How do you feel when you see the terms ‘NFT’, ‘cryptocurrency’, and ‘metaverse’? Does a sense of interest and curiosity arise? Or are you overwhelmed with confusion and uncertainty? If you identify as feeling the latter, you might want to consider tossing that apprehension to the curb. These emerging technologies may symbolize the beginning of a new era that is unfolding right before us – and you don’t want to be left behind!
Before diving into how cannabis has become intertwined with this cybernated age, let’s start with the basics.
What is a crypto?
For starters, crypto is a shortened term referring to cryptocurrency. A cryptocurrency is a virtual currency that can be used to buy goods and services. If you own a cryptocurrency, you do not have anything tangible to prove that you do. Rather, owning cryptos is managed and stored on a digital “wallet”, such as Binance, Coinbase, or eToro.
An example of a cryptocurrency would be Bitcoin or Ethereum. Units of cryptos are generated via a mining method. This process uses a computer interface to solve extremely complex mathematical problems, which in turn, creates coins that possess value.
The cool thing about cryptos is that they can be converted into various other currencies. For example, one is able to easily take Bitcoin (BTC) and convert it to USD in order to buy Ethereum (ETH) on Coinbase.
Cryptos operate on a type of technology called blockchain. A blockchain is a digital, decentralized public ledger. In essence, it is a digital data account that maintains a decentralized transaction record. Meaning, the blockchain is just a way to keep record and store data on all transactions made across all networks and currencies. The blockchain is strongly encrypted, therefore it is very protected and secures online transactions.
What is an NFT?
NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token, which are digital assets that are one-of-a-kind. Unlike cryptocurrencies, NFTs are not fungible, or interchangeable. However, similar to a crypto, NFTs also utilize a blockchain to keep track of and establish ownership of digital collectables. NFT collectables can represent a variety of items, such as photos, videos, audio, and other types of digital art file.
Purchasing NFTs is similar to an art gallery auction. Meaning, you are able to view digital work available for sale and place a bid on it, with the highest bidder winning the piece of art at the end of the allotted time. NFTs can be re-sold at an auction too.
Currently, the largest marketplace for NFTs is OpenSea. On OpenSea, users are able to buy, sell, and trade their digital art items online. With each NFT, users are able to see a list of the NFT’s trading history and who all owned it since it was created.
What is the metaverse?
The metaverse is a virtual space that hosts a network of interconnecting 3D worlds. These worlds are facilitated through multiple technological outputs – including, augmented and virtual reality. Within the digital dimensions of this universe, users are able to shop, work, and socialize with other avatars.
On the most basic level, users are able to see the metaverse through Oculus VR headsets, or augmented reality glasses. However, gaining actual access to the metaverse itself is done via entering an open source virtual world. For example, Decentraland is the oldest and most popular 3D virtual world. This platform allows users to buy virtual plots of land as NFTs via a crypto called MANA, which is unique to Decentraland. Decentraland’s currency and land operate on the Ethereum blockchain. Other virtual worlds include The SandBox, Somnium Space, and CryptoVoxels.
The metaverse is the sum of it all – it is where all of the aforementioned digital technologies and virtual worlds are combined.
So now that we have the basics down, what exactly does any of this have to do with cannabis?
Well, let’s dive right in:
- NEKTR/Legendary Leaf
NEKTR is said to be the first cannabis-themed game that uses NFTs and crypto. It is the first crypto project that aims to support cannabis activism and reform across the globe, specifically medicinal cannabis.
So, how does it work?
The cannabis growing game, Legendary Leaf is an IOS and android compatible game that will make its way to the market in February 2022. In this game, players are able to buy a cannabis plant NFT. The game reflects the actual health of the plant and is able to elicit the different stages of growth. In essence, it is an NFT gaming platform that is supported by the NEKTR token and operates on the Binance Smart Chain (BEP-20).
Legendary Leaf is a play-to-earn game, meaning players are ultimately able to monetize the amount of time they spend playing the game. This is an emerging market, and will likely become bigger in the future when the metaverse takes off.
NEKTR’s mission is to create and spread awareness about the health benefits of cannabis through a cannabis NFT gaming ecosystem. A minimum of 10% of the NFT game revenue will go towards creating a medical cannabis reimbursement program for NEKTR holders. This was established in efforts to lower the cost access of this medicinally underrated plant. It has also been said that a portion of the proceeds will go directly towards organizations working to educate the public about the benefits of cannabis, as well as those advocating for legalization at the local, state, and national levels.
Cryptobuds is a cannabis themed game that allows players to purchase NFT component cards in effort to create their very own strains of ‘magic bud’ and trade with other players. Cryptobuds allows individuals to experience grow-opportunity fantasies and lets you grow your own digital cannabis domain.
Component cards feature 8-bit artwork of seeds, soil, water, and grow setup elements that players utilize to grow their own virtual strains. With different levels to the game and over 37 billion name-and-color combinations, the possibilities are endless. Operating on the WAX blockchain, Cryptobuds is a great combination of a crafting-game with cannabis aesthetics that allows for both NFT investment and digital collecting.
- Crypto Cannabis Club
As the name denotes, the Crypto Cannabis Club is a group of individuals who are passionate about both crypto and cannabis. But in order to take part in this niche club, you must own an NFToker.
An NFToker is essentially just a digital avatar that operates off the Ethereum blockchain and is the only access point to the Crypto Cannabis Club. Each NFToker is randomly generated through the algorithm, so there is never a duplicate of an avatar.
Each NFToker will be able to redeem a tokenized digital cannabis plant (NFTokin). Each NFTokin, or cannabis plant, has unique characteristics, pertaining to its buds, leaves, stalk etc. They also have hidden attributes pertaining to its chemical composition, such as THC, terpenes, yield, CBD, etc. Real world knowledge about cannabis growing and breeding is said to be of benefit to NFTokers. This will help NFTokers breed high quality plants on the blockchain.
The Crypto Cannabis Club is a collection of over 10,000 NFToker avatars who all spend their day hanging out on the Ethereum blockchain. In the metaverse, you are able to compete in digital cannabis competitions for the chance to win physical prizes of NFTs. The Crypto Cannabis Cup is an example of a digital cannabis grow competition. Competition winners receive real-world cannabis related items, as well as NFTs.
- Higher Life CBD
According to Forbes, Higher Life CBD became one of the first CBD brands to launch a real-life dispensary in the metaverse. This gives customers the opportunity to have a virtual, gamified shopping experience. Unlike any of the other aforementioned games, this experience is unique because it ultimately ends with a tangible item you virtually purchased.
Higher Life CBD is present within an Ethereum-based virtual world called Cryptovoxels. Within this metaverse world, Cryptovoxels has its own city, Origin City. Inside the Higher Life CBD dispensary, the decor on the walls entails virtual NFT artwork.
Cannabis going virtual
The age of cannabis going digital and/or virtual is beginning, from growing cannabis NFT plants on Legendary Leaf to legitimately buying CBD products at Higher Life CBD through their virtual store in the metaverse. The possibilities are endless and we are beginning to see a glimpse of how technologies like blockchain could change cannabis, whether it’s helping determine who produced a certain strain first or simply building a more immersive sense of community. Cannabis legalization continues to sweep across the United States, while NFT’s, cryptocurrencies, and the metaverse simultaneously gain traction. There is no better time than NOW to start paying more attention!