If you were to go to Reddit to check out subreddits about your favorite topic - weed - chances are you may search for "marijuana" or "marijuana enthusiasts," right? Actually, the most popular place on Reddit for stoners can be found at r/trees.
The “most awesome place in the world,” r/trees is a popular subreddit thread on Reddit with 1.2 million subscribers as of September 2018. Urban Dictionary named it a friendly environment for all people, whether they smoke trees or not.
People who frequent this subreddit are referred to as “ents,” based of the tree-like characters of the same name in The Lord of the Rings, a “calm and deliberate” race.
According to the FAQ on r/trees, marijuana enthusiasts used to hang out at an obvious choice: r/Marijuana. One day, the mods of that subreddit created a new set of rules about what could be posted in the forum and encouraged users to report anyone not following those new rules. This wasn’t cool with the subreddit’s following of mostly mellow, peaceful people, and one of the mods ended up quitting, leaving only one: who turned out to be an “asshole racist islamophobic dick.” This moderator would apparently ban anyone who tried to point out “what an ass” he was, or anyone who talked about starting a new community. Many new attempts were made for a new home for weed fans, but only r/trees stuck.
Those interested in actual tree-related subreddits can find that at r/sfwtrees and r/arbors, among others. Hilariously enough, you can also go to r/marijuanaenthusiasts for a subreddit about actual trees.
Stoners for Good
In August of 2018, redditor PRV_Psychonaut posted a call to action in r/trees in an effort to clean up litter at common smoke spots, expressing how it took less than five minutes to pick up trash at a frequented smoke spot.
User Csquaredisrippn responded with their contributed efforts, saying “If you are gonna smoke, you could take a couple grocery bags with you and make a difference.”
Redditors have since shared images of themselves picking up trash while they smoke and walk their dog, at their favorite smoke/fishing spot, filling their pick-up trucks full of waste, and generally ensuring their favorite smoke spots were cleaner when they left than when they arrived.
Users of r/trees from 2010 to 2016 were unknowingly being studied to assist scientists in making marijuana discoveries. Researchers say the findings from this study will help identify trends and patterns in the consumption of cannabis.
A peer-reviewed study accepted for publication in the Drug and Alcohol Dependence journal, used analytics on more than two million posts found on r/trees (the site’s largest marijuana-related subreddit) from 2010 to 2016.
A key takeaway from this research was how high the average user gets on different forms of marijuana. This research can help identify trends and patterns in cannabis consumption, which, perhaps more important, adds unique insights to the amount of international research done on marijuana.
Researchers studied the average intensity of highs Reddit users experienced from consuming via different methods: smoking, vaping, dabbing, eating edibles, or using butane hash oils (BHO) like shatter. They distinguished between dabbing and BHO products as one is a method of consumption and the other refers to actual products.
The crowdsourced data placed dabbing at the top of the list, providing the most intense high. Vaping was at the bottom of the list, producing the least intense high on average according to the study.
This study provided researchers evidence that first-time marijuana users tend to use r/trees and the frequent posters of the forum as a source of solid information on how to have an experience that is both fun and safe.
“With diverging medical and scientific opinions regarding the efficacy and safety of cannabis use, new and experienced cannabis users may be seeking out peer-generated information in online communities and social media about these newer forms of use,” the study reported.
This study leveraged data from a popular social media platform to create a unique viewpoint of the landscape of marijuana.
“Social media data analysis can uncover behaviors not captured in traditional surveillance and inform terminology and emerging behaviors that larger-scale health surveys may wish to incorporate,” the authors said in the study.