Fluorescent green square-cut acrylics typing away at keyboards and clacking on desks in high school. Nineties kids know what I mean. There was nothing cooler back then, and it seems that ostentatious nails are making a resurgence—at least for potheads in search of a real statement piece.
Weed manicures used to mean that sympathetic nail technicians would paint little cartoonish-looking cannabis leaves onto a nail or two, a signal that is perhaps less tacky than going all-out and wearing a weed leaf jumpsuit (granted, poor taste has never stopped my penchant for weed clothing). But now nail-loving potheads are asking for a different sort of weed manicure, one that puts a little more ganja into the gel.
Manicurists across the 29 states (and D.C.) where weed is legal medically and/or recreationally have been hopping onto the craze of embedding acrylic and gel manicures with little bits of bud using tweezers to get the perfect floating flower look.
Don’t get the wrong idea: it’s not like nail salons have a stash of Sativa in the back room to fill your weedy wishes. Clients have to bring in their own material—usually trim, since few want to waste heady buds on their manicures (though who am I to judge).
And even though these sorts of manicures have been surging in popularity recently, one nail technician has been doing them for over three years. BuzzFeed reports that Louisiana Pham, owner of Orchid Nail Lounge in Santa Clara, California, claims to be the person who started the cannabis nail craze. Three years ago Pham was approached by a medical marijuana patient who wanted a show-stopping look for the Hemp Con convention. Pham was the one who suggested that the woman—who she insisted have a legal medical card—bring in some trimmings and then enclosed them inside of the client’s gel manicure for no extra charge. That was the decision, Pham says, that sparked a craze that rages on through today.
Louisiana Pham, the owner of Orchid Nail Lounge, claims to be the person who started the weed nails craze.
Though there’s some hubbub about the dangers of walking around with flagrantly flowered nails, a spokesperson for the Marijuana Policy Project explained to BuzzFeed that “it would probably be rare and ridiculous” for someone to be arrested for possession because of the nails. In states where weed is legal, you’re unlikely to have a problem unless you go off and show your heady hands to a Fed or something.
But you should definitely check with your nail technician to see if it’s something that they’re comfortable doing and whether they’re okay with giving you a cannabis manicure if the state doesn’t have 100% legal weed. And who knows—maybe they’ll even end up giving you a hand massage with some CBD lotion instead of the regular fare? That would definitely chill everyone out.