured it out, consumers were happy to be along for the ride after generations of living in the shadows.

Though the culture has evolved and grown, it wouldn’t be where it is without trends of every decade–not just the 2010s. However, as we watch Gen Z covet fashion trends from our high school days, stoner Millennials can’t help but remember where they came from.

Cara Wietstock is senior content producer of GreenState.com and has been working in the cannabis space since 2011. She has covered the cannabis business beat for Ganjapreneur and The Spokesman Review. You can find her living in Bellingham, Washington with her husband, son, and a small zoo of pets.