Fascinating Ways That Virtual Reality and Cannabis Are Intersecting

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Article published by MerryJane.com
Written by Zoe Wilder
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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.

 

Virtual Tours

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 5×5-foot Gorilla Grow Tent lit by KIND LEDs.

Behavioral Research

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.

Idea Innovation

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. Take Root, 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.

Experimental Art

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?”

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