Until fairly recently, Danksgiving wasn’t much more than a funny word that cannabis fans used for smoking weed on Thanksgiving. It’s easy to see how the portmanteau came about: “dank,” a slang term for high-quality weed, fits into the name of a holiday that appeals to the appetite — whether one is high or not.
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Steve Bloom, who was the editor of High Times magazine from 1988 to 2007, noted that his 2008 book, “Pot Culture: The A-Z Guide to Stoner Language Life,” doesn’t mention the term — an indication of how recently it has become popular, though he pointed out that a definition appeared on the website Urban Dictionary the same year. (Google searches for the term also typically spike around Thanksgiving.)
“The word just evolved, like so many do in the cannabis lexicon,” Mr. Bloom said. He noted that the High Times Cannabis Cup, a judged competition, used to take place every year in Amsterdam during the week of Thanksgiving. “I’m sure someone used the term then,” he said.
It’s unclear how many Americans hold Danksgiving dinners; the stigma that still surrounds the use of cannabis in many families and places may discourage revelers from sharing their celebrations on social media. But there is evidence that cannabis use is rising around Thanksgiving. In 2018, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ran a #DitchDanksgiving social media campaign, warning those who did participate not to drive under the influence.
Just one day before the holiday is another event promoting cannabis consumption: Green Wednesday, the weed shopper’s equivalent of Black Friday. Online sales of marijuana on Green Wednesday last year rose 78 percent over the average for the previous three Wednesdays, according to data provided by Jane Technologies, a company that markets sales technology to more than 2,800 dispensaries in 38 states.
The multistate cannabis company Ayr Wellness hired the market research company Suzy to conduct a “Danksgiving 2022 Shopping Survey” that asked 1,600 Americans about their Thanksgiving weed habits. Some 90 percent of self-identified cannabis consumers surveyed said they planned to stock up for the holiday.
Steven Osuna, an artist in San Diego, said that most members of his family partake in cannabis at Thanksgiving. “For me, it’s the crossover of a communal drug becoming a family side dish that I love,” he said, adding, “I’ve been hearing the word ‘Danksgiving’ long enough that it’s cheesy.”