Rapid Prototyping like Tom Chi May Give You Nancy Botwin-like Super Powers

As I sit here writing this I am not sure exactly how this happened. I have been using cannabis regularly for a little under 2 years and in the last 2 months, 2 people have referred to me as Nancy Botwin. One even said, “you’ve forgotten more than I know about weed.”

You must imagine my shock. I’m just a mom who smokes a lot of pot and loves to learn. I’ll preface this article by saying, in no way do I actually know as much about cannabis as the real Nancy Botwin, Dr. Dina. She is a true canna-genius. I’ve listened to her school people on the facts revolving the plant in a way that makes my brain spin.

And for the record, my best friend Sarah Bofinger, a cannabis advocate and swimmer training for the 2020 Olympics, who coincidentally was interviewed by Dr. Dina, definitely knows more than I have forgotten about weed and also taught me everything I know.

And yet, as I look in the mirror I realize, wow…I actually do know A LOT more about cannabis than I realized. I could be in the top 20% of the population with a fairly basic understanding of the plant.

How did this happen? Tom Chi. The name that changed my life 4 years ago.

I am a total nerd. It is one of my favorite things about myself. Over the last 4 years I’ve gone a little off the deep end as a human prototype and it all started with this video. I’m pretty sure Tom Chi accidentally helped me learn everything I know about weed. For the record, I have no idea if Tom Chi uses or supports cannabis. This article in no way implies that he does.

After testing and learning rapid prototyping in my own company, with my Fortune 1000 clients and in my personal life it was only natural that I would apply it to the plant that was currently saving my life. I started having minor strokes at 37 that left me in a 2-year depression cycle and with 5-6 complex migraines a week. Cannabis was the only natural remedy I found. You could call me an aspiring hippie scientist.

Here’s how rapid prototyping like Tom Chi can give you Nancy Botwin-like Cannabis Super Powers

Step 1: Define what you want to learn 

Start by asking questions related to the various strains of the plant and how to know one type of cannabis from another. Understanding the plant and the different experiences each provides is the key to being able to create consistent experiences for yourself and your friends.

Here are the questions I started asking first. How many types of cannabis are there? How are those types broken into categories? What are the differences between each type? How is this one different than that one? How is this one the same as that one?

Simply ask yourself, “What do I want to learn?”

  1. Learn: What is the difference between an indica-dominant, a sativa-dominant strain and a hybrid strain?
  2. Learn: When would I want to use an indica-dominant strain?
  3. Learn: When would I want to use a sativa-dominant strain?
  4. Learn: When would I want to use a hybrid strain?
  5. Learn: How does (Sour Diesel) compare to (Silver Kush) to (Purple Kush)?
  6. Learn: How does (Sour Diesel) change when I consume it in a bowl, bong, vaporizer, Dab pen, Dab rig, edible, etc.

Step 2: Define how you will know when you’ve learned it 

This is where being a nerd gets really fun. Because naturally as a scientific mind I want data to know that I’ve, in fact, learned something. This is where the scientific mind could come into conflict with my inner-hippie who wants to fly freely. We are talking about cannabis so flying freely could easily take over if I do not consider my measure pre-consumption.

I ask myself the question, “how will I know when I’ve learned it?” Many times the answer is simply that I have experienced it or that I can recall the answer later. I define learning as being able to access information and so many times I’ll also ask, “Can I access this information again when I need it simply, efficiently and effectively?”

Here are measures for the learns we reviewed:

  • Learn: What is the difference between an indica-dominant, a sativa-dominant strain and a hybrid strain?
  • Measure: I can describe the technical differences between the three in one sentence (Yes or No)
  • Learn: When would I want to use an indica-dominant strain?
  • Measure: I have a list of at least 3 activities that I would enjoy doing while using an indica-dominant strain (Yes or No)
  • Learn: When would I want to use a sativa-dominant strain?
  • Measure: I have a list of at least 3 activities that I would enjoy doing while using a sativa-dominant strain (Yes or No)
  • Learn: When would I want to use a hybrid strain?
  • Measure: I have a list of at least 3 activities I would enjoy doing while using a hybrid strain (Yes or No)
  • Learn: How does (Sour Diesel) compare to (Sour Kush) to (Bubba Kush)?
  • Measure: I have an experiential reference for how feels that I can reference on demand (Yes or No)
  • Learn: How does Sour Diesel change when I consume it in a bowl, bong, vaporizer, Dab pen, Dab rig, edible, etc.
  • Measure: I have an experiential reference for how each makes me feel that I can reference on demand (Yes or No)

Notice that the measures aren’t difficult. They don’t require tons of data analysis. I am learning this for my own benefit and while I might keep track of more data in some contexts, simplicity is of more value here. Yet, I will want to have access to the information again when I need it so that should be considered.

Step 3: What can I build in under 2 hours to test it? 

Do you remember chemistry lab? I felt like my entire education led up to the day when I would get to mix chemicals in a science lab. This is where the rubber hits the road or the cannabis hits the lips as you could say.

Tom Chi outlines 3 rules for rapid prototyping.

  1. Find the quickest path to experience.
  2. Doing is the best kind of thinking.
  3. Use materials that move at the speed of thought to maximize your rate of learning.

I think it’s clear. The rules say you must consume the cannabis to learn about the cannabis. While some of your prototypes will include looking up articles it won’t take long before you’ll realize that consuming the strains you are learning about is the best way to learn Simply, Efficiently and Effectively. I use the SEE acronym to ensure I do not add unnecessary complexity to my experiments.

Here are the builds added onto our current list of experiments.

  • Learn: What is the difference between an indica-dominant, a sativa-dominant strain and a hybrid strain?
  • Measure: I can describe the technical differences between the three in one sentence (Yes or No)
  • Build: Read this article (Sativa vs. Indica vs. Hybrid: What’s the Difference Between Cannabis Types?)
  • Learn: When would I want to use an indica-dominant strain?
  • Measure: I have a list of at least 3 activities that I would enjoy doing while using an indica-dominant strain (Yes or No)
  • Build: Smoke Bubba Kush in a bowl and write a list of 3 activities I’d like to experience feeling this way
  • Learn: When would I want to use a sativa-dominant strain?
  • Measure: I have a list of at least 3 activities that I would enjoy doing while using a sativa-dominant strain (Yes or No)
  • Build: Smoke Sour Diesel in a bowl and write a list of 3 activities I’d like to experience feeling this way
  • Learn: When would I want to use a hybrid strain?
  • Measure: I have a list of at least 3 activities I would enjoy doing while using a hybrid strain (Yes or No)
  • Build: Smoke Sour Kush in a bowl and write a list of 3 activities I’d like to experience feeling this way
  • Learn: How does (Sour Diesel) compare to (Sour Kush) to (Bubba Kush)?
  • Measure: I have an experiential reference for how feels that I can reference on demand (Yes or No)
  • Build: Review experiences of all three and create a list of similarities and differences
  • Learn: How does Sour Diesel change when I consume it in a bowl, bong, vaporizer, Dab pen, Dab rig, edible, etc.
  • Measure: I have an experiential reference for how each makes me feel that I can reference on demand (Yes or No)
  • Build: Vaporize Sour Diesel wax in a Dab pen like Dr. Dabber (linkto: https://www.drdabber.com/)  and write a list of 3 activities I’d like to experience feeling this way

You’ll notice I quickly transition my learns from the basics of the plant into direct experience of strains. Once you start diving into cannabis education there is a ton of information and it can become overwhelming. I recommend holding off on the true canna-expert level knowledge like the differences between THC and CBD until you have a solid grasp of the varieties of indicas, sativas and hybrids. When you become curious about THC vs CBD you can add an experiment for it.

Many times we approach learning as not being complete until we have mastered something. I enjoy approaching learning as an evolution with no end point. This means I can learn in bite sized pieces that are perfect for right now. And over time, that knowledge built upon itself and before I knew it I was being referred as the cannabis expert in the room. All because I was willing to turn every experience with cannabis into a learning opportunity and ask a bunch of questions about every strain I tried from myself and from those who were the actual experts.

I approach cannabis with childlike wonder and curiosity. I’ve been testing cannabis strains for 2 years from the vantage point of an entrepreneur, former corporate executive, writer, mother, marketer, friend, and lover. I have found that every strain will enhance at least one experience, even if it wasn’t the experience I originally tested it within.

This is why I recommend creating a safe space for you to experiment within. A close trusted circle of friends within a home or other place where you feel safe to let down your guard and experience the plant without the mask. That is the biggest benefit of cannabis I’ve found.

I cannot wear a mask or pretend to be something I’m not. Cannabis allows the real Nichole Kelly to emerge. Wanting to learn about myself equally as much as I wanted to learn about cannabis opened the door for me to fall in love with both even more deeply in every experience. And I think that is a superpower worth experiencing, directly.

 

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